Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA
| [c] National Clonal Germplasm Repository, USDA-ARS, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
Corresponding author: J.M. Chater, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, 900 University Avenue, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Tel.: +1 951 82 75 035; Fax: +1 951 82 74 437; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) juice is a highly-valued beverage that has been demonstrated to have large quantities of polyphenolic compounds with powerful antioxidant properties. Currently there is limited information related to other components of the juices of USDA germplasm. OBJECTIVE:Preselected pomegranate germplasm was evaluated to identify unique cultivars with consumer-friendly traits and to select candidates that meet or exceed juice quality parameters of ‘Wonderful’ juice. METHODSJuices from 14 cultivars and commercial pomegranate juice were analyzed using a variety of methods. Juice quality was determined by measuring pH, titratable acidity, citrate, malate, total soluble solids, maturity index, glucose, fructose, γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), antioxidant activity, total phenolics, potassium, glutamate, glutamine, and ethanol. RESULTSCandidate cultivars meeting ‘Wonderful’ juice quality specifications and nutritional profile were identified as were candidates with desirable traits not seen in ‘Wonderful’. There were significant differences among cultivars in pH, titratable acidity, citrate, malate, total soluble solids, maturity index, glucose, fructose, GABA, potassium, glutamate, glutamine, and ethanol. There was no evidence for differences in antioxidant activity and total phenolics of juices among cultivars. CONCLUSIONS:Pomegranate cultivars other than ‘Wonderful’ could provide a broader palette of flavors for the consumer, but more research is needed to determine commercial potential of USDA germplasm.