Pomegranate Fruit (With Pictures)- Health Benefits of Pomegranate Tree & Juice
Botanical Name: Punica granatum, L
Family Name : Puniaceae
The Pomegranate , Punica granatum , is a species of fruit -bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5-8 m tall. The pomegranate is believed to have originated in the area from eastern Iran to northern India, but its true native range is not accurately known because of its extensive cultivation.
A shrub or small tree 5-10m high, bark smooth, dark grey; leaves 2.0-8.0 cm long, oblong or obovate, shining above; flowers usually deep red, sometimes yellow, 3.7-5.0 cm long, mostly solitary or 2-4 together; fruits globose, crowned by persistent calyx, with a coriaceous woody sind and an interior separated with membranous walls, containing numerous seeds; seeds angular with a fleshy festa which is red, pink and whitish.
The combined fresh peach, plum, and nectarine industries are grown on about 90,000 acres in California and with a total average annual income of over $300 million comprise a major segment of the state's total agricultural economy. Over 400 varieties are grown commercially and between 40 and 50 million packages are marketed each year throughout the United States and Canada with some also exported to other parts of the world.
Properties of pomegranate
Tonic, anthelmintic, antidysenteric, cooling.
Forms of Use :- Decoction, fruit juice etc.
Food Value of pomegranate
Pomegranate is largely used as a dessert. The seeds along with the fleshy portions are dried and commercially marketed as anardana which is widely used as a condiment.
Analysis of the edible portion (68%) of pomegranate gave the following composition (per 100 gms of the edible part):
Pomegranate is a good source of sugars and vitamin C, and fair source of iron but poor in calcium. The sugar content increases with the age of the fruit and of the tree. The fruit contains 0.27% of pectin (as calcium pectate). During ripening the insoluble pectin changes into soluble pectin. The concentration of Vitamin C is said to increase with maturity and ripening of the fruit.
Glucose and fructose (reducing sugars) are the principal sugars in pomegranate juice. Sucrose is absent but maltose is reported. The acids consist primarily of citric acid with malic as the minor component. Among the amino acids, asparatic acid and glutamic have been identified in the juice.
Medicinal Uses & benefits
A delicious juice is prepared from pomegranate. Fully ripe fruits yield a sweet, deep coloured juice with a rich flavour. For obtaining juice, the grains are separated from the fruit and processed in a basket press. The juice after filtration is clarified by heating in a flash pasteurizer to 79-82% and then cooled immediately. It is preserved by addition of sodium benzoate. The preserved juice has an excellent keeping quality.
The quality of pomegranate juice is determined to a great extent by its acids and sugar contents. The acidity of the juice varies from 7.8 to 3.47 g/100 ml and reducing sugars from 7.8 to 13.7 g/100 ml. Fruits of the Kandhari type produce a purplish red juice with a mildly acid-sweet taste. It looks very attractive and is a powerful refreshing drink.
Pomegranate juice blends well with other juices. It may be converted into an excellent syrup. Anar Rub is a product locally prepared from the juice by adding sugar and heating to a thick, viscous consistency. It keeps well and is used like tomato sauce or ketchup.
The fruit juice easily ferments and may be used for the production of wines. The juice of the wild pomegranate in Russia is used in the manufacture of citric and sodium citrate for medicinal use.
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