Seasonal and cultivar variations in antioxidant and sensory quality of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit grown in the southern Arava Valley.

Hamutal Borochov-Neori, Sylvie Judeinstein, Effi Tripler, Moti Harari, Amnon Greenberg, Southern Arava Research and Development, Hevel Eilot, 88820 Israel,
Doron Holland, Agricultural Research Organization, Department of Horticulture, Newe Ya'ar Research Center, P.O.Box 1021, Ramat Yishay, 30095 Israel.
Report to ICA – 2008
ABSTRACT
Fruit of three diverse pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) cultivars grown in the southern Arava Valley were analyzed for soluble phenolics content, antioxidant activity, soluble solid concentration, acidity and internal red color intensity. Analysis was carried out on several dates along the harvest season, corresponding to different climatic conditions during fruit ripening. Values obtained varied with cultivar and ripening date. Comparison between late- and early-ripening fruit revealed that arils of fruit ripening later in the season contained more soluble phenolics (1.21-1.71 compare to 0.22-0.88 pyrogallol equivalents, gl-1) and exhibited a higher antioxidant activity, as measured by the ferric reducing ability (FRAP) assay (1.22-2.37 compared to 0.86-1.95 vitamin C equivalents, gl-1). Arils' red color intensity inversely related (R2=0.89-0.94) to the sum of heat units accumulated during fruit ripening. The results imply that in the southern Arava Valley pomegranate fruit antioxidant and sensory quality traits can be enhanced by choice of cultivar and controlled-climate cultivation management. (full report)


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