“We still doing studies on our own whether it’s better to do it in Chile, but I believe it’s better to import the whole fruit — keeping the fruit in the form where it lasts longer — and removing the arils here,” he said.
Reedley, Calif.-based Youngstown Grape Distributors Inc., which grows in the San Joaquin Valley and imports pomegranates, uses a breathable film to keep its Three Bells and Red Robin punnets of arils fresh for shipment across North America.
President Mike Forrest, who starts his day sprinkling arils over raisin bran, said the biggest challenge now is to educate retailers and consumers and let more people know convenient arils exist.
To help promote demand, Youngstown has created a website — www.fresharils.com — and the company is active on Twitter and Facebook.
In the supermarket, Forrest said arils work best merchandised with fresh-cut fruit or with blueberries, but it’s important to keep them at 34 degrees to maximize shelf life.
Paris has also seen arils displayed next to salads and premium juices.
“They can work anywhere there’s refrigeration,” he said.