Quick-chill method to preserve pineapples?

Wan Junaidi (centre) looks closely at a pineapple as Fatimah (second left) and others look on.

OYA: A federal minister has suggested that Malaysian Cooperatives Institute (IKM) look into the quick-chill method to preserve pineapples produced in Sarawak.

Cooperatives and Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, in making the suggestion, pointed out that the method had been used to preserve Musang King Durians bound for export.

“When the durians are chilled, the fruits can last longer and the quality is still maintained, and I hope cooperatives can learn from this,” he added at a briefing with the Malaysia Cooperatives Commission (SKM) at the Oya community hall here on Saturday (July 17).

Wan Junaidi added the technology was also used in the fishing industry. Fish chilled for about half an hour could last for a longer period, he said.

The minister pointed out that if the quick-chill method could be used to preserve other fruits including apples, perhaps it could also be used to preserve local pineapples.

Wan Junaidi, who is also Batang Lupar MP, said there was ample supply of pineapples in Sarawak to support the development of the pineapple industry.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, in her welcoming speech, revealed that recently, thousands of pineapples in Dalat were left unsold due the movement control order (MCO).

Fatimah, who is also Dalat assemblywoman, added the government later bought the unsold pineapples at RM1.50 per kg from the farmers through a local farmers’ association.

The fruits were then placed at a multipurpose hall here before they were distributed free to the people.

Officials from SKM and the Mukah Division Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) also attend the event.