NEGEV POMEGRANATE PROJECT WITH EMPHASIS ON SEED OIL
Due to a wide range of medical reports clearly demonstrating the high health value of fresh pomegranate fruits, juice and additional pharmaceutical high added value by products, the international pomegranate market has started to move. About ten years ago, Ben Gurion University of the Negev initiated a pomegranate selection project in the south-desert region of Israel. Several dozens of pomegranate genotypes from the origin of the pomegranate in central Asia were purchased from the Levin collection in Turkmenistan and collected elsewhere, were tested in five locations in the Israeli Negev. Based on this study a group of five genotypes were selected as superior pomegranates for Negev semi-arid conditions. These pomegranates were selected based on their unusual qualities as fresh fruits, source of juice and seed oil. Special emphasis was given to characterization of the chemical properties of pomegranate seed oil. The unique pomegranate oil fatty acid profile dominated by punicic acid (Linolenic acid (18:3), ~80% of total fatty acids content) was clearly demonstrated in comparison to common almond control oil. Significant high level of alpha tocopherol level in comparison to soybean oil was shown. Unique phytosterol composition and high total level was also demonstrated by using GC-MS system in comparison to almond oil.
Wiesman, Z., Kaufman, M., David, I., Wiessbein, S., Ram, A., Golan, R., Kogan, L., Berman, S. and Eshet, I. (2008). NEGEV POMEGRANATE PROJECT WITH EMPHASIS ON SEED OIL . Acta Hortic. 778, 45-52
fatty acids, phytosterol, pomegranate, Punica granatum, seed oil, tocopherol