PLT presents water extract of pomegranate

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pomegranate

PL Thomas has added a new standardized pomegranate extract to its
ingredients portfolio - a move that may prove shrewd given the
attention the fruit has attracted recently for its antioxidant

Developed by Polinat, a research company based in the Canary Islands, POM40p is standardized to a minimum of 40 percent punicosides, potent antioxidant polyphenols belonging to the group punicalagins.

According to new business and brand manager Eric Anderson, this high level is due to the water-soluble extraction process which results in more punicalagins than with the solvent extracted process.

POM40p is manufactured in Spain by Polyfenoles Naturales, which supplies the ingredient in Europe. PLT is working closely with Polyfenoles in marketing it to the US market.

The only kosher extract available in the US, according to PLT, POM40p is suitable for tablets, capsules, and functional food and beverage applications targeting oxidative stress, cardiovascular health and joint health.

Anderson explained to that the HPLC fingerprint of natural pomegranate juice has two peaks - one for ellagic acid and the other for punicalagins. The ellagic acid peak is considerably smaller than that for punicalagins.

"It is our understanding that the majority of pomegranate extract have more ellagic acid and less punicalogens,"​ he said, adding that leading pomegranate juice on the market also has less punicalogens and more ellagic acid.

Ellagic acid is also a polyphenol with antioxidant content, but when comparing POM40p to other extracts, Anderson said: "We believe that it is closer to mother nature."

What is more, a study published in Clinica Chimica Acta​ (2004 Oct;348(1-2):63-8) indicated that punicalagins outperform ellagic acid in antiproliferative activity, and work in synergy with the other polyphenols found in the juice.

A Case Western Reserve University study published in the Journal of Nutrition​ this month found that a water extract of pomegranate inhibited stimulation of certain enzymes in human cartilage cells that are affected by osteoarthritis, preventing worsening of the condition.

The researchers said that further research is needed to determine the absorption rate of pomegranate fruit extracts in the joints, and to confirm whether the fruit extract promotes cartilage repair in animals.

Other research centered on the health benefits of drinking pomegranate juice, suggesting that a daily intake of 50g of natural juice delivers benefits for oxidative stress and cardiovascular health. A daily intake of 85-100mg of POM40p is said to be equivalent to 50g of juice.

This includes a study published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences​ ( 2005 Mar 29;102(13):4896-901) which shed light on pomegranate's anti-atherosclerotic properties.

Last spring the Journal of Medicinal Food​ (2004;7(1):13-8) published a study highlighting a previously unknown mechanism through which pomegranate juice can prevent certan types of cancer, including leukemia, breast and prostate cancer.

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