Time-dependent effects of pomegranate juice and pomegranate polyphenols on foodborne viral reduction

Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2011 Nov;8(11):1177-83. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2011.0873. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


Pomegranate juice (PJ) and pomegranate polyphenolic extracts (PP) have antiviral effects against HIV-1, influenza, herpes, and poxviruses, and we recently demonstrated their effect against human noroviral surrogates. In the present study, the time-dependent effects of two commercial brands of PJ and PP at two concentrations (2 and 4 mg/mL) on the infectivity of foodborne viral surrogates (feline calicivirus FCV-F9, murine norovirus MNV-1, and MS2 bacteriophage) at room temperature for up to 1 h were evaluated. Each virus at ∼5 log(10) plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL was mixed with equal volumes of PJ, or PP at 4 or 8 mg/mL, and incubated for 0, 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 min at room temperature. Viral titers after each treatment were determined by standardized plaque assays and compared with untreated controls. Virus titer reduction by PJ and PP was found to be a rather rapid process, with ≥50% of titer reduction occurring within the first 20 min of treatment for all three tested viruses. Within the first 20 min, titer reductions of 3.12, 0.79, and 0.23 log(10) PFU/mL for FCV-F9, MNV-1, and MS2, respectively, were obtained using PJ. FCV-F9, MNV-1, and MS2 titers were reduced by 4.02, 0.68, and 0.18 log(10) PFU/mL with 2 mg/mL PP and 5.09, 1.14, and 0.19 log(10) PFU/mL with 4 mg/mL PP, respectively, after 20 min. The mechanism of viral reduction by PJ and PP needs to be elucidated and clinical trials should be undertaken before recommending for therapeutic or preventive purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Beverages*
  • Calicivirus, Feline / drug effects*
  • Calicivirus, Feline / pathogenicity
  • Cats
  • Cell Line
  • Escherichia coli
  • Foodborne Diseases / prevention & control
  • Foodborne Diseases / virology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Levivirus / drug effects
  • Levivirus / pathogenicity
  • Lythraceae / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Norovirus / drug effects*
  • Norovirus / pathogenicity
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Viral Load
  • Viral Plaque Assay


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Polyphenols