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October 23, 2009
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I wanted to share with you a recap of the final day of the POM Blogger Harvest Tour. We awoke early and drove to the POM plant on Wednesday morning. Upon arrival we received hairnets and hard hats.

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Me and Coco. Sexy, huh?
Then our tour began…
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Once the pomegranates arrive from the orchards, they are either saved for juicing or packed up in boxes to be sold all over the world. Each pomegranate is photographed 20 times by 2 different computers looking for imperfections, sorted by a conveyer built and then by plant employees, washed, sprayed with a fungicide, dipped in a thin coat of wax, and stickered. It’s an amazing and efficient process that usually takes less than 30 minutes.
After our tour, we ate a quick lunch before heading to the airport. I was sad to see our trip end. Thanks POM – what an amazing adventure!

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Coco, Me, Gina, Caitlin, Tina, and Janel.
Every single employee that we interacted with was very passionate about the company’s products, and I have a new found respect for POM Wonderful. The mission of the company is to provide its customers with a healthy product, one that is full of anti-oxidants, and they do just that. POM Wonderful juice contains more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine, green tea, and other juices. So what are you waiting for my friends? If you’re a juice drinker, then I highly recommend POM!
Some of you have asked me how I feel about the sugar content of POM juice. Now, most of you know that I’m not a fan of sugar, and if you don’t, then you haven’t been reading HEAB for very long. πŸ˜‰ Rarely do I drink juice, and I won’t lie, the 34 grams of sugar in each 8 ounce of serving of POM juice gives me the willies. There are no added sugars, but my body doesn’t even handle the natural stuff too well. So, even though I love the taste of POM juice (especially the Blueberry flavor), you won’t see me guzzling bottle after bottle. However, I do like adding a little bit here and there to various recipes, and I would never turn down a fresh Wonderful pomegranate.

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Love those little POM arils!
Two other questions I received while on the POM Blogger Harvest Tour had to do with the flash pasteurization of the juice and whether or not POM products are organic. POM juice is flash pasteurized for 20 seconds at 120 degrees to retain both flavor and nutrients. However, tests post-pasteurization show that the juice maintains its high level of anti-oxidants, and no, the POM Wonderful pomegranates and juice are not organic. First off, the shelf life of an organic pomegranate is 1/3 of the sun and pesticide protected pomegranate. The company uses a minimal amount of pesticide and sunscreen, and neither seep into the interior of the fruit. Nor do they alter the chemical composition or flavor. According to the POM folks, the cost of growing organic pomegranates does not make much sense as that would add at least $1 to an already relatively pricey piece of fruit. So, not only would the organic pomegranates be more expensive, they would also be drastically smaller in size.
I hope this answers all of your questions, and I hope all of you find yourself a fresh pomegranate in your local produce section soon. The harvest season ends next month. So be on the lookout. If you need instructions on how to open and eat them, let me know! πŸ™‚

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2009 8:52 am

    34 grams of natural sugar is more than I would have expected in a bottle. But it does seem like a great flavor enhancer. I definitely need to pick up a bottle and get experimenting in the kitchen

  2. October 24, 2009 8:55 am

    Ha! Love the hard hats πŸ˜‰

    Interesting information regarding the pasteurization and formulating process – what an experience!

  3. October 24, 2009 8:59 am

    I’ve had lots of pom flavored things (yogurt, juice, sorbet, tea, just to name a few), but I’ve never eaten a plain ol’ fresh pomegranate. May have to change that! Thanks for the great post on your POM tour! πŸ™‚

  4. balancejoyanddelicias permalink
    October 24, 2009 9:09 am

    that picture of us is hilarious! where did I learn making those faces? hahahaha….. love you!!! πŸ˜€
    and yes, 34g of sugar seems high, even it’s natural… so I won’t drink from a bottle, but add to meals or oatmeal! πŸ™‚

  5. October 24, 2009 9:13 am

    Only you can look adorable in a red hard-hat!

    And yah, sorry to be a kill joy but I don’t ever drink juice (34 g sugar??) b/c I’d much rather eat a fruit! Love the idea, but can’t go there. I used to eat pomegranates while I studied- messy proposition let me tell you. But it was fun dismantling the bizarre fruit. Recently I read about taking it apart while it’s submerged in water so avoid that squirtage factor.

    Have a great saturday! πŸ™‚
    D

  6. October 24, 2009 9:43 am

    Cool tour and I love your hardhats…can’t be too careful! It’s interesting to learn all that goes on behind the scenes.

    As others have commented, I don’t drink juice often because of the high sugar content. I’d rather just eat the fruit. Still, that seems like a crazy amount of sugar. I can’t justify drinking POM on a regular basis because of that. I’ve seen other bloggers use a little as a sweetener and mixed in a cocktail, so maybe I’d try it that way.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  7. October 24, 2009 9:46 am

    When I saw you and Coco I immediately started singing the Laverne and Shirley song πŸ™‚

  8. October 24, 2009 10:38 am

    I didn’t know about the high sugar content. I do like the fruit more than the juice anyway.

    Looks like you had a blast though.

  9. October 24, 2009 10:44 am

    guzzling POM bottles isn’t my thang either. I definitely agree tho that it has a strong enough flavor to be added to nearly anything and give the dish a pop!

    MAN, you sure know how to work those hard hats! (:

  10. October 24, 2009 10:54 am

    Such a fantastic trip! Glad you guys all enjoyed yourselves and got to learn a lot in the process! Factories are amazing places. I went to school for Industrial Engineering, so I always appreciate learning about various companies manufacturing processes (nerd alert πŸ˜‰

  11. October 24, 2009 11:20 am

    Wow, that must have been really cool to see the process in person!

    The hard-hat picture is adorable! haha

  12. Devon permalink
    October 24, 2009 11:29 am

    hey HEAB! I’m a new reader and I love your blog! I could just google this but since you offered…what’s the best way to open and eat a fresh Pomegranate? I’ve had them before but I think there is a certain amount of technique involved that I definitely lack. If the folks at POM gave you any tips, I’d would love to hear them. Thanks and keep blogging!

  13. October 24, 2009 11:40 am

    Interesting info on the pasturization and coventional growing of the POM pomegranetes. Thanks!

  14. October 24, 2009 12:18 pm

    LOVE the entire trip recap. Especially that pom up there, what a gorgeous picture!

  15. October 24, 2009 12:47 pm

    HI Heather!!! You and CoCo are like, two of my favorite bloggers who I feel so definitely THE most down to earth (and didn’t let how popular your blog is get your head too big…if you know what i mean) so it’s SO cool to see you guys hangin’ out and have fun at the POM farms. I definitely love the construction hats (especially since they’re RED!). Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures, and welcome back!! I also missed HEABs’ creations!! πŸ™‚

  16. October 24, 2009 1:21 pm

    Deb, Yes, I always submerge. Best method for removing pomegranate seeds!

  17. October 24, 2009 1:22 pm

    Thanks Lucky. Many crazy HEAB creations coming soon. Just had a total pizza disaster. Hehe.

  18. October 24, 2009 1:24 pm

    Devon, Here are instructions including a how-to video: http://pomwonderful.com/products/freshfruit/pomegranate-101/

  19. Lola permalink
    October 24, 2009 1:33 pm

    Heaby!!! Love ya πŸ™‚ I miss talking with you girl! Hope all is well with you and your hunk-o-spunk CD!… I was just going to ask how on earth do you open one of these suckers but I see you posted a link above. I will check it out! I have been MIA because still sick from our trip… I am going back to the basics with my diet again, pretty discouraging, but another year or so and I may be back to where I was. Have a lovely weekend chicka! Love ya xoxo

  20. October 24, 2009 2:48 pm

    So interesting to know how everything works. πŸ™‚

  21. Samantha permalink
    October 24, 2009 3:13 pm

    Our commissaries here and on the AFB have just started carrying pomegranates…I try to get them once a month or so. My cutting has never been terribly successful! LOL

    Glad it was a great tour, all the pics are wonderful!

  22. October 24, 2009 4:52 pm

    Love the pics of the hard hats… very nice πŸ™‚ Thanks for providing the information about their process of juicing pomegranates. I will enjoy a few this season… I am not a huge fan of sugar as well!

  23. October 24, 2009 7:27 pm

    Great pictures. Never had pomengranate before but it looks very sweet and tart! Seems like you had a great time there. Thanks for the advice re: yoga training. I think I’m just exhausted from work and ‘thinking’ so much this week πŸ™‚ that it overwhelms me sometimes. I’m still very cautious and ‘vague’ about the whole thing, but today did feel different. It’s very tiring though, and I’m exhausted tonight – one more day tommorow still – yikes – and then another full week of work…oh my. Oh well, I’ll probably blog about it as I can as it goes. Right now my belly is full, a glass of wine is in hand and I’m going for dessert while watching ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (it’s all that’s on TV!!)…hey I need my energy πŸ˜‰

  24. October 24, 2009 7:46 pm

    I’ve always loved eating pomegranates! My mom got me hooked on them as kid. But how weird is it that I’ve never known the seeds were called “arils”?? Learn something new every day:)

  25. October 24, 2009 9:54 pm

    Great pictures! I love the hard hats! I think factory tours are great! So exciting to get to go and try all the different flavors!!!

  26. October 25, 2009 2:38 am

    I’ve never actually opened a pomegranate myself before, so I might be emailng you for help when I buy some this season! πŸ˜‰ I think I’ve picked up from everyone’s recaps that you need to do it underwater.

    I agree with Deb–way to rock that hard hat πŸ˜‰

  27. October 25, 2009 7:18 am

    Looks like you had a once in a lifetime experience! Isn’t it great how blogging opens up so many doors?! Thanks for sharing your time πŸ™‚

  28. October 25, 2009 9:03 am

    Interesting info! Thanks for sharing!

  29. m i c h e l l e permalink
    October 25, 2009 10:14 am

    Very neat to see the POM plant! I was especially excited about the POM because I had no idea they grew so close to home πŸ™‚

    And I have to agree with the other ladies: you are rockin’ that hard hat! Red is definitely your hardhat color πŸ˜‰

  30. courtney permalink
    October 25, 2009 12:01 pm

    Oh, that was a great recap! Thanks for letting us know if POM was organic or not. It makes sense that they use small amounts of pesticides. Normally I avoid non-organic like the plague but I suppose Avacados and fruits with thick skin are ok. Thanks for all the info!

  31. October 26, 2009 9:47 pm

    Great job on your post, Heather! I always have a hard time summarizing such an event, but you did well. I love how you answered your readers’ questions, too. Consuming small amounts in recipes seems to make the most sense to me, too.

    Shirley

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