Is Pomegranate A Citrus Fruit? No, And Here’s Why

While eating a juicy pomegranate, this thought must have struck your mind. Pomegranate is so close to a citrus fruit, it has a tangy flavour, smells awesome and is so juicy that every bite of it spills a red liquid. Is pomegranate considered a citrus fruit? Sure, it does not look like a citrus fruit, seeing its unique texture, but what about other characteristics?

The study of fruits and vegetables is doubtlessly a baffling one. Even bananas are not considered a fruit. Astonishing, right? Pumpkins and tomatoes are fruits, potatoes and turnips are vegetables and this confusing loop goes on and on. So let’s find out whether a pomegranate is a citrus fruit or not.

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Is pomegranate a citrus fruit?

Pomegranates, irrespective of their resemblance, are not citrus fruits. This is because they do not come from the same family. Hence, they are not even relatively close. Pomegranates belong to a family called Lythraceae while citrus fruits belong to Rutaceae, named so because of their high citric acid content.

However, citrus fruits and pomegranates are criminally relative. The delicious tangy taste, the high nutrition and similar juiciness. In fact, pomegranates are so greatly rich in nutritious content that the World Journal of Gastroenterology claims it has anti-cancer properties.

Pomegranates probably originated in Persia and spread quickly throughout Southeast Asia and are cultivated primarily in the Mediterranean. Citrus fruits originated in Asia, mostly in its East and Southeast regions, and are also native to Australia.

What kind of fruit is a pomegranate?

Pomegranates are actually considered as a berry from the Lythraceae family, having deciduous shrubs. Pomegranates evolve from a single ovary. Pomegranates have a husk to protect the seeds and the inner layer is soft and cushiony. Pomegranates have a flowery stem but are often mistaken as apples when they ripe.

Pomegranates have internally developed complex chambers which contain countless edible seeds. Several chambers have mini juice compartments. Pomegranates do not have vesicles to bear the juice, instead they have sarcotestas which bear both its seeds and juice.

Pomegranate has a pH of 4.4, which is acidic, but it still does not make pomegranate a citrus fruit. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, are filled with vesicles that bear the juice. The vesicles are too thin and delicate to contain a seed. Therefore seeds are often present in the middle away from their vesicles.

What are citrus fruits?

The citrus fruits are the ones from the Rutaceae family, usually round and juicy, with a high concentration of Vitamin C. Some popular citrus fruits include lemons, oranges and grapefruits.

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Citrus fruits are covered with a thick outer layer and are also used for fragrances and aroma. The inner portion of citrus fruits mostly contain vesicles filled with juices.

Citric acids are named so because they have a high concentration of citric acid. Citric acid was named after citrus because that is the place where it’s found the most.

You can easily find citrus fruits in your nearby markets, they are very common. The key feature of citrus fruits is that their prime composition consists of Vitamin C. Their seeds are not edible like that of pomegranate.

Important characteristics of a pomegranate

Pomegranates have many features that differ from that of citrus fruit. Let us discuss why we do not consider pomegranate as citrus fruit.

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Low Vitamin C content

Just because the fact that pomegranate has Vitamin C content, does not make it a citrus fruit. Citrus fruits generally have more than 50% of Vitamin C in their composition.

Some citrus fruits even have 90% or more. Pomegranate only has about 10% of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits are not the highest in Vitamin C but evidently, contain much more than a pomegranate.

Edible seeds

The complex sarcotesta of pomegranate has edible seeds of pomegranate it is the only edible component of a pomegranate,

Citrus fruits have inedible seeds. They are full of juices that are inside vesicles. Seeds are present in the middle of the fruit.

Texture

Pomegranate is all about complex structures with a developed layer carrying its juicy seeds. As for citrus fruits, seeds and vesicles are separate. The vesicles contain a juicy content and seeds are in the middle.

Citrus acids have thicker skin. Pomegranates also have a hard outer covering but it has a flowery stem in its bottom. Pomegranate originates from a single ovary and the inner pericarp is soft. Citrus fruits only have the outer layer to protect the vesicles and seeds inside.

Can pomegranates be put to different uses?

So, we have found out that pomegranates are not citrus fruits. Nevertheless, pomegranate can be put to many other uses apart from eating it. Let us discuss that.

Garnishing

This is a cliche but yes, pomegranates are one of the best things you can garnish your dish with. They can be used to garnish a salad. Pomegranates also share a great combination with fruits like melons, pineapples and mangoes.

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They are taste changers in a salad. Usually, a salad tastes salty and savoury but adding pomegranates can change its entire flavour and introduce sweetness.

As a topping for desserts

This is rather an eccentric idea to top your dessert with pomegranates but they are great! It is time to get creative and top your custard, cookies and cakes with pomegranate. Just a sprinkle of those beautiful little dark red seeds and you are good to go.

As a natural colouring

Pomegranate can stain almost anything with its magical red juice. Why not take advantage of that and colour your desserts and cakes with a light colour to give them a glamour?

Pomegranates can act as a really good food colouring, even custards can be given a blood-red colour and made extremely delicious through this trick.

Also, pomegranate juice is pure and fresh and one of the most nutritious juices. So if you do not wish to eat the seeds or do not have anything to garnish, you can always grab your juice mixer and savour a fruitful juice.