‘Ancient, mystical fruit’: Nestlé patents pomegranate skin extract for metabolic syndrome

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé looks to use pomegranate waste product for supplement
Nestlé looks to use pomegranate waste product for supplement

Related tags Nutrition Metabolic syndrome

Nestlé has filed an international patent for pomegranate skin extract as a strategy against metabolic syndrome, in particular fatty liver disease. 

Logged by the company’s research arm Nestec, the patent drew on the historical medicinal uses of the fruit. They called the pomegranate (Punica gronotum L​) an “ancient, mystical, unique”​ fruit noted for its antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The patent specified a food supplement containing between 30 and 60% punicalagin, the phenolic compounds found in pomegranates.
Whilst its popularity as a juice has grown in the west, the fruit’s skin remained an untapped waste product.
“It is therefore an object of the invention to provide useful applications for pomegranate skin, especially in the field of metabolic syndrome treatment,”​ they wrote.

A fat lot

Nestec claimed the product could inhibit body weight gain and therefore ‘fatty liver disease’, which is a reversible condition whereby large vacuoles of triglyceride fat accumulate in liver cells. This can be caused excessive alcohol intake, obesity and body weight gain.

It cited a study in overweight rats, which were given an extract with 40% punicalagin. The rats were weighed and food intake measured after two months of pomegranate extract and high-fat diet treatment.

While the high fat diet induced significant weight gain, high and low doses of the pomegranate extract supplement decrease the liver weight and the liver weight to body weight ratio significantly. This meant the diet-induced weight gain was lowered without decreasing food intake.

Source: WIPO​ Publication No. WO/2015/103760
Published: 16.07.2015 Filed: 09.01.2014
“Pomegranate skin extract for treating fatty liver”
Authors: Nestec S.A., I. Zeto, P. Zhang, W. Zhang, J. Wang, C. J. Chou

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