Geni Herbs takes PomElla into beverages

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pomegranate

Keen to cash in on the healthy craze for pomegranate-based
beverages, Geni Herbs is introducing a tea-grade version of its
PomElla ingredient.

PomElla TG is made up of particles of whole pomegranate coated with the original PomElla ingredient. Not only does it contain the same natural ration of antioxidant polyphenols as whole pomegranate, according to the company, but it is also standardized to punicalagins, which are believed to be the main active components responsible for the fruit's health-promoting properties.

The polyphenols are released by hot water extraction, making it suitable for use in teas, other beverages, and even as a stand-alone drink.

The original PomElla ingredient meanwhile, a blend of pomegranate polyphenols, is suitable for use in capsules or liquid supplements. Geni spokesperson Blake Ebersole told that PomElla TG is more cost-effective for tea applications.

Ebersole said that the new version was developed in response to increasing demand for pomegranate products that can be used in hot water extraction.

In particular he noted the success of Pomegreat juice in the UK. In August leading supermarket Tesco announced that it was selling 500,000 liters of the product each week - a 300 percent increase since the start of the year.

Geni has signed a distribution agreement with Gee Lawson to sell the ingredient in Europe.

"The new version of PomElla will mean that pomegranate will start to appear in even more products from now on,"​ Ebersole said. The first products containing it are expected to be available at the beginning of 2006.

A number of recent studies have drawn attention to the health benefits of pomegranates, particularly for the heart.

These include an Israeli study published last year in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004 Jun;23(3):423-33) which indicated that pomegranate juice, taken daily, could prevent the thickening of arteries and slow down cholesterol oxidation by almost half.

Another, carried out by researchers from the University of California's non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and California Pacific Medical Center and published in the September 16 issue of the Journal of Cardiology, showed that it could increase blood flow to the heart in patients with ischemic coronary heart disease.

In fruit form pomegranates are not terribly popular in many markets, including the UK. This means that there are significant opportunities for manufacturers to incorporate pomegranate-derived ingredients into food and beverage products.

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