Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2008
Publication Date: 4/11/2008
Citation: Thomas, R.G., Gebhardt, S.E. 2008. Nutritive value of pomegranate fruit and juice. Maryland Dietetic Association Annual Meeting, April 11, 2008, Rockville, MD.
Technical Abstract: Pomegranates have become popular in recent years due to their high antioxidant content. Pomegranates are grown in California, where the "Wonderful" cultivar represents over 90% of the U.S. retail market. Nutrient data for pomegranates in the USDA nutrient database (SR) were primarily based on older data and excluded the seeds. Three composites of pomegranates from the 2006 harvest were analyzed for proximates, fiber, sugar, vitamins, and minerals in a commercial lab using valid methods. The dietary fiber value was 4 g/100g, compared to the current SR value of 1 g/100g, due to the inclusion of seeds in the analysis. Pomegranate juice has been marketed since 2002, but it is not currently in SR. This juice was reported as consumed in the What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), so its inclusion in SR will provide nutrient information for future surveys. Different brands of pomegranate juice were sampled in 2007. Three composites were analyzed for a full panel of nutrients and antioxidant capacity (ORAC) using standard, accepted methods. Results for most components were comparable to the whole fruit. Protein and fat values were higher in the whole fruit compared to the juice due to the seeds, which are 10% of the aril (juice sac) weight. The ORAC was 2860 µmol TE/100g pomegranate juice which is comparable to blueberry and grape juice. The inclusion of new nutrient profiles for pomegranate fruit and juice in SR, Release 21, will provide a more accurate estimate of their contribution to the diet when those products are consumed.