Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is an ancient fruit that is particularly cultivated in west Asia, though it is also cultivated in the Mediterranean region and other parts of the world. Since ancient years, its consumption has been associated with numerous health benefits. In recent years, several in vitro and in vivo studies have revealed its beneficial physiological activities, especially its antioxidative, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, human-based studies have shown promising results and have indicated pomegranate potential as a protective agent of several diseases. Following that trend and the food industry's demand for antioxidants and antimicrobials from natural sources, the application of pomegranate and its extracts (mainly as antioxidants and antimicrobials), has been studied extensively in different types of food products with satisfactory results. This review aims to present all the recent studies and trends in the applications of pomegranate in the food industry and how these trends have affected product's physicochemical characteristics and shelf-life. In addition, recent in vitro and in vivo studies are presented in order to reveal pomegranate's potential in the treatment of several diseases.
Keywords: antioxidant; dairy; extract; food; health benefits; juice; meat; peel; polyphenols; seed.