As the popularity of pomegranates increases around the world, so does the diversity of products and of course the volumes produced.
Australian company, PomLife who have been growing pomegranates since 2008, are doing just that. As well as fresh pomegranates, fresh arils, juice, wine and pomegranate powder they have added freeze dried pomegranate arils as well as pomegranate aril powder to their range.
"We have been concentrating on our value added products and have added consumer packs of powdered and freeze dried arils," explains Joshua Reuveni from the company. "We harvested in March and April and quality this year has been excellent, which is great for the value added products, colour was intense which is great for juice and the brix is very good at around 17°."
The latest addition to the range is IQF arils in 150g consumer packs, before they were only available in bigger packs for the food industry.
PomLife is dominant in the Australian domestic market, supplying most of the big retailers, they have been exporting to Hong Kong. Now it is time to venture into Europe.
"Due to the increasing demand for pomegranate value added products, it is time to explore the European market," states Joshua. "In general Australia can offer superior fruit quality as well as very high manufacturing standards."
All processing takes place on the PomLife premises in Victoria.
The company will increase planting to extend the season with early varieties, in two years Joshua expects to have a harvest as early as January, while at the moment the first fruit is not available until March.
"We want to stretch the local season as much as possible and supply our value added products year round. We can store fresh pomegranates from March/April to September when we exhaust our stock. Fruit is not easy to store for the long run and therefore we apply different methods depending on whether the fruit is sold as a whole or used for processing".
PomLife have invested in a semi mechanical harvester which washes and dries the fruit in the field so it can go straight into storage thus reducing the effort required in the field.
At the moment PomLife have 110 HA area which is not completely planted yet, but the idea is to increase plantings. The company have their own nursery where they can propagate new trees making them very self-sufficient.
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