As Azerbaijan counts down to hosting the first European Games, it is possible to see the massive construction projects and preparations taking place in Baku for the Games. When looking […]

As Azerbaijan counts down to hosting the first European Games, it is possible to see the massive construction projects and preparations taking place in Baku for the Games. When looking at the logo of the Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC), there are two elements of Azerbaijan’s history: the flame and the pomegranate.

The pomegranate is known in some cultures in the modern and ancient world as a symbol of fertility and eternity. The fruit is rich in vitamins (A, C, E, and folic acid), iron, potassium, and fiber, and has a low calorie content. A pomegranate covers 40% of the daily required amount of vitamin C and 25% of required folic acid for an adult.

With the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, astringent, healing, and anti-diarrheal properties, pomegranate juice has been used for therapeutic purposes for centuries. It prevents the oxidation of “bad“ cholesterol (LDL), which is a major contributing factor to cardiovascular diseases. It reduces levels of total and bad cholesterol in diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Several industries have been active in the field of juice-making in the country, and, among them, AZNAR is found in Goycay, 220km from Baku.

AZNAR Pomegranate juices

AZNAR has a history of more than 44 years producing juices. There have been numerous innovations regarding our products after substantial investments. AZNAR’s juice, under the brand GRANTE, is produced during harvesting season by a cold pressing and clarification method. The latest technological equipment is used to extract the juice .The fresh, cloudy juice is treated within seconds and stored in aseptic tanks. The fruits are from local plantations in the hills of Greater Caucasus, where pomegranates have been growing for many years. AZNAR’s pomegranate juice has been recognized internationally and picked up numerous awards, including a gold medal for Innovations in the Product Structure at the contest Innovative Product Prodexpo 2009 in Moscow.

GRANTE’s Diversified Product Portfolio

Ready-to-drink (RTD) juice products are bottled as not-from-concentrate (NFC) after their thermal treatment. Among AZNAR’s RTD products are also NFC apple, quince, and grape juices, as well as mixes. Among the specialities is the famous Narsharab (pomegranate sauce), which is produced from a recipe that has been used for many years.

AZNAR’s continuous R&D will soon bring new innovative products to the market. First, the arils of the pomegranate, which convey the juice and are rich in anti-inflammatory substances, will soon be distributed frozen to consumers. The technology is to freeze the fresh arils seconds after the crushing of the fruit in order to maintain a high level of quality. Another innovative product is a wine that is rich in tannins and antioxidant values after maturing in special conditions and oak barrels.

Ecology and By-products Utilization

As technology has developed, AZNAR has become a vertically integrated plant where all pomegranate residuals are made into valuable products. Almost two years were spent studying and more than AZN4 million invested in finding the best possible ways to extract oil from pomegranate seeds to avoid typical presses and achieve the highest quality. Analysis showed that lipophilic solvents such as CO2 could be used to extract oil from pomegranate seeds and yield natural high quality oil. AZNAR also has the technology to produce pomegranate seed oil with premium natural quality. This installation is the first in the country and the region.

AZNAR: Continuous excellence

AZNAR’s investments, so far, have surpassed $55 million, which has not only been for factory modernization and new technologies, but also for new fruit plantations and ideas. More than 1,100ha have been acquired, planted, and re-cultivated to develop a new plantation with superior fruit quality. Today, almost 600,000 trees are cultivated by agronomists and specially educated staff with the help of some of the world’s leading experts. AZNAR’s global customer confidence is a proof of the company’s excellence. The transformation of agricultural products to valuable consumer products is the best example of that.

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