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POM enters ingredient market

POM Wonderful, best known for massively popularising pomegranate in the US, has entered the functional ingredient market with the introduction of POMx, an all-natural, concentrated source of polyphenol antioxidants from pomegranates.

The ingredient, available in powder and liquid forms, is produced from all parts of the fruit, including the peel, membrane and juice sacs, and was previously only available in the company’s products.

“We chose to enter this market due to the tremendous response POMx received from supplement and food manufacturers,” said Brad Paris, VP of Global Produce. “As a completely vertically integrated pomegranate company we are well positioned to offer the finest pomegranate ingredients in the market.”

In addition to growing its own fruit on 18,000 acres of pomegranate orchards in central California, the company manages all production, from cultivation to extraction to packaging.

POM, which makes the 100% pomegranate juice POM Wonderful, has launched a flurry of product extensions in recent years from nutrition bars, teas and antioxidant supplements to shots, teas, fresh fruit and juice concentrate.

However, it has also hit the headlines more recently over its high-profile battle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has accused it of making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims about its wares (which POM has strenuously denied).

POM has in turn accused the FTC of exceeding its statutory authority by establishing a two-clinical trial standard to back health claims, and has also taken legal action against several rivals including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ocean Spray and Welch Foods, accusing them of making misleading claims about the content of their pomegranate-containing juice products.

POM, which owns and operates the largest pomegranate farming operation in the US with orchards spanning 18,000 acres in central California, is set to meet Ocean Spray in court next week.

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