Pomegranate is a fruit, scientifically known as ‘Punica granatum’ produced by certain shrubs or small trees belonging to the ‘Lythraceae’ family and ‘Punicoideae’ subfamily.
Pomegranate is mostly consumed directly as a table fruit or in the form of juices and smoothies. It is also used in cooking and baking and to make vinegar and alcoholic beverages like wine, cocktails, etc.
The fruit is believed to have originated in Iran and neighbouring countries from where it was introduced to various parts of the Asian continent a long time ago. Based on some archaeological evidence the fruit is consumed as early as 5000 years ago and was considered special and luxurious during those times thanks to its unique flavour, colour and health benefits. Moreover, the fruit is also mentioned in the Bible and the Koran. And it shows the popularity and importance the same had in the society since ancient times just like today.
Pomegranate trees grow between 5 and 10 metres in height and take 5 to 6 years to start bearing the fruits that require 5 to 7 months to mature. The fruits vary in size depending on the varieties that number around 500 and are found in different colours like white-yellow, dark purple, pink and red. The harvest varies depending on the varieties; however, the normal harvest season is between August and October, while the planting is done from February to March which varies depending on the region.
Pomegranates are rich in sugar, fibre, fat, carbohydrate, protein, potassium, folate and vitamins K, E and B6. The fruits are also purported to lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, improve heart health and protect from certain types of cancer.
India and Iran are the largest producers of pomegranate in the world, followed by Turkey, Israel, Spain, Peru, Morocco and the US. Canada is the largest exporter, followed by Thailand, Egypt and Nepal. The largest importer and consumer is the United Arab Emirates, followed by the US, UK and Russia.
In India, the largest producer of pomegranate is Maharashtra, and other major producers are Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
Some of the main trading markets of pomegranate in India:
Maharashtra (Pune, Nasik, Solapur, Satara)
Karnataka (Belgaum, Bijapur, Bagalkot)
Gujarat (Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Kantha, Sabar)
Andhra Pradesh (Anantapur, Pasalapudi, Anaparthi)
Names of pomegranate in different Indian languages:
*Take necessary precautions while giving money or product in advance.