Leaders in Horticultural services and pomegratates
Leaders in Horticultural services and pomegratatesLeaders in Horticultural services and pomegratatesLeaders in Horticultural services and pomegratates

Leaders in Horticultural services and pomegratates



     Pomegranates

     “The Jewels of Babylon”TM

History of Crop

Leaders in Horticultural services and pomegratates The pomegranate is a native small tree from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe. Spanish settlers introduced the tree to California in 1769. Pomegranates have seen a remarkable resurgence in the last few years as the health benefits of using Pomegranates have been rediscovered with demand vastly out stripping supply.


Uses of Pomegranate

Leaders in Horticultural services and pomegratates Pomegranates are finding many uses for the fresh juice market with its refreshing taste and health benefits - a market segment currently enjoying huge growth in Australia, the arils or juice sacs are a stunning accompaniment to meats, fish, casseroles or in a sauce. The fruits are highly decorative and widely used for table decoration.

Pomegranate juice can be used in any recipe that calls for the use of lemon or limejuice.
For enjoying out-of-hand or at the table, the fruit is deeply scored several times vertically and then broken apart; the clusters of juice sacs can be lifted out of the rind and eaten


Health benefits of Pomegranate

The juice of Pomegranate is highly prized for its high levels of anti-oxidants that have been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Recent medical research reported that pomegranate extract aided the inhibition of growth of breast cancer cells. Further research indicates that pomegranates aid the reduction of skin cancers and skin allergies. A daily glass of pomegranate juice has also been found to slow the development of prostate cancers.  These findings together with other research have intensified the interest in pomegranate in Western and Asian countries.


Agronomic requirements for Pomegranates

The pomegranate thrives on a range of soils from calcareous, alkaline soil to deep, acidic loam and a wide range of soils in-between these extremes. It is adapted to a wide range of climates from subtropical to Mediterranean areas with cool winters and hot summers. It will tolerate cold temperatures during winter down to –9 C and is drought hardy.

Pomegranates require irrigation for fast establishment and early commencement of production and will tolerate brackish water without loss of yield. The key irrigation period is from flowering and peaking during the fruit development and at maturation-where lack of water at this time may cause fruit splitting.


Pomegranate Varieties

Main variety is Pomegranate “Wonderful” with its large well-coloured fruit and the heavy and consistent cropping. Wonderful is self-fertile with the fruit having good juice content and sugar levels. This variety is used in traditional plantings.

Further varieties are being trialled for traditional and intensive production

Pomegranate arils Pomegranate flowers
 alt= Lewis Horticulture | Pomegranate flowers




Market opportunities

Opportunities exist in Australia in a number of market segments

- Fresh fruit market - imported fruit has been achieving $60 to $70 per tray of 24 fruit in the Sydney wholesale fruit market. Currently there is very little local production

The pomegranate is equal to the apple in having a long storage life. It is best maintained at a temperature of 32º to 41º F (0º-5º C) and may be kept for a period of up to 7 months within this temperature range and at 80 to 85% relative humidity, without shrinking or spoiling.

- Fresh Juice Market - this has been achieving huge growth in the US with the key aspects focused on the health benefits of the juice with its anti-oxidant properties. This market has grown from zero to US$120,000,000 business in the last 5 years and is experiencing 50% growth per year. This has been confined to the west coast of the US due to lack of supply. This will take off in Australia once the production is available.

- A compliment for Mediterranean food dishes. Strong demand for the fresh separated pomegranate arils has seen prices in the UK of around A $25 per Kilogram

- Food preparation-a base to make wine, punches, gelatine deserts, pudding sauces and jellies
Health supplement-strong interest in the daily consumption as a health supplement and for cosmetic use


Export opportunities from Australia to the US, Asia, Germany and the UK exist for the supply of fruit, arils and juice.


Economics of Production

Pomegranates are planted at 5 or 6 metre x 4 metre planting density and grown with a central leader using a flexible training system. High-density plantings using low vigour varieties are at 4 metres x     4 metre spacing.

Production usually commences in the 2nd to 3 rd year and at full production will produce up to 20 to 25 tonne or more per hectare at maturity (the seeds or pulp-which is the juice, represents about 52% of the fruit weight). The fruit ripens 6 to 7 months after flowering and is ready for harvest during April and May.

Picking is currently by hand with usually 2 passes at around 2 weeks apart through the grove to ensure all the fruit is picked at optimum stage of development.

Juicing can utilise modified grape crushing equipment.

 

Leaders in Horticultural services and pomegratates


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