| MIXED-PLATE BIOLOGY, HAWAIIAN STYLE: HAWAIIAN PINEAPPLE
Submitted by: Randyll Warehime
Jello consists of gelatin (a protein), sugar, and flavoring. Gelatin protein is insoluble. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are soluble. The Jello made with canned pineapple gels and that which is made with fresh pineapple doesn't. The bromelain enzyme in the fresh pineapple degrades the gelatin protein; digests it into a bowl of amino acids--still nutritious!! During the canning process, pineapple is heated to a temperature high enough to denature the bromelain enzyme (a protein itself) making it functionless. Thus, the gelatin protein molecules remain intact and insoluble.
Neal, Marie C. 1965. In gardens of Hawaii. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.
Scott, Susan. 1991. Plants and animals of Hawaii. Bess Press, Honolulu. (photograph)
This is one of six lessons in "MIXED-PLATE BIOLOGY, HAWAIIAN STYLE", a collection of biological activities that values the cultures of modern Hawaii's multicultural population. The collection includes:
OSHIBANA (botany) by Beatrice Sailor;
BALUT EMBRYOLOGY (chicken development) by Jacquelyn Wesolosky;
KIM CHEE FERMENTATION (biochemistry, microbes, osmosis) by Jeanine Nakakura;
PRESSING LIMU (seaweed) by Esther Shigezawa and
GYOTAKU (fish anatomy) by Lenore Kop.
Hawaii is a land of immigrants. The Hawaiians are believed to have arrived around 1000 AD from the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. Starting in the 18th century, Europeans and Americans arrived usually involved in missionary work or seafaring trades. Once agricultural plantations of sugar and pineapple were established in the 20th century, workers arrived from China, Japan, Puerto Rico, Portugal, and the Philippines.
Since the plantation days, immigration has been largely from Southeast Asian nations of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand; Korea; the South Pacific nations of Samoa and Tonga; the Philippines; as well as the U.S. mainland. As ethnic diversity increases in our classrooms, let's draw from the various cultures to personalize the concepts of biology.
(About the title: a Mixed Plate is a unique lunch that evolved as new immigrant populations arrived in Hawaii and can include pork adobo from the Philippines, teriyaki beef from Japan, kim chee from Korea, bean soup from Portugal, chow mein from China, traditional Hawaiian foods such as lau lau and poi and of course two scoops of rice.)