Pomegranate definitions and research methodologies: importance of using correct and unified terminology

P. Melgarejo, D. Núñez-Gómez, P. Melgarejo-Sánchez, J.J. Martínez-Nicolás, P. Legua
With an increasingly frequent presence in the food, pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic industries, among others, the pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is consolidated in the world market and is ratified as a “superfruit”. However, the multidisciplinary sectors, sciences and research groups that work with its processing, functionalization and/or characterization, although they generate an increased knowledge about the fruit and its different parts (edible and non-edible), are causing confusion in the scientific, agronomic and technical fields. These gaps are mainly to two basic concepts: the correct botanical determination of the fruit parts; and the pomegranate cultivar specification. Regarding the botanical nomenclature, the term “aryl” has been generalized to refer to the pomegranate seed (complete, to the fleshy part and/or to the non-pulpy internal part), even though the pomegranate seed was described botanically as an exarilated seed. The pomegranate seed is the complete grain, composed of the sarcotesta, sclerotized mesotesta, tegmen, nucela, and embryo with its cotyledons, and constitutes the edible portion of this complex fruit called balausta. On the other hand, it has been verified that more than 86% of the published studies do not clearly reference the pomegranate cultivar and/or the cultivation conditions that can have such importance in the results obtained. This becomes worrying in clinical trial cases, as it compromises the objectivity of the results and their replicability due to varietal variability. In this sense, it is necessary to work on the collective dissemination that guarantees both the correct use of botanical terms as well as the specific definition of the pomegranate cultivar, avoiding conceptual errors that are generating multidisciplinary confusion and that can fragment knowledge and lead to interpretive errors on the composition of the analysed parts.
Melgarejo, P., Núñez-Gómez, D., Melgarejo-Sánchez, P., Martínez-Nicolás, J.J. and Legua, P. (2022). Pomegranate definitions and research methodologies: importance of using correct and unified terminology. Acta Hortic. 1349, 83-84
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1349.12
Punica granatum L., pomegranate cultivar, pomegranate fruit part, botanical description, scientific methodologies

Acta Horticulturae