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symmetry genesis pomegranateGenesis™ Standardized Ingredients

2. Pomegranate

  • Kingdom: Plantae

  • Division: Magnoliophyta

  • Class: Magnoliopsida

  • Subclass: Rosidae

  • Order: Myrtales

  • Family: Lythraceae

  • Genus: Punica

Dr. Mark R. Crapo VP Product Technology & Training

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.

pomeranate genesis symmetryThe leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, glossy, narrow oblong, entire, 3–7 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are bright red, 3 cm in diameter, with five petals (often more on cultivated plants). The fruit is between an orange and a grapefruit in size, 7–12 cm in diameter with a rounded hexagonal shape, and has thick reddish skin and many seeds. The edible parts are the seeds and the brilliant red seed pulp surrounding them.

The only other species in the genus, Socotra Pomegranate (Punica protopunica), is endemic on the island of Socotra. It differs in having pink (not red) flowers and smaller, less sweet fruit. Although previously placed in its own family of Punicaceae, recent phylogenetic studies have shown that Punica belongs in the family Lythraceae, and it is classified in that family by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.

genesis pomegranateThe Pomegranate has been cultivated around the Mediterranean region for several millennia.
In Georgia, to the east of the Black Sea, there are wild pomegranate groves outside of ancient abandoned settlements. The ancient city of Granada in Spain was renamed after the fruit during the Moorish period. It is also extensively grown in South China and in Southeast Asia, and could have been brought by sea traders, assuming the pomegranate was not native to the Pacific coast. Missionaries from Spain are also said to be the source for the pomegranate’s introduction into the Caribbean and Latin America during the 1700-1800′s
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The arils (seed casings) of the pomegranate are consumed raw. The entire seed is eaten, though the fleshy outer portion of the seed is the part that is desired. The taste differs depending on the variety of pomegranate and its state of ripeness. It can be very sweet or it can be very sour or tangy, but most fruits lie somewhere in between, which is the characteristic taste.

symmetry pomegranate genesisPomegranate juice is a popular drink in the Middle East, and is also used in Iranian and Indian cuisine; it began to be widely marketed in the US in 2004. Pomegranate concentrate is used in Syrian cuisine. Grenadine syrup is thickened and sweetened pomegranate juice; it is used in cocktail mixing. Before the tomato arrived to the Middle East, grenadine was widely used in many Persian foods; it can still be found in traditional recipes. The juice can also be used as an antiseptic when applied to cuts.

Pomegranate seeds are sometimes used as a spice, known as anardana, most notably in Indian and Pakistani cuisine in addition as a replacement for pomegranate syrup in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine. As a result of which the dried whole seeds can often be obtained in markets catering to such. The seeds are separated from the flesh, dried for 10-15 days and used as an acidic agent for chutney and curry production. The seeds of the wild pomegranate daru from the Himalayas is considered the highest quality source for this spice.

One pomegranate delivers 40% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. It is also a rich source of folic acid and of antioxidants.