Pomegranate is a nonclimacteric fruit consumed fresh as whole fruit or arils. It can also be used for the production of juice, wine, and syrup. Pomegranate fruit has a hard or leathery pericarp (rind) that may be red, purple, pink, or yellow (Stover and Mercure, 2007). The fruit has numerous seeds, and each seed is covered by fleshy pulp; this fleshy seed is known as an aril. Botanically, the fruit is a berry, and its seeds are produced from the ovary of a single flower. Inside the fruit, arils are attached to a white spongy mesocarp (Holland et al., 2009; Preece and Moersfelder, 2016; Stover and Mercure, 2007). Pomegranate is popular due to its health benefits, such as its anticancer and antidiabetic properties (Borochov-Neori et al., 2011; Katz et al., 2007; Matityahu et al., 2014). In the United States, pomegranate is grown primarily in California, with ‘Wonderful’ being the most widely grown cultivar (Holland et al., 2009). Pomegranate may be a suitable new crop for the fresh market or for processing in various southeastern states, such as Georgia and Florida. Currently, Georgia is a major producer of blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) (2016 Farm gate value report), and blueberry growers have an interest in pomegranate juice as well as blueberry juice (personal communication with growers). In 2017 and 2018, freeze events reduced blueberry production in Georgia, further increasing the growers’ interest in alternative crops such as pomegranate.
Preliminary research has shown that ‘Wonderful’ produces low yields in Georgia, thereby indicating the need to identify pomegranate cultivars better suited for warm and humid conditions such as those of the southeastern United States. However, there is limited information regarding pomegranate cultivars and production in the southeast United States. The objective of this study was to determine the physical and chemical quality attributes of pomegranate cultivars grown in Georgia.
Barros, L., Baptista, P. & Ferreira, I.C.F.R. 2007 Effect of Lactarius piperatus fruiting body maturity stage on antioxidant activity measured by several biochemical assays Food Chem. Toxicol. 45 1731 1737
Borochov-Neori, H., Judeinstein, S., Harari, M., Bar-Ya’akov, I., Patil, B.S., Lurie, S. & Holland, D. 2011 Climate effects on anthocyanin accumulation and composition in the pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit arils J. Agr. Food Chem. 59 5325 5334
Castro-Concha, L.A., Tuyub-Che, J., Moo-Mukul, A., Vazquez-Flota, F.A. & Miranda-Ham, M.L. 2014 Antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content in fruit tissues from accessions of Capsicum chinense Jacq. (Habanero pepper) at different stages of ripening. Scientific World Journal 2014:809073
Chace, E.M., Church, C.G. & Poore, H.D. 1930 The Wonderful variety of pomegranate: Composition, commercial maturity, and by-products. U.S. Dept. Agr. Circ
Chater, J.M., Merhaut, D.J., Jia, Z.Y., Mauk, P.A. & Preece, J.E. 2018 Fruit quality traits of ten California-grown pomegranate cultivars harvested over three months Scientia Hort. 237 11 19
Fawole, O.A. & Opara, U.L. 2013a Changes in physical properties, chemical and elemental composition and antioxidant capacity of pomegranate (cv. Ruby) fruit at five maturity stages Scientia Hort. 150 37 46
Fawole, O.A. & Opara, U.L. 2013b Effects of maturity status on biochemical content, polyphenol composition and antioxidant capacity of pomegranate fruit arils (cv. ‘Bhagwa’) S. Afr. J. Bot. 85 23 31
Gil, M.I., Cherif, J., Ayed, N., Artes, F. & Tomasbarberan, F.A. 1995 Influence of cultivar, maturity stage and geographical location on the juice pigmentation of Tunisian pomegranates Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch. 201 361 364
Kong, J.M., Chia, L.S., Goh, N.K., Chia, T.F. & Brouillard, R. 2003 Analysis and biological activities of anthocyanins Phytochemistry 64 923 933
Matityahu, I., Glazer, I., Holland, D., Bar-Ya’akov, I., Ben-Arie, R. & Amir, R. 2014 Total antioxidative capacity and total phenolic levels in pomegranate husks correlate to several postharvest fruit quality parameters Food Bioprocess Technol. 7 1938 1949
Nuncio-Jáuregui, N., Cano-Lamadrid, M., Hernández, F., Carbonell-Barrachina, A.A. & Calín-Sánchez, A. 2015 Comparison of fresh and commercial pomegranate juices from Mollar de Elche cultivar grown under conventional or organic farming practices Beverages 1 34 44
Radunic, M., Spika, M.J., Ban, S.G., Gadze, J., Diaz-Perez, J.C. & MacLean, D. 2015 Physical and chemical properties of pomegranate fruit accessions from Croatia Food Chem. 177 53 60
Singleton, V.L., Orthofer, R. & Lamuela-Raventos, R.M. 1999 Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent Methods Enzymol. 299 152 178
Wetzstein, H.Y., Zhang, Z., Ravid, N. & Wetzstein, M.E. 2011 Characterization of attributes related to fruit size in pomegranate HortScience 46 908 912