Value Addition to Wild Pomegranate Fruit: Blending Scientific Know-how with...


Value Addition to Wild Pomegranate Fruit: Blending Scientific Know-how with the

Grassroots Knowledge

Dheeraj Singh and Ranjay K. Singh

College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University, Pasighat-791102,

Arunachal Pradesh, India, Email:


Pomegranate is one of the favorite fruits of tropical and subtropical regions where it has enjoyed the consumer’s patronage for its healthy dietelic and medicinal properties. The fruit is consumed fresh, or it can be processed into juice, syrup, jams, or wine. In India pomegranate is found growing wild in the hills of Himalayas covering the entire hilly tract of Jammu and Kashmir Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh. Under domesticated conditions pomegranate is grown through out India. One of the major problems in pomegranate fruits is cracking at maturity leading to huge economic loss to farmers.

The traditional utilization of these fruits lies in drying the seeds of these cracked fruits to yield a value added bi-product known as anardana used as acidulent in Indian curries and also used in Ayurvedic and

Unani medicines.

The local variety called Daru is generally found growing under forest conditions which is generally collected by the women folk for its daily use and as medicines to cure many human disease. Looking to the nutritive, medicinal and economical value of this fruit, an attempt has been made to explore the local knowledge systems associated with pomegranate use and its future processing potential. To achieve this object, basic parameters like validity of taste, nutritive and economic potential were kept in the mind. In the first step the exploration process and learning from the local women has been done to understand the local methods and different medical uses made by women folk in preparing ethnic foods and medicine from Daru fruits. The Traditional healers use a number of formulations to use anardana in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea, stomachache, inflammations, hymenoletidosis, dyspepsia, bronchitis and cardiac problem.

While in the next step the scientific evaluation has been done to screen out different sour, semi-domesticated varieties and their comparison were done with the Daru varietiy. Finally the best variety was selected for the further processing treatments. It was observed that the variety Bassein seedless was best, for making quality grade Anardana when the seeds were pre-treated with steam blanching for 5 minutes while Daru variety was found to be best in acidity, color and taste. The cabinet drying was preferred over sun drying under every condition. Ultimately the plastic bottles 50 percent transparent was decided as best packaging materials and it was found that Anaradana can be safely stored for one year under cold storage as compared to 6 months under ambient conditions. In traditional system, the pulp-coated seeds are

dried in the open sun and drying process takes 10 to 15 days for completion. During this period contamination with dust and dirt occurs. It was hence proposed to dry the seeds under cabinet drier at 60

 c for 5 hours. Also the dry product is packed in gunny bags, so during rainy season high humidity in the atmosphere results in moisture ingress and caking of product thus results in chemical and microbial degradation of Anardana thus from the research it was proposed to pack the processed product in plastic bottles as to preserve the product safely up to a period of one year.

Key Words: Anardana ,Daru, Bassein Seedless, Drying ,Local Use, Domestication.