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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Ellagitannins in pomegranate juice

Since ancient times, pomegranate has been known for its medicinal properties. Most of those beneficial effects have been attributed to the pomegranate metabolites such as polyphenols, with a particular focus on hydrolysable tannins. The health benefits of pomegranate have been mainly related to its ellagitannins and ellagic acid content.

Ellagitannins belong to the chemical class of hydrolyzable tannins, which release ellagic acid on hydrolysis. In addition, pomegranate juice contains other polyphenols, such as anthocyanins that are present in the fruit arils and impart its brilliant red-purple color.

Ellagitannins are bioactive polyphenols present in pomegranate. Pomegranate juice obtained by squeezing the whole fruit has the highest concentration of ellagitannins than any commonly consumed juice and contains the unique ellagitannin, punicalagin.

In the commercial pomegranate juice industry, these ellagitannins are extracted from the husk in significant quantities into the juice due to their hydrophilic properties.

Ellagitannin is a hydrolyzable polymer contrary to the rest of the family of tannins and can be hydrolyzed to more simple monomers that can be eventually metabolized and that can become bioavailable with subsequent exposition of the body to these metabolites. More than 60 hydrolysable tannins have been found in the fruit peel, arils and membranous walls.

The main ellagitannins identified in foods (specially in fruits, nuts, and seeds) are punicalagin, sanguiin H6, lambertianin C, pedunculagin, vescalagin, castalagin, casuarictin and potentillin (seeds). In particular, punicalagin is the predominant form of the hydrolysable tannins present in pomegranate and is responsible for more than 90% of antioxidant bioactivity contained in pomegranate juice.
Ellagitannins in pomegranate juice

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