Main visual representing our blog post about pomegranate.

A Story of CrackSense Fruits: All About Pomegranate

The pomegranate, with a history as old as time, has been a part of folklore since ancient days. Thriving in hot, dry climates, these trees can live for over 200 years, gracing the world with their beauty. Today, pomegranates are cherished worldwide as symbols of fertility, carrying with them a rich cultural legacy.

Explore the historical symbolism and origins of this delicious fruit, tracing its journey through time while discovering its nutritional benefits and fascinating fun facts.

Origins and History of Pomegranate

As one of the oldest domesticated fruits, pomegranate has a history of over 4,000 years and holds significant cultural and religious symbolism. From its use in Egyptian mythology and art to its mention in the Babylonian Talmud and multiple times in religious texts like the Bible, the fruit held multifaceted significance across ancient civilizations.

Its origins trace back to Persia (modern-day Iran), where it was initially cultivated and later spread across Asia, Africa, and Europe. The plant’s journey of dissemination was facilitated by ancient trade routes, carried by Phoenician and Arab merchants to regions like Greece, Egypt, and eventually, the Americas.

The name of this fruit has a fascinating etymology rooted in ancient history. It stems from the Latin words “pomum,” meaning “apple,” and “granatum,” meaning “seeded.” Furthermore, the Romans, upon encountering the fruit in Carthage, mistakenly believed it to be of Phoenician origin and thus named it ‘Malum Punicum,’ or ‘Phoenician apple.’

Over time, this evolved into its modern name. Despite the initial misattribution, the name has endured, reflecting the fruit’s enduring cultural significance and widespread cultivation across diverse civilizations throughout history.

In-text visual representing ancient origins of pomegranate.

Evolution of Pomegranate Symbolism

The pomegranate holds a prominent place in Greek tradition and mythology, serving as a symbol of the annual cycle of nature and fertility. References to the fruit can be found in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey, and it is deeply intertwined with Greek cultural practices. In Greek weddings, this fruit is often used to symbolise luck and prosperity, while its seeds represent marriage and fertility. Moreover, in Greek mythology, this juicy fruit is associated with the story of Hades and Persephone, where Hades tricked Persephone into spending part of the year in the underworld by offering her pomegranate seeds. This myth highlights the fruit’s dual symbolism of death and fertility in ancient Greek culture.

Beyond Greek mythology, throughout history, this plant has held significant symbolism, representing passion, prosperity and abundance, across diverse cultural contexts.

Components and Health Benefits of Pomegranates

Pomegranates have earned the reputation of being a “super fruit,” owing to their exceptional nutritional profile and abundant antioxidants. Rich in flavonoids, these fruits offer significant health benefits. Moreover, it contains essential vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin A, C, and E, alongside calcium and iron, contributing to overall well-being.

Beyond their nutritional richness, the fruit has a long history of medicinal use across ancient cultures. Various parts of the plant are recognized for their therapeutic properties. These compounds have been used in traditional remedies for health issues ranging from digestive disorders to skin conditions and even intestinal parasites. Ancient civilizations intuitively tapped into the health-enhancing potential of this delicious fruit, integrating it into their medicinal practices.

Modern scientific research has further validated the health benefits attributed to pomegranates. Studies suggest that regular consumption of its products may aid in the prevention of serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  Abundant in vitamin C and folic acid,  this fruit offers a natural boost to the immune system and promote cellular health. As such, it transcends mere culinary delight, positioning them as a valuable ally in maintaining optimal health and well-being.

In-text visual representing the vital role of pomegranate.

Interesting facts

Pomegranates are ancient treasures, with roots tracing back to the Indus Valley, so early that Sanskrit has a special word for them.

Indian royalty began their banquets with a trio of delights: pomegranate, grape, and jujube, a testament to their refined taste.

In Ancient Rome, newlywed women wore crowns crafted from woven pomegranate leaves, believed to bring fertility blessings, while the fruit's juice was used as a remedy for infertility.

The plant, originally from the Orient, have been used decoratively in Europe, particularly in Italy, for centuries, appearing on luxurious fabrics and carpets since the 15th century.

In ancient times, blossoms of this fruits were crushed to extract a vibrant red dye, while the peel found purpose in dyeing leather.

Interestingly, a pattern commonly known as the "onion pattern" in German bourgeoisie actually depicts pomegranates and peaches, not onions. So, it's more aptly called the pomegranate pattern.

Addressing the phenomenon of fruit cracking

Cracking in pomegranates poses a significant challenge for farmers, affecting both the fruit’s visual appeal and its marketability. This phenomenon occurs due to an abrupt increase in water intake, causing the fruit to swell and the skin to rupture. Factors such as fluctuations in humidity, temperature variations, and soil moisture levels contribute to this issue. When not properly managed, these conditions lead to undesirable cracks in the fruit’s skin, reducing its commercial value and consumer appeal.

CrackSense is a Horizon Europe project that aims to revolutionise fruit farming by addressing the challenge of fruit cracking. Through real-time monitoring and advanced technologies, it targets various fruits like sweet cherries, citruses, pomegranates, and table grapes, offering innovative solutions to enhance crop resilience and sustainability, particularly focusing on pomegranate.


In conclusion, this fruit’s rich history, nutritional benefits, and intriguing qualities make it a captivating subject worth exploring further. With innovative projects like CrackSense paving the way, the future of pomegranate cultivation appears bright, especially in tackling issues like cracking. Let’s continue to embrace and celebrate the diverse flavours of this ancient plant amidst the ever-changing dynamics of contemporary farming practices.

Check out our blog posts about CrackSense’s fruits for a detailed exploration of cracking issues affecting grapes, pomegranates, sweet cherries, and citrus fruits. Follow our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to stay updated.