Physico-chemical characteristics and antioxidant activity of pomegranate (Punicagranatum L.) fruit cultivated in Albania


1Faculty of Biotechnology and Food, Agricultural University of Tirana/PajsiVodina, Kodër Kamëz, Tiranë, Albania
2Institute of Plant Genetic Resource, Agricultural University of Tirana/PajsiVodina, Kodër Kamëz, Tiranë, Albania
3University “Haxhi Zeka”, Pejë / Rruga”UÇK-së” 30000 Pejë, Kosovo

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The pomegranate (Punicagranatum L.) fruit deserves special attention by consumers interested at consuming nutritional food with excellent taste. Pomegranate is a highly valued crop and is widely cultivated in Mediterranean countries. Based on the maturity index (sugar/acid ratio) pomegranate fruit cultivars can be classified into three groups: sweet, sour-sweet and sour. Pomegranate juice is well known for its health beneficial compounds which can be attributed to its total polyphenolic compounds and high level of antioxidant activity. In this research paper the effects of maturity on the chemical composition (pH, total acidity and total soluble solids), total polyphenolic contents, total anthocyanins contents, vitamin C content and antioxidant capacities of pomegranate juices cultivated in different areas in Albania were assessed. The most widespread pomegranate variety in Albania is named Devedishe that grows mostly in hilly areas of Albania. Fruit weigh ranged from 116.3 g to 463.5 g. Arils were separated manually from the fruits after they were washed and peeled off, then the physico-chemical properties of fresh juice prepared from the arils were evaluated. The pH of juice ranged from 2.98 to 3.85, titratable acidity (TA) from 0.55 to 2.9 g/100 ml juice (citric acid), total soluble solids ranged from 13.5 to 18.6 (0Brix), maturity index (MI) from 4.7 to 33.03. Total polyphenolic content shows considerable amounts that ranged from 459.4 mg/L GAE to 1448.1 mg/L GAE, total anthocyanins are between 115.22 mg/L and 554.4  mg/L cyanidine-3-glucoside, total flavonoides ranged from 86.94 mg/L to 423.89 mg/L catechin. Total antioxidant activity measured by ABTS method and DPPH ranged from 2123.46 mg/L to 7172.84 mg/L and 45.13% to 88.13% respectively.   

Keywords: Pomegranate; chemical properites; antioxidant activity.

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