Punicic acid (PA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (18:3 n-5), which is classified as a conjugated linolenic acid. PA is also referred to as a “super CLnA” whose effect is even more potent than that of an ordinary CLnA. It is found mainly in the seeds of the pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum) and Trichoxanthes kirilowii and some other minor sources. It possesses a wide array of biological properties including antidiabetic, antiobesity, antiproliferative, and anticarcinogenic activity against various forms of cancer. In spite of this, the PA has not been explored as a nutraceutical or as an ingredient of food products which can be aimed at specific consumer target groups.
The Pomegranate fruit has cultivated around the world in subtropical and tropical areas like Arizona, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, India, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, California, Chile, and Spain. 2010-11, the region under cultivation for pomegranate production in Pakistan was 12,900 hectares, yielding an annual production of approximately 50,000 tons. Pomegranate production amounts could reach about 65,000 tons, in which the peels (pericarp, rind, or hull) quantity to about 60% of the pomegranate fruit weight.
One pomegranate contains 1 g of fiber (mostly insoluble), 12% of vitamins B6 and C and potassium per day. On the opposite hand, it’s noticed that about 500g/kg of the entire fruit weight corresponds to the peel, while the remainder is the edible parts of the pomegranate, consisting of 400g/kg arils and 100g/kg seeds. Pomegranate is a crucial source of bioactive compounds and different parts of it are utilized in medicine for several centuries and therefore the edible parts used in pharmaceutical world-wide.
Pomegranate comprises of an upscale kind of flavonoids, which contain roughly 0.2 to 1.0% of the natural product. About 30% of all anthocyanidins found in pomegranate is contained inside the peel. These flavonoid-rich pomegranate phenolic divisions are obligated for anticancer action. Pomegranate peel gives more significant returns of phenolics, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins than the mash. Flavonoid content was fundamentally more noteworthy inside the strip than the pulp (59 versus 17mg/g), as were proanthocyanidins (11 versus 5mg/g).
It is known to be Paradise fruit because of the therapeutic potential and promising nutraceutical features. It prevents many ailments like blood pressure, diabetes, body stress, joint disorders, anemia, diarrhea and cardiovascular disorders. Its seeds also as skin are used for the cure of stomach diseases and improve digestion.
Author: Kaneez Fatima (MPhil Food Science and Technology)
Supervisor Name: Dr. Saima Tehseen (Assistant Professor)
Address: Government College Women University, Faisalabad, Pakistan