Our story began with pomegranate juice, a syrup that has been made on the property for decades for our own use.
We now produce cold-squeezed juices – pomegranate juice, wild pomegranate syrup, wild pomegranate tea, and wild pomegranate jam, which is a unique product because we are the only one in the world to produce it, says Dušica Dabić, who lives with her family in Trebinje and makes products from the crowned king of fruits on a property in the village of Zeljuša, near Mostar.
As this valuable Herzegovinian woman says, only BiH produces cold squeezed juices from pomegranate grains only, without squeezing the bark, which further indicates the quality of the product, and that only the immediate family is involved in the production process, that is, the recipes are somehow family the secret.
When asked how they came to the idea that, apart from the wild pomegranate growing on their property, they plant pomegranate poultry, Dušica says that the village of Željuša is known for its fruit, which is attributed to human health benefits.
“Since it is found everywhere on the property and the yields have outstripped our needs for years, we came up with the idea of introducing other people to this ‘bottle health’, which was unknown to many,” Dušica explains.
She added that in addition to the old pomegranate trees planted by the ancestors of the Dabić family, in 2012, their heirs planted about 520 pomegranate varieties, bar sweet, Herzegovina sweet, horse tooth and Dubrovnik late, and two years later 100 more wild trees pomegranate.
“The new orchard is on the surface of five dunums, and the old trees are scattered all over the property. We plan to expand the orchard, and we are currently in the process of making seedlings,” Dušica said, adding that when the production process itself is in question, it reaches full maturity, followed by harvesting, washing the fruits, separating the grain from the bark and extracting the juice from the grain, followed by pasteurization and bottling.
When it comes to the health benefits of pomegranate, and therefore the products derived from this fruit, the Dabić claims that this juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamins C, K, A, E and folic acid, and that its benefits are multiple. “Juice, in addition to reducing the risk of several cancers, protects against osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease, strengthens immunity, protects tooth health, destroys colorectal and staphylococci, prevents aging, protects heart and blood vessels, improves erectile function and improves the quality of sperm, “Dušića explains.
Fruit pea tea is used against diarrhea, stomach and small intestine ulcers, inflammation of the colon and appendix, bowel dysbacteriosis, dysentery, and salmonellosis.
“There are theories that pomegranate is actually a biblical fruit, not an apple. These products are a treasure trove of health, so using them is an investment in health. We emphasize quality above all, and customers recognize it in a sea of other products, so we have no problem selling and we manage to market everything we produce, “she said.
The plans for this year are to launch a new product on the market – wild pomegranate oil, which contains very rare punic acid, which has anti-inflammatory effects, strengthens immunity, strengthens the body in defense against cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, and food allergies.
“Due to its regenerative power, it is an indispensable ingredient of anti-age preparations. We plan to work this product in small batches and on order as it is very important that the oil is fresh in order to have the best effect,” says Dušica.
She concludes by saying that pomegranate products, made according to Dabic’s secret recipes, can be found on the shelves of numerous health food stores and markets in Trebinje, Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, Belgrade and other cities in Serbia.
When asked if a pomegranate is grateful for cultivation and what needs to be paid attention to in order to get quality fruits from which many healthy products are made, Dušica says that this is a plant that requires a lot of sun and water.
“It is also important to fertilize manure and to prune trees properly twice a year, in February and June. All this is important to produce good quality fruits and, ultimately, quality products,” says Dušica.