Prof Francisco A. Tomás-Barberán

Research Professor in the Quality, Safety and Bioactivity of Plant Foods Group at Applied Biology Centre of Segura-CSIC, Spain

Pomegranate and human health. Where are we after twenty years of research?

Prof Francisco Tomás-Barberán studied Pharmacy at Valencia University and obtained his PhD in 1984. His current research aims to study the role of food polyphenols in human health, their interaction with gut microbiota and their potential in personalized nutrition with a metabolomics approach. His early career focused on polyphenol analysis as botanical and geographical origin biomarkers both in honey and in processed plant-origin foods, to continue later with their role in organoleptic properties, to end with their role in human health. His research article with M.I. Gil in 2000 demonstrated the high antioxidant activity of pomegranates, and particularly the processed juices that contained high amounts of ellagitannins, and that the antioxidant activity evaluated in vitro was superior to those of red wine and green tea. This research article has been cited over 2000 times.  His research has been transferred to industry (six patents of which three have been licensed and derived products are in the market). He has been distinguished with the High-Cited Scientist recognition every year since 2014. Associate Editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Author of over 380 publications in scientific journals within the fields of Phytochemistry, and Food Science and Nutrition.

Total citations: 49212, h-index: 123 (Google Scholar)
ORCID Code: 0000-0002-0790-1739
Researcher ID: D-6686-2011
Scopus Author ID: 7006427969


Dr Doron Holland

Senior Scientist and Head of the Unit of Fruit Tree Sciences at Newe Ya’ar Research Centre, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel

The pomegranate breeding project in Israel: facing challenges of climate and fruit quality and incorporating genomic approaches to accelerate breeding

Dr Doron Holland holds a PhD in Biochemistry from The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot and did a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Plant Research Laboratory, MSU-DOE East Lansing in Michigan, USA. Since he started working at the Agricultural Research Organization in 1990, he has been a Visiting Scientist at the Section of Plant Biology at UC Davis in California, USA, and the Department of Biology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He specializes in breeding and genetics of deciduous fruit trees, particularly on aspects concerning genetic control of dormancy, response to chilling and color. For the last 21 years he bred about 20 cultivars of apricot, almond and pomegranate. He published 5 international book chapters, and over 86 publications in peer reviewed journals within the fields of Plant Science, Horticulture and Genetics Hereditary.

Total citations: 5728, h-index: 34 (Google Scholar)


Prof María Serrano

Professor of Plant Physiology at Miguel Hernández University, Spain

Role of tree elicitor treatment on crop yield and pomegranate fruit quality parameters and bioactive compounds

Dr. María Serrano is Professor of Plant Physiology at the Miguel Hernández University, Orihuela (Alicante) Spain. She holds a PhD in Biology and has been teaching and researching at the university ever since. Her research activities are focused on fruit ripening and pre- and postharvest treatments, including eco-innovative technologies, aimed to increase fruit quality properties and antioxidant compounds at harvest and during storage. She has published over 166 papers in international scientific journals with Impact Factor in the JRC areas of Plant Science, Agriculture Multidisciplinary, Horticulture and Food Science and Technology and more than 200 communications in national and international conferences. Within these Congresses, she has participated as Organizing Committee Scientific Committee and Moderator Roundtable, being President or member of the Organizing and Scientific Committees in 7 of them. She has been author and/or editor of 6 Books and published 12 Chapters in International Scientific Books. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Postharvest Biology and Technology, International Journal of Molecular Science, Journal of Applied Biology and Biotechnology and Plant and Editor of International Journal of Agronomy, Frontiers in Plant Science and Antioxidants. She is a member of the Spanish Society for Horticultural Science (SECH), Spanish Society of Plant Physiology (SEFV) and of the International Society of Horticulture (ISHS).

Total citations: 8670, h-index: 55 (Scopus)
ORCID Code: 0000-0003-2251-3133
Researcher ID: P-3450-2014
Scopus Author ID: 7201394002


Prof Daniel Valero

Head of the Postharvest Research Group and Professor of Food Technology at the Miguel Hernández University, Spain

Role of tree elicitor treatment on crop yield and pomegranate fruit quality parameters and bioactive compounds

His research interests are related to postharvest science and technology aspects of fruit and vegetables, especially stone fruits (plum, sweet cherry, peach and apricot) and table grapes. In recent years his research projects focused on the content of bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity and health-beneficial properties. Author of 182 publications in scientific peer-reviewed journals within the fields of Food Science and Technology, Horticulture, Agronomy and Agriculture Multidisciplinary.

Total citations: 14750, h-index: 67 (Google Scholar)
ORCID code: 0000-0003-3945-1629
Researcher ID: H-7757-2012
Scopus Author ID: 7003309728


Distinguished Prof Umezuruike Linus Opara

Distinguished Professor and Director of the Africa Institute for Postharvest Technology, DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Postharvest technology of pomegranates: a decade of research and innovation

Recognised globally as the leading individual researcher on postharvest technology of pomegranates, his current research focuses on innovative postharvest technologies for reducing losses, maintaining quality and adding value to agricultural and horticultural products. During the past decade, Prof. Opara has trained and mentored over 60 postgraduate students from 13 African countries, and in this time, he also initiated and led a new research programme to support the emerging pomegranate fruit sector in South Africa, where his research has contributed over $20 million in direct and indirect benefits to the South African economy. Prof. Opara has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, primarily in the area of agricultural engineering technologies, food science, and postharvest technology of pomegranates. In 2019 and 2021, respectively, he was recognized and honoured in the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers List – which recognizes “the true pioneers in their fields over the last decade, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science™”. Prof. Opara is also the recipient of the Impact Research and Science in Africa (IMPRESSA) Award – granted by the Regional Universities’ Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture in Africa, which “recognizes outstanding researchers and scientists who have made significant contribution in the field of agricultural research and science for development in Africa, including human and institutional development”. He is a Laureate of the prestigious African Union Kwame Nkrumah Continental Award for excellence in Life and Earth Sciences and Innovation – Africa’s highest scientific recognition, “given to outstanding African scientists for their scientific achievements and valuable discoveries and findings”. He is a Past President of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR), founding President of the Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineering, founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Postharvest Technology & Innovation, and Co-operating Editor, Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Total Citations: 10257, h-index 52 (Google Scholar)
ORCID Code: 0000-0001-8056-7215
Researcher ID: J-3978-2013
Scopus Author ID: 56500476100


Prof Olaniyi A. Fawole

Professor in Postharvest and Agro-processing Research at the University of Johannesburg, Extraordinary Professor at University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Recent developments in value-addition of pomegranate fruit in South Africa: from edible to non-edible fruit parts

Prof. Fawole’s research activities are driven by a need to maintain the quality and ensure the safety of fresh horticultural food crops and add value through agro-processing. His postharvest preservation research focuses on better understanding the effects of postharvest treatments and technologies on physiological, pathological, biochemical and phytochemicals in fresh produce from harvest to consumer to reduce food loss and waste. He has authored over 120 research papers and conference proceedings. Since 2021, Prof Fawole has been a specialist committee member for NRF rating and serves on the editorial boards for reputable journals, including BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Plants Journal, Processes and Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection. He has received numerous global recognitions, including the World Academy of Sciences Young Affiliate, Italy (2016), STS Future Leadership, Japan (2016), Africa Academy of Sciences, Kenya (2020) and a cohort of the Africa Science Leadership Programme, South Africa (2021). He was the co-chair of the 3rd all Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition hosted by the African Union Commission in 2021. Prof Fawole is currently convening the  Vth International Symposium on Pomegranate and Minor Mediterranean Fruits.

Total Citations: 3128 and h-index: 32 (Google Scholar)
ORCID Code: 0000-0001-5591-4633
Scopus Author ID: 25723180300