Nutraceutical assessment of Georgia-grown pomegranate juice
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Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) juice is widely known for its potential health benefits. The juice was extracted using two methods, namely blender and mechanical press. Fourteen Georgia-grown pomegranate cultivars, harvested in 2009 were analyzed for juice yield, antioxidant capacity (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power, FRAP; Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity, TEAC; Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, ORAC), total anthocyanins, total polyphenols, major sugars, organic acids, and individual phenolic compounds. Citric acid was the predominant acid, and glucose and fructose were the major sugars found. Cultivar Cranberry had the highest significant (p ≤ 0.05) total polyphenols and antioxidant capacity. Also, fifteen Georgia-grown pomegranates harvested in 2010 were investigated for their physico-chemical characteristics, juice yield, total anthocyanins, antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols, and individual anthocyanins. The major anthocyanin found was delphinidin-3-glucoside. Cultivar Kaj-acik-anor had the highest significant (p ≤ 0.05) total anthocyanin. Significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences among cultivars were observed. Positive correlations were found between total polyphenols and antioxidant capacity method, FRAP. Overall, blender was an efficient method of juice extraction, mainly due to high juice yield, total polyphenols, and antioxidant capacity.