, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 315-321
Date: 12 Jun 2008

Physico-chemical Properties, Vitamin C Content, and Antimicrobial Properties of Pomegranate Fruit (Punica granatum L.)

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Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit is widely used in the food and process industries due to its excellent nutritional and health value and as a raw material for the manufacture of secondary products such as jellies, dyes, and cosmetics. The objectives of this research were to determine the vitamin C content and antimicrobial properties of fresh and dried fractions of fruit peel and arils of locally grown and imported pomegranate in Oman. A significant variation in vitamin C content was found among the five varieties of pomegranate studied, ranging from 52.8 to 72.0 mg/100 g fresh weight (fw) for arils and 76.8 to 118.4 mg/100 g fw for peels. Irrespective of the variety of pomegranate, vitamin C content in the peel was significantly higher than the aril, with differences ranging from 24.4% to 97.0% depending on variety. Fruit fractions showed antimicrobial effects (inhibition zone) on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa but not Escherichia coli. Sun drying of fruit peel significantly (p ≤ 0.05) enhanced vitamin C retention and antimicrobial effects in comparison with oven drying presumably due to lower rate of moisture removal associated with low temperature drying over longer duration in comparison with short-time high-temperature oven drying.