Composition of trace and major minerals in different parts of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit cultivars
Purpose ‐ Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit is highly valued for its delicious edible arils and health benefits. In this study, a comparative study on elemental composition of seven pomegranate cultivars was determined in the fruit rind, mesocarp and arils. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The concentrations of major elements (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Cl and Na) and trace elements (Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, B, Ni, Co, Cr, Pb, Cd, Se, Al, As, Li, Sr, Ti and V) were determined using an inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) calibrated with different concentrations of standard solutions of the minerals. Findings ‐ The highest amounts of N, P, S and Cl were found in Bhagwa cultivar, while Arakta, Ruby and Wonderful had the highest amount of Mg, Ca, and Na, respectively. P, Fe, Zn, Ti, V were more in quantity in the edible portion, while the other mineral elements were in larger proportions or in some cases were only found (Co, Al, As) in the non-edible fractions of fruit. Among the major mineral elements investigated, P had the highest covering of the RDA, ranging from 6.78 to 8.53 per cent contribution to the RDA, followed by K (4.530-4.95 per cent RDA), S (1.25-1.54 per cent RDA), Ca (1.04-1.54 per cent RDA), Mg (4.33-5.26 per cent RDA), and Na (0.15-0.17 per cent RDA). Practical implications ‐ Knowledge of the relative contributions of mineral elements in the edible fruit part (arils) to RDA will assist in nutrition planning against mineral deficiency. Originality/value ‐ Pomegranate fruit contains edible and non-edible portions, and this study provided the first detailed report on the distribution of a wide range of trace and major mineral elements in the three parts of the fruit. This study also showed that the edible portion (arils) of pomegranate fruit is a good dietary source of essential nutrients such as K, Ca, Mg, and Se, while the non-edible parts may provide valuable sources of minerals for other food and bioprocess industries.
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