Curaua

Family • Bromeliaceae - Ananas erectifolius - CURAUA PLANT


Scientific names

Ananas erectifolius L.B.Sm.
Ananas lucidus Mill.

Common names

Curaua (Tag.)

curaua

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) A fiber for all handiwork

(2) PRODUCTION OF CURAUÁ (ANANAS ERECTIFOLIUS L.B. SMITH) FIBERS FOR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS: CHARACTERIZATION AND MICROPROPAGATION / A.L. Leão, I.S. Machado, S.F. de Souza, L. Soriano / ISHS

curaua2
General info 
A giant bomelia native to the Amazonia and belonging to the pineapple plant family.

Botany
Curaua is a rosette-forming herbaceous plant. Leaves are narrow, elongate, up to 40 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide, thick and concave, green above and glaucous below, with spines in the margins.

Distribution
Recently introduced to the Philippines.
Cultivated.

Constituents 
• The curaua fibers showed a lignin composition of p-hydroxyphenyl:gualacul:syringyl units in 30:29:41 proportion. Pyrolysisx revealed the presence of p-hydroxycinnamic acids (p-coumaric and ferulic acids) in curaua fibers. The main lipophilic compounds were long-chain n-fattuy acids, n-fatty alcohols, alpha- and omega-hydroxyacids, monoglycerides, sterols and waxes.

Properties
• The dry curaua fiber is soft to the touch with a very high mechanical resistance capable to producing high tensions, making it a natural substitute for glass fiber.

Parts utilized
Leaves.

Uses
Folkloric
No known folkloric use in the Philippines.
In the Amazonia, the medicinal plant is traditionally used to heal wounds.

Other uses
• Largely used in the automotive industry due to its resitance, softness, and reduced weight.
• Also being tested for making hypoallergenic fabrics.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: Microbiological assays from hydroxyalcoholic extract from the leaves have shown anti-microbial activity of the plant toward Staphylococcus aureus.
• Hypoallergenic Material: With high resistance, low density and recyclability, fibers of the curaua plant are being tested as replacement for fiberglass to reinforce plastic materials in moulded car parts and for making hypoallergenic fabrics.

Availability
Cultivated.