by W.H. BARREVELD Page 1

FAO AGRICULTURAL SERVICES BULLETIN No. 101 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome 1993 The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion what so ever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. M-17 ISBN 92-5-103251-3 Copyright Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is hereby granted without fee and without a formal request provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page. Copyright for components of this work owned by others than FAO must be honoured. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or fee. Request permission to publish from:

The Chief Editor, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy,

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FOREWORD INTRODUCTION CHAPTER 1: WHOLE DATES 1.1 Formation and development 1.2 Composition and quality a. Moisture b. Sugars c. Proteins and fats d. Crude fibre e. Vitamins and minerals f. Enzymes g. Other chemical substances h. Quality profile of whole dates 1.3 Outlets and Marketing 1.3.1 Khalaal 1.3.2 Rutab 1.3.3 Tamr a. Transport of dates b. Storage i fumigation ii heat treatment iii refrigeration iv irradiation c. Sorting and cleaning d. Additional treatments i maturation ii dehydration iii hydration iv glazing v coating vi pitting e. Packing whole dates CHAPTER 2: DATE PRODUCTS AND PREPARATIONS 2.1 Home-made date preparations. 2.2 Semi-finished Date Products and Mixtures. 2.3 Ready-for-use Date Products. 2.4 Date Products Development. a. Whole pitted dates b. Pure date paste c. Date paste mixtures d. Date paste in bakery products and confectionery e. Date preserves

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f. Date condiments g. Date desserts CHAPTER 3: DERIVED DATE FRUIT PRODUCTS 3.1 Date Juice. 3.2 Juice products. 3.3 Juice concentrates. a. Date spread b. Date syrup c. Liquid sugar 3.4 Fermentation products. a. Wine b. Alcohol c. Organic acids d. Single cell protein e. Lipids CHAPTER 4: BY-PRODUCTS OF DATE PACKING AND PROCESSING 4.1 Cull dates 4.2 Date pits 4.3 Presscake CHAPTER 5: DATE PALM PRODUCTS (EXCLUDING DATES) 5.1 Traditional use of palm products a. Trunk b. Leaves c. Reproductive organs d. Date palm sap e. Pharmaceutical use f. Shade 5.2 Palm products development a. Animal feed b. Soil amendments c. Panel board d. Industrial rawstock e. Various TRENDS AND OUTLOOK APPENDICES: I - Production and Trade Statistics for Whole Dates II - Codex Standard for Dates III - Calculation of a two-stage extraction system at 30° Bx and comparison with measured results in a pilot plant I - BIBLIOGRAPHY II - BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Tamr Morphological and compositional changes in the major development stages of Ruzeiz (Saudi Arabia) Equilibrium moisture content curve for dates Enzyme activity in dates a. qobit@yahoo. Intake and weighing of freshly harvested whole bunches. 30. 26. Baskets made of palm leaflets are used for transport (Bahrain) Sweet khalaal on sale in the local market (Bahrain) Packing of sweet khalaal for postal market sales (California) Thawing of frozen khalaal (cv Kuneizi. b. g. Stripping dates from the bunch. 25. f. b. Italy) Single date palm at the Port of Ischia (Italy) Schematic picture of the date palm during a one-year production cycle Major parts of the date palm A fully laden Deglet Noor Palm (California) Harvesting whole bunches of khalaal (cv Khuneizi).com Page 5 . 14. 27. 24. Moisture content is reduced from about 60 to 40% Process for marketing frozen khalaal. 29. 13. Yemen) Hard desert dates. 31. 15. 8. e. 11. 7. 16. Khalaal. b. Harvesting whole bunches of sweet Khalaal b. Rutab. Satisfied customers 32. Note strung (nylon) rope attached to climbing belt to slide down the bunch (Bahrain) Bunch of thinned Deglet Noor (California) Newly planted offshoots (8 x 16m) (Bahrain) 4-year old plantation of Zahdi offshoots (California) Formation and ripening of the date Major changes during date fruit development Three major stages of maturity in which dates are consumed: a. Semi-continuous dehydrator with dates stacked on trays. 10. Machine wrapping in stretch foli. 12. 2. 23. 28. 18. Washing the whole bunchc. 6. Storage in carton boxes in deep freeze. 20. 21. a red variety) (Bahrain) Simultaneous thawing and dehydration of frozen khalaal (Bahrain) a. d. Rural date orchard (top) with water lifting from shallow well (bottom) Abandoned date garden (Bahrain) Closely and irregularly spaced traditional date grove Mechanized date plantation with dusting operation in progress (California) Dissemination of the date palm in the Old World Major date production centres of the world Unattended date palms in marginal growth conditions Date bunches covered with paper bags against (early) rains and sunburn (California) Bunch protection by coarsely woven baskets (Hadramaut. 3. Filling/weighing small packs. harvested on the bunch and thrown to the ground (Fezzan) Tidal irrigation (Iraq) Canary palms (Phoenix Canariensis) (note flower development in these overpruned ornamental palms) (Sicily. 17.LIST OF FIGURES 1. a. Effect of dehydration at 45° C (higher temperatures cause frothing) on Barhee variety during 60 hrs. c. 9. 4. 5. 19. 22.

67. b. Netherlands) 58. Comparative volume of empty normal. 48. window carton and transparent plastic cups for loose dates (a. Selective picking and containers made of cloth. Plastic containers. Date muesli bar 70. 52. 47. Date grading on moving belts (Oman. Stacked empty boxes. pressed dates Loose tamr on sale in open air market (a. Italy. Vacuum packaging of dates 60. 66. Iraq. Page 6 . Raw trail mix. and nested containers 41. b. Harvesting rutab. a. 64. Dried fruit and nuts mixtures including dates. b. 65. Semi-automatic bag filling (Iraq) Mechnically filled small packs of loose dates (Saudi Arabia) Samples of date packs Dehydrated dates in powder form Breakfast foods incorporating dates Ready-made mix for date bread Date bar mix Several types of date cookies 69. 62. Iraq) 45. 1981) 59. c. a. 50. Tropical mix qobit@yahoo. 54. 36. Pressing dates in baskets 42. b. 68. elevated platforms (Bahrain) 38. Iraq. Field sorting and use of wooden boxes and trays for further storage and treatment in packing plant 39. Variety of date packs sold in roadside date products store (California. c. 35. Rutab on sale amongst other exotic tropical fruits (Netherlands) Fruit drop Sundrying of rutab in date garden (Bahrain) Sundrying of rutab in screened off. b. Libya. c. Selective picking of rutab collected in baskets. Harvesting whole bunch. 51.33. 63. Mechanical date washer 46. Libya. Netherlands) Hand packed bulk box of layered dates Glove boxes Natural dates on spikelets Dates packed in polythene bags Manual packing of cellophane wrapped pressed date blocks (a. 57. 56. c/d. Trays wrapped in stretch foli 61. Different ways of transporting dates in and from the field 40. Harvesting tamr (California). Washed dates loaded onto trays (Libya) Prototype washer/stripper/grader for dates on the bunch (Bahrain) Continuous hydration of dates Effects of temperature manipulation in the storage and treatment of dates Slice of pitted. 53. d. b. c. Roasted trail mix. Time/temperature/moisture relationships for storage of dates 44. Mixed late khalaal and rutab of 2 varieties selected in date garden for direct sale in local market 34. Bahrain. 49. b. a. a. 37. 55. Local date store for bagged dates with ridges on the floor to accommodate syrup collection 43. Bahrain) Closed carton.

80. Driving in the rods h. 75. Finishing the crate bottom 89. Examples of crates: a. 76. 101. and (b) two stage extraction system Date spread compared to date syrup produced from the same raw material Process flow sheet for combined date syrup and spread production Production of date syrup (rub. 83. Date banana chutney 73. 77. Different types of pickle incorporating dates English sweet pickle Centrifuged date solution Schematic representation of a (a) one-. Date jam 72. Removing the edges. b. 85. Perforating holes by punch Page 7 . dibs) at the village level (Libya) Different aspects of date syrup production Semi-continuous. Effect of palm tapping on trunk development (local method) Effect of palm tapping on trunk development (Indian method) qobit@yahoo. 97. a-o. (b) a hank of cord about 75-80 m long 94. Rounding the rods. For fowl on donkey's back 90. 79. Containers for domestic use made out of fibre of the leaflets wrapped around cores derived from fibre cut off the fruit stalk 93. e. Comparison between Indian method of tapping the wild date palm (Phoenix Sylvestris) and tapping the date palm (Phoenix Dactylifera) as practiced in some date producing countries (local method) 100. Climbing the palm: (top) In-the-belt position. Variety of hand baskets made from plaited palm leaflets on sale in local market 92. 96. (bottom) Use of climbing rope only 99. Crate making from the leaf midrib: a. b. 84. batch extraction system Distillation and rectification of alcohol Acetic acid (vinegar) generator Date pits 86.71. g. Sheath fibre from the leaf base as it comes from the palm (top) and in detail (bottom) Nets made out of sheath fibre cordage for transport Several types of cordage made of sheath fibre in local market (Egypt) Heavy rope made from shredded date palm fruit stalks 98. c. Baskets made of plaited leaflets containing about 300 kgs of dates 91. 82. Finishing the holes. (a) a two-strand cord. The crate maker' tools. Hand-made cord made of shredded date leaflets. 95. On camel's back. Cutting into standard lengths d. Planks made out of palm trunk used for doors 88. 78. Steak sauce 74. 81. Palm trunk used in roof making 87.

H. Exposure time in minutes required for 100% mortality of different stages of Ephestia Cautela under the effect of temerature alone (T) and temperature-cum-vacuum treatment (T + V) (vacuum 25-30 mm Hg abs.Date extraction in one step (100 flesh + 100 water) 15. Dry distillation of date pits 169 22. Sugar content of soft. Material balance . Composition of pollen (dry weight basis) qobit@yahoo. Yields of palm sap (Indian and local method) 28. Composition of dried date presscakes 25. Lethal times in minutes for 100% mortality of different stages of Carophilus Hemipterus. Relative salt tolerance of fruit crops 3. Average moisture content of the different development stages of the dates 9. Composition of date pit carbohydrates (excl. Composition of date syrups . semi-dry and dry dates 7. Overview of treatments of whole dates 8. Production record of a Californian date grower 5. Average relative humidity levels in different locations (%-age) 2.) 12. Composition of jaggery 29.LIST OF TABLES 1.) 11. Approximate composition of date pits 20. Classification and treatment of Deglet Noor for Export (North Africa) 13. Date production ('000 MT) 4. Composition of date pit carbon 169 23. Composition of dried yeast 19. Composition of fibrous date palm parts 30. Material balance . Composition of date syrups 17. Sugar content of dates from different countries 6. Lethal time in hours for 100% mortality of different stages of the Fig Moth (Ephestia Cautela (Walker)) exposed to temperatures of 40° C-60° C and 70% rel. sugars . humidity) 10. Weight gain. Weight gain of chickens fed on date pit meal (grams) 24.% of dry weight) 21. L (Dried Fruit Beetle) exposed to 40° C-60° C (70% rel. humidity (R. Composition of spathe (%-age on fresh weight) Page 8 . Palm sap yields 27.Date extraction in one step (100 flesh + 250 water) 16.Iraq 18. food composition and conversion efficiency during fattening period (49 days) of broilers 26. Derived date products 14.

W. Dates are consumed in at least three major stages of maturity: from fresh. qobit@yahoo.H. partly due to the introduction of improved and labour-saving techniques in the date gardens and better presentation and outlet diversification of the crop. In spite of individual cases where date cultivation has diminished or even vanished. This versatility of the crop has given it an endurance to resist the negative influences which effect its economic development. Agricultural Services Division. Dowson: "Dates. which has perhaps contributed to the producer's special affection for the date palm and the habitat created by it. crisp to succulent. A fully tree ripened date is self-preserving for months and can be stored or transported as a concentrated food source. Enquiries with regards to this publication should be addressed to: The Chief. overall date production worldwide has increased over the last 30 years. The present publication focuses attention on this diversity of the date crop. which distinguish them from all major fruits. Processing and Packaging (1962)" and "Date Production and Protection (1982)". Italy. the date derived products and palm products in particular. Chiara Guarnera. to soft Page 9 .FOREWORD Dates are unique in that they constitute a set of properties and characteristics. Handling. Food and Agricultural Industries Service. whilst their use in date products and industrial applications has increased. unless specifically referenced otherwise. FAO. made by Ms. Date palms flourish where other fruit production would be marginal at best. Rome. Dates have a significance as a staple food as well as a dessert fruit. and can be seen as a continuation and elaboration of two earlier FAO books by the late V. The hand drawn sketches were.

proven varieties by the use of offshoots. But if the palm had an impact on human life. it also created a more amenable habitat for the people to live in by providing shade and protection from the desert winds (Fig. Examples of such uninhibited growth can still be found in some of the more remote areas of the Sahara. by assisting in the pollination process. because though the date crops may vary in size from year to year. The date palm not only provided a concentrated energy food. the date palm would. One could go as far as to say that. he obtained access to palm trunks. they never fully fail. doors and utensils. man learned to direct date palm productivity to his own advantage by restricting the number of plants per ha. learning the benefits of leaf and bunch Page 10 . fertilization and pest control. In this way he became assured of an annual crop of dates. identical productive capacity of the mother palm. had the date palm not existed. by propagation of the best. expand in an impenetrable forest of highly competitive clusters of an approximate equal number of male and female palms with relatively few reaching appreciable height or fruit producing capacity. and practically all parts of the palm had a useful purpose. and where other crops on their own would have failed. He started to care for his palm. date palm cultivation was gradually adapted to man's needs. Thus. If left undisturbed. qobit@yahoo. the influence was reciprocal. the expansion of the human race into the hot and barren parts of the "old" world would have been much more restricted. making it possible for man to live and survive in the most remote places and enabling him to cross the vast deserts. Through a longer cycle of replacing senile palms by young offshoots. This process has existed for thousands of years. the date palm also yielded a variety of products for use in agricultural production and for domestic utensils. In addition. 1). which could be easily stored and carried along on long journeys across the deserts. thanks to the date palm a perpetual production cycle was established. Thus. with the energy and intelligence of man. in its wild state.INTRODUCTION Few plant species have developed into an agricultural crop so closely connected with human life as has the date palm. thus eliminating the need for non-productive male palms by over 95%. in which little was lost or accumulated. because through a long process of learning and experience. favourable growth conditions permitting. leaves and fibre. which served in the construction of roofs. thus ensuring the continued.

it has given impetus and means to find ways to adapt date cultivation and processing methods. with little or no use for the secondary palm products.Figure 1: (a) Rural Date Orchard (b) Note waterlifting from shallow well However. in many instances date palms are now only grown for the fruit they produce. the industrialization process. Even the most deserted areas are now accessible by road or air. On the contrary. Indeed. this progress has not provoked the disappearance of the date palm. Nevertheless. even if economic and social progress in the first instance appear to have had a negative effect on traditional date palm growing. over the last fifty to hundred years the discovery of oil. improved communication systems and transport means have brought about many changes to this picture. in order to preserve a national qobit@yahoo. to improve quality standards and seek new outlets for date fruit and develop products derived from dates. making available a great number of goods and services in direct competition with date palm Page 11 .

changed oil palm and rubber production entirely. from local tenant farming. is also reflected in the varying successes obtained from industrialization of the date. and large-scale privately and publicly owned plantations. for instance. 4). bananas and pineappples. Dates considered as a fresh fruit rank number 5 in the production list of tropical and sub-tropical fruits after citrus. The burden of date palm development has therefore mainly fallen on local governments. This road is proving long and arduous. 2). The overall trend has been to move from mixed and random oasis date palm cultivation to organizing it as a plantation crop with similar varieties and even stands. mangoes. figs and prunes. 3). all facets of transition can be found: from the abandonment of orchards under pressure of socio-economic changes (Fig. the introduction of improved packing and processing methods. This diffused picture of a crop. limiting factors being the relative shortage of high quality offshoots for new plantations. As a dried fruit dates easily top the list over raisins. Figure 2: Abandoned Date Garden (Bahrain) qobit@yahoo. which. mechanized orchards (Fig. Page 12 . It can be said that in the total present spectre of date palm cultivation in the world. to private.heritage so eminently suited for the prevailing conditions. and the lack of large-scale private commercial interests.e. allowing for a more efficient execution of cultural practices. to maintaining traditional oasis date cultivation (Fig.

Figure 3: Closely Spaced Traditional Date Grove Page 13 .

Soldiers on the march. traders and qobit@yahoo. However. when in time of population movements the people took along their main crops. stretching north east into the delta of the Euphrates and Tigris. Missionaries. facilitated by the fact that dates lend themselves perfectly to being carried along as a high calorie food. 136. 363. Purposely.Figure 4: Mechanized Date Plantation with Dusting Operation in Progress (California) The characteristics of the date palm have on several occasions clearly been described by authoritative writers (445. for a better understanding of the underlying reasons why certain developments have taken place. but evidence of date palm cultivation goes as far back as 4000 B. 142. Then there have been numerous examples of accidental distribution of the date palm. From there date palms have spread either purposely or accidentally. a summary is again given of the main properties. perhaps more for having a supply of palm fronds for religious celebrations than for introducing a new crop. in what is now southern Iraq.C. 70). and there seems to be a consensus that the earliest form of date palm cultivation coincided with the oldest civilizations and originated in North-East Page 14 . in the wake of the "conquistadores" introduced the date palm in some Latin American countries. But references to date palms have also been found in Ancient Egypt. with a long-keeping quality. distribution and limitations of the date palm and its products. The exact origin or gene centre of the date palm has been lost in history.

all may have had their influence in spreading the date palm by leaving the seeds behind after consumption of the fruit flesh (Fig. The present situation in the world as a net result of these historical developments is reflected in the map of Figure 6 (142).discoverers . several Arab countries undertook large-scale programmes to increase their date acreage but found a shortage of suitable offshoots in their own countries and resorted to foreign imports. It shows a wide belt from the Atlantic Ocean through the Sahara. this importation of offshoots has seen a period of a reverse flow. of less importance worldwide. into Iran and the Indus Valley in Pakistan with their main centres of production. amongst others from the U. the Arabian Peninsula. Figure 5: Dissemination of the date palm in the Old World (363) In more recent times there have been a number of exchanges of offshoots between date producing countries. qobit@yahoo.000 shoots had been planted forming the basis for a striving date Page 15 .000 ha. The most striking example of the commercial introduction of the date palm into new lands was the importation of a large number of offshoots into Arizona and California in the U. Ironically.S. 5).S.A. now mainly restricted to the Coachella Valley in California covering almost 2. around the turn of this century and which reached its peak in the twenties when at least 50. when on the wave of acquired oil revenues.S. Outside this belt the concentrations are much more localized and except for the U. sometimes however restricted by embargoes for protective reasons or fear of the spread of disease.

com Page 16 .Figure 6: Major Date Production Centres of the World qobit@yahoo.

com Page 17 .qobit@yahoo.

the hottest part of the Sahara. alluding to the fact that the date palm requires an abundant water supply and high temperatures. This dampening effect of daily temperature variations makes it possible for the palm to survive. although to a lesser extent. the upper range of temperature tolerance is of little importance to the palm. When a constant natural or artificial supply of water becomes erratic palm growth soon becomes chancy as the pictures in Figure 7 demonstrate. in California damage was never observed when the temperature remained over -7° C (391). Within the climatological limits of where the palms are now grown. which usually become hard and dry in these circumstances. from lower or temperatures. especially in desert regions. because factors like the length of exposure (expressed in hours per day and days per month) and the varietal characteristics and age of the palm also play a role. the growing point would eventually heat up if no cooling effect existed simultaneously. Assuming however an adequate supply of water available for any given location. Inspite of this insulation. compared to most other plants. have to face the sun. qobit@yahoo. which was to a great extent man-induced.e. in the first instance. has only one growing point. The often referred to statement that the date palm likes its "feet in Heaven and its head in Hell".com Page 18 . the temperature therefore becomes the determining factor. An idea of the extent of tolerance to cold is therefore based on isolated observations such as: at -15° C drying out of foliage occurred but palms survived (363). i. Both effects result in a diurnal temperature amplitude of not more than 4 to 5° C (363) in the growing point whilst ambient temperatures may have a range. of 20° C and more. the date palm's own limitations for productive growth must also be taken into consideration. Resistance to these high temperatures must be attributed to the fact that firstly the date palm. not only from extreme high temperatures but also.Figure 7: Unattended Date Palms in Marginal Growth Condition In arriving at this picture of the global distribution of date production. By the time the new fronds and fruit and flower bunches. they are already tough enough to withstand the heat. though they may influence the physiological aspects of the fruit they bear. on top sof the trunk well enshrouded in the bases of older fronds made of highly insulating material. This is provided by the subsoil water supply which slowly rises in the trunk and evaporates through the leaves. sprouting from this growing point. is indicative of the basic growth requirements of the palm. No exact temperature range is known. Damage from cold is shown as the drying out of foliage to death of the palm in severe cases. Maximum temperatures of around 50o C as they occur do not harm the palm.

They are humidity of the air. i. qobit@yahoo. 317). that a satisfactory number of heat units alone is not a panacea to predict the success of date production. accumulated from pollination to harvest. Perhaps the most realistic and useful method is to apply the sum of the mean daily temperatures minus 18° C. Inspite of some of the inconveniences created by the diversication of the measuring methods (some of which can be remedied by recalculation) the summation of heat units has been a useful tool in guiding the horticulturist in his decision making for the suitability of commercial date production in new lands. To establish the approximate amount of this energy has been of concern to date researchers as early as the last century. but for the sake of "order of magnitude" it can be said that palms can resist moderate freezing temperatures and that damage can be expected below -6 to -7° C. is delayed flowering (363). the method has been applied (547. have made the results difficult to compare. rainfall and wind. the date palm requires a certain amount of heat energy. More feared are the (early) rains during final maturation of the crop. will fruit at temperatures above 25° C and vegetative growth will stop under 10° C (100).There are many more of these types of observations for different locations. to bear fruit. the possibility for reproductive date palm growth becomes therefore largely a matter of latitude and altitude. which. All these variations in determining the limit of required heat units below which commercial date cultivation is less likely to be successful. In evaluating them one needs the exact specification of the measurements made. Uniformity of the start and the end of the count of total heat units has also been lacking (examples: from flowering to maturation of the fruit. without damage to the palm. was the sum of the daily average temperatures in the period from flowering to fruit ripening. the reason being to create a tool with which to predict suitability of new lands for date cultivation based on meteorological records. To quantify the minimum total amount of heat required for a full productive cycle the system of accumulated heat units was adopted. Not only in the early days of this century (561. affect date production qualitatively and Page 19 . and an allowance for varietal tolerance and isolated favourable microclimates. It can therefore be concluded that the date palm can survive in a wide temperature range (up to about 50-60° C). A first figure obtained was 5100° C (100). A secondary effect of a submission to cold. that. Accepted and confirmed data related to temperature requirements are that: the date palm will flower only when the shade temperature rises over 18° C. from minimum 18° C at the beginning to maximum 18° C at the end of the season. a realistic possibility in many date growing areas. Temperature being the most vital factor and assuming a sufficient water supply. But there are other climatological factors. at least in the eyes of man. from 1 December to 30 September of the following year). It is to be understood. as a start. 546). however. Rainfall during and right after pollination may reduce the fruit setting but is not generally a great preoccupation. But to complete a full productive cycle. Adding to this that some researchers like to express themselves in 0F and others in °C. Later researchers have attempted to perfect the method by not taking the daily mean but the daily maxi-mum temperatures into account or by taking 18° C (below which no flowering takes place) as the zero point instead of 0° C or 10° C. but also in more recent times in countries such as Kenya and Botswana.e. Under these criteria for North Africa 1800° C is considered the minimum required for the so-called "common varieties" and 1890° for the Deglet Nuur variety (142).

8). however. 9). not only practised against rain damage but traditionally is also used in the form of coarsely woven well-ventilated baskets (sund) to protect the maturing fruit from birds and prevent early ripening fruit from falling to the ground. At harvesting time the baskets are carefully lowered to the ground on a rope (Fig. the secondary effects of increased humidity and lower temperature work against the final maturation of the crop and favour insect infestation and fungal growth. but also create a favourable environment for fungal growth and spoilage in general. Figure 8: Date Bunches covered with Paper Bags against (early) Rains and Sunburn (California) Bunch covering is. When protection against early rain or sunburn are the prime objectives. Page 20 . It is for this reason that in several areas preventive measures are taken by protecting the fruit bunches with covers (Fig. increasing temperatures (which may reach 65oC under the paper cover with an ambient temperature of 40oC) may benefit maturation.Apart from direct physical damage. Material choice of the cover and ventilation therefore become of prime importance when resorting to this method of bunch protection.

Figure 9: Bunch Protection by Coarsely Woven Baskets (Hadramarit, Yemen) Humidity of the air, expressed preferably as a relative percentage (i.e. %-age of saturation at prevailing temperature), because it is a measure of the absorptive moisture capacity of the air, is of great importance to the type and quality of the final product. The relation is rather simple: in regions with low relative humidities such as the internal desert areas, dates tend to dry out on the palm until they are hard with a moisture content as low as 10% (Fig. 10). This may be advantageous for increased keeping quality and food to weight ratio, it is less attractive, generally speaking, to the consumer. On the other hand, high relative humidities, such as frequently occur in coastal areas, delay the evaporation of moisture to the extent that the dates do not reach the "safe" moisture content for preservation and have to be harvested at a perishable stage, to be either consumed within a matter of days or to be preserved by artificial means. For instance, the major part of the date crop in the Nile Delta in Egypt is consumed at the "fresh" stage.

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Figure 10: Hard desert dates, harvested on the bunch and thrown to the ground (Fezzan) Some figures to illustrate this situation are given in Table 1(363, 142): Table 1 Average relative humidity levels in different locations (%-age)

Niger (Kaouara) South Algeria, Touggourt Interior Tunisia, Tozeur Coastal Tunisia, Gabès Nile Delta, Egypt Iraq, Baghdad Basrah Bahrain

25% 43.5% 61% 66% 68-74% 42-50% 55-60%


These figures correspond very well with the type of date prevalent in the areas under consideration. The third climatological factor which has an impact on the final fruit quality is wind, which, since pollination is done by hand, has only negative, though not severe, effects on date production. The palm itself can withstand gale force winds, though these may result in damage to pending fruit from hitting against the fronds. Sand-laden winds like the Khamsin of Egypt, the Ghibli of Libya and the

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Sirocco in Tunisia and Algeria, are likely to deposit dust on the surface of the fruit especially when it is sticky. This problem is aggravated when dealing with varieties of which the skin tends to loosen during ripening and the dust will settle on the date flesh, with no possibility of it being washed out completely. To complete the description of the main ecological requirements, the variations of which may affect the productive capacity of the palm and quality of the fruit, a few remarks on water and soil requirements are made. Unless special provisions are made to accumulate and divert the surface water, rainfall has little importance in supplying the palm with its daily water requirements. In the majority of cases the cultivated date palm, therefore, has to be irrigated, either from rivers, streams, or wells. In a few places this can be arranged by harnessing natural forces such as gravity when rivers originate uphill and their waters can be diverted into the date gardens, by artesian wells, or by tidal irrigation, which is the classical case in the Shatt-el-Arab region (Fig. 11). Otherwise water has to be lifted either by man (Fig. 1b), animal or pump. Total annual requirements per palm have been estimated on many occasions (summarized in 363 and 142), which show a certain divergence, no doubt caused by different soil and climatological conditions. Nevertheless as an overall average for programming purposes a through-the-year figure of 0.5 l/palm/minute would seem adequate. This would correspond with roughly 250 m3/palm/year. If one considers that the water lifting capacity of one ox (and man) from 20 m deep is about 2 m3/hr (363), it shows clearly how much time and effort was going into supplying water to the palms. Another indicative figure is that about 2 m3 water per kg of fruit is used in the best of circumstances. It therefore shows that the date palm, inspite of its connotations with hot and dry climates, is a more than average consumer of water, but it compensates for this by tolerating relatively high salt contents compared to other crops. This fortunate circumstance gives it access to water supplies otherwise of little use in agriculture. Bearing in mind that very good drinking water contains 100 ppm (parts per million) of salts, normal "mineral" water around 600 ppm, the limit for use as drinking water is around 1500-3000 ppm and seawater goes as high as 40,000 ppm, the figures given in literature show the following tolerancy levels for the date palm: in the Algerian Sahara (Baskra, Touggourt) salt contents vary from 2000 to 5000 ppm; in Egypt studies showed that maximum salt content of irrigation water should not exceed 2000 ppm (363); experiments on young seedling palms showed a linear decline in growth rate from the level of 3000 ppm salts in the water supplies (166). Examples are also given of tolerancy figures going as high as 6000 and 7000 ppm but at these levels an adverse effect on crop yield and quality can certainly be expected. A visible example of the relative salt tolerance is the northwards ongoing process of decreasing date yields on Abadan island (Shatt-al Arab region) in consequence of the increasing salinity of the tidal water with which the date gardens are irrigated, and which in turn is the result of the more intensive use of the river waters (Euphrates, Tigris, Karoon, Dez, Karchech) feeding the estuary in which Abadan island is located (309). Compared to other fruit crops the date palm is, however, considered to have a high tolerance for salts compared to other fruit crops as the following table shows (456).

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Table 2 Relative salt tolerance of fruit crops

High salt tolerance (ECe x 10³ = 18*) Date Palm

Medium salt tolerance (ECe x 10³ = 10) Pomergranate Fig Olive Grape Cantaloupe

Low salt tolerance (ECe x 10³ = 5) Pear Almond Apple Apricot Orange Peach Grapefruit Strawberry Prune Lemon Plum Avocado

*The numbers following ECe x 103 are the electrical conductivity values of the sat-uration extracts in millimhos per cm at 25° C associated with a 50% decrease in yield.

Figure 11: Tital Irrigation (Iraq)

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Apart from having a certain drought resistance because of its relatively few and well protected foliage, the date palm can withstand flooding for prolonged periods partly explained by the presence of numerous and large air spaces in its root tissue (136). With regard to soil requirements the date palm is not very demanding and will grow on almost any type of soil, from almost pure sand to heavy alluvial soils, provided they furnish the basic needs of anchorage to the palm, minerals, water penetration and drainage. The optimal situation lies, therefore, in the middle, and deep sandy loams are often quoted as the more suitable type of soil for the date palm. In conclusion of these general ecological characteristics for date palm cultivation reference is made again to the map of the distribution of date palms in the world (Fig. 6) and the actual date production figures in the different countries in Appendix I as derived from the FAO Production and Trade Yearbooks (155). The more important date producing countries are shown below in order of the size of the crop:

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Table 3 Date Production ('000 MT)

Average 1961-65 Egypt Iran Saudi Arabia Iraq Pakistan Algeria 407 305 170 336 96 122

Average 1971-75 386 293 280 400 177 159

Average 1981-85 457 385 417 346 234 193


580 540 525 490 290 212

Sub-total 6 major producers 2637

Sudan Oman Libya Tunisia

58 40 36 35

109 49 68 41

120 74 84 61

130 125 74 73

Sub-total medium producers 402

The remainder of 372 000 tons is produced in some 22 countries of which the more important are Morocco, Chad, USA, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Yemen 372
World 2208 1839 2645 3411

From these figures it can be concluded that date production worldwide has been steadily increasing over the last 30 years and in 1990 reached 3,400,000 tons, 85% more than in 1960. Over 75% of this tonnage is produced in six major date producing countries, 90% of total world production comes from 10 countries out of a total of 32 date producing countries. This is as far as quantities is concerned: a qualitative evaluation is complex because of the large varietal nuances and differences in the production areas. Suffice to say that there is a great quality factor involved in estimating the crop value and that some of the smaller producer countries produce some of the best quality fruits in the world trade market. The date palm (Phoenix Dactylifera) is a monocotyledon of the family of the Palmae, one of the genera of which are the Coryphoideae, of which one species is Phoenix Dactylifera. It is a feather Page 26

palm, characterized by compound leaves with a series of leaflets on each side of a common petiole, originating from one growing point on top of the trunk. Two close relatives of the date palm are the Wild Date Palm (Phoenix Sylvestris), widely used in parts of India for sugarmaking (jaggery), and the Canary Palm (Phoenix Canariensis) frequently found as an ornamental palm on Mediterranean coasts and the Americas (Fig. 12), on occasion interrupted by a lonely, and unproductive, true date palm (Fig. 13).

Page 27

Figure 12: Canary Palms (Phoenix Canariensis) (Note flower development in these overpruned ornamental palms) (Sicily, Italy)

Page 28

A schematic picture of the date palm during a one-year productive cycle is given in Figure 14.Figure 13: Single Date Palm at the Port of Ischia (Italy) The date palm may reach an age of over 100 years and reach up to 24 m in height to the growing point. Normally the useful age limit is less and consequently the height will not be more than 15-20 m maximum before it will be cut down because of declining yield and increasing difficulty (and danger) to reach the crown during Page 29 . qobit@yahoo. bunch management and harvesting (510).

however. 4. Leaves may reach a length of 6 m. the young leaf is enclosed in a leaf sheath of tender tissue which at a length of about 20 cm will open to give passage to the extruding leaf. Under natural conditions. growth of the offshoot attached to the mother palm (5-8 years). after their useful life is over. declining yields. The sheath tissue will dry out and eventually only the fibrous tissue. at the rate of 1030 per year. Initially. Page 30 . growth of the separated and transplanted offshoot (4-6 years).Figure 14: Schematic Picture of the Date Palm during a ONe-year Production Cycle Five main stages in the palm's life cycle can be distinguished (322): 1. 2. full productivity but no more offshoot formation (30-35 years). Leaves are formed in buds in a slightly ascending spiral around the growing point. will each year remove the old leaves in order to give him better access to the crown. start and increasing fruit yields and formation of offshoots (14-20 years). The leafbase will remain attached to the trunk and where palms are still climbed. With an average lifespan of 3-7 years the number of leaves per palm varies from 30-140. The date cultivator. qobit@yahoo. known as palm fibre will remain at the base of the leaf. with an average of 4 m (142). the leaves. 3. will dry and bend down alongside the trunk where they would stay for quite a while before dropping to the ground. are used as steps for the climber's feet.

They are situated at the two outer edges of the midrib and may number from 10 to about 60. 15a) may range in length from 15 cm to about 1 m with a width ranging from 1 to 6. They are hard and very sharp Page 31 . Total number of leaflets on one frond may vary from 120 to 240. Apart from pinnae the petiole (midrib) usually also grows spines in the lower region. The date cultivator will quite often remove the spines to prevent injury during cultural practices.5 cm. qobit@yahoo.The leaflets (pinnae) of the compound leaf (frond) (Fig. ranging in length from almost nothing to over 20 cm.

and a number of spikelets originating mainly from or near the apex of the main fruit stalk. Even on one particular bunch. enveloped in a sheath or spathe (Fig. female flowers consist of three carpels with ovules. As not all female flowers are produced at the same time. For fruit setting. which in date palm cultivation is not left to the wind or insects but is done traditionally by man by inserting a piece of a spikelet of male flower at the moment of the opening of the female flowers. which consists of a main stem (fruit stalk) which rapidly lengthens outside the spathe. especially in date cultivation. male flowers are sweet-scented and have six stamens. a term which. needs qualification (see later). The inflorescence. 15c). The date palm is dioecious. The yellowish flowers are small. the stage of maturity of the dates is also staggered for the different bunches. of which normally only one will develop into a fruit (Fig. 15b). fertilisation of the female flowers by male pollen is required. This means the grower will be required to climb his qobit@yahoo. More modern methods will collect the pollen from the males and in combination with a carrier (such as flour) will be dusted on the female flowers with a mechanical device. pushes through the fibre on the leaf base it originated from to a length of 25 to 100 cm. which means there are male and female plants.Figure 15: Major Parts of the Date Palm Some 12 (0-25 range) flower buds develop during the winter in the axils of some of the leaves just below the growing point. It will split open upon maturation of the inside flower cluster. attached directly to the spikelets. Upon successful pollination the fruit will now start to develop through different distinguishable stages until it reaches maturity. ripening will usually start from the lower end of the hanging bunch going Page 32 .

It is difficult to give an average figure for the size of the annual crop per palm because it depends so much on growing conditions. the variety. at least 3 times for pollination. and the skill of the cultivator.palms more than once for each operation. around 50% moisture) yield much more in fruit weight than a dry desert date (say 15% moisture). kept track of all fruit bunches formed and the total weight of dates produced from the time of planting the offshoots for a total of 435 Deglet Noor Palms. The following cumulative figures give an interesting picture of the production capacity of a commercial date grove under Californian conditions (Fig.g. e. over a period of more than twenty years (1934-1956). In comparing crop yields an allowance must also be made for the stage at which the fruit is harvested. At the last round of harvesting the fruit bunch is cut off. 16): Figure 16: A Fully Laden Deglet Noor Palm (California) Table 4 Production record of a Californian Date Grower 1936-1956 over 21 productive years Number of palms Number of bunches 435 114 214 1947-1956 over last 10 years 435 68 295 qobit@yahoo. for instance fresh hard dates (Khalaal or Bisr. A unique record was kept by a private Californian date grower (91) Page 33 . the age of the palm.

7 1225.80 157. outside rows of palms.5 1985. Even so.3 122. 17).5 12. av. av.Dates produced (kgs) Average date weight/ bunch (kgs) Average number of bunches/tree Bunches per tree (1 Page 34 . Figure 17: Harvesting Whole Bunches of Khalaal (cv Khuneizi).9 94.0 15.) 864 162 7. though the production inputs are also less (fertilizers.6 532 993 7. in well organized date plantations in favourable environments in the old world yields may reach 100 kgs/palm/year and over (Fig. Note strung (nylon) rope attached to climbing belt to slide down the bunch (Bahrain) qobit@yahoo.) Kgs per tree Kgs per tree (1 yr. formation of offshoots (up to 8 per tree) does not seem to have an effect on the productive capacity of the palm compared to palms not forming offshoots ii.5 Additional observations during this period were the following: i. Overall country averages in the date production countries do not go much higher than 20-30 kgs/palm/year. The above production figures from an intensive date cultivation system go far beyond the results of traditional date growing practices. giving some weight to the thesis that the standard planting distance of 30 x 30 feet (9 x 9 m) may be a little too close (from a productivity point of view). exposed to more sunshine bear consistently more fruit than those planted inside. full maturity of the palms is not reached before 12-13 years iii. pesticides) and generally the palms are much closer spaced.56 262.

the tissues tend to become more lignified and tough. not necessarily transferable elsewhere without on-site testing. cutting back the tips of the strands by about ¼ along a horizontal plane Page 35 .reduce number of dates on one strand to about 40. removal of the inner strands. leaving about 40-45 strands per bunch iii. Towards the periphery. Figure 18: Bunch of Thyinned Deglet Noor (California) Both bunch removal and fruit thinning are location and variety specific. where the leaf bases are embedded.Annual crop volume and individual fruit size can be influenced by the grower by bunch removal and fruit thinning. is aimed at avoiding overbearing of the palm with a consequent poor yield in the next year. Bunch removal. The trunk of the palm is composed of vascular bundles held together with connective tissue. The diameter of the trunk will not increase once the full crown of fronds has developed. usually the very early and late ones. 18). For mature Deglet Noor palms normally not more than 15 bunches are left on with an overall leaf to bunch ratio of 8 or 9. The result of fruit thinning is less overall yield but bigger sized fruit developed on well ventilated bunches (Fig. qobit@yahoo. Fruit thinning is accomplished in three ways: i.

in search for water. In its natural state the date palm would propagate by seed. however. With the above general description of world date production and the major characteristics of date palm cultivation the following chapters will focus on the products derived from the date palm. 4th Zone: Finally in the 4th zone. In a subsistence economy. because of the time factor and the low expectancy rate. which includes always the genetic inheritance of the father palm and carries no guarantee of continued desirable qualities in the offspring. Though selection programmes through cross pollination have been initiated the results. some 2 m below ground level. 1st Zone: Roots sprouting from the upper part of the trunk base. One mother palm will produce 6 to 12 offshoots in her lifetime. however. Results at the laboratory stage have been positive and promising but turning them into practical field applications has so far not become foolproof. 2nd Zone: This is the most intense rooting zone with numerous roots branched into rootlets spreading into the earth with the main purpose of collecting nutritive substances and moisture. in particular in a market economy.Roots of the date palm originate from the more or less ball shaped foot of the trunk and are singular with little or no secondary thickening or branching into rootlets. but 4 zones in the root system can be distinguished (363). when this is not available in sufficient quantities in the higher zones.e. evidenced by the large air pockets in the tissue. By and large the zone stretches from a little below to 1 m below ground level. which does not allow for vast replacement or expansion programmes. This is in contrast to fruit from vegetative offshoots which may bear fruit after 4 to 5 years. apparently playing a role in the respiratory system. also has the capability of vegetative propagation by the formation of offshoots (Fig. The more important product is the date fruit. qobit@yahoo. They have partially a negative geotropism and do not go deeper than 1/4 m. The date palm. which either falls to the ground after the fruit has matured or after having been spread byanimals or man carrying away and eating the fruit. 3rd Zone: The development of roots into the third zone (roughly from 1-2 m underground) largely depends on the availability of nutritional substances in the higher zones. the situation is more diffuse with respect to the use of other palm products. or at the very best an average of one child every five Page 36 . Much attention is therefore given with high expectations focussed on propagation through tissue culture. roots may develop with a strong geotropism. in poor soils the roots of the second zone will also extend into the third zone. The date palm has no tap root. i. Almost all propagation nowadays is done through offshoots. especially in the more remote areas. This becomes of special importance when one considers that it may take up to ten years before the first fruits are produced on a seedling palm. for man this method of propagation has two major advantages: firstly. This in contrast by multiplication through seed. thus the established characteristics of the palm are carried on unchanged. have not been encouraging. the offshoot is the exact replica of the mother palm. 19 and 20). Although in the natural state these offshoots tend to become competitor to the mother palm. the reason being the slow vegetative reproduction rate. though it has its limitations when rapid expansion of date cultivation of one particular variety is desired.

I whole dates. II date fruit products and preparations. the description of the use of dates has been classified into four groups.Figure 19: Newly Planted Offshoots (8 x 16 m) (Bahrain) Figure 20: 4-Year Old Plantation of Zahdi Offshoots (California) Because of the great diversity in date fruits. qobit@yahoo.e. i. In Chapter V the remaining palm products will be reviewed. originating not only from inherent varietal Page 37 . but also from different growth conditions and post-harvest treatment. III derived date fruit products and IV by-products of date packing and processing.

117. 478. a fleshy mesocarp and the fruit skin (pericarp). 497 and 40).com Page 38 . qobit@yahoo.1 Formation and Development Botanically the date fruit is a berry consisting of a single seed surrounded by a fibrous.CHAPTER 1: WHOLE DATES 1. each of them distinguished by one or more particular characteristics. It takes up to about 200 days from pollination to reach full maturation (tamr stage). both physiognomically and chemically. parchmentlike endocarp. which are represented in generalized form in figures 21 and 22 (adapted from 139. The fruit is attached to the spikelet by a perianth (calyx or cap). 363. 468. During its formation and ripening the fruit passes through a number of distinct phases.

rutab and tamr. At the khalaal stage weight gain is slow but sucrose content increases. At this point the date seed could already germinate and the fruit is botanically Page 39 . moisture content goes down. and one could speak of commercial qobit@yahoo. and tannins will start to precipitate and lose their astringency. weight. which makes them already palatable at the khalaal stage.Figure 21: Formation and Ripening of the Dates Figure 22: Major Changes during Date Fruit Development These models help to understand the development of the date through basically 4 stages named by their Arabic denominations. and reducing sugars. Hababauk is the term used for the female flower and the period just after pollination when the young fruit is still creamy white before gradually turning green at the kimri stage. In some varieties this latter process evolves rapidly. khalaal. it is the period of highest acid activity and moisture content (up to 85%). kimri. At the kimri stage there is a rapid increase in size. All factors level off at the end of this stage when the fruit starts to turn yellow (or red according to variety).

com Page 40 .maturity for this type of fruit at this stage. The upper limit for the date to be self-preserving lies at around 24-25%. Only when the dates are left to ripen further on the palm will they turn into tamr. The moisture content goes down to about 35% and the dates at this stage are sold as fresh fruit. qobit@yahoo. a partial (the degree depending on the variety) inversion of sucrose into invert sugar and a browning of the skin and softening of the tissues. and the tamr stage (Fig. the sweet khalaal. climatic conditions permitting. 23). Dates distinguish themselves therefore from most other fruit in that they have a botanical maturity and at least 3 distinct commercial maturation levels. the rutab. characterized by a moisture content at which the date is self-preserving. the rutab stage sets in which is characterized by a decrease in weight due to moisture loss. With (normally) the tips of the fruit starting to turn brown.

Usually they are oblong though certain varieties may reach a near round shape. Average weight per fruit is about 7 to 10 gr.Figure 23: Three Major Stages of Maturity in which Dates are Consumed: (a) khalaal. size and weight. In Page 41 . a practical example is shown of the growth and compositional changes for the Ruzeiz variety of Saudi Arabia (Fig. 24. Length and width may vary from respectively 18 and 8 mm to 60 and 32 mm but averages at 40 and 20 mm (139). (b) entab. (c) tamr According to variety and growth conditions date fruits (tamr) vary in shape. qobit@yahoo. adapted from 504).

com Page 42 .qobit@yahoo.

com Page 43 . packer. A summary is given below of the major components and their relationship to the post-harvest qualities of the fruit. and about 20% at which a large amount of dates are marketed because they are safe to store but have still retained a pliable and attractive texture. i.e. about 50-60% for sweet khalaal. There is a good deal of information to be found in date literature.Figure 24: Morphological and Compositional Changes in the 5 Major Development Stages of Ruzeiz (Saudi Arabia) 1. around 24% for entering the zone of self-preservation. especially from the viewpoint of the trader. processor or trader. a. In between there are several levels of importance. Moisture: As has been referred to in the text before even at the natural stages of development. the date goes from one extreme of moisture content (85% at the early kimri stage) to another (5-10% in dry desert dates). because it affects the possibilities and limitations of the raw material for the intended end-use. The consumers' interest will mainly focus on the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the product. The above practical observations are confirmed by the equilibrium moisture content curve (Fig.2 Composition and Quality Knowledge of the qualitative and quantitative chemical composition of date fruit is of prime importance to the user of dates. 25 adapted from 139 and 469). Figure 25: Equilibrium moisture content curve for dates qobit@yahoo. mostly on individual varieties. about 35-40% for rutab. processor and consumer. in particular the packer. but a general picture emerges of what the date fruit consists of and what are the average quantitative values.

com Page 44 . SW Region. For practical purposes all sugars in dates consist of a mixture of sucrose (C12 H22 011).000 Kcal/kg date flesh. humidity. 21 varieties Saudi Arabia (504) Central. 13 var. Apart from microbial attack increasing moisture content also tends to increase biochemical processes in the dates such as darkening and softening. Eastern Region. Rutab at 35% is well above this level and must be considered perishable. Northern Region. 15 var. the curve indicates a moisture content of 24% where dates are in equilibrium with surrounding air of 70% rel.1 73. 15 var.1 87. 77 74. hence the preference. generally speaking. Total sugars (at the tamr stage) on a dry weight basis for the more known varieties in the world do not appreciably differ in quantity as shown in Table 5. In Tibesti water is boiled with dates to make tea.8 67-83 65-83 74-87 71-83 86-88 45-86 78 Range 67-85 qobit@yahoo. or by (vacuum) hydration and steaming.3 79. Table 5 Sugar content of dates from different countries % Age Total Sugar on Dry Weight basis Average USA (118). Western Region. Increasing moisture content tends to decrease relative sweetness and bring outmore strongly the specific date flavours. for softer and rutab dates. b. 5 var. The curve is further useful when considering storage conditions and drying of dates. 10 var. Iraq (599). Moisture content can be artificially manipulated by drying (either in the sun or by dehydration) to remove. the nomads boil milk with dates. Sugars Sugars contribute the most prevalent single component and in the ancient date production countries the date has been used more as a sugar source than as a fruit. for the greatest part derived from its sugar content).With the knowledge that moulds are unable to grow in an atmosphere below 70% relative humidity (for yeasts and bacteria even higher).2 78. or they are simply chewed to obtain daily calorie intake (361) (a date of 20% moisture content will provide about 3. Iraq (353). to add water. glucose (C6 H12 06) and fructose (C6 H12 06) of which the latter two are the derivations of sucrose after inversion. 4 var.

this ratio may change during ripening. glucose and fructose are of no great importance to the consumer.1 45. For practical purposes the relative percentages of sucrose. accessible energy source to the human body. most if not all sucrose has been inverted into glucose and fructose by the enzyme invertase. but not always.4%). Date pits contain a certain percentage of oil (see Chapter IV).2 38.1 75.5 17. at the stage at which they are consumed.3 7.7 78.0 Sucrose % on dry weight basis 0 0 38. To the processor this varying amount of sugars in the fruit means that the date cannot be considered a commercial source of table sucrose like that derived from beet or cane. myristic acid and a number of others (278). Moisture and fibre content are expected also to play a role in determining whether a date is "soft".0 % Moisture (fresh weight) Soft Semi-dry Noor Barhee Khadrawy Deglet Dayri Zahdi Zahdi Dry Thoori Kinta 37.e. "semi-dry" or "dry".2 77. hygroscopic sugar. Palmitic. capric and caprylic acid were identified as the major free fatty acids in the date flesh followed by linoleic.57.2 13.2 82. qobit@yahoo. semi-dry and dry dates Reducing sugars % on dry weight basis 84. lauric. Proteins and Fats Both substances occur in small amounts in the date flesh.6 40.0 Though the ratio glucose and fructose originates from a one-to-one basis.5%) and has a more physiological importance in the protection of the fruit than contributing to the nutritional value of the date flesh (0. Proteins occur in date fruit in the range of 1-3% and though their amino acid pattern is favourable to human needs.0 73.5 5. based on their external qualities of texture and pliability at the tamr stage.6 15. but it can be said that most dates belong to the invert sugar type. i. is seemingly correlated to increasing sucrose content.The relative amounts of sucrose.4 24.6 70. An exception is the very important variety Deglet Noor of North Africa and California in which the inversion has only partially been completed at commercial maturity. pelargonic. glucose and fructose are determined mainly by varietal characteristics.4 (585) 32. and "dry". with the Deglet Noor and to a certain extent the Zahdi as exceptions. which is a less stable and moreover. the latter one also sometimes being classified as a dry date.8 82.1-0. though availability of glucose and fructose is sometimes propagandized as a more direct. usually glucose remaining the prominent one.1 22. "semi-dry".0 80. c.9 35. The practical and commercial sub-division of dates in "soft".5 - Total sugar % on dry weight basis 84. A few illustrative samples are given in Table 6 (118).3 24. Table 6 Sugar content of soft. and that in the processing of the date he has to deal with fructose.8 82.7 Page 45 . Fat is mainly concentrated in the skin (2.4 70.

lignins and ligno-cellulose. hemicellulose. polygalacturonase and pectinesterase both convert insoluble pectic substances into more soluble pectins.28% hemicellulose and 2. and may also add to the supply of necessary dietary fibre.a fair amount of chlorine. like moisture content. e. a main conclusion emerges that dates at the stage of maturation in which they are normally and mostly consumed. Proteins also play a role in non-oxidative browning (Maillard reaction) and in the precipitation of tannins during ripening. this is of considerable concern to the processor where filtering and concentration of date juice are part of his process (see Chapter 3). and mainly composed of cellulose. both as total and as free. and iv. thus decreasing fibre content. notably vitamin C. non-nutritive portion of the date flesh. 461). and insoluble proteins. polyphenol oxidase is responsible for biochemical changes of polyphenols to which the tannins belong.55% cellulose. In one particular determination. but ii. invertase: responsible for the inversion of sucrose into glucose and fructose and related to texture and pliability. contributing to softness of the fruit. copper. mainly of importance for nutritional purposes. The consumer may. iv. cellulase: breaks down cellulose into shorter chain substances with increasing solubility and eventually leading to glucose. During the ripening process these substances are gradually broken down by enzymes to more soluble compounds to render the fruit more tender and soft. date flesh was found to contain (on fresh weight basis) 1. up to 10%. Crude fibres (non-soluble solids) These are usually connotated with the insoluble. In commercially ripe dates crude fibre amounts to 2-6% of the date flesh.the amounts are too small to be considered an important nutritional source. the yield of his final product if that is based on the sugar content of his raw material. calcium and iron. they are important in non-oxidative browning reactions of the date. no significant amounts of the other vitamins. B1. Enzymes Enzymes play an important role in the conversion processes that ake place during formation and maturation of the date fruit and the activities of four of them are of particular interest to final product quality: i. but in low quality dates for industrial purposes this percentage will be higher. When extracting dates for sugar. magnesium. The amino acid composition.a good source of potassium. f. vitamins A. contain: i. Vitamins and Minerals Of the many data found in literature related to these two groups of substances. qobit@yahoo. proteins may create turbidity in the juice and have to be removed.01% lignin (relatively high and perhaps caused by the lignin content in the skin) (298). perhaps unconsciously. sulphur and phosphorus. ii. Page 46 . 1. iii. 453. Where it concerns insoluble pectin as part of the crude fibre content and which is gradually converted into soluble pectin. prefer a certain amount of crude fibre because in proper balance with moisture and sugars it gives "bite" to the date. B2 and niacin in reasonable amounts. The processor has an interest in crude fibre content because it influences. has been investigated on several occasions (179. d.

flavoxanthin and lutein in some fresh Egyptian dates (39). pectic enzymes and cellulase in the quality improvement of mixed green dates (549) and cellulase for upgrading of substandard dry Deglet Noor (550). Page 47 . Enzyme activity normally takes place in solution or moist atmosphere. anthocyanins.Flavour volatiles responsible for the specific aroma of dates have not been much researched and little is known. though this was not confirmed by tests using tannins as a substrate for enzymatic browning by phenolase (311). A definite correlation between increasing commercial quality and increasing PH (i. Others: . For practical purposes it can be stated that heat treatment of dates retards the browning in storage of dates which points to the fact that an enzymatic process is also involved. The enzymatic browning reaction is now more attributed to the more simple polyphenols such as flavans (310). there are a number of substances that even in minute quantities have a decisive influence on the ulterior quality of the date. have been isolated from date flesh as contributors to flavour. to which belong the tannins which on a dry weight basis may constitute up to 3% of the date flesh. Acetaldehyde content dropped during a 5-month outside storage period (399). Alternatively enzyme preparations added to dates have been successfully used to provoke or hasten desirable conversions such as the use of invertase to improve the texture and appearance of "sugar wall" dates (551). 3 phenols and 11 free fatty acids (239). probably resulting from a combination with protein.and oxalic acid. caretonoids were qobit@yahoo. Upon storage and more specifically at the onset of deterioration second generation organic acids are formed which makes the overall picture of what are to be considered "normal" values less determined (585). lycopene. Organic acids: a number of organic acids such as citric-. malic. ii. Tannins are also believed to play a role in the darkening of dates at the post-harvest stages. For Zahdi dates 38 volatile compounds were identified. the timing of this conversion varies and determines to a large extent whether dates are palatable in the hard yellow (red) stage.3 (470). iii. Other chemical substances Although in the above paragraphs over 95% of the constituents of the date flesh have been covered quantitatively. 5 alcohols. though generally during maturation the acid content tends to go down. consisting of 2 unsaturated hydrocarbons.e. A few of these are mentioned: i.Pigments of various nature have been identified: caratonoids. flavones. As reported before. over and below which the activity will decrease (for instance invertase at 50° C. carotenes. Most common PH values for dates range from 5. One of their main effects in the maturation process is when they change from a soluble form (astringent to the palate) to an insoluble form (tasteless). lower acid activity) was established for Deglet Noor. the optimum temperature range usually falls between 30 and 40° C. 6 ketones. whilst the more complex tannins play a role in non-enzymatic oxidative browning.3 to 6. flavonoles.Knowledge of the functions and activity of these enzymes is of practical importance to the packer and processor because by proper manipulation of heat and humidity the enzyme activity can be stimulated or depressed according to the desired result. Practical examples of enzyme manipulation will be given in the related chapters following. . polyphenols. 5 aldehydes. Prolonged storage of dates under refrigeration or freezing is based mainly on the slowing down of enzyme activity. A positive correlation between volatile acetaldehyde content and quality differences of fresh dates was established. loses 50% activity and 90% at 65° C after 10 minutes).

Quality profile of whole dates So far. foreign matter and pesticide residues there is no doubt. anthocyanin and anthocyanidin specifically in the early stages of development (Kimri and Khalaal) (385). blemishes.quantitatively determined for 3 varieties in different stages of ripening showing decreasing values with advanced maturity of the fruit (180).defects of the fruits. perhaps more than other fruits. For instance. Canada. presence of foreign matter (sand. pesticide residues. . broken skin. . Israel. In spite of some progress being made these standards have not as yet been made binding by all governments concerned.g. Secondly. USA. campesterol. Algeria. mold and decay Some of these quality factors are subjective and their qualification is linked to individual preferences. preferably in figures. pit/date ratio and uniformity in colour and size of the fruit . dust. b-sitosterol and iso-fucosterol was the subject of a comprehensive study (279).presence of insect infestation. Because of genetic differences and growth conditions dates show. To draw up a date quality profile will therefore involve an evaluation of: . texture. On insect infestation. classified as degree of insect infestation. shrivel. Page 48 . by which the ultimate grade of the date will be established. Similar investigations for 8 Iraqi date varieties in different stages of development revealed chlorophyll. leading to the identification of a. To arrive at acceptable and applicable quality standards for dates the main characteristics. too stringent standards may have a negative effect and a number of date producers will a priori be excluded for reason of being unable to meet the standards under the present qobit@yahoo.Extraction of sterols from date flesh. sunburn.colour. apart from these inherent properties. In an effort to arrive at global standards for dates the Codex Alimentarius Commission of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme form-ulated a proposal for date standards intended to be the basis for world-wide application subject to the acceptance by governments (Appendix II. some people may prefer the soft. which may include discoloration. A number of countries have formulated and applied date standards at the national level (e. foreign matter. whilst others opt for a more chewy fruit. stigmasterol.o. especially the non-desirable ones. caretonoids. sugar and fibre content . deformity etc. have to be quantified. the inherent constituents of the date have been reviewed. The reason for this. 154). in the first instance. size. they should be eliminated or reduced to the minimum. Also the Economic Commission for Europe of the UN Economic and Social Council have proposed "Recommendations concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of whole dates moving in trade between and to European countries" (147). a wide variety in their final appearance and quality as perceived by man. defects. is also determined by influences from outside. which have been incorporated in the Compendium of applicable standards issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (413). Oman) both for locally produced and imported dates. Moreover. is probably the wide diversication in date fruits which make it more difficult to define the permissible practical quality limits on a global level. debris and the like) and pesticide residue. cholesterol. which each in its own way takes part in the formation of the fruit. fruit quality. taste. h. Tunisia. moist dates that "melt" in the mouth.moisture.

perish-able. 1. need the combined efforts of growers. climatological conditions and market demand. succulent flesh. therefore. . fibres softened. a number of techniques have developed to either prolong their storage. bluish or almost black. to hard. The next table gives an overview of those techniques for the three groups: qobit@yahoo. Quality standards are a useful tool to stimulate the improvement of the wholesomeness of produce provided the extra effort and cost to achieve this are compensated by higher revenues. It will.(sweet) khalaal: dates. This became evidently clear when in the eighties Iraq and Iran virtually dropped out of the international market.tamr: colour from amber to dark brown. 23).3 Outles and Marketing Whole dates are harvested and marketed at three stages of their development (Fig. packers. texture from soft and pliable to firm. The choice for harvesting at one or any other stage depends on varietal characteristics. processers and traders to work towards an overall quality improvement of the date crop in tandem with gradually more rigorous quality requirements. or to improve the appearance and presentation of the product for better marketing possibilities. and thus their availability. reduced moisture content (average 30-35%). physiologically Page 49 . moisture content further reduced (below 25% down to 10% and less). hard and crisp. protected from insects can be kept without special pre-cautions over longer periods. bright yellow or red in colour.production conditions. perish-able. This applies only to those varieties which are sweet at this stage such as the Lemsi of North Africa already referred to by travellers in the 17th Century (137). They are as described before: . . around 50% moisture content and over. and no other date producing country was able and ready to fill the gap.rutab: partially or wholly browned. Although all three groups find in part an immediate outlet in their natural form through the established trade channels.

Boiling. although in California a qobit@yahoo. (Field) Page 50 . Perhaps also helped by the fact that they are the "primeurs" of the date harvesting season they usually find a ready market. ii. 28).3. curing dehydration Coating Fumigation Retail packed dates 1. Cooling Cold storage X Refrigerated rutab Preserved rutab Iii. drying Pressing in jars or baskets Jars or baskets Pressed rutab/tamr Fresh rutab Rutab i. Vinegar. Freezing Deep freeze X Frozen khalaal Artificially ripened khalaal iv. ii. Preservation iv. 27). drying X Bagging Chemical treatment Storage Packaging Product Fresh khalaal Khalaal matbuukh iii.1 Khalaal The khalaal of those varieties that have lost their a astringency at this stage are the earliest to appear on the market as a fresh fruit (Fig. Khalaal i.Table 7 Overview of treatments to whole dates Manipulating Temp. The markets are normally of a local nature (Fig. especially in the traditional date producing countries. salt v. Hydration. ii. Field curing and drying Pressing in jars or baskets Jars or baskets Pressed rutab/tamr Tamr Tamr i. Fumigation Pressed in baskets or boxes Variety of packages Bulk dates iii.

Figure 27: Harvesting Whole Bunches of Sweet Khalaal: Baskets made of palm leaflets are used for transport Page 51 . The customers are mainly foreigners who are acquainted with this type of fruit. 29).S.postal market service of khalaal exists initiated by some grower/packers through which khalaal dates are distributed all over the U. (Fig.

terminating the supply of those varieties most suited for this purpose and leaving the others to mature further on the palm. If. there is a surplus of khalaal. which occurs in particular in those regions where the climatological conditions prevent a full ripening of all or part of the crop. however. the fresh market cannot absorb the supply and methods have been developed to artificially turn khalaal Page 52 .Figure 28: Sweet Khalaal on Sale in the Local Market (Bahrain) Figure 29: Packing of Sweet Khalaal for Postal Market Sales (California) If supply and demand are in equilibrium the khalaal season will last for a couple of weeks.

but not fully explained. removing the pit. 8.8% (Shamran) which shows both the order of magnitude and varietal differences (257). followed by drying. In experiments where hot water treatment was applied both at 65-70° C and at boiling temperature.4% (Khadrawi). boiled dates are a practical solution to convert a perishable surplus fruit into a durable product of which thousands of tons are still traded as a popular food. The ripening process will continue and the softening of the tissues combined with high moisture content make them an easy prey for microbial qobit@yahoo. 7. In tests in India it was found that after boiling for 18 minutes sugar losses were 16. result is that subsequent sun drying proceeds at a much faster pace than when without boiling. Nevertheless. The process of sun drying may be further accelerated by cutting the dates in half. Artificially dried Khalaal at 55oC and a relative humidity of not less than 70% resulted in a well-ripened fruit after 72 hours. But losses can be considerable and go as high 20% (139). Apart from a varietal preference it has been established that the better results are obtained when using late khalaal (602). depending on the date variety. possibility of cutting the whole bunch. Another phenomenon in this process is the sugar loss during boiling. The introduction of improved sun drying techniques by the use of plastic covers or specially designed solar dryers will shorten this critical period considerably (342). 9. Experiments on khalaal matbuukh from Zahdi dates in Iraq showed that 30-45 minutes cooking produced. (Incidentally. flat rooftops) and taking care to avoid rain and dampness during the night by covering the dates or taking them inside. even longer. late khalaal in the sun on mats or elevated tables in protected areas (for instance. The net obtainable result of this khalaal treatment depends much on local climate and skill of the operator. the dates will turn into rutab or even acceptable tamr. Again here there are varietal differences (257) with one variety losing more than the other. (a) Accelerating the natural ripening process can be achieved by putting. preferably. The process consists of dipping the khalaal in boiling water for 20 to 30 min. it resulted that dipping in boiling water gave a superior final product (255). But the moisture removal may go at the cost of completing the biochemical. The first method is the most known and results in so-called boiled dates or khalaal matbuukh. (b) There are two main methods to prolong the storage for khalaal by temperature manipulation: boiling in water followed by sun drying and secondly. high yield. Cold storage and freezing of khalaal has received some more attention in recent times when in the date producing countries domestic refrigeration and cold-chain distribution of foods has increased exponentially. a product with desirable texture. by natural ripening. easy washing and handling. and in spite of this. it should be mentioned that the advantages of harvesting khalaal are: minimum infestation. but may arrest the full maturation cycle. which is a hard. and exposing the flesh. 15 minutes cooking was insufficient to remove astringency whilst 60 minutes cooking caused skin breakage and browning (597. or.) Broadly these methods can be sub-divided in (a) accelerating the natural process of ripening (b) temperature treatment and (c) use of chemicals. 601). In this way. Page 53 . The visual. In Iraq it was found that for khalaal of the Hillawi variety freezing and thawing to accelerate ripening gave superior results over heat or chemical treatment (72).into a more durable product. Khalaal dates differ from the commonly known deciduous fruits in that they do not store well over prolonged periods above freezing temperatures like apples or oranges. appearance and taste. after drying. light coloured date of long durability. accompanied by drying.3% (Hillawi). mainly enzymatic. or combinations of all three.7% (Medjool). Field drying and curing is therefore a balancing act between allowing time for maturation and gradual moisture removal but not exceeding the time for spoilage to occur. maturation process.

even at . 32). upon thawing. freezing has a secondary effect. 31). the so created rutab has a moisture content related to khalaal (about 5060%). Where circumstances force the grower to look for saving his crop. A few small commercial initiatives to freeze. However.3° C (77) the common varieties from Bahrain would deteriorate. But only to a Page 54 . it has been observed that the maturation process after thawing proceeds much quicker in the date flesh than in the skin which remains relatively hard and is not like in a naturally matured rutab.18° C gave an assurance of no change for one year in that case. This defect has been overcome. Figure 30: Thawing of Frozen Khalaal (cv Khuneizi. 30). At this point one could speculate whether cellulase treatment or other conditions could help to correct this situation. useable product from the palm before adverse weather conditions may spoil the crop. First of all. by combining thawing and a dehydration treatment at about 45° C reducing the moisture content as required (Fig. These have been applied whilst the fruit is still on the palm. however.contamination.10° C. Secondly. the traditional methods of the use of salt and acetic acid have been successful as demonstrated by the following examples: qobit@yahoo. with the preference always going to a naturally tree-ripened fruit. the process and product need to be perfected for further expansion of this market (Fig. Only storage at . It is believed that the formation of ice crystals during freezing ruptures the cell walls which provides. Even below 0° C varietal differences are distinct. a liberal passage for the enzymes and other constituents of the fruit. Upon thawing the khalaal will within a matter of hours turn soft and juicy (Fig. But the results have not been very promising or cost effective. or when already harvested. Apart from prolonging the keeping quality of khalaal. More investigations are necessary to overcome these problems if frozen khalaal is to become a means of extending the availability of fresh dates in the offseason. accelerating the maturation process manifold. Whilst several Iraqi khalaal will store well for months at . store and market frozen khalaal have been undertaken with the special aim of making rutab available through the year on festive occasions when consumption of dates is of a long-standing tradition. many chemicals have been tried to accelerate the maturation process. a Read Variety) (Bahrain) c) Under the pressure of obtaining a mature. which makes it very soft and difficult to handle.

cost and little hope of exceeding the quality of a naturally matured fruit. that it is a method of "force majeur" involving extra work.09% acetic acid + 1. . 4 and 24 hours to acetaldehyde solution ranging from 1-6% strength changed from hard. taking into consideration a number of parameters and organoleptic consequences. except that the date has passed one stage further in its maturation process on the palm.spraying khalaal with weak vinegar solution and keeping the dates for a day or so in a closed environment or protected by cloth has been common practice in North Africa. 87). was with 2% NaCl solution (42).Khadrawi dates harvested at the khalaal stage developed the best curing after treatment with 0. but the best result obtained. qobit@yahoo. and which physiologically actually initiates the process of degradation. ..spraying of harvested khalaal (cv Khasab) with common salt solutions and/or acetic acid resulted in all cases of softening of the fruit after 24 hours.5% NaCl solution (106). sweet. however.2 Rutab The discussion on outlets and marketing of rutab follows much the same line as for khalaal.3. not forgetting.immature Barhee exposed for 1. to accelerate ripening may have some Page 55 . and several more could be cited. These few examples may illustrate that the use of chemicals. 1. edible date in 1-5 days (218). yellow astringent to a soft. Israel and Spain (139. . Only if the latter situation cannot be achieved. the grower can resort to remedies as described above to save his perishable khalaal.

Figure 31: Simultaneous Thawing and Dehydration of Frozen Khalaal (Bahrain (a) Semi-continuous dehydrator with dates stacked on trays (b): Effect of deydration at 45°C (higher temperatures cause frothing) on Barhee variety during 60 hrs. Moisture content is reduced from about 60 to 40% A B Page 56 .

D C E F Page 57 .

d) Filling/weighing small packs. 34). 35). With local markets liable to become saturated and market expansion over longer distances hampered by costs of special treatment and freight. the rutab will mature further into tamr on the palm and be used that way. the case in many date growing areas. after all. e) Machine wrapping in stretch foli. alternative ways to use them have to be found. which makes handling and transport difficult and expensive. the marketing of rutab and nowadays it is not uncommon to find rutab on the "exotic fruit" shelves in European markets (Fig. If the climatological conditions permit. it is perishable and it is delicate. g) Satisfied customers. rutab suffers from a periodic surplus problem because it will not ripen or drop (Fig. 33). on the other hand. If. however. f) storage in carton boxes in deep freeze. There is no doubt that a well matured rutab handled with care is one. c) Stripping dates from the bunch. b) Washing hte whole bunch. a) Intake and weighing of freshly harvested whole buches. which is. appreciated form in which the date is consumed and which gives the grower the highest rate of return from his palm (Fig. a local surplus situation can easily arise. it is produced in comparatively short periods with the tendency of production Page 58 . However. rutab has three serious setbacks. The greatly improved communications and transport systems over the last decades have facilitated.G Figure 32: Process for Marketing Frozen Khalaal (Bahrain). if not the most. qobit@yahoo. Page 59 .

com Page 60 .Figure 33: Harvesting Rutab Selective picking of rutab collected in baskets. 1990) qobit@yahoo. Harvesting lwhole bunches of rutab. Mixed late khalaal and rutab of 2 varieties selected in date garden for direct sale in local market Figure 34: Rutab on sale amongst other exotic tropical fruits (Netherlands.

Figure 36: Sundrying of rutab in date garden (Bahrain) qobit@yahoo. hopefully with as little as possible loss of the original quality. or turn them artificially into a modified product that will Page 61 . Another example of the many variations in sun curing and drying is the beautiful prune-like Muzaafti of the Bam area in Iran. Curing and drying is done on mats in an often fenced-off area of the date garden (Fig.Figure 35: Fruit Drop The basis for these methods is to prolong their shelf life by either preservation or by cold storage. The most traditional way of converting rutab is sun curing and drying which is still extensively practised in the coastal areas of the date countries bordering the Gulf and Indian Ocean where rutab tends to drop before reaching tamr stage. the latter definitely giving more protection from flying insects and rising dust (Fig. A particular case are the sheds of southern Tunisia where Deglet Noor dates are cured on the bunch which gives a better result than when the dates are stripped from the bunch and then cured (478). in a more sophisticated way on screened elevated platforms. Under refrigerated storage these dates have been exported and marketed in Europe. 36) or. This rutab is more cured than dried in thick layers before being packed in boxes and sent to market. 37). or into tamr.

higher moisture level of the date.keeping down or eliminating initial contamination. Walker). L) and Storage Mites (Tyrophagidae). elevated platforms (Bahrain) Even if this sun curing and drying takes the rutab out of the first delicate period in which deterioration would take place within days. . Prevention and control can consist of: . souring (lactic acid.heat treatment of dates prior to storage. .Figure 37: Sundrying of rutab on screened off.elevated temperatures and humidity of the air. especially yeasts. it is normally not sufficient to secure a prolonged storage Page 62 .compressing dates to inhibit insects to penetrate or eggs to hatch.lowering moisture content of the date. Insect development in storage is favoured by: . materially. (eggs) . . (b) Microbial infestation: Dates of over 24% moisture in a warm moist atmosphere are an easy target for microbial attack. and organoleptically. .fumigation. but also moulds. At this point it may be useful to review the factors that adversely affect the quality of dates in storage: (a) Insect infestation: storage insects if left uncontrolled can devastate the date. The most common conversions are fermentation (alcohol). qobit@yahoo. acetic acid) and superficial mould growth. . preferably up to nine months in order to have a continuing supply of food in the post-harvest date season. the Dried Fruit Beetle (Carpophilus Hemiptenus. either atmospheric or under vacuum. .lowering storage temperature and regulating humidity of the air.high initial degree of infestation prior to storage. The most notorious pests are the Fig Moth (Ephestia cautella. if consistent with quality retention. but there are many others.

the mass will not be easily penetrated by insects and also micro-organisms will be more restricted in their growth. even up to 30% moisture. The traditional way of preserving rutab after sun curing and drying for a more prolonged storage.storing dates in adjusted relative humidity of the air in order they will not increase in moisture content . If done well. is very much based on compacting the dates into containers. or storage in an inert gas atmosphere) and low temperature keep initial microbe counts down as much as possible . the type of container will be determining what type of rutab can be stored.keeping moisture levels down. reducing the darkening process. microbes and deterioration.lowering storage temperature . Although this goes at the cost of losing the date's singular form and shape this operation of pressing combines several preventive actions against insects. the resulting concentrated sticky mass is less suitable for presenting rutab to a more sophisticated market. where the consumer expects a recognizable.non-enzymatic oxidative browning by involving the more complex tannins .com Page 63 . storage temperature and time as clearly demonstrated from experimental work (475). individual date fruit. In addition. but earthenware jars closed off with clay and exposed to the sun prior to storage will be effective also for the wetter type of dates.heat treatment .compressing dates to exclude oxygen and making them impenetrable . If compacting has been an efficient traditional means of prolonging the storage life of dates and providing a through-the-year food source. Moreover.Preventive measures are: .use of anti-microbial agents (c) Darkening: Darkening of dates beyond the natural light to dark brown colour at harvesting is caused by several mechanisms: . For a better understanding of how the rutab trade has or can be developed the moisture levels of the different stages are looked into again in some more detail (139): qobit@yahoo.enzymatic oxidative browning (polyphenolase) . Bags and baskets are less suitable for storage of rutab with high moisture. if consistent with quality desired . Preventive measures to reduce darkening are focussed on enzyme inactivation (heat treatment). exclusion of air (pressing. especially aerobic yeasts.non-oxidative browning in which sugars and proteins play a role (Maillard reaction) There is a positive correlation between the degree of darkening and increased moisture content. air will be excluded.

iv. A second method is heat treatment (pasteurization) which will inactivate microbes and enzymes. which can be counteracted in several ways. to kill all microoganisms requires considerable temperature/time relationships. are not as sharp as indicated but are part of a continuous process. i. decreased danger from microbial attack. Assuming the insect problem is under control. that 4 hours at 71° C failed to kill all microorganisms and that many yeasts survived 30 minutes at 74° C (476).com Page 64 . 60 minutes at 66° C. hum. i. However. vi. reduced rate of darkening. decrease in weight (about 15%). However. liable to insect infestation at all levels. microbial attack and darkening are the two moisture/time/temperature linked quality degrading factors. v. Firstly. processor or trader is confronted with the problem of taking to the market a perishable product for which he would like a prolonged storage life without impairing the original quality of the fruit and at a cost which can be recuperated from sales. reducing the moisture content by drying to such a level that microorganisms cannot attack and darkening occurs at a much slower rate. Other reports show.e. moisture at 70% rel. 35% down to 24% is important with the following characteristics with decreasing moisture content: i. iii. invert type dates Tamr 20% and less 85% 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 24% It should be remembered that the changes in moisture and related stages. texture from soft to more pliable and firm. qobit@yahoo. Essentially the packer. 50 minutes at 71° C. this takes the typical characteristics of soft rutab and therefore will not be further considered at this point. a date of 28% though still perishable will keep longer than a fruit of 35%. Although there are no sharp minimum figures known for this. some examples of effective pasteurization are as follows (356): 20 minutes at 87° C.. apart from varietal differences. becoming less perishable.Table 8 Average moisture content in the different development stages of the dates Moisture Content Kimri Late Khalaal Rutab tip browning " 50% " 90% " 100% Eq. however. though always present. For rutab the moisture range.

A useful subdivision of these outlets is as follows: qobit@yahoo. Heat treatment is therefore not practised for soft rutab also keeping in mind that in this stage the fruit is very delicate and would not tolerate frequent manipulation. chemicals). like potassium sorbate. Appreciation of these constraints and taking into account consumer preference and market demands will facilitate understanding how the markets for tamr have developed. Boiling of certain varieties combined with sun drying established itself in several areas as a major rural processing technique to turn a perishable commodity into a durable one. but it does not exempt it from insect infestation. 476). from experience it is known that subjecting the dates to these temperatures will go at the cost of the organoleptic properties especially at the soft rutab stage. but it is selective and made possible by a vastly improved transport and distribution system (where it exists) which allows merchandise to reach their destination within days. 409.3 Tamr In the previous chapters the use of khalaal and rutab was discussed which. The fruit at this stage is non-perishable that is. when the date has dried down on the palm to below 24%. by the use of cold storage which is effective when executed at the correct temperatures correlated to the desired length of storage. Refrigerated Page 65 . The use of chemicals for preservation. moisture uptake and its consequences. curing and storage temperatures. With the proper manipulation of time of harvesting. heat. freezing and the use of anti-microbial agents have. storage life can be extended in such a way as to be assured of ample time for sales to be affected in specialized markets such as the pre-Christmas season for instance. practically ceased to exist. also contributed to prolong storage life and thus marketing opportunities. Others have difficulty in staying within established tolerance levels for residuals. for local climatological or other reasons. This Chapter deals with fruit harvested at the tamr stage. Many chemicals have been tried to prolong the storage life of perishable dates (198. though effective as a 2% dip for prolonging storage life of fresh dates by 1-2 weeks (282. with their limited effect and the growing consumer consciousness against their use. 409) leaves a residue on the date higher than the tolerance level of 1000 ppm. though on a limited scale. are harvested at an earlier stage than tamr. As a last resort the date merchant can turn to prolonging the storage life of rutab.e. and to reaching more distant markets. to give them longer storage life and more marketing possibilities. micro-organisms will not be able to grow on it. the maturation of these dates could be hastened by artificial means (curing. has as far as is known. In practice an overseas trade in rutab exists. apart from a limited percentage being consumed "fresh".The order of magnitude of these figures shows that though effective pasteurization can be achieved. At the rural level sun-curing and compacting of the dates have proved efficient methods.3. Some chemicals like ethylene oxide had some effect but this has been banned for many years now in most countries. unless special precautions are taken. which. and compositional changes (darkening and changes in flavour) during subsequent storage. 208. 86. very much like the fresh strawberries and tropical fruits being available in mid-winter in the markets of the Northern hemisphere. 473. and its flesh has firmed through moisture loss but is pliable. From Figure 43 (478) an idea can be obtained of the effect of cold storage: a date of 30% moisture would spoil in a matter of days at room temperature (21° C) but keep for about 4 months at 5° C and 6 months at 0° C. 1. i. 282. But cost of refrigeration and refrigerated transport are high and moreover one must be assured of the appropriate distribution channels way down to the consumer. It was shown that.

i. 39). local markets and the somewhat wider regional distribution of loose dates or those pressed in baskets. The development in this direction has not been easy. for exports in particular. local markets ii: wider regional distribution. or a central collecting point in the garden. constant in quality and desired quantity. one needs to be assured of a raw material. to the twin baskets and folding Page 66 . The external markets being dominated in either size (and price) or quality. usually supplied by the purchaser of the dates. slung over the donkey's back (Fig. (139): "Most of the dates of the world are never submitted to any processing operation except pressing" still holds true. to the rigid baskets made of the midrib of the palm leaves and carried on the back by men. mats and crates. that for going into date packing. collecting/bulk packing centres. home consumption. iii. or eventually to a date packing plant. when the major traditional suppliers had dropped out of the market for reasons of war or politics. Though with some variation in size. With the large variety of dates. There is hardly any date producing country in the "old" world that does not have its one or more date packing plants which operate mainly for local but also for foreign markets. Below. In the more advanced marketing systems where dates are purchased on a contract basis by a central authority or date packing plant the use of garden boxes. basically the box is of sturdy wood construction without lid. are listed the major operations that are in use in post-harvest technology. medium-. and holding 10-15 kgs of dates. Use of standardized boxes gives the purchaser the chance to streamline transport to and handling of the incoming dates at the plant. in summary form. Even when world demand was there and foreign importers were looking for supplies. especially in the smaller date producing countries. But it is also true that organized commercial date packing has increased substantially over the last 30 years. primitive packaging in bulk. which can only be successful when raw material supply and markets are reasonably assured. but it requires extra qobit@yahoo. through merchants. from harvest to delivery to the consumer: a. and large-scale packing plants for bulk shipments and retail packs. have jeopardized the economic operation of date packing plants considerably. also overseas. Transport of Dates From the moment the dates are harvested (Fig. In other words. iv. made from palm materials is in use. by a few major date producing countries. the less developed date producers could not fill the gap qualitatively and quantitatively. provided with handholes. Pertinent figures on the size of each of these marketing channels are not available but it is most likely that the statement in Dowson's book of 1962. the establishment of date packing plants is a quantum jump. Dates intended for domestic use. is widely used. home consumption. To be added here. They may range from the small shallow baskets made of palm leaflets carried on the head by the women. the many smallholders and the sometimes difficult conditions of climate and logistics this has been a severe bottleneck in the development of date commercialization. Going from diffused traditional marketing channels where much local produce is traded directly between grower and consumer. small-. their size and shape adapted to the type of date and transport means. and local consumer appreciation of quality and convenience of food products not having been developed (or trained?) to such an extent to be prepared to pay for the higher price of a packed product. the home or the local market. for bulk export or for retail packs may vary widely in the treatment they undergo before reaching the consumer. A multitude of baskets. apart from the time it takes to adapt a local subsistence economy into an externally oriented market economy. 38) they need a container for being transported to the drying yard. second hand tins and bags occupies still the better portion of the annual crop. however.

Figure 38: Harvesting Tamr (California) (a) Selective picking and use of cloth containers (b): Field sorting on trays and wooden boxes for further storage and treatment in packing plant qobit@yahoo.investment. does not however reduce the other cost factors of empty boxes. In this way a saving of 2/3 of the space required for storage and transport of the empties is obtained (Fig. which by a clever arrangement of the design allows the boxes to be stacked. cleaning and storage costs of empty containers. A more recent development has been the use of plastic containers which apart from being a more hygienic and cleanable material. transport. and by turning them alternatively by 180° C around their vertical axis. A container that does reduce transport and storage costs is the so-called nesting box. administration. to be Page 67 . 40).

Figure: 39: Different ways of transporting dates in and from the field Page 68 .

cloth or mats treated with malathion were found to be an effective protection (219).Figure 40: Plastic Containers (Saudi Arabia) (a) Stacked emply containers. One step further and more particular for larger scale containers or heaps. although exposed surface areas are liable to be attacked. A variation of this system is found in Saudi Arabia where sun cured dates are pressed in jute bags and stacked on ridges at the bottom of the store. It is made of thick mud walls and measures about 3 by 2 m and 2 m high. are traded this way. to be collected from a common spout at the bottom of the bin. old kerosene tins and oil drums (Fig. qobit@yahoo. They are pallatable for transport to the plant. clay or a layer of oil. however. the so-called lug bins. 41). baskets made of palm leaflets or other similar materials. The usual garden boxes are. 42). Page 69 . traditionally. but it has its effect on preventing insect damage. a not attractive bulk pack. The bags which are covered with syrup and very sticky. Syrup will exude through the bags and eventually collect in channels between the ridges as an incidental by-product (Fig. The bottom is corrugated which allows syrup oozing from the (soft) dates by their own weight. The more tightly the dates are pressed the better they will be protected from insects. also still in use. They measure about 120 cm x 120 cm but are not deeper than maximum 45 cm to avoid crushing of the fruit. Pressing soft dates into an impenetrable mass is therefore an effective way to reduce insect infestation. Soft tamr is normally pressed into containers such as goatskins. For prolonged storage the exposed areas are therefore covered by cloth. the date farmer has made use of locally available materials to provide protection against insects. Jars are also used to store and pack dates in syrup. Storage A major first concern after harvest is to prevent or control insect infestation and. A typical example of larger scale storage in the field is the mud bin (mudibsa) of the Shatt-el-Arab region. (b): Comparative volume of empty. small to large size jars made out of clay. normal and nested containers In the United States the increasing trend of mechanized harvesting has made room for the use of bigger containers.

When left uncared for in storage it was found in experiments in Saudi Arabia that infestation by the fig moth started one month after harvesting (20 October) and increased progressively to 100% after 7 months. involving 3 generations of the insect (346).com Page 70 . i. boxes or are transported loose on trucks to the market or packing plant. which insects do not find very attractive. unless very dry like desert dates and boiled dates. hot and quite often qobit@yahoo.e. It also prevents the quick exchange of moisture with the surrounding air. retarding either drying out or getting wet according to the humidity of the air. Dry dates are usually packed in bags. which is responsible for some of the compositional changes taking place in dates during storage. Storage of semi-dry and dry dates. is a difficult proposition unless preventive measures in the field are taken by covering heaps with cloth to reduce initial egg laying by storage pests.Figure 41: Pressing Dates in Baskets Figure 42: Local Date Store for Bagged Dates with Ridges on the Floor to Accommodate Syrup Collection At the same time pressing excludes air. The prevailing climate during the date harvesting season.

With regard to fumigation by gases two types can be distinguished: at atmospheric pressure and under vacuum. Amongst the various fumigants (solid. in spite of the most strict precautionary measures from harvest to delivery. Effective dosage for the fumigation of dates is 50 to 60 tablets per 1000 ft3 of storage space. a common point for consideration is the residual amount of gas remaining in the qobit@yahoo. like under tarpaulin or plastic and in permanent storeroom space equipped for fumigation with airtight doors. It is a gas (boiling point -10° C). non-inflammable and almost non-corrosive. Capacities range from small batch cabinets to large drivein chambers of several tons capacity. the use of hydrogen phosphide is slow and it will take at least 48 hours before the gas has fully developed. pupa and adult. The residue of the tablet is a powder which can be removed after treatment. the main fumigant now in use is methyl bromide (CH3Br). it is cited that one of the greatest worries and problem areas in the past has been to keep insect infestation within the permitted levels imposed by the Food and Drug Administration of the US. highly noxious to insects but also to man. and where the time factor is not important. On the other hand. of which fumigation is by far the most applied technology. The penetration of the gas in the vacuum method is more Page 71 . ammonium carbamate and paraffin. upon contact with the air and depending on temperature and humidity. the time of treatment is reduced and more dictated by the time of evacuating the air than dispersion of the gas. the amount of gas has to be increased (25% for every 3° C drop) but can be reduced when time of treatment is increased. jointly acting as a warning and fire suppressing agent. the active component. Compared to the use of methyl bromide. one has to resort to field fumigation and move the crop out of the growing areas as quickly as possible. which corresponds to 1. A second fumigant which has gained popularity over the last thirty years or so is hydrogen phosphide more commonly known under the trade name Phostoxyn. for the annual bulk shipment to the US (up to 15. Apart from effectiveness in killing all stages of insect life (which is also correlated to the type of insects involved). (i) Fumigation: Fumigation consists of exposing dates under an airtight cover or in a container or store room to a noxious gas at the appropriate temperature and time with the aim of killing insect life in all its stages of development: egg. Irradiation may be classified as an effective but a not yet for other reasons materialized technology. As an example of how persistent the threat of infestation in dates can be.6 g) will release 1 g of hydrogen phosphide.5 to 2 g gas/m3. but the investment costs are much higher. makes the conditions ideal for infestation and unless this is accepted. One standard tablet of 3 g (there are also available pellets of 0. Tablets of a standard format. If the temperature is lower.humid. release hydrogen phosphide. the application is very simple and also suitable for small containers like airtight bags and small storerooms without the need for special equipment. larva.000 tons) of dates from the Shatt-el-Arab region. and not solely for the purpose of containing insect infestation. Heat treatment and cold storage are rather "benefits in disguise" when these are applied to dates for other reasons. which is fast in its action. liquid and gaseous) that have been used over the last 70 years or so. The ammonium carbamate is decomposed into ammonia and carbon dioxide. average dose of effective fumigation of dates has been l lb of gas/1000 ft3 of storerooms for 12 hrs (which corresponds to 15 grams/m³) at 15° C. The major techniques to prevent and contain insect infestation are four: (i) fumigation (ii) heat treatment (iii) cold storage and (iv) irradiation. The practical. and circulation and exhaust fans. heavier than air. consisting of aluminium phosphide. Fumigation at atmospheric pressure can be subdivided in fumigation in temporary enclosures.

date after treatment.50 1.H.0 50 1.33 0. though for the latter fumigant the time involved for dissipation could extend to 9 days (429 and 384). heat treatment would not normally be applied in isolation for the single purpose of killing insects though the idea has been tinkered with in order to replace pesticides and fumigants in consequence of tightening residue regulations and increasing insect resistance towards these insecticides.50 1.33 0.0 18. In summary therefore methyl bromide and hydrogen phosphide provide two effective fumigants with slightly different fields of application: methyl bromide for large-scale quick turnover treatments and hydrogen phosphide for simpler applications on small lots in storage conditions where the time factor is not that important. 55).H. L (Dried Fruit Beetle). (ii) Heat treatment: as intimated before. It may therefore be useful to review what kind of time/temperature relations are required to cause a 100% insect kill in all life stages. Table 9 Lethal times in minutes for 100% mortality of different stages of Carophilus Hemipterus.60° C (70% Rel. humidity (R.H. Stage Egg Larva 40 15.75 55 0.0 70% R.00 1. Both methyl bromide and hydrogen phosphide when properly applied and aerated after treatment stay within the limits by law for these residues. 10 and 11 (53.) 20% Page 72 .50 1. and 20% and 70% rel. 50 3.17 60° C 0.0 18.50 40 15.11 60° C 0. exposed to 40° .58 qobit@yahoo. illustrated by the following examples. summarized in Tables 9. Humidity) Temperature ° C Stage Egg Larva Pupa Adult 40 1080 5760 4320 9060 45 240 240 210 480 50 25 35 30 25 55 10 17 20 20 60 5 10 15 10 Table 10 Lethal time in hours for 100% mortality of different stages of the Fig Moth (Ephestia Cautela (Walker)) exposed to temperatures of 40° -60° C.50 55 0.

75 0.66 0.50 0. below 24%. The following table gives the results of tests along this line. each within his own range have a minimum temperature below which action is stopped.50 0. A variation of singular heat treatment is to combine it with vacuum which would have importance for preserving vacuum packed dates mainly in small retail packs. including comparative figures where heat treatment was given without vacuum (54): Table 11 Exposure time in minutes required for 100% mortality of different stages of Ephestia Cautella under the effect of temperature alone (T) and temperature-cum-vacuum treatment (T+V) (vacuum 25-30 mm Hg abs. sharply decreasing the lethal time.0 4. Complete sterilization which would require temperatures over 100°C is therefore impractical in view of the damage caused to the date.00 1. which. i.25 0. Other empirical references on heat treatment with the aim of destroying insect life recommend 2. Above results were obtained by directly placing insects in the environment indicated. or 20 minutes at 71°C. these results show enough of the effect of added vacuum treatment. The lethal temperature for microorganisms is generally higher than for insects especially when it concerns spores of the spore forming bacteria. However at the level of 60-65oC a partial pasteurization will take place. though in practice higher humidity would have a shortening effect on the heating-up period because of better heat conductivity.0 12.00 1. though one may still remain amazed that an insect can resist 20 minutes at 50° C in a vacuum of 30 mm abs. More or less the same applies to enzymes.75 0.e.50 0.e.0 3. It is further noted from Table 10 that relative humidity does not seem to have a great influence on the time. an optimal activity range. microorganisms have no chance to redevelop.5 hrs at 54°C.0 12.Pupa Adult Page 73 . Moreover at the usual moisture levels of the date i.25 0. usually between 35-45o C and qobit@yahoo.33 In practical applications these treatments will be somewhat longer because of the time required to reach the target temperature in the dates. 30 minutes at 65oC.41 10.) 45°C Stage Egg Larva Pupa Adult T 900 1080 600 720 T+V 190 40 40 15 T 180 90 180 75 50°C T+V 40 30 20 20 Though not all figures under T correspond with Table 10.

Maintaining the correct relative humidity in cold storage at the prevailing temperature is important in order to prevent either drying out or moisture uptake of the date (unless these are packed in airtight containers). introduction of radiation treatment of foodstuffs.5° C). though already accepted and practised in a number of cases. whilst dates of 30% moisture would not keep longer than 4 months at the same temperature. However. An example of the latter two is shown in Figure 43 which shows the relation of temperature and moisture content for good quality storage of Deglet Noor (478). (iv) Irradiation A substantial amount of research has been carried out on irradiation by gamma rays to control infestation of storage insects in dates. For instance. The above figures tell us that heat treatment of dates. provided it is applied at a maximum of 60-65o C may have the combined beneficial effect of destroying insect life. dates of 20% moisture can be kept well for a year at 40° F (4. as a general rule it can be stated that below 4° C no insect activity takes Page 74 . Figure 43: Time/Temperature/Moisture Relationships for Storage of Dates With respect to keeping insect infestation down. to the moisture content of the raw material. the microbe or insect. and to the temperature. This research has apparently been motivated by the desire to create an effective new way of controlling insects which would overcome the. The extent to which this reduction of activities goes is governed by three parameters: the inherent charateristics of the date. all factors that work in favour of creating a product with a prolonged storage life. increasing problems of pesticide residues on treated fruit and increasing insect resistance to fumigants. but at these levels the insects will not necessarily be destroyed. reportedly. Thus. requires a long procedure of testing. especially with respect to possible after qobit@yahoo. reducing the microbial count and decreasing enzyme activity. (iii) Refrigeration: Cool storage is applied to prolong storage life of dates by stopping or retarding biochemical and biological processes. enzymatic reactions slow down as well as the activity of microbial and insect upper range usually starting at 50oC at which gradually the enzyme activity decreases. Most enzymes are inactivated at 80-90°C.

As a comparison it can be stated that 100 Krad was already approved for dried fruits in the sixties in the USSR and that 100 Krad is permissible for disinfesting grain and cereal products (131) in the Page 75 . 100 and 150 Krad gamma irradiation and stored for 3 weeks were vacuum distilled at low temperature. In the same dates evaluated by a test panel of 10 judges in a triangular test (2 qobit@yahoo.several Iraqi varieties irradiated with gamma rays. Dates are no exception and available literature on the subject over the last 20 years reflects this cautious approach. qualitative or quantitative change in sugars in dates irradiated with 150 Krad and stored for 3 weeks could be detected (237) . the following examples are given: . pupa. With regard to dosage. carotenoids and pectin (49) . no major changes in the components could be detected (236) .In Ephestia Cautella and Oryzaephilus Surinamensis 100% mortality was obtained with irradiation at 20 Krad at the most damaging developmental stages of the species. sucrose. Also. and adult. which show a high resistance to gamma radiation (11).could the consumer of irradiated fruit in any way be affected. 9 and 12 months storage respectively at 20-35° C and 85-95% RH. i. . 12). Ephestia Cautella and Batrachedra Amydraula in dates at all stages of their development (508). except for late-instar larvae. all aimed at keeping radiation to the minimum and exploiting the complementary effectiveness of the control methods.e.effects. if any. Without pretending to be able to conclusively treat the subject in this chapter.25 Krad was effective in preventing the development of Oryzaephilus Surinamensis. were stored at 2535° C in wooden boxes and plastic bags.chromotographic and spectophotometric analyses of extracts of irradiated (up to 270 Krad) and non-irradiated dates revealed no quantitative or qualitative changes in glucose. Concerning the compositional and quality changes the date may undergo from irradiation. heat/irradiation (15. Both acid and non-acid fractions of the distillate were found to retain initial aroma. amino what dosage is irradiation effective against all stages of insect life. Above dosage figures may serve to indicate the order of magnitude where irradiation of dates appears effective in the control of insect infestation.tests on Ephestia Cautella and Oryzaephilus Surinamensis in dates over a range of 30-100 Krad irradiation treatment showed 100% mortality at 50 Krad for the most resistant development stages of the insects. . chemically. eggs. proteins and amino acids) could be detected after 3. The latter conclusion has given rise to proposals for combined treatments such as fumigation/irradiation (11). .no significant changes in the nutritional value of irradiated dates (25 Krad) (carbohydrates. cool storage/irradiation (584). is the composition and quality of the fruit compromised. fructose. larvae. a number of results are reported which centre around answering three main questions: . Quantit-ative and qualitative analyses at regular intervals did not show significant changes in either sugar or protein content of the control and treated fruit (52) . the following references are of interest: .dates treated with 50. ranging from 30 to 500 what extent. . proteins.

irradiated dates.cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells and Salmonella Typhimurium were subjected in vitro to extracts of irradiated dates following special testing techniques for mammalian cells and microorganisms. But in a field where consumer consciousness and public opinion is highly senstive. mating frequency. Some of the types of tests and results of same to prove the "wholesomeness" of irradiated dates are given below: . In spite of these apparent positive results of irradiation technology for dates.possible toxilogical effects from interaction between gamma radiation (100 Krad) and phosphine residues were studied by feeding treated dates to Ephestia Cautella. the control. irradiated and fumigated/irradiated dates (194) . respectively. because direct target tests are obviously impossible and the results have to be extrapolated from simulations on insects and animals (cells). 625. 2500 and 5000 Krad) were each. mating frequency.irradiated dates (50 and 100 Krad) were fed to Fig Moth (Ephestia Cautella).000 tons (131). No genetic damage was observed (442). rats and mice fed on irradiated dates (454). concerned with the possible effects on the consumer from eating irradiated fruits. control and irradiated dates. homogeneous product is to be offered to the qobit@yahoo. fumigated. the last word has not been spoken and the underlying reasons for not having found practical applications are perhaps twofold: the slumbering consumer resistance and suspicion towards irradiation of foods and the cost. eggs laid per female. is more difficult. female fecundicity. neither was there an increase in malformed moths (191) . c. fecundicity and fertility of the insects fed on. Dosages of 2500 and 5000 Krad caused a significant increase in softness of the fruit and lowered the rate of Ephestia development. There is probably only one date producing country at the moment that would have the capability to put such an amount of dates through one facility. seeded with 200 eggs of Ephestia moths and incubated at 35° C and 50-60% RH. and egg hatch for. At treatments of 625 and 1250 Krad (10 to 20 times the normally needed dosage) there was no significant difference with the control. The same result was obtained by in vivo genetic tests using hamsters.long-term feeding of irradiated dates (100 and 200 Krad) on 5 generations of Ephestia Cautella did not show signficant differences in: development from egg to adult. Statistical analyses of the results showed no significant difference in: average number of larvae and pupae. Results showed a comparable development. it has been calculated that grain irradiation can be only competitive with fumigation at an annual throughput of 200. a very prudent approach has to be taken. Answering the last question. be it on a small or large scale. and egg hatch in the control and treated dates (192 I) . respectively. sorting and cleaning must form part of the operation if a clean. 1 control) no sensory differences could be detected between treated and untreated fruit (508) The above results on compositional and organoleptic changes for irradiated dates should be comforting and in favour of the introduction of Page 76 . leading to the conclusion that the irradiated diet had no genetic effect (192 III) . after treatment. Sorting and cleaning In any organized date handling and packing undertaking. With regard to the latter.6 lots of dates treated with high dosage of irradiation (0. 1250. adult survival.

The time lapse between the first date to reach maturity and the last one on one palm differs with the variety and may last from 3 to 4 weeks for early maturing varieties and 2 to 3 months for the later ones (393). the extent to which these operations have to be applied is closely related to the way the dates are harvested and handled in the field and during transport. Table 12 Classification and treatement of Deglet Noor for Export (North Africa) qobit@yahoo. dates do not ripen simultaneously. For example. in California. opting for less pickings and dividing the crop in different quality classes either to be marketed at their own merit. culls. make it clear that selective harvesting at optimum maturity is not practical and feasible. Experimentally it was observed that all dates can be processed into a high quality product when 75-80% of the fruit on the bunch is fully mature (288). nor on different bunches of the same palm. the tendency has been to reduce the number of pickings. is now reduced to one or two (478). 2nd and 3rd choice. 38). or. will sort and clean into the grades required by the market. which is also not without danger. Dates are therefore delivered to the packer/processor as a mixture of qualities which he. increasing risk of weather and insect damage with the advancing season. i. Actually in those countries where either labour costs have increased or skilled labour in the date garden has become increasingly scarce for this type of whilst first and second quality will be retained for packaging. in the first instance. However. harvesting only those fruits that have reached the desired maturity and thus. Considering some of the disadvantages connected with selective picking. a choice has to be made between carrying out frequent selective pickings. Culls will go for animal Page 77 . to be technologically adjusted into a higher quality grade (Fig. and pressure of marketing demand. for the Deglet Noor of North Africa and California the classification has become much more specific as shown in Table 12 (363). Sorting in many instances will result in not more than three of four qualities. or.e. As mentioned before. neither on one particular bunch. such as labour cost and availability. 1st. 3rd choice may be used for date products. the highest economic value. Deglet Noor which used to be picked as many as seven times a season. with a trend towards mechanical harvesting of principally dry dates. However. Assuming that the early stage of full maturity of tamr is the preferred quality for marketing.

dehydration.Besides the resulting types of Page 78 .e. artificial maturation and hydration. this diagram also shows how and with what means the packer/processor will technologically adjust the quality of the fruit. qobit@yahoo. i.

qobit@yahoo. size. Some experimental success was obtained with a diverging roll sizer. 44). An experimental separation system based on applying different degrees of vacuum could remove up to 98% of high moisture fruit (109). Parameters for sorting may be Page 79 . Figure 44: Date Grading on Moving Belts (Iraq. Oman) Dates. however. Average capacity of one grader (South Algeria) is about 200 kgs per 8 hour shift. do not lend themselves well to mechanized sorting. To cover the combined aspects which determine the ultimate quality grade. which. is increased to 400 kgs when use is made of moving belts (363). in contrast to the eye of an experienced grader. the date would have to undergo several mechanized operations. quite often in two stages. Moreover. a machine can focus only on one aspect of quality. size and sometimes stickiness. moisture content and blemishes. texture. which should not move faster than about 9 m/minute.Sorting is principally done by eye. whether on fixed tables or along moving belts (Fig. Separation on colour basis is not sufficiently selective to justify sophisticated colour sorting equipment and separation based on difference in specific gravity could only have some importance for sorting of immature dates (228). because of their shape. and a system based on resilience of the date (228).

Dry cleaning of dates is done by moving dates over damp towelling. to the more mechanized dry or wet cleaning systems for larger operations. 45). but the danger of microbial build-up necessitates frequent changing and cleaning of towelling and brushes. or passing the dates over rotating soft brushes. For the larger scale date packing operations mechanical washers based on spraying the dates from water jets have now been mainly adopted. on mechanical shakers or inside inclining. 46) or in boxes awaiting further treatment. in the first instance by a spray of recirculating water containing a detergent. Figure 45: Mechanical Date Washer qobit@yahoo. Moving on. During this process the dates are turned around by the water sprays for a complete wash from all sides. and at the end of the tunnel by a fresh water rinse ( Page 80 . These methods are particularly suited for the more delicate fruits.It would appear from the above that date sorting and grading will have to rely for the greater part on the human eye and on the efforts to make the crop more uniform in order to reduce the degree of necessary sorting. Capacities of this type of operation are rather limited. Coming out of the air blast the dates are carried on over a moving belt which allows the possibility of an after grading before being collected on trays (Fig. Cleaning dates runs from simple hand-operated water spraying by hose of the fruit in baskets or wiremeshed trays. A complete washing unit consists of an inclined feeding belt made of coarse screen which takes the dates to the enclosed washing tunnel where they are subjected to strong water sprays. slowly rotating cylinders. also lined with towelling. the dates will pass under a strong air blast which removes the adhering water from the date surface. The operations are preferably preceded by a pre-cleaning with an air blast (suction) over a coarse screen to remove a major part of coarse debris and dust.

at the khalaal stage (Fig. which moves intermittently (at variable. where. qobit@yahoo. were put in deep freeze for subsequent packaging. 47). The unit consists of an endless overhead chain with hooks. before being collected in boxes. in the case of Bahrain. Bunches now enter the enclosed washing compartment which consists of two or three positions where strong water jets are removing dust from the fruit. if needed. selected intervals) over a rectangular course. Date bunches coming from the field are hooked on and are inspected for possible removal of culls or damaged fruit. The collected khalaal. The last washing position uses fresh water after which a strong air blast removes adhering water from the bunch. they are subjected to further grading.Figure 46: Washed Dates Loaded on Trays (Libya) In Bahrain a prototype date washer/stripper/grader was developed for cleaning dates on the bunch. the bunches continue their course and workers alongside the moving belt will strip the fruit from the bunch which drops on the Page 81 . These culls are dropped on the moving belt underneath and collected in boxes. The empty bunches are removed from the hooks and replaced by full bunches to keep up the continuous process. Leaving the washing compartment. Page 82 .

qobit@yahoo. a matter of days rather than hours. though not exceeding 50° C. fumigated. can also be achieved by artificial heat treatment in circumstances where ripening is not completed entirely on the palm or early rains threaten to damage the crop. sorted and cleaned dates. Relative humidity also varies according to variety and the need to remove moisture or not. In its pure form artificial maturation consists of imitating the optimum conditions for ripening on the palm. Because of these moderate Page 83 . the time required is usually rather long. but most other varieties will permit higher levels. are ready to be packed. and very variety-specific. given the right variety and maturity. before being packed and going to markets. either in bulk or retail packs. Optimal temperature for Deglet Noor should not exceed 35° C. removal of moisture. which vary according to need. it stands to reason that artificial maturation requires much practical experience by the date packer. are briefly discussed: i. time-consuming process. in a number of cases additional treatments are given to upgrade their quality and prolong their storage life. Artificial maturation is therefore a delicate. The process requires rooms in which temperature. humidity and air ventilation can be controlled. Maturation is quite often accompanied by dehydration. Maturation (curing): what has been described in former chapters on sun curing and drying of khalaal and rutab. These treatments.Figure 47: Prototype Washer/Stripper/Grader for Dates on the Bunch (Bahrain) d.e. i. Additional treatments Whilst. Taking into account also the non-stable conditions of the incoming dates from week to week and season to season.

Maturation. but this is only possible in batch-wise cabinet dryers. During the process the dates increase in moisture. apples. In all cases the principle is the same: moving air of a certain temperature and humidity over the dates. a desirable moisture content for Deglet Noor. The limitations of dehydration and possibilities for these combined treatments depend very much on the type of date and the desired Page 84 . For instance. chewy texture of Middle East dates". is 23-25%. Apart from a much quicker uptake of moisture than soaking. Dehydration: The aim of dehydration is to remove moisture artificially from the fruit without affecting its desirable qualities. soft fruit by hydration. ii. Drying time and drying rate is a function of temperature. Another method of hydration consists of evacuating the air from sub-merged dates under vacuum.S. There are several methods of hydrating date fruit.At this point mention should also be made of the steam treatment to Deglet Noor in North Africa to promote the enzymatic inversion of sucrose into invert sugar to render them more pliable and soft. apricots. Moisture from the dates absorbed by the air has to be disposed of through air vents. After having been left in baskets for 24 hours to "settle" the dates are heat treated for 1 hour at 70° C in a cabinet dryer. Upon release of vacuum. Typical condition for Deglet Noor hydration in California is 4 to 8 hrs at 60° C with steam of 5 PSI (about 0. Dehydration can be carried out in maturation rooms or in specialized cabinets (for small quantities) and tunnel dryers for large-scale operations. A special case presented itself when deep frozen khalaal were thawn and dehydrated artificially to rutab in a tunnel dryer. or excessive dry hot weather has dried them out. relative humidity and velocity of the air. peaches. but should not exceed 60% (at the cold end). But it may take weeks before the results are visible. adding moisture. After cooling they are ready for packing. Drying temperature had to be reduced to 45° C to prevent frothing which occurred at higher temperatures. During this treatment the dates will gain several percentage points in moisture. grown dates into the darker. Hydration: Dates that are considered too dry because they have been left longer than usual on the palm. Dehydration becomes necessary when dates contain too much moisture and will not be consumed immediately or stored under refrigeration. iii. should be maintained (by recirculation of drying air) at over 40%. For drying of soft dates 65° C is recommended.). after which they are treated with live steam at 60° C for 3-7 hours in an enclosed environment. water (or in a modified version live steam) will penetrate the date in proportion to qobit@yahoo. Sometimes. become softer and obtain an attractive gloss. Natural dark dates will suffer less from darkening caused by high temperature than the light coloured ones. etc. These treatments could be considered a combination of maturation and hydration. soft. company has drawn out a patent on a similar process to turn "lightcoloured U. acceptable to the consumer. Relative humidity.4 atm) (478) which corresponds with the example for North Africa given under heading i. which will ensure a reasonable drying rate (a date by nature is rather resistant to losing moisture) without affecting the basic qualities. at the final stage of drying the temperature is raised to obtain a pasteurizing and glazing effect and insect kill. A U. The treatment consists of submerging the dates in water for 8-15 hours. the most simple one being the sprinkling of water on a heap of dates and leaving them in the sun under a cover of mats (139). The most common method of hydration is with low-pressure live steam in an enclosed environment. mainly because of the time factor and related microbial infection problems. i. The temperature of steam treatment in this process is at 175° F (almost 80° C) (553).S. It is a common process in the dried fruit industry (prunes. steam may at least partially inactivate insects and micro-organisms and it also leaves the dates with an attractive gloss.e. self-preserving with soft texture (478). Soaking in cold water and later by hot water was applied for some time but this fell out of use. can in many cases be restored to a pliable. to avoid case-hardening and also for fuel economy.

In conclusion of these additional treatments (i to iv) which are all based on the manipulation of temperature and moisture content. Two vessels at different heights are connected with an overhead syphon and a second pipe fitted with a centrifugal pump connecting the two tanks at bottom level. Steam treatment for 10 min. Glazing: A short high temperature treatment. just enough to draw some air from the inside of the date to be replaced by water when the pressure returns to normal (in the longer leg). quite often at the end of hydration. as illustrated in Figure 48. and incorporating heat treatments for enzyme inactivation and microbial and insect control. Figure 48: Continuous Hydration of Dates iv. At this point the in-line centrifugal pump in the bottom pipe is switched on to recirculate the water from the lower to the higher tank. (329). whilst for Zahdi dates also a satisfactory lustre was produced at 130° C for 5 min. This gloss will eventually Page 85 . but normally will last sufficiently for the expected marketing period. also gave acceptable results (437). dealt with under b: "Storage". with vigorous air movement will make the wax on the date surface melt and upon cooling reset in an attractive gloss.the vacuum applied. 5 minutes at 130° -140° C is recommended for Deglet Noor (467). To set the system going the two vessels are filled with water and an air suction pump fitted at the highest point of the syphon will suck water into both legs until the water from the shorter leg will overflow into the longer leg and syphon action is established. Dates are separated in the lower vessel by a continuous chain elevator. especially during storage exposed to air. This batch-wise vacuum method with its disadvantages has been ingenuously turned into a continuous operation by making use of a natural difference in pressure occurring in the two legs of a syphon. Dates fed into the upper tank will be carried along with the water stream and subjected to a slight under pressure in the shorter leg. it is felt useful to review the qobit@yahoo.

care should be taken to depress undesirable side effects from heat treatment. 6% cold-water soluble starch. moisture removal and glazing whilst in others it is applied to prevent.time/temperature relationships for the different operations in a diagram (Fig. Literature makes further mention of the use of sugar syrup. Coating: Apart from glazing. Page 86 . restricted by the degree of the susceptibility of the date to heat. especially when dates were kept in cool storage (329). which makes use of the naturally available wax on the date surface. Whatever the merits of the above materials. 49). It is evident that the application of heat has a promotional effect asfor instance in maturation. sodium alginate and commercial pectin proved excellent coating and glazing agents. glycerine (139). A British patent (52) refers to coating dates in a fluidized bed of heated air with a mixture of partially acetylated monoglycerides from hydrated cottonseed oil. Figure 49: Effects of Temperature Manipulation in the Storage and Treatment of Dates v. starch derivatives. such as in enzyme inactivation. several materials have been used to improve the appearance of the date by giving it more lustre and protection and reduce stickiness when it concerns soft dates. the present trend in date coating is to "stay natural" and not to add foreign materials to the product that may be frowned upon by the law and by the consumer. and 3% methylcellulose (527). insect control and pasteurization. Some examples are: a 37° Bx date liquid sugar solution. hydration. After cooling the coat is reportedly impermeable to bacteria and prevents moisture loss upon storage. In all cases. mineral oil. This will not always be possible and a compromise will have to be sought.

580). This method can be considered the manual forerunner of the mechanical date pitters that have been devised. This is done for the preparation of agwa. 363). method of removing the pit from the date is by hand. Pitting: The traditional. The working principles of both mechanical date pitters are as follows: in the whole date pitter incoming dates are lined up vertically in cups. Output of these machines is in the order of 250-400 kgs/ The cups are tightened around the date to hold them in position and move them intermittently along an endless belt (90-130 strokes per minute) up to the pitting head. Here pins will descend and pierce out the pits end-wise.5 cm wide. the other consists of notched steel disks separated by washers about 2 cm smaller in diameter and 0. a soft date paste preserved in jars (a. Pitted dates pressed into blocks and sliced create an attractive marbled product (Fig. Pressed Dates For soft dates the pit can be squeezed out between the fingers at the same time removing the skin. When dates are fed between the rollers they are squashed. Preferably dates should be graded for size and correlated to the cup size.o. This principle of removing the pit could be compared to mechanical date maceration. and by no means abandoned. Because most dates and their pits are longitudinal in shape. mostly with the use of a knife cutting open one side of the fruit. Figure 50: Slice of Pitted. removing the pit and folding the two sides of the date together to make the cut almost invisible (Iraq).com Page 87 . The date macerator works on the principle of feeding dates between two almost touching rollers turning in opposite directions. by which the pits are removed but the date loses its identity and is produced as a coarse date pulp. where the two qobit@yahoo. The grip on the date is released and the conveyor turns down at which point the pitted fruit drops out of the cups and is collected. by a special feeder. One roller is covered with a thick layer of rubber of a determined density. If done properly this method also provides an opportunity to check on insect infestation. the vertical alignment in the cups is of utmost importance. In Iran field pitting is done in certain areas with a blunt needle piercing the pit out end-wise. The pits drop underneath the belt and are collected whilst the cups with pitted dates move on. 160. (38. As can be expected hand pitting is rather slow and yield per hour does not normally exceed 5 kg (139. in Egypt) (139). 50).

Both types are still in use. The process of pressing dates has at least partially been mechanized by the introduction of semi-automatic presses. being too big for Page 88 . Both flesh and pits are collected in separate chutes.air markets around the Mediterranean and Northern Europe (Fig. The operation will now be repeated with two rollers with all dimensions reduced with the aim of removing the calyces. but they are also still commonly found on the stalls of the weekly open. are used for the transport and sale of khalaal matbuukh.rollers touch and the flesh penetrates in the slits between the notched disks but the pits.traditional bulk packs . The machine can give good results. Packing whole dates: Loose tamr is frequently sold in the markets. The type of container and packaging material used for tamr in the national and international date trade is varied and can be subdivided in: . which however require a standard size basket or tin. Whilst the pit will almost immediately again be pushed out of the rubber the date flesh will rotate along the toothed roller until being removed by scrapers positioned after about half a turn of the roller.000 kg/hr. 51). up to 1. Dates are sold straight from the baskets or bags in the local markets.export bulk packs . The resulting macerated dates are a starting point for the manufacture of date products (see Chapter 2).retail packs Bulk packs for dates have been traditionally jute bags for the harder types and baskets woven of palm leaflets or tins in which the softer types of dates are pressed. are momentarily pushed in the rubber. 52). carob. e. the basket specificially for export of lower quality dates as popular food or for industrial use. almonds etc. peanuts. amongst other means. Bags. prunes. provided dates are used of the right moisture content. not only in date producing countries. which if necessary should be obtained by artificial means prior to maceration. In North Africa the traditional bulk pack for transport and bulk sales is a wooden box holding 20 to 30 kgs of side in layers is seldomly found anymore (Fig. Here they are part of the dried fruits and nuts assortment such as apricots. qobit@yahoo.

{c} Netherlands) Page 89 .Figure 51: Loose Tamr on Sale in Open Air Market ({a} Bahrain. {b} Libya.

pickle and confectionery industries. and the wood material has now been replaced by carton or plastic. 53). (437) which clearly showed that the more variety was put into the presentation of the product. after which the second half is added to be compressed by a second plunger in the continuous production line. A few historical lines in retail packing can be traced which persist up to today.S. probably following the qobit@yahoo. approximately half the amount of dates are filled automatically and compressed by a plunger. Later sizes adopted for the export trade have been boxes of 45 lbs unpitted. Making and handfilling of the pack is costly. By far the most variety of packing style. that is. with or without inner plastic bags for extra protection. The most well-known confection for North African dates. principally Deglet Noor. and 50 lbs pitted select quality dates for repacking (-use) in the country of destination and 55 lbs good average quality (GAQ) dates for use in the baking. Later developments have seen also the use of carton boxes. size and materials developed over the last century is in the packs intended for retail sales. but the form persists (Fig. Deglet Page 90 . in which the dates are packed in fish bone arrangement along a central piece of spikelet. has been in use for a long time. has been the glove box ("boîte à gants"). sauce. Perhaps part of the inspiration for this diversification was obtained from a study in the U. The prepared sides. the more volume was sold.Figure 52: Hand Picked Bulk Box of Layered Dates The standard size bulk case of 70 lbs for the specialized export trade from the Gulf area to the USA and to Europe which amounted to thousands of tons at one time. Filling and pressing of wooden and carton boxes has been fully mechanized. Contents ranged from 200 to 250 g. originally totally made of wood strips. bottoms and covers for the boxes had to be imported from European countries to be reassembled on the spot. usually in two stages.

Figure 53: Glove Boxes qobit@yahoo. to the consumer the tightly pressed dates may be less appetizing. after which with a weight or by a simple lever press the lined-up dates are compressed in the mould. has the advantage of additional keepability because of the pressing and tight fit of the cellophane which keeps the original appearance and gloss for a longer period. In the Near East much use is made of polythene bags (Fig. usually ranging from 100 g up to 1 kg in size and used for soft Page 91 . Small moulds with a sheet of cellophane and label underneath are filled in layers with a weighed quantity of dates. 55) and cellophane for pressed dates (Fig. are also marketed whilst still attached to the spikelets as they come off the palm. This type of pack. For loose dates the closed window carton and transparent plastic cup are popular. 54). because filling is quicker and for the latter two the product can be seen (Fig. 57). The mould is removed and the cellophane is wrapped around the block and heat sealed. On the other hand. 56). mostly in cellophane bags or window carton (Fig.trend of consumer preference for natural products.

Figure 54: Natural Dates on Spikelets Figure 55: Dates Packed in Polythene Bags Page 92 .

A B Page 93 . Page 94 . Bahrain) A qobit@yahoo. c. Libya.Figure 56: Manual Packing of Cellophane Wrapped Pressed Date Blocks (a. Iraq.

com Page 95 .B C qobit@yahoo.

c. Window Carton and Transparent Plastic Cups for Loose Dates (a. Libya. all-metal cans (478) in sizes varying from 8 ounces (about 250 g. qobit@yahoo. For softer types. Nethelrands) In California dates are packed in cellophane bags. (about 1 and a third kgs) (Fig. 58). fibreboard cans.D Figure 57: Closed Carton. d. The dates for bulk trade are packed in 15 lbs (6 3/4 kg) reinforced cartons or wooden boxes. For longrange transport. flatter cartons of 10 lbs are used. Italy.) to 3 lbs. plastic Page 96 . b. Iraq. they are usually pallatized. overwrapped trays. also overseas.

com Page 97 . 32) and is also found in use for tamr (Fig. Figure 59: Vacuum Packaging of Dates qobit@yahoo. gives a very attractive appearance and has been successfully applied to frozen khalaal (Bahrain) (Fig. 59) (289) or in cans (US) has met with some success but has not taken the market in any appreciable way. Trays overwrapped with stretch cellophane. 60). 1981) Vacuum packed dates. either in bags (Iraq) (Fig.Figure 58: Variety of Date Packs Sold in Roadside Date Products Store (California.

Figure 61: Semi-automatic Bag Filling (Iraq) Page 98 . 61). 125. A further sampling of the great variety of date packs found in various markets is represented in Figure 63. of 100. progress has been made and there are now several machines on the market that will fill and seal small packages of dates.Figure 60: Trays Wrapped in Stretch Poli Whatever small packs have been designed. one of the major problems has been the cost of the packing operation itself. even in a dry form. 580) (Fig. 200 and 250 g at the rate of 360 to 900 kgs/hr (290. However. does not lend itself well to mechanical packing in small packs. tried and sometimes failed. The date as a fruit. though some semi-automatic bag fillers are in operation (Fig. 62).

com Page 99 .Figure 62: Mechanically Filled Small Packs of Loose Dates (Saudi Arabia) qobit@yahoo.

com Page 100 .Figure 63: Samples of Date Packs qobit@yahoo.

and ready-for-use date products after which research work on new date products will be listed.CHAPTER 2: DATE PRODUCTS AND PREPARATIONS Dates are ambiguous in the sense that. which. breakfast foods and desserts . one comes across dates and fish which has been a long-standing staple in the Gulf area (445). comparable to any other fruit consumed between meals. not necessarily as a staple food. butter and cheese. Though not a true staple food by definition like rice. Preparation of the dates. potatoes or cassava. preserves. can be classified under: sweets. date products and preparations. depending on the stage of maturity. incidentally. baking products. have been forced to play this role for lack of other staples. institutional feeding and health foods. and low in protein and fat. In Chapter III: "Derived Date Fruit Products" the use of dates will be extended to a group of products for which the initial quality demands. cranberry sauce with turkey. both old and more recent. condiments. there has been a renewed interest in the date as a food source. as a food source as part of the daily meal. In this Chapter a review is made of the use or potential use of dates in combination with other foodstuffs. according to the intended use. which in Naples finds a parallel in turkey prepared with a stuffing incorporating dates. in particular in the rural areas of the date producing countries. it stands to reason that a large number of combinations are focussed on supplementing the nutritional shortcomings and perhaps also diluting the natural sweetness of dates and sometimes adding some acidity. Although demarcations are not always sharp. In order to follow somewhat the historical developments in this field they are reviewed as home preparations. A refined delicacy consists of dates. semi-finished products. will normally consist of washing. 2. that is rich in sugar. are applicable. The date's organoleptical and nutrititional characteristics being what they are. in particular with regard to foreign matter and insects. and reportedly known from the time of Mohammed. slicing or mixing with water to prepare a date slurry. named Page 101 . because in ancient Egypt dates were used as fish bait (127). is abound with references to dates being consumed in food combinations and . because the foreign matter can be effectively removed during processing and will have no effect on the quality of the derived product. Only the use of the whole date flesh is considered and therefore all quality standards as imposed on whole dates. butter and honey. Extending the date and protein combination. but rather as a component in food preparations like sweets. based on the use of the whole date flesh. the Prophet (445). Fresh dates are therefore often found in combination with milk (fresh and sour) and milk products. But this tolerance for accepting unusual food qobit@yahoo. Dates are also stewed in fresh milk or thoroughly mixed with milk powder (513). they can either be classified as a fruit. except perhaps for blemishes and other external defects. confectionery. on occasion. curd. dates. and either cutting.1 Home-made date preparations Include those dishes and foods for which whole dates are acquired by the housewife and incorporated or combined for home consumption. Although perhaps a strange combination to a Western palate it should not be rejected off-hand if one thinks of the recipes in the West based on a sweet with animal protein like apple sauce or prunes and pork. are less stringent. Literature. which they lack. finds a reciprocal appreciation for dates by fish.preparations. either because of a decreasing demand for table dates or in an effort to make better use of off-grade fruit. In recent times. or alternatively. hand pitting. such as yoghurt.

as the following example from Egypt shows: cook semi-dry dates in water to soften. concentrate over low fire. Dates and nuts (walnut. remove seed and insert almond or pistachio nuts and a clove. A typical date sweet (halwa tamr) is made by frying finely ground dates with flour and milk and forming this mixture into cakes (445). pears. Dates are frequently used in home made pastry. Leaving out the lemon juice and clove and replacing them with chopped walnuts gives another type of date jam (122). remove skin and seed. celery and lettuces. Ground dates mixed with sesame oil is a well known dish and probably most effective with which to pass the cold desert nights. Home made date preparations qobit@yahoo. to which dates. dried lemon and mint are added. After mixing thoroughly and adding some pepper (3 g. preserve in glass or glazed jars (445).. Honeiny consists of comminuted dates thoroughly mixed with a precooked thick dough and reheated on a flat plate and served with butter (512). found in many date producing countries but with many variations is Asseeda.5 hours. It is clear that this list of home made date preparations in the traditional date producing countries is far from complete because so many variations are possible depending on local availability of other foodstuffs and prevailing traditions and customs. pistachio. there are many variations of this recipe: other flours may be used (sorghum.) and adding it to a coarsely sieved date/water mixture (2. Date and starch preparations are frequently found and normally need cooking or frying. In Europe the date is mostly used as a table fruit and then only mainly before and during the Christmas Page 102 .5° Bx). millet). citrus. work in favour of an increased consumption of whole date fruit. and also sesame seed. besides walnuts. Adding sesame paste (tehina) to cooked flour and dates adds extra flavour to a product called Tamreyya (513) especially used in winter and by women after childbirth. using pineapple. in which the sweetness of the date is diluted and the taste of the cucumber or water melon is reinforced. made by concentrating date juice. add half a cup of sugar to one cup of dates. Examples are dates stewed in fresh milk with onions and flour or a stew of dates and rice in milk commonly used for lactating mothers (445). Another date sweet consumed on festive occasions in and around Mecca is Debiaza.000 g. add lemon juice and original cooking water.g. date syrup or molasses may replace dates. However. In more recent times these combinations are extended to recipes for date fruit salads. Another more or less similar recipe adds.) the mixture is spread on a flat metal plate with a small amount of butter and cooked in the oven for 1. e. Asseeda is served with some more butter (40 g. until it gels (512). traditional dish based on dates and flour. A common. sesame seeds and powdered ginger before pressing and storing the mixture under syrup in glass jars. A traditional Asseeda from East Saudi Arabia (512) would be made by roasting wheat flour briefly (1. and insert a clove. A typical example of complementarity in the consumption of fruits and vegetables is the combination of dates and either cucumbers or water melons. almonds). cardamom can be added. apples. Home made jams based on dates are also known. when lower temperatures and perhaps connotations of the date with the Holy Land.combinations would probably stop for most people when being confronted with dates mixed with oil and boiled. cover with water and boil until soft. Nuts also often play a role in preparing home preserves as shown from the following example: peel hard dates with a knife. and other spices. are a well-appreciated combination and frequently prepared in different forms for home use. dried and ground locusts which apparently was considered a delicacy in those countries where these insects are abundant from time to time (445). 11. The situation in the countries without local (traditional) production of dates is understandably different.) (512).350 g. boil dates in syrup with lemon until thick consistency.

eggs. chopped dates and cream cheese. orange juice and some brandy. raisins and nutmeg (181). ii. minced meat. stuffed with fondant. The emphasis on the use of date products prepared in the home is on baked products like bread. a few interesting examples are given: (i) dates used in stuffing for chicken and turkey. mixed lightly with some lemon juice. breadcrumbs. bananas. A first version combines dates in pieces with pine seeds. stuffed with olives. deep fried and rolled in sugar (181).S. raisins and figs. qobit@yahoo. nutmeat or candied fruit. chopped dates with orange marmalade b) for party snacks i. combined with slices of chicken breast. prepared from dates in butter. For more contrasting tastes the following suggestions are made by a U. red pepper. reflecting itself in a variety of date uses including cooked foods. Page 103 . stuffed with cocktail sausage. Sole or bass with some butter and herbs (thyme. This mixture is combined with rice cooked in broth with cloves. date grower/packer (291): a) for sandwich spreads i.are more difficult to find. date chews. or fill up the dates with cheese as a cocktail snack (183). iii. spiced with garlic. vanilla. dates. shredded coconut. However. rosemary) together with dates rolled in a slice of bacon. Dates and nut pieces are mixed with yoghurt to which egg yolk and cinnamon are added. iv. In the U. chocolate and sometimes ginger and vanilla. vinegar and a little salt. (iii) date and fish. pitted dates with sugar and ground raisins.. dates. or stuff them with nuts for an after-dinner sweet. The white of the egg is whipped separately with sugar until foamy and incor-porated with the yoghurt mixture to form a light. milk and spices. however the more inventive housewife may mix some chopped up dates in mixed salad. peanut butter.S. Also very popular are the admixtures with nuts. iii. a second type uses dates. made into balls coated with sugar c) for salads i. Dates are often used in combination with other dried fruit. Dates used in cooked foods are even more rare as witnessed by the paucity of recipes to this effect in the European cook books. which only during this century became a date producer in its own right. potatoes. are wrapped together in aluminium foil and cooked in the oven (296). chopped nuts. strong and persistent promotional campaigns have made the housewife much more date-minded than in Europe. salad dressing in equal amounts. ii. cottage cheese. ii. cookies and puddings either incorporated in the dough or as a filling. The chicken or turkey meat can be further garnished with a sauce. cakes. dates stuffed with Philadelphia cheese on pineapple slice served on lettuce A recipe for a home-made date relish (134) combines chopped. if desired). chopped dates. Date pieces are lightly fried in butter. ginger. (ii) dates with rice. tasty dessert (182). eggs. dates. The mixture is boiled for 15 minutes and used as a sweet-sour condiment. rolled in thin cream cheese and chopped nuts. coconut. (iv) dates and pasta: ravioli pasta is stuffed with date pieces (mixed with nuts. chopped dates with grapes. oven baked and served on cocktail sticks. or celery and nutmeats. peanuts. cheese. consisting of a mixture of ground dates. especially apricots. (v) date mousse.

This product is sometimes air dried for more firmness or customer preference. diced dates: a variant of above are diced dates which are cut up rather than extruded macerated dates. although for special purposes whole pitted.000 tons in this country.and muffin mixes. date paste: a simple additional grinding operation will turn the macerated date into date paste. cut or sliced dates are also procured. 64). 2. dehydrated fine date pieces. almost a powder. was marketed as a base ingredient for the preparations of mainly cakes and desserts aimed as a raw material in the catering industry (434). but it may become a life saver on long desert journeys. The operation is performed in a dicer. 609) (Fig. cookie. refrigeration may be required to prevent possible fermentation. Out of this base material the following product range is available as semi-finished products: a. The product is used in prepared cake-. Another semi-finished product in the form of a spread. They are also coated with dextrose or oat flour to keep the pieces separate. consisting of ground dates and sugar.In order to promote the use of dates in home cooking the housewife is greatly helped by a number of semi-finished and prepared date mixtures available on the market and which will be reviewed in the next paragraph. Date paste is also produced commercially in Saudi Arabia and used for bakery products. e. which is a slightly pressed cube of macerated dates (10 oz or 1 lb size) for home baking. dehydrated dates: macerated dates are put on trays and dried down to less than 5% moisture in tunnel or cabinet dryers. which can be set to produce pieces of about 3/16" to ½". A curious nonfood application of date paste is that it will. most of which are produced in macerators as described in Chapter I: "pitting". c. The estimated volume of this product is 1. was put on the market and proposed as the basic ingredient in date recipes and taking the place of dates (526. This will not open up large markets for date paste. qobit@yahoo. A product under the name of Date Crystals. "diced dates" and a "date block". d. The dried dates are ground and sold in various screen sizes. The principle is the same as for prepared minced meat and the fineness of the product can be regulated by the use of different size holes in the discs.2 Semi-finished Date Products and Mixtures The base material for the further industrial use of dates in mixtures and preparations are pitted dates. usually going to bakers and confectioners who further convert it into the form desired by them. macerated chips in 50 lb cases . The product generally needs refrigeration because of the borderline moisture content for fermentation at which the date macerators operate most efficiently. extruded date pieces: macerated dates are forced through dies with ¼" circular holes and the resulting "sausage" is cut at lengths varying from ½" to 1" whilst being coated with dextrose (solid glucose) or oat flour to prevent the pieces from sticking together. Here also. in combination with soap. Some of the products are also sold directly to the public such as "extruded date pieces".com Page 104 . efficiently stop leaks in gasoline tanks in automobiles (363). b.

g. Figure 65: Breakfast Foods Incorporating Dates qobit@yahoo.Figure 64: Dehydrated Dates in Powder Form A second generation of semi-finished date products mainly developed in the U. grated lemon rind. are the prepared foods which with simple additions and home preparation can be turned into a ready dish. In this group belong the breakfast foods in which date crumbs are normally used together with other dried Page 105 . instant coffee. coconut) and oven cooking for 30 minutes to produce date bars (171). eggs. 65) and the ready mixtures for date bread (Fig. A specific example is the date bar mix (Fig. walnuts. cereals and nuts (Fig. 66). date cakes and date puddings in their various executions. 67) which needs only the addition of water.S. baking powder and other optionals (e.

a great variety of coated and stuffed dates as well as pastry based on or garnished with dates.Figure 66: Ready-made Mix for Date Bread 2. date preserve and dates in brandy. sent by the producer as gift parcels through the postal system..S. Date pastry like halwa or date cookies (a sister of the Wellington or fig bar) and date wafers can be found in many countries (Fig. qobit@yahoo. Dates filled with nuts and coated with chocolate or stuffed with brightly coloured fondant are only a few of the many date based sweets. the popularity of dates especially in the Christmas season. is Page 106 . The date products may consist of stuffed and coated dates. has given rise to a gift parcel trade. In countries where taste for sweets. and to a lesser extent in Europe. date/plum pudding. the so-called "sweet tooth". on order by the customer. 68). date cake with walnuts.3 Ready for Use Date Products Figure 67: Date Bar Mix Ready for use date products incorporating dates are mostly found as sweets and snacks though there are also some other examples where dates are product ingredients. In the U. is still prevalent. notably in the date producing countries of the Old World. It includes attractively packaged and arranged dates and date products which are.

com Page 107 . 70). date syrup. flour and other minor ingredients). A date-muesli bar (Fig. Another product. to be heated "au bain marie" and served after slicing with either sweet or spicy toppings (382). qobit@yahoo. Less sweet and in analogy with the early desert travellers carrying dates along as a concentrated. and sunflower seeds. It is a cylindrical bar of about 3/4" and up to 2" in length of macerated dates. nut meats. oatflakes. is another example of a one-portion snack. dates. 69) consisting of hazelnuts. are the socalled trail snacks. rolled in coconut and with an almond on top. also under the name of date nut roll is a canned ready date cake (based on dates. coconut. high energy food. mixtures of dried fruits including date pieces and nuts taken along on mountain hikes especially by younger people (Fig.Figure 68: Several Types of Date Cookies A popular sweet as a snack is the date nut roll.

Figure 69: Date-muesli Bar A Page 108 .

c) Tropical mix Date jams in different forms or admixed with other fruits are part of the product assortment of a few internationally oriented conserve industries (Fig. A more fruity version is used as a general condiment ( Page 109 . 71). mixtures of sweet. Figure 71: Date Jam In conclusion of the ready date products available on the market mention should be made of several condiments. b) Roasted trail mix. qobit@yahoo. It contains about 10% finely ground. sieved dates. sour and spices: date chutney (Fig. Steak sauce (better known as HP sauce after the company that makes it) is a very old product.B C Figure 70: Dried Fruit and Nuts Mixtures including Dates a) Raw trail mix. and is used as a condiment in meat dishes. 72). In date chutney all or part of the mango (for which chutney as a product is better known) is replaced by dates. 73). steak sauce and pickles. and mainly used as a condiment in rice dishes.

Besides dates the different versions contain vegetables (pieces). A sweet type of pickle is shown in Figure 75. Its pleasant sweet-sour taste makes it an appropriate accompaniment to salads. fruits and spices. qobit@yahoo.Figure 72: Date-Banana Chutney Figure 73: Steak Sauce A product in between chutney and steak sauce is a pickle incorporating dates known under the name of Branston (named after the town where it was first created). cheese and cold meats (Fig. 74).com Page 110 .

Figure 74: Different Types of Pickle incorporating Dates Figure 75: English Sweet Pickle 2.4 Date Products Development The development of new products derived from dates to create more product diversity and marketing outlets has always existed and principally originated from small scale private initiatives of a localized Page 111 .

com Page 112 . a parallel development to the strong promotional efforts by the Government to improve and increase date production and processing. an amount about equal to the available items of most supermarkets at that time (610). of comparable or nearly comparable quality as that applicable to whole dates. especially in the industrial use of the date. 31). Many of the Annual Reports of the Date Growers' Institute in this period bear witness to this research both by private and public initiatives. in the fifties and early sixties a strongly increased interest in date products development can however be observed. Al Hassa. little is known about the rate of success. and competitiveness with closely related products.S. qobit@yahoo. in which the date producers desired to have a part. As will be remembered. especially in the U. 527.S.S. It further needs capital and much promotional effort. whether the idea remained conceptional. Over the last ten years Saudi Arabia has entered the field of research on dates. development work nowadays is largely done under cover of proprietary rights and does not come out in the open as it used to.. For convenience and clarity the products have been classified in groups. 5. trends in consumer preferences should be recognized and exploited by responding to them. In the Old World. The research activities are now centred at the National Date Palm Research Centre located at Hofuf. This phenomenon is also confirmed by an increasing number of patent applications in this field. By 1971. Iraq has been the leading country in date products development. In addition. is considered in this chapter. secured keeping quality of the product. 125. potential market volume. 124. assured raw material supply and distribution systems. However. The initiatives were undoubtedly also inspired and helped by a strongly emerging prepared food industry in the U.e. Proportionally. However. or reached pilot scale production and marketing. The following overview of research on date products development over the last twenty years or so is therefore given in the light of technical interest and perhaps as a source of ideas for date products promotion. The European and local markets in the date producing countries will show similar signs and the conclusion is that the commercial introduction of a new date product is a tedious process which needs a thorough knowledge of customers' habits and tastes with regard to food. supermarkets. 302. and many of the products referred to in the previous paragraph had their roots in this development work (123. These numbers will probably have increased since then and it is obvious that only a few newly introduced products can survive in the long run. Its National Date Research Centre has operated for many years and hosted the Headquarters of the FAO/UNDP Regional Centre on Palm and Date during the period 1975 to 1985. In the last twenty years there have been numerous attempts to improve existing formulae and develop new date products as reflected in the technical literature. North Africa has contributed to these developments though the main emphasis has been on improving (export) quality of table dates of the Maghreb countries and some industrial uses of low quality dates in Libya and Egypt. i. With the gradual change of ownership of the date plantations and concentration of date products use in large multi-food companies. date products will be no exception as is shown from the experiences of date products that have vanished or have been replaced by newer developments. or became a commercial success. the reason being to broaden the marketing base of the date crop and upgrading the quality standards of choice table dates by being able to use the sub-standard fruit for date products.000 new products of all kinds were presented yearly to the U. reminding the reader that only the use of the date flesh. most of Egypt's date crop is consumed fresh.nature.

Another replaces the date pit with an almond. even when maintaining the same moisture content. and various flavours (orange. Bx content was increased by 5-10° at 2-3 day intervals until a Bx level of 75° was reached. Washed and pierced (to facilitate exchange of materials) khalaal were immersed overnight in a 35. Another development involves an apparatus which combines pitting and filling the cavity of dates with a suitable mixture or almond in one operation.8 by a mixture of citric and ascorbic acid.) added (275. After sealing. stuffed with almond (if desired) are put into jars and a slightly acidified sucrose solution (70o C Bx) is added under vacuum to ensure good penetration of the liquid in the date cavity. If dates of a high moisture content have to be turned into paste of 20%. Different date varieties of the same moisture content may produce a paste of different softness. 276). is then sent for coating with chocolate (312. citric and ascorbic acid).soaking of Ruzeiz dates (12. it is clear that the characteristics of the raw material and the desired end product must be matched by technological manipulation.) and soaking (10 min. 506). raisins and a bonbon. this technology has also been tried on khalaal (276. blanching. could be arrived at. Evaluation. and then coated with chocolate (130). . and storage stability of date paste were subject of a study (on one date variety: Ruzeiz) reported in two parts (607).38% moisture) for 10 minutes raised the moisture content to 22. qobit@yahoo. pitting. a date. Whole pitted dates: Various products can be mentioned that in some way provide a new use for dates in a date product. well within the safety limit for fermentation. which consisted of washing. The texture (softness) of the product is mainly determined by moisture content. After briefly bringing to the boil. date paste will tend to get harder during storage.57. Originating from a date of about 40% dry matter (of which about 84% was sugar).a. banana. dehydration would have to be applied. pitted rutab spiced with clove and cinnamon. Canning of khalaal has been the subject of a study (322) but no definite recommendations as to the procedure. The fineness of the grind can be adjusted by changing dies with holes of different diameter.moisture content can be satisfactorily adjusted (upward) by either steaming or soaking of the dates prior to grinding. can filling (with sugar syrup. The mixture was boiled down to Bx 75° . grapefruits etc. if desired. Whole. exhausting. Add to this the increasing risk of browning and fermentation with increasing moisture. The resulting filled date. The main results of these investigations are: .com Page 113 .09% with water activity of 0. but not by this alone. sealing. (Normally one will start with dry dates for producing a paste of around 20% moisture. at 25° C) no significant leaching loss will occur. Pure date paste: The technical aspects of making date paste are simple and is normally done in mincers. The preservation of dates in syrup is long known and practised but has also been the subject of additional development work.) Within the normally required range (say max 10% increase in moisture) during steam treatment (5 min. Moreover.5° Bx syrup (composed of equal amounts of sucrose and glucose syrup). a product resulted of over 80% DM (of which about 86% was sugar). In these tests peeled and pitted dates were placed in 50° Bx syrup of which PH was adjusted by citric acid from about 7 to 3. b. sterilization and cooking. the jars are pasteurized for 20 minutes at 90o C in a waterbath (65). 580). cooks the filled date in sugar syrup. thereby imparting a golden colour to the date and syrup (324). In analogy with the long established process for candied fruits. of which the PH was adjusted to 2. standardization. The first consists of a fig stuffed with roasted almond.

in various proportions. named tamaruddin in analogy with the well-known and widely distributed apricot "leather" (quamaruddin). Whilst the apricot can be turned into sheets from its natural state by pulping.78-5. Sensory testing showed a preference for chocolate coated bars.2% citric acid. lentils.addition of 0. Storage tests showed a decline in quality after two months at 40° C and five months at 28° C. 578). lentils and chickpeas are cooked for 15-20 minutes with just enough water for total Page 114 . All these studies were aimed at creating acceptable.Ruzeiz date paste of about 18% moisture (pre-steamed) and 22% (pre-soaked) stored at respectively 5° . In this way fruit pulp mixtures are created which under certain conditions may find a place in the market or as a semi-finished product (see iii).2% citric acid + 0. . which lowers initial PH from 5. texture and softness well in hand. coconut.17%. Pre-dried pitted dates (50° C) are mixed in and the total mass ground to 70 mesh. nutritious snacks for children. Dates constitute 10% of the mixtures before preparation. c. which makes the date the less favourite for such a product. protein 4. SCP and DSM have been reported (270. whole dry milk. chickpeas. . after which the water has to be evaporated again. 389) reflect these shortcomings which have been tried to overcome by addition of organic acids. screening and drying on boards. milk powder and vitamin supplements. does not significantly change storage stability except perhaps for PH at 25° C at which the paste remains more stable than the control. The cooked mixture is then dried at 70° C on trays in a drier. Date paste constituted from 74-84% of the final weight according to recipe (6 in total). range 5-6% in qobit@yahoo. sesame butter and milk chocolate (as coating). two basic differences between the two raw materials.the same applies to addition of 0. a protein-rich food mixture for feeding infants and pre-school children (600) is based on a variety of mixtures of wheat. as well as date paste/roasted peanut mixtures (487.nutritious candy bars based on date paste mixed with corn starch. the field to combine and supplement this basically sweet material with other foodstuffs is wide open and many proposals have been made: .98% and fat 7. 144).28-15.96 to 5. Date paste mixtures With the possibility of producing a date paste with the desired moisture content. Moisture content ranged from 14.. also after prolonged storage (up to 6 months) at 7° C and 25° C. . and/or other fruit pulps and flavours. 259. perhaps desirable from an organoleptic point of view. Secondly.2% ascorbic acid. The experiments carried out (379. In the context of date paste making mention should also be made of several attempts to produce date paste sheets. whilst the samples stored at 5° C remained unchanged (604). The final products. 388.40. Similar product mixes based on protein supplementation by SPI. resulted in a nutritional balanced mixture and scored well with moderate variations in sensory testing compared to control. single cell protein (SCP) and dry skimmed milk (DSM). PH and total sugar content for 16 weeks at 5° C.6%.premixed date bar (including almonds and corn starch) supplemented with respectively soy protein isolate (SPI). 25° . varying according to the recipe. 496. . The process is as follows: wheat. 8 weeks at 25° C and 3 weeks at 50° C. The other ingredients (milk powder and vitamin supplement) are added and the whole mixture is packed in aluminium lined polythene and stored at 4° C and room temperature up to 6 months. dates have to be diluted first to be pulped.tamrina. There are. roasted almonds. the date's natural less pronounced flavour and acidity make it less suitable as a base for a reconstituted drink for which this paste is mainly used. however. dates. and 50° C did not show appreciable difference in colour.9-16.

either in solid form or reconstituted. For cookies 0. Date preserves Preserves are normally understood to be derived products created to prevent spoilage of fresh foodstuffs in order to extend their storage life and availability to the consumer. In the experiments under review (380).35% fat) at the respective rates of 0. were identified.cookies showed less tendency of cracking with increasing paste content On the basis of these results it would therefore seem that application of date paste in cookies will have a better chance of success than in bread making.24% total sugars. Page 115 .at 12% the dough is sticky and typical bread characteristics are distorted .5-14.33% fat) was replaced by date paste (15. which corresponds to 120 gm of dates). Common natural auxiliary materials to assist in this process are sugar. the case of cookie testing the results were opposite with highest rating for 20% addition of date paste .e. 0. 1.07% protein. Date paste in bakery products and confectionery The use of dates and date pieces in bakery products and confectionery has been reviewed earlier in this Chapter and several commercial products. 10. besides the organoleptic improvement. 4. 605).e. 15 and 20% replacement was adopted with corresponding adjustment of sucrose addition to keep total sugar constant in all samples. e. In these experiments wheat flour (12. i. mixing and drying into sheets (see ii). Overall outcome of testing the resulting samples was: .tamarheep (a contraction of tamr (date) and haleep (milk) is an effort to create nutritionally balanced date mixtures following the process of apricot leather.24% protein. a higher moisture retention and prolonged shelf life of the product. salt and (organic) acids. A chocolate and vanilla flavoured drink from a whey/milk mixture sweetened with date puree and sugar was successfully tested and rated well compared to the control based on sugar only (200). 2-5% in crude fat.5% in sugar and 45-47% in starch. Organoleptic evaluation was favourable. 35 and 50 gm to each 300 g date pulp. In another study (395) replacement of 50% sucrose by date paste in cookies resulted in. 13.e. 10 and 12% in bread. pulping.82% moisture. d. apricot leather was compared with pure date leather and a number of date leathers reinforced with skim milk powder (DSM) (respectively 20.40% moisture.bread specific volume was highest at 8% addition of date paste . mainly of American origin. The use of date paste for this purpose is much less common and was investigated for possible application in bread and cookies by large-scale modern bakeries (370. screening. dates + DSM) were flavoured with different fruit flavours and the resulting multitude of products were tested by a taste panel. In addition the basic tamarheep (i. The product was created with the intention of using as many locally available materials as possible and substituting sugar for dates.moisture. 8. 0% date paste) on all test criteria (crumb texture. . even after six months storage. appearance and flavour) for the bread samples . 2. General conclusions were a preference for apricot leather but good appreciation for tamaruddin (date leather) and plain tamarheep and some of the fruit flavoured tamarheep.sensory testing by a taste panel revealed a preference for the control (i. qobit@yahoo. 19-20% in protein.

A product slightly different from date Page 116 . 331. packed and sealed in cans and sterilized.2° .7. Difference with the date jam and date butter processing is that no cooking takes place. pectin is added to secure gelling and the PH is adjusted by citric or tartaric acid. The resulting product is hot filled in jars or cans. closed. A typical date jam recipe and analysis is as follows: Khudairy date jam.o. adjusted for PH (3.75 In testing the suitability of dates at the different stages of maturity (khalaal. was made experimentally with the aim of. their comparatively high PH and less pronounced flavour. Most food laws require a minimum percentage of fruit pulp in the final product. The difference with date jam consists mainly in a higher date/sugar ratio. a.6) and higher final Brix (around 75° ) (276). 330. several date preserves have been experimented with or reached commercial application. Naturally occurring pectin varies with the type of date and normally needs to be supplemented especially when a lighter type of jam is desired. not the most adaptable type of fruit for jam making because of their high sugar content.5.4% date flesh) Sugar Citric acid (as % of dates in pulp) 55 kg 45 kg 1. Upon cooling the product will gel. Brix 67. Several research institutes have therefore analysed varieties and experimented with date jam making to find the most suitable types and recipes (553. Along similar lines as experimented earlier (125). Whilst raising the sugar content of food to a high level is a form of preservation to exclude microbial growth. named date-butter. rutab and tamr) it was found that rutab lends itself best for jam making before tamr. Densities may range from about 60 to 70° Bx and a PH in the range of 3. Saudi Arabia (355) Recipe: Date pulp (62. If required. 367). perhaps more for the purpose of broadening the date product choice than for the effect of preservation.02 Mixture boiled down to Brix 66-68° Analysis: PH 3. whilst khalaal should not be considered for its low solid content and lack of specific date flavour (357). Date/Sugar ratio + 0.9). Dates are. canning of date pulp was attempted for eventual use as a semi-finished product for the food industry. because of their natural composition. lower acidity (PH 4.2 . pickling consists of both controlling some and encouraging growth of other microbes (not qobit@yahoo. creating a semi-finished product for further use by industry such as confectioners. and usually pasteurized in a hot water bath. Best results were obtained by blending date pulp (made of steamed dates) with a 20° Bx sugar solution or date liquid sugar solution. 498. Fruit jams are one of the most common preserves and the process consists of boiling fruit or fruit pieces with sugar to a consistency where microbes are not able to grow.3.. This blend is homogenized. With the present overall trend to produce lighter jams of less sweetness there may be scope to finish the jam at a lower Brix (within the limit of the law) and to consider dates combined with other fruit mixtures to create specific flavours.Though dates at the tamr stage would not necessarily fall into the fresh food category because they are self-preserving. 276. because the product is perishable (around 50° Bx) (335).

the decrease in total acidity. 70% moisture. but the decrease of total soluble solids in solution followed the same pattern. which does not involve fermentation. Conclusion: product has stabilized after 3 months . A first report on the subject (277. because dates are packed in an acidified sugar solution and immediately pasteurized. The preparation of the salt-stock went as follows: dates were covered with 12% salt solution. In the fresh brine pickle dates (kimri stage. After qobit@yahoo. i. hand pitted and cut in slices. Bx 16-18° ) were given two vertical cuts and placed in jars covered with 32° Salometer salt solution (n. except that olives have a high oil Page 117 . which after one week was raised to 15% and maintained until stabilization. After two months at ambient temperature the dates were removed. are not suitable for this type of preservation and the fully mature date therefore would not seem a promising candidate.after 3 months storage. cucumbers. some work has been done and the first interest has focussed on the pickling of dates at the kimri and khalaal stages. low in sugar. boiled for 5 minutes.0. called fresh-pack pickle. Pasteurization time and temperature were also varied but proved optimal at 71° C for 15 min. total acidity in the solution drops and PH values increase. and in a third lot the fruit was not cut but brine and vinegar were added.49% which is considered low though it shows fermentation had taken place. for khalaal (603).5% spices and 0. when they are perishable.5 and 3% of a 5% standard acid strength solution respectively). total soluble solids decrease. washed several times with running water to remove salt. 276) deals with a method. in order to reach a situation in which the product is both preserved from microbial deterioration and remains edible. They were packed in a 20% sugar solution with a varying (acetic) acid level (2. In another effort of date pickling (201) dates were pickled following two methods: "fresh brine pickling" and "salt-stock pickling". Nevertheless. high in moisture and mostly astringent. 1. Up to a point the comparison with olives is valid.e. and further treated as for the fresh-pack pickle. olives etc. 2.5% strength) was added. To reach this condition quite often use is made of salt which selectively controls microbial growth. 3% salt. Major results of these tests were: .in sensory testing no clear preferences for either variety or acidity range could be detected and all samples came out as acceptable for colour. Other particulars of this experiment were: 3 varieties of dates at the kimri stage were washed. Examples are fermented cabbage ("sauerkraut") and a wide variety of pickled fruits and vegetables. Other experiments on kimri and khalaal pickling resulted in satisfactory products using 15% salt solution and 2% acetic acid after 6 weeks for kimri (417) and 10% brine plus 2% acetic acid. PH 6. taste and texture in the range of 7 (out of 10) In a sideline of the above main experiments one variety was stored in salt solution for 2 months before being used as salt-stock in the main experiment. In the analyses of the subsequent pickles derived from this salt-stock according to the fresh-pack recipes. In a parallel lot the fruits were cut but no vinegar added. 100° Salometer corresponds to 25% salt solution) and 2% vinegar (of 4. peeled in an abrasive drum peeler. increase in PH was not so pronounced as for fresh-pack pickles after 3 and 6 months storage. cauliflower.05% sodium benzoate were added to all samples.b. The initial acidity of the salt-stock as lactic acid was found to be 0.harmful to humans). high sugar containing fruits like deciduous fruits. These changes level off sharply in the period up to 6 months storage. like gherkins. However.

but also apple. vegetables and (hot) spices. is probably best known when mango is used as the basic the salt-stock pickle it took up to 24 weeks to reach the extreme acidity levels of the fresh brine pickle .samples to which vinegar had been added were preferred in all cases during sensory testing .sugar . paprika.0. valuable as they are.vegetables: carrots. dill and stuffing of piemento red pepper enhanced the acceptability of the product . The process variables and techniques. After 90 days the fruits were freshened with warm water for 8 hours at 50° C (repeated twice). casein powder. 505) in which the following ingredients were incorporated: . after which at weekly intervals 2% salt is added until after 4 weeks the solution has reached 60° Salometer.a negative comment on quality concerned the toughness of the pickle It is evident that with these experiments.dates: either as chopped pieces or as pre-prepared pulp . cinnamon .90 days of fermentation the brine solution (32° ) is renewed including 5% vinegar. acceptable PH (3. packed in jars and sealed. Chutney (derived from the Hindu chatni). acid (provided by lemon or vinegar). Page 118 . f. gum arabic. tomato and mixed fruit chutneys are known. the possibilities of pickling dates at the kimri and khalaal stages have so far not been exhausted. the sugar/salt/acid ratios and the use of additional flavours are numerous and provide many opportunities for extended research in this area.cutting the dates or not had no appreciable influence on the process .the addition of lemon. and pasteurized at 80° C for 15 min.80 . Date condiments A condiment is characterized by a specific flavour and is used to give relish to spite of rather slow fermentation rate (12 weeks) in fresh brine pickling. appetizing date pickles could become a welcome addition to the date product variety and date outlet possibilities. Main results of this study were: .85) and total acidity levels (0. In Heading 3 of this Chapter several commercially available condiments containing dates were identified.vinegar/acetic acid . In salt-stock pickling the fermentation is started with 32° salt solution. Two additional efforts to incorporate dates in condiments are referred to: they are concerned with date chutney and tomato ketchup. the samples with vinegar having the higher acidity levels . so why not a chutney predominantly consisting of dates? In trying this.90%) were reached. piemento . In both methods some lemon and dill were added for extra flavour. coriander. cayenne pepper. in hot water. Attractive.raisins . Chutney is a generic term of a condiment composed of a sweet (provided by fruits).45 3.other additives: salt.spices: ginger. water qobit@yahoo. Fruit is then treated as for fresh brine pickle at the second stage. 6 prototype samples of date chutney were prepared (276.

fruit sherbet and ice cream (532). 50.65. Total sugars 35. However for strained date juice (through cheesecloth. The results of the test panel according to the report.62. cloves. the percentage increase in volume of the mix caused by beating-in of air) as well as viscosity increased with higher Brix. Acidity (as acetic acid): 1. PH 3. In sensory evaluation (15 panel members) no significant preferences for one or more of the 6 samples came out but the overall appreciation of the product was favourable. salt and flavouring (sometimes hot spicy).22 . Increasing Bx content from date juice reduces meltdown time. showed a slight increase in PH and reducing sugars. g. the extent of which is difficult to judge but mostly concentrated in the U.5%. slightly acidified with citric acid).com Page 119 . sugar total 26. vinegar. were used at different levels as sweetening and flavouring agent in water ice. pitted. sugar. chopped dates and raisins with water and date pulp for 15 minutes after which the sugar and seasonings were added followed by a further boiling for 20 min. For fruit sherbet and ice cream a statistically significant preference with regard to flavour for 20° Bx addition was observed equalling the rating for the control ice cream (15% sucrose). The sensory evaluation revealed no significant difference in water ice for flavour. however.e. 25 and 30° Bx and ice cream. which removes skin particles and coarse fibre) this was not the case. These substitutions created an increase in freezing time and decrease in overrun for unstrained date juice. The following examples are quoted: dates in the form of date juice (diluted and strained date paste). like ice cream and puddings and some of these products have reached commercial application. crude fibre and fat contents. and increasing mineral. pectin. coriander. as a consequence of this substitution. In a similar experiment strained and unstrained date juice derived from date paste was used to replace sucrose in ice cream at the rate of 17. 123) make mention of development work on the use of dates in desserts. ginger. showed no significant difference in colour.4-37%. Brix 50. vinegar. cinnamon. nutmeg. but was not conclusive on overall taste. 75 and 100%. From a technological viewpoint the following results were obtained: Overrun (i.1. body/texture and colour. homogenised dates mixed in equal mounts with a 20% sugar solution. salt. The major characteristics of the samples were: PH 3. Date desserts Past records (302. The chemical composition of these samples. General result of these tests are therefore that date juice at 20° Bx can replace sucrose partially or completely in water ice.S. In the preparation of the test samples sugar was progressively replaced by date pulp (prepared from steamed. Starting from a standard recipe which contained tomato juice. and aniseed). straining) mixing in the other ingredients and boiling down to the required Bx content. Major characteristics of this standard sample were: Dry matter 33.The preparation of these chutneys consisted of boiling the carrots. Melting time was increased with increasing amounts of sucrose replacement qobit@yahoo.39%.2° . red chillies.9% (Bx 32° ). The rates of sugar substitution were respectively 25.251.57-3. onion and a number of condiments (garlic. flavour and consistency of the various samples. 1. hence the lower level of 20° Bx at the different Bx levels could be considered sufficient. In an attempt to make more and better use of local resources experimental work was carried out (336. fruit sherbet at 20. 337) to substitute sugar for dates in tomato ketchup. More recent development work has also been done in the Arab World as part of the overall effort to provide more diversified marketing outlets for the date fruit. the preparation of the ketchup consisted of extracting tomato juice from fresh tomatoes (heating in water. 34 and 50% (w/w of sugar value) respectively. Tomato ketchup (derived from the Chinese Koe-chiap) is now mostly known as a sauce of homogenised tomato pulp mixed with sugar. cardamon. paprika.16%. acidity (citric acid).

which is somewhat surprising whilst the yoghurt fruit combinations on the market nowadays are numerous. Oggt is a traditional preservation technique for milk. In two other samples the date ratio was cut by half and replaced respectively by 0. 175° C) for about 1 hour. soak for 10 min. creating a new product tamroggt. so far dates have not played an important role in this development. but melting time was increased. Sample with 10% chips were rated first in sensory evaluation (203).1% anice and 0. fat from 16-23% and protein from 4448%. In a parallel test date chips were added to ice cream at the rate of 5. One study (464) focusses on incorporating dates (tamr) in an existing product made of fermented and dried milk (oggt). This paste is formed into patties which are further dried in the sun. ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg. Bake pudding in greased baking dish. which is fermented. Sensory testing rated ice cream with highest sucrose replacement (50%) as significantly best. ½ cup sugar. 3 beaten eggs. The use of dates in puddings has already been referred to earlier but it seems appropriate to conclude this chapter on "Date fruit products and preparations" with a recipe of such a dessert. However. Serve hot or cold with cream. because the proof of the pudding is in the Page 120 . Moisture content in these traditional products may range from about 4 to 8. ready for incorporation in yoghurts. ¼ tsp vanilla ½ cup pineapple or other fruit juice Mix and pour over 2 cups cubed day-old bread. set in a pan of hot water in moderate oven (350° F. qobit@yahoo. The sample in which equal mounts of dates and skimmed milk powder were present had the following composition: Moisture 10%. protein 25%. the butter removed and the remaining butter milk is boiled down to a paste. Dates combined with yoghurt has not received much attention in date products research. as the English saying goes. confectionery and ice creams. the cocoa flavoured sample did not fare well. The popularity of these products has brought about the establishment of a specialized industry which at the client's preference prepares fruit mixtures.5%. freezing time was not affected. 10 and 15% to the control sample (0% sucrose substitution). total sugar 60%. and stir in three quarters of a cup of chopped dates.and melting quality remained stable in all samples. followed by tamroggt and the control oggt. Spiced date bread pudding (465) 2 cups warm milk. and 1% cocoa in the other. and using a common yoghurt starter. thus by-passing the churning process. And that applies to all the date products and preparations which have been reviewed in this Chapter. Boiled down to a paste. In the experiment oggt was made from reconstituted skimmed milk powder. the tamroggt with anice/sesame addition came out highest.2% sesame seed in one. and half a cup nutmeats. In sensory evaluation. churned. pitted. Percentage overrun was decreased (from 80 to 75% for 15% addition of chips). chopped dates were added in different proportions and the samples dried at low temperature.

or. It is clear that the above identified qualitative distribution of materials in the tube is also a function of Brix level of the date flesh/water mixture. in combination with a surplus situation (b) of usually the more common date varieties. and presence of foreign matter. or as graded out fruit from large scale date packing operations. If a qobit@yahoo... The extent of layer 3. the emphasis is on this use.CHAPTER 3 DERIVED DATE FRUIT PRODUCTS In the preceding chapters the use of dates and date products has been discussed where it concerned the whole of the sound fruit flesh. and 1. for the simple reason of not having an economic justification. The following observations can be made. and insect fragments 2. As far as dates are concerned the raw material for derived products is mainly found in the last area (c). Ideally. contains the sugars and other soluble solids of the dates. the layer above that shows pieces of date skins. is related to the date variety and stage of maturity. The production of derived date products is therefore dependent on the existence of quantities of second grade fruit. there are situations where a use of part of the fruit flesh is indicated in order to utilize the raw stock to the best advantage.. At the very top of the liquid a thin film of material (fat. Three areas which stimulate such use of fruits can be distinguished: a. Sometimes it is difficult to obtain a clear layer 4. in certain circumstances. b.. tomato paste and wine are clear examples. whole dates are utilized for the purpose of making derived products. 76). Derived products which have established themselves in their own right. On occasion this happens and one resorts to the use as animal feed or alcohol making. gradually turning into a clear liquid 4. citrus in particular. fibrous particles. when feasible. which extends also through the layers 3. Temporary surplus of fruits because of abundant harvest and/or insufficient marketing outlets of a perishable commodity. even to the extent that fruit selection and breeding is directed towards optimal use for this purpose. At the very bottom of the tube sand and dust are collected 1. More upwards the material becomes lighter in colour and turns into a greyish slurry 3. undersized fruit of unattractive appearance. c. However. For a general view of the scope and opportunities to produce derived date products it is useful to look at a homogenized date flesh/water mixture which has been centrifuged in a tube centrifuge (Fig. and its demarcation line with the clear layer 4. indicating that we also deal with semi-solids and colloids. Fruit juices. Damaged. because normally it gives the highest reward to the Page 121 . resulting from inadequate or marginal production systems. But no instance is known where sound. and that applies to most fruits. perhaps) can sometimes be found. 2. Layer 4.

Figure 76: Centrifuged Date Solution For the sake of choosing and understanding the technologies to be applied for the separation of the different components of the date flesh use is made of the following composition parameters: Total weight (T) Moisture (M) Total solids (TS) ) ) T = M + TS ) Non-soluble solids (NSS) ) TS = NSS + SS Soluble solids (SS) ) Sugars (S) ) SS = S + SNS Soluble non-sugar (SNS) ) Table 13 gives an overview of the major possibilities for derived date products.heavier slurry is employed the demarcations are less pronounced because of less difference in specific gravity on which the centrifuge action is Page 122 . qobit@yahoo.

com Page 123 .Table 13 Derived date products qobit@yahoo.

this method puts a much heavier burden on subsequently removing the non-soluble solids. notably date spread. In its simplest form a calculation will be made if date (flesh) is extracted with water in one step. water has therefore to be added to dissolve and dilute the soluble solids of the date. To create the best conditions for an optimum extraction (least cost commensurate with best quality and highest yield) at an industrial level several factors have to be taken into account.For all these products dates are mixed with water in order to facilitate the separation of the desirable and undesirable components of the date. This qobit@yahoo. citrus. but not that much. Before discussing the percentage of soluble solids (the Brix level) at which the date juice will be produced. one therefore tries to obtain the desired effect with the minimum amount of water added. like in a household mixer. because these become finely divided. should be known.g. after which the water is removed again (by evaporation). Though date juice (in its different compositions) is not a product in its own right. The next step to reduce time is to increase the contact area between water and date flesh to facilitate a quicker exchange of soluble solids. For some products the added water will be incorporated in the final product such as for soft drinks and date wine. date syrup and date liquid sugar. and which obviously is a function of the date composition and the amount of water added. The extreme situation of increasing surface contact is to thoroughly mix dates and water. "Time is money" is an appropriate saying in this respect because the more time is involved the higher capacity of containers and other machinery is needed to produce the same amount of juice/day. This can be done by pre-treatment such as crushing the dates or cutting them into pieces. water acts only as a temporary carrier to facilitate the subsequent separation process. is given. in which the retention time. 42).com Page 124 . first an easy tool (the material balance) to visualize and calculate an extraction system.1 Date juice Dates are different from other fruits from which juices are obtained by pressing (e. the moisture content of the remaining cake after separation of the juice. at least one proposed date juice process is based on this principle (108). sugar concentration are balanced to arrive at a minimal overall unit cost for the extracted date juice. A whole date put in cold water will take a long time to be extracted. To make date juice. in others. berries. the latter which. technologically speaking. Nevertheless. 3. Also. cost of investment. A minor exception was described earlier where syrup (dibs) is produced as an incidental by-product when bagged humid dates are heaped and over a period of months some syrup oozes out by the force of their own weight (Fig. means that the soluble solids in the surrounding liquid reaches equilibrium with the liquid in the date itself. This has brought about a number of extraction processes. after which the non-soluble solids are separated out. However. but its extraction from dates forms such an essential operation in further product processing. This is the case with all products based on microbial conversion. grapes) in that their soluble solids are too concentrated to be pressed out. soluble solids and non-soluble solids. and colloidal and pectinous material may be released which hampers separation from the juice. when the envisaged final product is concentrated. Stirring and raising the temperature will shorten this time. For this purpose the composition of the date as far as moisture. water is added in such an amount as to create the right medium for the subsequent production process. the subject will be elaborated in the first paragraph of the discussion of the various derived products from the date. However. In both cases therefore the amount of water to be added is governed by the subsequent process and products. As this last operation is relatively expensive (investment and energy). when equilibrium is reached almost instantaneously. residual losses.

non-solubles remain in the presscake and no evaporation of water takes place.8. Table 14 Material balance Date extraction in one step (100 flesh + 100 water) Operation Material M. 60. 35.Composition dates: M 20.6 NSS 10 0 10 0 Extraction Date (flesh) Water Slurry 20. qobit@yahoo. Obviously. SS 70. Page 125 . sieving. hence the Bx level (SS) of the liquid is 70/90 = 35.4) as well as all other underlined figures.1. This loss would be even higher when the date juice would be recovered by draining only (say 60% moisture in the residue). . thus somewhat reducing the effectiveness of the calculated system.If x is the amount of SS by weight and w is the amount of H20 in the presscake. it is assumed that during contact equilibrium in the slurry is reached. Separation Date juice Presscake 38.4 10 Data given are: . w = 38.8° which is also the Bx level of the separated juice and the liquid remaining in the presscake after separation.percentage is related to the type of separation used and has to be found experimentally in the laboratory. 10 0 5 0 14.2 69.3 Weights Total 100 100 200 130. moisture content will differ according to whether separation is achieved by simple draining.8 H20 20 100 120 81. All three conditions in practice cannot be entirely met. on the basis of the above data it follows that: x x+w = 35. Conclusions: The calculation shows that when dates are extracted in one stage with an equal amount of water. NSS 10% . 100.6 SS 70 0 70 48.Moisture content in presscake: 55% (empirical figure based on the use of an expeller press) Calculation of the underlined figures is as follows: . 30. pressing or centrifuging. 64.8 100 (1) and w w + x + 10 = 55 (2) 100 Out of these x and w can be solved and the composition of the presscake determined (x = 21. 55.4w 21.Equilibrium has been reached in the slurry. but the Bx loss in the press cake of 55% moisture is (intolerably) high (30%). Composition % SS.4. 0 35. NSS 70. the Bx level of the juices reaches about 35° .2.

if a presscake could be obtained of 50% moisture. -.1 Weights Total 100 250 350 294. Separation Date juice Presscake 234. experience has shown that for the type of material at this Bx level the available process equipment does not go below a cake containing 55% moisture.5 l/kg of syrup for the second extraction system. which however is still considered too high for an extraction Page 126 . At 40% moisture this loss would be halved again (5. From the above examples it can be deduced that one-stage extraction. A second remedy for reducing the Bx loss in the residue is to increase the amount of water as the following example shows: Table 15 Material balance Date extraction in one step (100 flesh + 250 water) Operation Material Composition % age M. in the first instance.To reduce the loss of soluble solids one should therefore. 65.1 H20 20 250 270 SS 70 0 70 NSS 10 0 10 0 10 Extraction Date flesh Water Slurry 77. pays the price of having to employ an elaborate and expensive separation system (vacuum band filter) and having to reduce the Bx level of the juice to qobit@yahoo.1. Moreover this reduction has been achieved at the cost of increased equipment volume (about twice as high) and a higher amount of water that has to be evaporated (from about l l/kg of syrup (75° Bx) for the first case to a little over 2.3 kg out of 70) is reduced from 30 to 13.6. 70.3%.9 kgs out of 70 kg). NSS 20.Moisture content in presscake 65% based on empirical data in the same expeller press as for Table 14.Composition dates (flesh): M 20. is not an optimum solution. 79. The calculated figures (underlined) are found as for Table 14.9 0 18. 10 2. However. the calculated loss of SS in the presscake would already have been reduced by little over half (12. 20.8 9. 100.4.2 60. 20.9 55. have a most efficient separation of NSS and SS in the solution.9. NSS 10 .3 Data given are: . unless the loss of soluble solids in the presscake is of no predominant economic importance (normally one would aim at a loss not exceeding 5% of the original soluble solids input). SS. SS 70.7 35. This figure may at first glance seem contradictory but is caused by the fact that the Bx level of the juice retained in the cake is lower. Conclusions: The amount of SS loss in the presscake (9. 16. For instance. Also the proposed one-stage extraction by complete disintegration of the date (108) in spite of the time reduction to reach equilibrium in the date/water mixture.6 kgs out of 70 kg).

This results in much less loss of residual soluble solids compared to a one-stage system. Figure 77: Schematic Representation of a (a) one-. and (b) two stage extraction system To obtain a deeper insight into the possibilities and limitations of date juice recovery. i.9% and 5. as a consequence the extraction and separation equipment has to be doubled in number.1%) which also is a satisfactory result from a techno-economic point of view. It would probably not "pay" to add a third extraction stage only to recover part of the 5% now lost. However. The calculations for two-stage extraction are more complex than for a one-stage system. but maintains the same Bx level in the extracted juice. compared to about 1 l at 36° Bx juice and 2. Figure 77 shows the diagram for both a one-stage and a two-stage extraction system. In case more yield is required or desired one could in this case lower the Bx level of the extracted date juice somewhat. qobit@yahoo. It is to be noted that at a level of 15° Bx it requires 4 l of water to be evaporated for each kg of syrup (75° Bx).5 l at 21° Bx. no non-solubles pass into the extracted juice and no water is lost in the operation. composition of the dates and the moisture content of the presscake(s) and the assumption that equilibrium between dates and the extraction liquid is Page 127 .e. The conclusions of this comparison are: a.below 15° further aggravated by washing the filtercake with fresh water to recover some of the residual soluble solids from the filtercake. There is an excellent correlation between the calculated and measured results with regard to soluble solids recovered and lost in the presscake (respectively 94. Washing out the cake in order to recover some of the residual soluble solids leads us to a two (or more) stage extraction system. The main characteristic of this system is that the added water is used twice in a countercurrent system. in Appendix III a two-stage extraction system is calculated for a date juice of 30° Bx and compared with the measured results of a two-stage extraction system in an experimental date syrup plant in Libya. but is based on the same type of data.

removal of foreign and nonsoluble material Technology . pressing. Although to obtain a clear natural date juice a simple filtration suffices. Specific applications are reported in literature (528) and will be identified under the various products derived from date juice. according to the equipment used.4° in S2 and 14. The various process variables and equipment options.o. several additional processes have to be applied.e.pretreatment of juice by boiling and/or enzymes . The raw juice will normally consist of the extracted soluble solids of the date. In the pilot plant results we find that in the first extraction step a high degree of equilibrium is reached (30. drum-. The main difference between the two material balances is that in the actual operation a good part of non-soluble solids ends up in the recovered date juice. Contact intensity is improved by increasing surface contact and by stirring. rack and cloth-) . With respect to temperature. Surface area can be increased by crushing or cutting the date and for stirring extra equipment will have to be incorporated. vary from a couple of minutes (one stage.precipitation and degradation of colloids . also in part determined by the type of date juice required.9° Bx in P2). This clarification process of removal of nonsolubles to a pure sugar solution can consist of one or more of the following techniques: Purpose . the upper limit is considered 65° -70° C if no changes in the chemical composition of the juice are wanted. complete maceration of the date) to up to 6 hours in a stationary batch system. but they are all based on the same basic principles of extraction as explained before in this chapter. some non-solubles and some foreign matter.b. Although already referred to in the general considerations affecting the performance and efficiency of an extraction system. bag-. which normally also serves to move the product through the system in a continuous operation. on reaching equilibrium between the dates and the extraction liquid. but it does not seem to influence the efficiency of the extraction system as a whole. the time the material remains in the system may. for the more sophisticated end-uses of date juice which calls for the removal of soluble nonsugars. Each of these systems has its own characteristics and performance data. mention should again be made of the temperature of extraction and the contact intensity between material and liquid.filtration in various executions (band-. and 31. i. c. Increase of both will shorten the time for equilibrium to be reached which is of great importance to the volume of the equipment required.8° in S1. have brought about a number of extraction systems ranging from batch to co-current and counter-current versions in one or more stages with separation based on centrifuging.0° in P1) but less in the second ( Page 128 .centrifugation qobit@yahoo. screening or simply draining. Each extraction system produces a raw juice as the main product and a presscake as the byproduct (Chapter IV). The calculated extraction schedule was based a. The retention time. This is caused by the separation equipment used and will influence the subsequent clarification of the juice.

have in common that they are condensed products made out of date extract by water evaporation.precipitation with chemicals (425.2-4.decolorization .com Page 129 . but most of the time the juice needs reinforcement with organic acids and additional flavours to arrive at acceptable products (511).e.2 or 4. 426) . is sufficient. Furthermore.ion-exchange . 3. Date juice has also been experimented with to replace sugar in ice cream making (532).3 Juice Concentrates Date juice concentrates. gelatin and tannin have been used to remove this turbidity (426). as the name implies.3%) and pasteurized in bottles (25 minutes in boiling water) (433. The process consisted of mixing and boiling 60 kgs of date juice (42° Bx) and 48 kgs of sugar with 350 gms of pectin and PH adjusted to 3. the natural juice containing only soluble materials of the carbon . sugar and citric acid added (0.8 with addition of a stabilizer (596). carbonated or not. a.4 with citric acid.. Clarified date juice. based on date juice. 3. to a level of 68° Bx. 177). i. date syrup and date liquid sugar which. They differ in appearance. The product was hot filled in 1 lb jars and pasteurized for 10 min at 90° C. Three main products can be distinguished: date spread. taste and consistency depending on the type of the raw juice and the degree of concentration. extracting the juice by squeezing through cloth. Several attempts have been made to prepare beverages.4-6. Date Spread qobit@yahoo. has found little direct use because of its rather flat taste unlike other clear fruit juices such as from grape.removal of high weight molecular components Where relevant some of these technologies will be discussed further with the products for which they are used. Centrifuging may also give the desired result but this is also linked to the initial turbidity of the raw juice. in this order.ion-exchange .2 Juice Products Traditionally. For its production usually filtration of the raw juice (with the help of filteraid) sometimes preceded by a quick boil to precipitate some of the colloidal matter in the raw juice. represent products with a decreasing non-soluble and soluble non-sugar content. A home-made date juice drink is proposed by boiling dates and water in equal amounts.removal of minerals . Juice is diluted. Combination of date juice and milk is possible provided precautions are taken against curdling and whey separation by PH adjustment to 5.foaming (experimental) (190) . apple and berries. date juice has been used in date jelly making in a small commercial fruit processing plant as part of the jam and jelly production assortment. a date drink (nabidh) was prepared by soaking mashed up dates in water for one night (but not longer) (445). Calcium hydroxide.

input rate. almost always contaminated with dust and other foreign matter including insect fragments. Elaborating further on this principle and with the assistance of a technical institute this could finally be achieved and resulted in a proposal for a combined date syrup/spread plant (63. dust. Upon concentration. Removal of skin fibre. and date syrup. 104). Applying this principle to a continuous centrifuge and manipulating centrifuge speed. when after having initiated date syrup production on a pilot scale and planning for a commercial factory. The liquid recovered (overflow) will contain some of the lighter solids and semi solid material. the liquid will turn into a more or less thick paste. is not a commercial product. 78). the proposed process had two handicaps: the rather high loss of soluble solids (more than 10%) in the centrifuge cake and the relative high cost of equipment for centrifuge and evaporator (starting level of juice 15o C Bx). and other foreign matter Water Concentration Removal of water Date spread By varying the different process parameters (and using different types of date) a number of date spreads of different taste and strength were produced on a small pilot scale and used for testing (Fig. It is reviewed first in the range of juice concentrates because as a product it fits between date paste made of the whole date flesh. dependent on amount of nonsolubles and the final product density. In spite of the promising prospect of adding another useful product made from inferior dates. In the early stages of development this resulted in a proposed production scheme as follows (514): Dates Water Disintegration/Mixing Pits are left whole. though it has reached a far advanced stage of product development. the plant is based on the (proven) process for date syrup manufacture (two-stage countercurrent extraction) Page 130 . Bx level at about 15° Pits Screening Removal of pits Homogenizing part NSS Centrifugation In 1 or 2 stages. it was felt that increasing the product range would benefit the economics of the commercial date syrup factory as well as give some more scope to creating outlets for a second quality fibrous raw material. one can at will separate out the heavier fractions. The idea of date spread originated in Libya in the sixties.Date spread. sand. temperature and Brix level. It also seemed advisable to try to combine date syrup and date spread manufacture in one factory to give it a stronger economical base. In Figure 76 it was shown that when a homogenized date/water mixture is centrifuged in a tube centrifuge the product divides in different layers of non-soluble materials according to their specific gravity. The essential technical characteristics of this process are: i. from which all non-solubles have been removed.

qobit@yahoo. but the practical results of spread production in this factory.5° Bx and final product of 65° Bx A combined syrup/spread factory of 1500 ton/year capacity based on this principle was installed. are not available. By recording the research work on date spread in this Chapter one would like to see a renewed interest in its development because it creates an additional. for date spread the required inclusion of non-soluble material and the absence of foreign matter is achieved by a combination of coarse and fine fibre separation on screens in the extraction system. different product made from inferior dates with applications similar to that of date paste (see Chapter 2).ii. The calculated soluble solids losses as percentage of those present in dates are: for date syrup: 5% for juice extraction at 26. Figure 78: Date Spread Compared to Date Syrup Produced from the same Raw Material A complete process flow sheet is given in Figure 79.4° Bx and final product of 75° Bx for date spread: about 2% for juice extraction at 21. followed by a clarification in hydrocyclones (which are much cheaper than a centrifuge) iii. to reduce the Bx loss in the Page 131 . the required extraction water is first used to recover most of the soluble solids from the underflow (apex) of the hydrocyclones.

but contamination with foreign matter. because of the rudimentary ways the product is collected. The first "method" has already been mentioned before and reference to it goes back to the 17th Century (137). humid dates (especially in the Gulf area). because it is the direct natural fruit extract. which mainly occurs on special occasions. Date Syrup Date syrup (dibs. such as the birthday of the Prophet or the birth of a child. produced in three different ways: (i) as an accidental by-product in the storage of bagged. and (iii) on a semiand full industrial scale. is quite high. It yields not more than maximum 6% of the weight of the date. the quality of the syrup per se is quite good. the following data from a field experiment are a demonstration of such a rural process (63) (Fig. 80). (ii) at the home or village level by extraction and boiling down of the Page 132 .Figure 79: Process Flow Sheet for Combined Date Syrup and Spread Production b. rub) is probably the most common derived date product. qobit@yahoo. With regard to home or village level production.

The combined collected juice (in this case. the end point is not yet reached. This extraction is repeated 4 times in total after which the presscake is discarded or fed to the animals. dibs) at the Village Level (Libya) Dates (25 kgs) are mixed with water (ratio 1:1) and left to boil on a wood fire for about 1½ hours. If.Figure 80: Production of Date Syrup (rub. they remain as little balls on the sand. In the experiment under review total qobit@yahoo. the syrup is considered Page 133 . the juice is collected and water is again added to the presscake and the mixture is boiled again. During boiling a piece of fruitstalk of the date palm is put in the pan "to avoid burning" according to the makers of the syrup. The end point of boiling is determined by dropping a few drops of the liquid on white sand: if the droplets enter the sand readily. The only technological explanation for this measure is that it avoids boiling retardation and thus overheating. like the use of pumice stones in the chemical laboratory. 40 kgs of 28° Bx) is now filtered through a cloth and boiled down. on the other hand. The boiled pulp is coarsely filtered in a basket of woven halfa grass or palm leaflets. Boiling down time depends on the intensity and efficiency of the fire but a few hours are involved.

A slightly modified version of making home-made syrup is by soaking dates in water for 2 days and then boiling them thoroughly. preferably under vacuum. also some desirable substances like flavour components may be removed and the final product may. but in a qobit@yahoo. Clarification. The saturation points of the individual sugars in pure solutions are known. Another modified version (Southern Iraq) consists of boiling dates with water and pressing the date juice through filter bags by putting weights on them. During extraction and boiling the juice develops a deep red colour which is carried on in the final product. Date syrup from most dates consists for the greater part of a mixture of fructose and glucose and a minor fraction of sucrose and other soluble matter. in general prefers a dark coloured product with a strong flavour over the lighter decolourized versions of syrup. The local population. The principles of extraction have been explained in the introduction to this Chapter.g.5 kgs of 67° Bx out of 25 kgs dates of 72° soluble solids. also have a modified taste. a process taking several days (321). The collected juice is concentrated in open pans by the heat of the sun. apart from having a different appearance and colour. but has developed earliest. It is to be noted that. The mixture is then pressed in a basket. the syrupiness. pectins).e. rather strong and resembles also in appearance somewhat prune concentrate. the juice recovered and left in a pot in the sun for a week until thick (445). to avoid as little as possible heat-induced changes in the materials and to be able to use energy saving multi-stage evaporation. and on the largest scale in Iraq. The same can be said for the use of energy because a total of 140 kgs of firewood was used (on Kcal basis more than 10 x the energy used for a similar quantity of syrup in an industrial plant). removal of some solubles (e. if so desired or required. hence a rather poor outturn with much loss of sugar in presscake and Page 134 . enzymes and filter aids have been used to reach this effect (71. It makes one think of how honey bees collect nectar from flowers and concentrate it into honey by a system of drying induced by forced air movement in the hives.g. a product that will preserve for years is made and if wood energy (palm wood) is plentiful and the cost of labour is not paid for. It consists of: i. The taste of the syrup is distinct. concentration Pretreatment may consist of slightly squashing the date between rollers to break the skin and facilitate penetration of the extraction liquid. which has to be carefully explored and tested. The clarified juice. 299). the cash cost of production is low. colouring matter) and semi-solubles (e. though sometimes adapted to the typical characteristics of the dates to be used. pretreatment (if required) ii. especially where it concerns the removal of solubles is therefore a delicate process. clarification iv.or full industrial scale exists in at least 5 date producing countries. however with more complicated machinery involved. according to the clarification method applied. Clarification not only covers the process of freeing the extracted raw juice from non-solubles but is also concerned with. In spite of this. The trend over the years in extraction systems for syrup production has gone from the batch type to the counter current systems with more efficient separation techniques and shorter retention times. its viscosity and thickness) and the microbial and physical stability. The degree of concentration is a compromise between the rheological properties of the desired product (i. either because of tradition or indeed for its taste. resins.syrup produced was 12. 288. 78. which normally will have a Brix level of 20-25° will now be concentrated. The process is also labour intensive: it took about 11 hours (for 1½ persons) divided over two days to finish this batch of syrup. extraction of juice iii. Active carbon. Date syrup produced on a semi. The process is basically the same.

% Total pectin.98 4. but 7. sucrose % Protein. With regard to physical stability experience has shown that below 70° Bx the possibility of crystallization is remote (saturation of pure sucrose is 67.6 0.25 4. % Methoxyl scontent of the pectin. % 76. However at that density the syrup is rather "thin" and microbial stability (without specific preservative precautions taken) is marginal.14 1. at 30° C one gram of water will dissolve 2.2° and for invert sugar 66. a pectin decomposing enzyme. If glucose is added to provide a solution saturated with respect to all three solutes.8 75. This principle has been used to retard crystallization in date syrup (derived from invert sugar dates) by adding 10% of sucrose to the syrup.3 g of solute made up of sucrose and fructose.17 0. For instance.86 0.005 Page 135 .06 0. the total solubles content in a mixed saturated solution will be higher than for each of the single components.mixture these figures do not apply.0 76.19 g of sucrose.9 0. Producing stable date syrup in all aspects is therefore a compromise and helped by auxiliary methods like adding a "foreign" solute like sucrose. Some typical composition figures for date syrups from different sources is given below: Table 16 Composition of Date Syrups (416) Iraq ° Brix Total solids % Mpm-solubles % Sugar.86 0. a total solute concentration of 8.2° ). thus reaching a higher saturation point. as impure Capectate.60 Libya 76. invert % Sugar. This effect is generally attributed to high pectin content of the raw material and is counteracted by pretreatment of the extracted juice with pectinase.00 qobit@yahoo. at best.11 0. for fructose 80. However the general rule exists that though in a combined solution different solutes will depress each other's saturation point. For some syrups derived from certain varieties gellying may occur upon storage.2 3.390 69. sharp filtration (to reduce crystallization nuclei). for glucose about 50° Bx.9° Bx at 25° C. and pasteurization (to prevent or retard microbial spoilage).3 1. A most common density for date syrup is 75° Bx at which level it is self-preserving and crystallization only occurs after prolonged storage.8 g/g of water can be reached (216).s % Tannin.

sugar) 23. This also has an effect on the purity of the solution.Acidity as citric acid (b/100 g syrup) Ash.2 88.63 4.3 53. during storage and processing of the dates the less stable fructose is more liable to be decomposed and hence the glucose becomes dominant.9 64.7 (55. Different aspects of industrial date syrup production are demonstrated in Figure 81.5 (56% of total reducing sugar) 27.46 1.4 63.7 Dibis (cottage industry) 74.80 4.4% of total red.60 Table 17 Composition of Date syrups Iraq (217) Dibis type AA (factory made) Total solids Reducing sugars Glucose Fructose Total sugars Purity ( Total sugars x 100) total solids 72.9 Page 136 . qobit@yahoo.76 0.1 These figures show that although during the intial breakdown of sucrose both reducing sugars are formed in equal amounts. % PH 0.8 75.6 29.4 35.14 1. notably in syrups produced at high temperatures and long processing time. Page 137 .

in confectionery. It was also sold in squeeze tubes for direct use on Page 138 .Figure 81: Different Aspects of Date Syrup Production The traditional use of date syrup is mainly on specific occasions. like yoghurt.g. Consumption is also more intense during the cold periods of the year. poured on cooked and sometimes fermented dough (asseeda) on the occasion of the Prophet's birthday. cookies. Date flavoured buffalo skim milk (483). With proper PH adjustment (over 6) to prevent curdling and UHT treatment. and fermented milk products. Date syrup is widely used for softening and preserving dates in jars and in home-made confectionery. Early records reveal (445) that date syrup in the past may have been an overland export article between the Gulf area and China. The more recent efforts to broaden the field of application for date syrup as a product in its own right have focused on the use as a base for beverages. several attempts have been made to introduce date syrup along similar lines as other fruit juice concentrates as from raisins. Furthermore several tests have been made to use date syrup as a sweetening (and flavouring) agent for dairy products. The ratio of the to 20°Bx diluted date syrup and milk was 4:6 (606). e. bakery products and ice cream. Use on bread has become increasingly accepted. the results have not been encouraging. In the preparation of soft drinks from date (syrup) an extra clarification of the diluted juice (615) and a reinforcement of the flavour and acidity are almost a must if a typical soft drink is desired.S. Date syrup can successfully be used as a sugar replacement of up to 15% in ice cream making without affecting overrun or viscosity (199). a product even more concentrated than the date itself and easily turned into a nutritious drink. In the U. But apparently it is possible if the right formula is found because a carbonated date syrup based soft drink (of Swiss origin) is marketed in Saudi Arabia under the name of "Tamra". Although there have been several attempts to produce a date soft drink. The use of syrup in ripple ice cream has also been qobit@yahoo. drinks were produced that had a shelf life of 3 months at room temperature. probably in the face of the strong competition for this type of product. etc. figs and prunes for use in the preparation of cakes. Likewise a date juice milk beverage could be successfully produced from date syrup and powdered or fresh milk. sweet breads. flavoured with date syrup (516) were researched with good results.

There are several worthwhile technological opportunities though in economic infrastructures with more convenient and cheap foreign products becoming available it is not always easy to introduce a fledgling national product. With regard to industrial use. Concluding this chapter on date syrup it may be stated that this product is the most promising where it concerns the use of off-grade and contaminated dates.reported (302) but early crystallization at the low temperature may be a handicap. A more curious aspect of the use of date syrup are the reported excellent results from feeding it to racing camels. Though potentially. date molasses and urea. or only date molasses were not conclusive (448). As yield per ha the date does not fare too badly if one considers that a well kept plantation with 125 palms per ha at 100 kgs dates per palm (60% sugar) would produce 7. In cakes these factors were much less pronounced and up to 17% sugar replacement could be achieved without significant quality changes in the cake. Liquid sugar If in all previous date products described the date flavour. in the village and on industrial scale. was an integral part of the product. though it was found experimentally that date spread did not have this problem. or pelleted concentrates. notably the acid resistance as required in soft drinks (334). At higher level the millet dough becomes sticky and difficult to handle (280). dark brown material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of food grade carbohydrates like dextrose. the development work should continue. For millet biscuits the tolerance to replacement is much less and not more than 10-15%. Caramel usually used as a colour additive in food processing is an amorphous. It can be and is produced in the home. liquid sugar is an attempt to make use of the date as a sugar bearing fruit to be exploited for that purpose like sugar beets or cane. the process still needs perfection to reach the specific characteristics for certain applications. 484). either natural or in a modified form.5 tons sugar per ha. The conclusions of these tests showed that for wheat and sorghum biscuits up to 50% of the sugar can be replaced without affecting quality. Feeding trials on alternating lucerne supplemented with. a promising raw material. respectively. Use of date syrup in animal feed as a substitute for molasses was tried (448) and showed an increased digestibility of hay in a diet for lambs. Thin date juice and diluted date syrup were experimentally tested as the raw material for the production of caramel and their characteristics compared with commercial caramel. it has reached export status with deliveries to non-date producing countries and can be bought in the market in practically all date producing countries for direct Page 139 . The com-petitive position of dates as a sugar source is however weakened by the relatively greater difficulties of introducing large-scale mechanized farming as is practised for beet qobit@yahoo. It was also found that date syrup could replace honey by up to 75% (368). Sugar yield from beet is in the same order of magnitude whilst cane sugar is more and can go as high as 25 t/ha. especially date syrup. In tests carried out with wheat. invert sugar. molasses etc. Partial replacement of sugar (6% on flour basis in the control) by date syrup in sweet bread making proved feasible up to a point when crumb structure and dough colour deteriorated and became a limiting factor (618. All invert sugar used in the recipes was also replaced by date syrup. c. sorghum and millet biscuits crystalline sugar of the control formulae was replaced by date syrup ranging from 0 to 60% (at 10% intervals) for wheat and sorghum and 020% (at 5% intervals) for millet. Having the same purpose in this case a comparison must therefore be made with regard to the utility and economics of these other sugar sources.

fructose) but the quality requirements with regard to other components are very rigid. These syrups have a distinct market nowaways but mainly on an industrial level. The type of industrial process involved. colour and PH of chocolate syrup. glucose. whilst in corn syrup production the raw material (maize starch) is relatively pure. And these sugars are difficult to turn into crystalline products and do not have the same convenience of use as has sucrose at the household level. transport and use in the factories.and raw material costs) whether there is a niche for date liquid sugar in the market. The syrup should be odourless. for one or other of the above conditions. the lower the saturation point will be and the more danger for microbial infection will exist. Liquid sugar may have its disadvantages in handling and dosing. especially in the beverage industry.7° Bx). This requires a careful control of the sugar combinations in the syrup. this sugar constitutes in most cases only a minor part of the total. It is therefore an extension of date syrup production which involves chemical clarification by precipitation. except for Iraq and it is in this country where a liquid date sugar industry has developed over the last thirty years. and crystal clear. and ash content of less than 0. In other words.and cane sugar. especially on small-scale. Against the above background it would therefore seem that the only chance of profitably exploiting the date as a sugar source would be in the case of an abundant supply of dates. Use of date sugar must therefore be sought in the form of liquid sugar in industrial applications in competition with liquid sugars derived from sucrose or corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). in date liquid sugar production all undesirable non-sugar components from the date juice have to be removed. its utility is highly restricted by the fact that no date contains sucrose alone but on the contrary. it also has some advantageous characteristics for certain applications vis-a-vis sucrose. with production costs proportionally rapidly going down with increasing capacity. Whilst in sucrose production the major part of non-sugar solubles remains in the mother liquor and the sucrose is crystallized out. qualify. A few ppm of iron can cause a change of flavour. with a high cost of investment and multiple process steps. The great majority of the date producing countries do not. Liquid invert sugars come in different versions with regard to the distribution of the three main sugars involved (sucrose. Furthermore crystallization should at all times be avoided because it will create great problems in handling.7 g/100 g ( Page 140 . But so has liquid invert sugar derived from sucrose. Solubility of pure invert sugar is 69. the rest being invert sugar composed of more or less equal parts of glucose and fructose. A third restriction in the use of date sugar is economy of scale. decolourization by adsorption and demineralization by ion exchange (435). as in most dates. At 50% sucrose and 50% invert the saturation point for the total solids reaches 77° Bx. Consequently clarification costs for refining date syrup are higher than for syrups derived from cane or beet (227) and it will involve several rather delicate and expensive operations. with little or no competition from similar local raw material sources. It remains therefore to a great extent the economics (mainly determined by production . the more the reliance on the two hexoses. makes it very sensitive to the scale at which production takes place. The above considerations of liquid sugar from dates serve to illustrate that the production and use of date liquid qobit@yahoo. because the high purity of the liquid sugar (unlike in date syrup where soluble non-sugars also assist in raising the solubility of the total solids) the saturation point is governed by the partially depressed saturation points of the components. too big for direct local consumption. and the existence of an outlet for industrial liquid sugar. Secondly. such as less tendency towards crystallization in the products it is used and a moisture retaining capacity thanks to its hygroscopicity.1% is quite often not enough and easily affects delicate flavours of raspberry and cherry (435).

Soft drinks (423). but has the highest sweetening power per gram (which pleases the weight watchers). 354). A third approach concerns experiments with the selective solubility and crystallization of sucrose in ethanol (ethyl alcohol). Also fructose. beet and starch crops. though prospects of obtaining a comparable product like table sugar (sucrose) seem doomed from the onset for two main reasons: i. 403). The motivation for this research is that glucose and fructose have distinct properties of their own. sucrose crystals could be recovered in the order of 10% of the weight of the dates (583. An example of partially reaching this goal is high fructose corn syrup. today's lack of sufficient demand or size of the market for these types of products. evaporation and crystallization. 240). nationally. By a process of acqueous ethanol Page 141 . ii. A patented process for crystalline invert sugar derived from a highly concentrated date liquid sugar is also on record (148. reaches half of the total sugars and. heat sensitive and less stable. (if not for the same problem of alternative raw materials). fructose. in a few instances the target product is the microbial biomass itself such as baker's or fodder yeast.4 Fermentation Products The group of products under consideration have in common that they are produced by microbial conversion with date sugar as the main nutrient. Nevertheless some researchers have worked on the subject. thus diminishing the crystallization aspect of glucose. by an enzymatic pretreatment. Use of date liquid sugar is focussed mainly on those products where application of date syrup for its flavour or colour is less desirable. light coloured cakes (18). on the other hand is highly soluble. In most cases the target product is the metabolic by-product of this microbial conversion like alcohol from sugar or acetic acid from alcohol. two major obstacles arise as to the use of dates for this purpose: internationally.6 g/100 g) can be crystallized into a dry stable powder. crystalline or amorphous sugars. in which. flowing. Modern sugar technology is undoubtedly capable of separating sugars out of mixed solutions and produce dry. In one case (145) a proposal is made to settle for a more or less white sugar paste (like cystallized honey) packed in impermeable film. 3. For instance pure glucose with low solubility (54. Conversion of glucose into fructose apart from isomerization by enzymes has also been tested with sodium aluminate technique (490. obtaining more sweetness per gram of product and reaching a higher saturation point. Fructose. hygroscopic. However. which can be best exploited on the single sugar because in a mixture these specific qualities are mutually weakened. but in a very few varieties. is very hygroscopic.sugar has many particular aspects and it took well over twenty years of technical research and feasibility studies before a plant was established in Iraq by the end of the seventies. sucrose at best. Another distinction can be made between products in which the other components of the date also qobit@yahoo. part of the glucose is converted into fructose. jellies and fruit preserves. has been mastered by these technologies. the more difficult one to handle but often quoted as a preferable sugar in pharmaceutical use or combined with artificial sweeteners. confectionery and ice cream are main target products. Research on separating glucose and fructose has focussed on selective adsorption on specific resins. in the date producing countries. filtration. the severe competition of other basic sugar sources like cane. one of the sucrose derivatives. accepting the increased difficulties of dosage in small portions at the consumer level. These rather contrasting properties therefore justify a use of these sugars in their own right. However. but has the lowest sweetening power per gram. Along the same lines. Another type of sucrose recovery by removing glucose and fructose from the solution by selective bacterial digestion is also reported (404). there have been several research efforts to produce solid sugars from the date.

alcohol can also become a target product and separated from the fermented mother liquor (mash) by distillation and rectification. Zahdi dates. does not always come out clearly (445. 482. Basically wine making is a simple process. taste. 197. Research on date wine focusing on selection of active yeast strains. Aging improved the quality of the wines (73). 415. whilst others are required in a pure form as in the case of distilled alcohol or citric acid. All other constituents of the solubles of the fruit are part of the final product and determine. a role in the final aroma. they lack natural acidity and the typical flavour and the slight astringency such as found in grapes. dates are not a typical sugar crop. 26. Apart from the use of dates as a reinforcement and flavouring agent in beer making in Ancient Egypt (128) references to date wine can also be found from early history.025% urea reportedly aided the fermentation process. sweeter wine. 128). 73). together with newly formed components. Wine is mostly known and connotated with grapes. Theoretically therefore dates could be a source of many derived products though as has already come out before. thus reducing the marketing possibilities considerably. 26. Wine Wine is a beverage derived from fruits (and occasionally also vegetables) in which all or part of the sugar is converted into alcohol. The alcohol content most commonly is about 11-13% (by volume). its colour. process conditions and additional nutrients has been active and continuing over the last decades (209. density of the solution. medicinal purposes (disinfection). although the subtle difference between a pure date extract or a fermented one. Glucose is considered a fundamental organic building block in nature from which a large number of substances can be derived by chemical or microbial manipulation. The addition of 0. b. Pure alcohol production is better known as the production of a chemical produced in different strength and purities to be used subsequently in beverages. but to produce high quality wines through the correct choice of raw materials. flavour and consistency. It would seem logical that the vast experiences gained in wine making from grapes could be used fruitfully to further explore and improve the use of dates as a raw material for a fermented beverage. Perhaps a transitional product between wine and distilled pure alcohol was date "sherry" (a misnomer because the original sherry made from grapes is a specific type of (strong) wine and not a distilled product). but also other fruits may be used including dates. 419. Dates are not an outspoken fruit for wine making. a number of which are listed below: Page 142 . one needs a thorough know-ledge of the processes that are taking place. the common variety in Iraq. Production of fermentation products is therefore restricted where the availability of suitable (low cost) dates and market demand create a favourable climate for producing these types of products. The process consisted of fermentation of a date extract and a one-run distilling off without much concern for cutting the "heads" (the light fractions) and the "tails" (the heavy fractions) resulting in a drink of about 25-30% alcohol content with a flavour determined by the volatiles of the raw material which distilled together with the alcohol (62). the chemical industries (solvent). in the wake of the fossil fuel crisis it gained importance as a fuel for internal combustion qobit@yahoo. In the seventies. It should also be remembered that almost 40% of the total date crop is produced in Muslim countries where prohibition is in force. cleaning and as a fuel for small stoves and alcohol lamps. were found to be produce good quality light-coloured dry wine whilst date syrup (dibs) proved better suited for a darker. process conditions and aging. colour and general quality of the target product like date wine or vinegar. Alcohol Whilst the alcohol produced during wine making is an integral part of the final product.

usually of selected strains of Saccharomyces cerivisiae. A variation of the above process is whereby juice is circulated by a pump in the same vessel until equilibrium is reached. Juice from vessel 4 which had the highest sugar content will be diverted to vessel 1 which will now become the producer of the final juice. Juice for fermentation is also produced in a 2-stage countercurrent continuous system (Iraq) but in that case the recovered juice is filtrated before being fermented. not to mention the numerous alcohol distillates which derive their typical flavour from the raw material they are made of such as "Kirsch" (cherries). "Schlivovitch" (plums). fermentation results ultimately and chiefly into ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and carbon dioxide according to the following formula: C6H1206 ________› 2C2H50H + 2C02 + 27 Kcal From this formula the theoretical yield of 51. because the yeast cells for their own growth need material and some by-products are formed. Alcohol is therefore a very versatile chemical but as an industrial raw material requires a well developed down-stream chemical industry. The collected juice of around 18-20o Bx is now ready for fermentation. Fermentation Page 143 . fermentation. To produce 95% (v/v) alcohol from dates the following processes are involved: extraction of the juice. Just before adding the prepared starter of the selected yeast strain (428) the juice has to be cooled. Grappa (grapes).engines as a renewable energy source. last for a couple of days. In the date producing countries alcohol making with dates as the raw material exists but its use is mainly restricted to medicinal purposes. small scale household use and in some countries for the preparation of beverages. Once the dates in vessel 1 are exhausted and removed the extraction water will be fed to vessel 2 and fresh dates fed to vessel 1.1 litres) and 48. In large scale industry alcohol is also used as the primary material for the production of numerous derivatives such as acetaldehyde (further used in the production of acetic acid and butanol) and ethylene (which is the base for the manufacture of polyethylene. for the purposes of crude alcohol making. Live steam is added to keep the extraction temperatures at the correct level.1 kg ethyl alcohol (64. Alcohol fermentation is a biochemical process whereby the enzymes necessary for the conversion of sugars are procured from living yeast cells. In this system the whole dates remain stationary in a vessel until after a series of step-wise extractions with juices of decreasing Bx content the dates are almost completely stripped of their sugars. A schematic representation of such a system is given in Figure 82 (587) which shows increasing sugar content from vessel 1 to 4. the practical yields rarely exceed 90% of these theoretical figures. Tequila (cactus). polystyrene and poly vinyl chloride (PVC)). when the liquid now called DM (distilling material) contains about 9% alcohol. distillation and rectification. It should also be remembered that alcohol used as a feedstock for the chemical industry is mostly synthetically produced. because optimal fermentation temperature lies around 32oC. a batch-wise extraction is much practised. The next phase aims at separating the alcohol from the mother liquor. Since yeast cells thrive best in solutions of 18 to 20o Bx and the extracted juice does not necessarily have to be completely free of non-solubles. Gin (juniper). Rum (molasses) etc. Through a chain of reactions. However. It is advisable to keept it at an elevated temperature (60oC) to avoid infection by undesirable microbes.9 kg carbon dioxide can be calculated. Thus by intermittently emptying and filling and changing of valves a semi-continuous extraction system is created with few moving parts and no separation equipment. after which the juice is redirected to another vessel with higher Brix in the dates. Distillation can be done batch-wise in pot stills whereby alcohol/mixtures are distilled and collected in between set qobit@yahoo. In this way 3 or 4 extractions may suffice to yield a suitable fermentation liquor with minimal sugar loss in the dates. Another advantage is that dates in their stationary position release very little fibre and start to act as a filter for the circulating juices. Brandy (grapes).

boiling temperatures range in order to remove the non-desired (and sometimes poisonous) light fractions and the heavier by-products (a. The net result of the continuous process is that at the top of the column a predominantly alcohol/water vapour mixture is drawn off. Batch Extraction System Figure 83: Distillation and Rectification of Alcohol In the distillation part the DM is counter currently brought into contact with rising steam under vacuum in a stripping column over a number of plates. In industrial alcohol production the process has been made continuous. Figure 82: Semi-continuous. and consists of two main stages: distillation and rectification (Fig. Repeating this process 4 times alcohol strengths of up to 90% can be obtained. whilst at the qobit@yahoo. 83).com Page 144 . fusel oils).o.

5% of total alcohol) and can be used as solvent for lacquers and resins (466). it is composed of pure distilled alcohol with little flavour reference to the original dates it was made from. high in protein. The microbial biomass. It is a clear beverage of around 50% (v/v) alcohol strength with a pronounced anise flavour.1-0. In smaller plants where disposal of limited quantities of stillage does not create environmental problems.e. which can be (and sometimes is) recovered and liquified or sold as dry ice. practically free of alcohol. It has therefore been concentrated to be used in feedstuffs. mainly higher alcohols) at the lower end and a residue called reflux at the bottom which is returned to the distillation column. and mastic (a natural resin). The alcohol/water vapour mixture is drawn into the base of the rectifying column in which by a stepwise condensing and boiling process the vapour mixture separates into fractions of different boiling points. Fusel oil is a generic term for a mixture of alcohols with a higher boiling point. Apart from medicinal and household use date alcohol is well known. also called vinasse is the watery remains of the distillation process and may contain 7-10% solids. 567. Carbon dioxide. In countries where the soft drink industry is well developed the use of CO2 for this purpose should be considered. 83). the French "Pernod" or the Italian "Mistral". i. the stillage is normally discarded without further use. mainly aldehydes and esters) are drawn off at the top. giving the long drink its milky appearance. ii. a strong alcoholic beverage in the same group of drinks as the Greek "Ouzo". in which the volatile date flavours would participate in the aroma of the final product has also been made (285). It is rich in minerals and yeast (if not centrifuged out). Its validation will depend much on the size of the alcohol operation and the marketability of the recovered product. and added essences (anise). Upon dilution with water the anise oil separates out of solution and forms an emulsion. is discarded. iv. pure alcohol of 95% (side product) somewhere at the upper part of the column. The purity and wholesomeness of arak depends on the purity of the components and the way these are made (94. Mastic is added to give viscidity ("body") and extra flavour to the drink. for the production of arak. It is a "made up" drink. It can be used as fertilizer but low solids content soon puts a limit to its application because of transport Page 145 . is therefore increasing and represents a valuable resource in the magnitude of 3-4 kgs dry yeast per 100 l of alcohol produced. Four main by-products are produced during alcohol production: i. Organic acids qobit@yahoo. now called slop or stillage. during fermentation.bottom the remainder of the DM. By this process a very pure alcohol is produced from pure culture fermentation in contrast to for instance rum making which purposely introduces micro-organisms other than yeast to create aromas which are distilled with the alcohol to impart specific flavour to the final product. Yeast cells have. The lightest fractions (heads. in those countries where its use is permitted. iii. They are normally removed from quality drinks (the ratio ranges for 0. fed on sugars and excreted (mainly) alcohol whilst increasing in size and number. This method is partially induced by the need to find an outlet for this high polluting waste product. Slop or stillage. heavier fractions (fusel oil. c. A proposal for manufacture of date brandy.

in this case bacteria. 84). After a first formation period vinegar can be drawn off at the bottom for use and at regular intervals the feedstock can be supplemented by adding new date wine. qobit@yahoo. belong to the genus Acetobacter. pieces of date midribs).e. the process needs oxygen (in contrast to yeast fermentation) and is exothermic. Acetic acid (like alcohol) can however also become the target product and separated from the mother liquor by distillation. The most known and widespread is acetic acid in the form of household vinegar. Acetic acid formation is a sequence to alcohol making (well known from wines that turn sour ("vin-aigre" actually means sour wine). The microbes. that is both products can be made (and used) at the household (or cottage) level incorporating the flavours of the date extract and secondary fermentation products. To speed up the process of acetic acid formation. Vinegars can be produced in this way from a multitude of raw materials each having its own flavour and contain about 4-5% acetic acid. i. One batch will take 24-48 hours to ferment after which half the tank will be emptied and new feedstock added for another run. Another method of accelerated vinegar production is by submerged culture in a vessel heavily oxygenated by air bubbles. The principles of manufacture are much similar as that for wine making. which provides a large contact sur-face between forced circulated air and the liquid.The number of organic acids that directly or indirectly can be derived from sugars is large but for practical reasons of economics of scale and market limitations only a few have been considered for date extracts. In this way a perpetual production takes place which can go on for years. beechwood Page 146 . heat is formed. generators have been developed in which the inoculated mother liquor is sparged over a filling material (ceramics. The basic chemical formula is: C2H5OH + O2 ______› CH3COOH + H2O + 118 Kcal alcohol acetic acid It shows the base material is alcohol. Like for grape vinegar very acceptable household date vinegar can be made inoculating a strain of Acetobacter into a date wine supplemented with some nutrients (urea or malt) and let it stand with an access to oxygen (for instance a barrel on its side with the bunghole left open). The collected liquid under the perforated false bottom in the generator is recirculated by pump passing through a water cooler to keep the temperature at the correct level (27-30oC) (Fig.

oxalic acid. 436). In the date producing countries date vinegar is well known. 69. Single cell protein The possibility of turning carbohydrates into proteins by microbial conversion in situations where the first occurs in abundance and the second is in deficit. the suitability of date juice also has to be investigated for these fermentation. d. But it is a more complex fermentation than for alcohol and acetic acid which are almost spontaneous and with minor precautions can be optimized with simple means. yeasts. for date juice or date syrup most attention in research and project development has been given to citric acid (408. It is therefore clear that apart from the possible alternative feedstocks available.Figure 84: Acetic Acid (Vinegar) Generator Concentrated pure acetic acid used in industry and other chemical use is made from pure synthetic or fermentation alcohol and concentrated by distillation. It is not just a matter of technology transfer. 446. but there are only one or two industrial scale production units. has caught the imagination of many scientists over the last decennia. The feedstock may need treatment to bring it in a condition to yield the highest amount of citric acid versus another common fermentation product. and the market potential for organic Page 147 . Instead citric acid is formed by Aspergillus Niger under stress and the conditions to optimize the process are stringent. Literature has few references on the subject (197. The exaltation perhaps reached its peak in the early seventies when hydrocarbons of fossil origin were included in the choice of raw materials with qobit@yahoo. micro-fungi and algae in particular. 407. 517). With respect to other potential organic acids which are quite numerous as compared to the product lists for molasses (466). 406. There are numerous proposals for utilizing waste and surplus products into high protein food and feed in the form of microbial biomass derived from a variety of microorganisms. The reason probably is that citric acid would have an assured market potential for the soft drink and food industry.

186. the selection of suitable Page 148 .high expectations of alleviating world food shortages through the use of the "mighty microbe". 410). because after all. 43. microbial products have existed over the ages. though there are systems whereby both biomass and alcohol are recovered. (466). A well-known microbial product is baker's yeast available as pressed fresh yeast (27-29% dry substance) kept refrigerated or as active dry yeast (90-92% dry matter). In the extreme case only biomass and no alcohol is produced. Whilst baker's yeast is produced almost exclusively with selected strains of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Since then a more realistic view has been taken. When planning for a food or feed yeast industry note should be taken that the process needs a large amount of nutrients. the latter often imported and used as a leavening agent in bread making in the date producing countries of the Old World. It is a living product also in its dried form. almost exclusively of Saccharomyces Cervisiae strains. but since the yeast needs glucose for metabolic energy (C6H12O6 + 602 ____› 6CO2 + 6H2O) the effective yield (dry basis) is not more than about 50% and about 3/8 of the glucose is converted into carbon dioxide and water. and reactivated when put in solution. purified and sold. electrical energy and cooling water. As a protein source it is normally not competitive with soy protein. Feed or fodder yeast is fed mostly to monogastric animals as a protein and vitamin/mineral source. 416). both substances at a lower rate than their maximum possible (466). By changing the process parameters (mainly a change from anaerobic to aerobic conditions). 260. Good results are obtained and there does not seem any technological constraint in using date extract which would be of special interest to date producing countries which have no beet or cane sugar production. In large scale operations these yeasts are recuperated. whilst the same organism was also tested on date extract for the production of amylase (562). expressed in a simple molar formula glucose is transformed into biomass following: C6H12O6 + NH3 ______› C6H7O3NH2 + 3H2O glucose nutrients microbial biomass (ashfree) which theoretically would mean an 80% conversion of glucose into biomass. The dried yeast (90% dry matter) is known for its high protein content and vitamin B as is shown in the Table 18. But the enthusiasm was soon tempered for two main reasons: the sudden rise in oil prices (1973) and the increasing suspicions on the presence of noxious substances (for human health) in the final products. There have been a number of investigations into the production of baker's yeast on date extracts (359. 352. feed yeast production using dates has reached industrial level in Iraq. and providing appropriate nutrients. leading to the closing down of several large scale investments. Earlier reference was made to yeast as a by-product of beer. Thus. wine and pure alcohol production. Apart from the experimental work on using date extracts (414. which is the traditional raw material for yeast production. the process can be directed towards biomass production. This research was mainly directed to testing the suitability of date extracts versus molasses. Some research work has also been done on fungal protein using Aspergillus (390. in the form of minerals. 411). qobit@yahoo. For human consumption it is mostly considered as a health food or used as condiment in the form of yeast extracts which are mainly hydrolyzed yeast proteins with a strong specific flavour. food and fodder yeast is also produced with other genuses or mixtures of yeast strains. 412. but the yield compared to alcohol production is small. such as Candida Tropicalis and Torulopsis Utilis.

35 39 .685 3 500 .8 000 9 . but has found no practical applications. but no practical follow-up has been reported (376.54 2.7 . Pen.4 .72 39 . This method has been the subject of experimental work on many substrates.9 5.Table 18 Composition of dried yeast YEAST FROM Molasses %-age Water Crude protein Phosphate Crude fate Ash Vitamins in ppm Thiamine Riboflavine Pantothenic acid Nicotinic acid Ergosterol 60 . 2 . Also date juice and syrup have been investigated mainly with fat producing fungi (Penicullum Lilacium.3 4.2 6. 563).8. soppi Zaluski and Aspergillus Nidulans) with some success.56.6 2.7 Spent liquor of beech e.0 . lipids By selection of the most appropriate micro-organisms and manipulating the nutrient supply (mainly minimize nitrogen and phosphorus) and the process conditions.8 43.6 . 375. production of lipids can be stimulated at the cost of protein.5 200 Page 149 .45 32 476 5 000 . qobit@yahoo.90 427 .6 .67 23 .5 46 .5 .8.

1 Cull Dates Whether on the household. goats and sheep it is not uncommon to see the pit coming out the other end. the date. Furthermore. too small. and for best feed efficiency has to be supplemented. Making good use of the (cull) date as an animal feed source requires not only consideration of its chemical composition but also the physical form in which the date is fed to the animal. But products based on date extraction like alcohol and syrup require substantial additional industrial set up. This heading on cull dates will therefore be used to look into the value of dates as an animal feed with the understanding that it will also include the use of low quality or surplus dates which otherwise would have been suitable for the product range described in Chapter 3.CHAPTER 4: BY-PRODUCTS OF DATE PACKING AND PROCESSING In date packing and processing operations a number of by-products are becoming available. In Chapters I to III the end use possibilities for the date have been described proportional to an increasing prominency of these defects with probably alcohol making as the least demanding product with regard to the quality of the raw material. which are not considered suitable for the main envisaged use. cattle. The main byproducts are cull dates and date pits from packing operations. which surely is the cheapest but not the nutritionally most optimal method. especially without considering the pit. and pits and presscakes from date processing: 4. several techniques can help to improve the feed value. also very suitable for the rural level is the use in. a percentage of cull dates. Consequently the definition of a cull date is rather flexible but is generally connected with "too hard.e. Page 150 . high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. A more direct use. or as animal feed. i. for which a use should be found in order to improve the economics of the operation as a whole and to decrease disposal problems and costs. foreign matter. thus losing its effect as a feed source (see 2. proportionally to the quality standards set. is an unbalanced feed. Although whole dates will be eaten by camels. which has to be recovered from the gain qobit@yahoo.). small or large scale level of whole date use there is bound to be a selection of the fruit which will leave. but this goes at a cost. infested" etc. blemished. Apart from feeding dates as is. poor appearance.

this process is however rather energy intensive too. the available mechnical date pitters will not perform efficiently. The date mash was mixed with flaked barley (1:1) and dried in a rotary dryer to be used as a feed component (251). but to produce storable compound mixes or pellets the final moisture content should not be more than 12-15% in the final mix. As can be expected the pits are the highest energy consumer in grinding (a factor 10:1 compared with the energy required for the rest of the mix). are an awkward material because they are composed of a soft and sticky. replace molasses? This would simplify the preparatory operation to a (heated) mixing vessel for making a date pulp and a rotary screen for removing the Page 151 . especially the wetter ones. When the dates are rather soft date maceration as described in Chapter I could be considered. A possible limiting factor could be the moisture content of the mash. Date ratios of 20% also gave this result but at lower levels the resulting pellets are poor and molasses would have to be added in compensation (170). which cannot be expected to be lower than 50% at best (molasses 20-25%). curiously. It was found that incorporation of dates up to 30% of the mix is possible without fear of caking in the machinery (170). Therefore a date mash was made by adding about 50% water and thorough mixing after which the pits are removed from the pulp in a rotary screen. Apart from some technological limitations of mashing. it was found. However. of the mix. because for animal feed purposes usually the lower quality and drier dates are used. one has to resort to passing the whole dates through the grinder and accept the extra energy costs or investigate the efficiency of a specially designed whole date/barley groats mixer which by its action breaks up the date flesh but leaves the pit intact. It will not be a serious handicap when a fresh ration is made up for daily supplement feeding to the animals. At this level also the compressing of the mix resulted in an excellent pellet and the beneficial effect of the use of dates in this case is that it can take the place of molasses as a lubricant and binder (170). However. whole dates. that grinding whole dates costs more energy (about 30%) than the sum of grinding the components. By and large. On the other hand it produces a semi-finished product which does not necessarily have to pass through the grinder in the feed mill before final mixing. which also leaves the date flesh already broken up for more easy mixing with other materials. dates tend to smear and clog the sieves of the commonly used hammermills in feed plants. qobit@yahoo. it would seem that the above process will not offset the alternative energy costs for grinding the whole date. One of them is size reduction and mixing with other feeds. and then grind. If above "wet" additions of dates do not fit the requirements of the feed to be produced. To reduce the cost of energy some thought has been given to separate the pits from the flesh first and treat them on their own (see 2) or discard them. Unless they are very hard and dry when ground on their own.5-8 kg of date flesh) to be added to 100 kgs of mix (molasses are normally added in the range of 5-10%).in nutritional worth of the feed. and a very hard component. A compound mix of components averaging 7% moisture would not allow more than 13-16 kgs of date mash (corresponding to 6. separately (170). and which is separated in a following operation (286). however. A second point in size reduction and incorporation of whole dates in feed mixes is the presence of the pits. technologically. screening and mixing. which normally forms part of the feed anyway. It is therefore necessary to make a premix with a dry material such as barley or maize or soybean meal. but it leads to another possibility: could not a date mash from which the pits have been removed. In grinding tests.

fed on 85% barley and 15% soybean meal (592) . 85).com Page 152 . In conclusion it can be stated that dates have a value as a carbohydrate feed but that its feed efficiency depends on suitable administration and supplementation to reach the best feeding results. the date fed animals gained less and ate more dry matter per kg live weight gain (463) . 112. Chickens: . 6-12% of its total weight in the tamr stage (Fig. or seeds form part of the integral date fruit in the order of. depending on variety and quality grade.25% of macerated dates incorporated in a ration for lactating dairy cows and replacing barley/oats by half with total protein kept constant. stones. juiciness and flavour (168) iv. incidentally. 40 and 60% in rations containing 20% soybean meal and supplemented with roughage.whole ground dates replacing maize at respectively 5.2 kg fishmeal.Lambs fed ad lib alfalfa hay with incorporated respectively 10. (Plinius. Intake of whole dates up to 2500 gms daily for 120 kgs pigs. already refers to the use of dates in fattening pigs in Egypt (128)) .for weaned male Jersey calves the average growth rate was 20% less when fed on fresh alfalfa and hay plus 1 kg dates than on alfalfa alone. also with the control. a few pertinent examples are cited: i. 494. They become available in concentrated quantities when pitted dates are produced in packing plants or in qobit@yahoo.8 kg dates + 0. but low if any for the protein and fat. Sheep: . 458). though the diets were palatable (462). Cattle: . 230. 4. Pigs: . but 47. but a tendency to deposit fat.Fed on an equal based ration of 1 kg cereals and vegetable and animal protein.Grinding whole dates into a paste without premix has also been proposed and demonstrated in a reinforced powerful meat grinder with double plate and knife set (247). substitution of potatoes (up to 2 kgs daily) for dates did not affect rate of gain and efficicency of feed conversion in the control and 2 experimental groups fed (partially) on dates (458) iii.7% as a total replacement of the maize resulted in growth depression and reduced feed utilization (263) ii.high digestibility coefficients for carbohydrates.2 Date Pits Date pits. More information on the value of feeding whole dates and date flesh to animals can be found in literature (463. 20. 231. and 30% date flesh and ground pits showed for the 30% date level faster weight gain. No stones found in faeces (457. Date-fed lambs all showed highest in organoleptic testing of the loin chops for tenderness. For young bulls on 3 kg alfalfa hay plus 3 kgs concentrate or alternatively 2. lamb performance was similar.replacing barley by whole dates at the rate of 25.Macerated dates can successfully replace barley up to 50% in rations for cattle fattening (161) . 22. 23. 492). With regard to the nutritional acceptability and value of dates for different target animals. highest feed intake with similar feed conversion rate. did not lower the milk yields (24). kernels. 10 and 30% of a diet for broilers supported growth as efficiently as the control. also called pips.

At the rural level one may find some accumulation of date pits when immature dates are pitted before sundrying (e. 167. Figure 85: Date Pits Adapted from a number of literature references (554. aspartic acid and arginine account for nearly half of total amino acids whilst tryptophan is the most limiting essential amino acid followed by Page 153 . 503. qobit@yahoo. on the coast of Libya) or countries where dates are pitted and preserved as a paste (agwa). 509) an indicative picture of the chemical composition of the date seed has been collated in the following table: Table 19 Approximate composition of date pits Moisture Protein (N x 6. 536. For the rest.industrial date processing plants based on juice extraction. 139. date pits follow the dispersed ways of distribution routes of the whole fruit and have no importance as an individual raw material. In the latter case they may still be mixed with the exhausted presscake or they have been screened out in the process.25) Oil Crude fibre Carbohydrates Ash 5-10% 5-7% 7-10% 10-20% 55-65% 1-2% Information on the amino acid pattern of date seed protein is scarce but from a study on 2 Saudi varieties (503) it appears that glutamic acid. and lysine as a border case in reference to the FAO/WHO reference pattern of essential amino acids (for human consumption).g. 559. 146.

0 (what remains upon burning) Lignin Cellulose Ash With regard to mineral content date pits show appreciable amounts of K followed by P.5 (burning above residue) 4.4%.9%). There remains therefore the use of the whole seed as an animal feed which apart from the value of the protein and fat is favoured by the rather high hemicellulose content. sugars) (% of dry weight) NDF ADF Hemicellulose 75.3%.2% including linoleic acid). capric and caprylic acid are present in minor Page 154 . On the basis of the above indicative composition figures a first prognosis can now be made on the possible use of date pits. feed value is not qobit@yahoo. 44. With a special eye for use as an animal feed and together with crude fibre content this part can be further split up in cellulose. 1. Stearic. ii. myristic acid (11. 0. 9.5° C). However.4633 (25° C). For human consumption there seems to be little scope. lignin and ash. NDF less hemicellulose) 17.4580 (40° C). Of the micro elements Fe.5 (NDF minus ADG. 24. and linoleic acid (8. 1. In the above analyses (Table 19) "carbohydrates". (139). oxydixing the lignin) 42. 52. 100 minus the other main components). 536. Mn. Similar arguments apply also to the protein content. hemicellulose.0 (neutral detergent fibre. Its main median characteristics are: spec weight.3%. For date pits this gave the following results (608): Table 20 Composition date pit carbohydrates (excl.The oil extracted from date pits is pale yellowish-green with a pleasant odour (146). included with oleic acid) form by far the bulk of the total fatty acids. Only a small part. 355).2%). drying and grinding it into flour to be used for making a sort of pancake (445). (503)) on fatty acids show that oleic acid (i. total cell wall content) 57. ii. the largest component. Mg and Ca and a low Na content.5%. the remainder of carbohydrates being of a more complex nature. hemicellulose is a long-chain carbohydrate composed of pentoses. finally arriving at a soft paste. iodine value: (a measure for the degree of unsaturation of a fat): 50-55. though there are early reports of elaborate processes of pounding and boiling with the use of salt and vinegar. saponification value: 205-210. is found as the rest value (i.e. 9. Date seed oil is an edible oil but its low extraction for this purpose is no competitive match for the many other oil bearing crops.0 (determined by potassium lignin procedure on ADF residue. Date oil does not have any characteristic that would make it suitable for specific end uses.3%). lauric acid (17. consists of sugar. Zn and Cu are the more important ones (503.5%. thus raising its value and compensating for its low extraction rate.9174 (20° C). refr index.9207 (15. It is readily hydrolyzed by dilute acids into mainly xylose) 11. in order of a few percentage points. 0.5 (acid detergent fibre. Two independent analyses (i. palmitic acid (10.

enclosed structure of the seed is a real obstacle to optimize the feed value. Next to physical pretreatment of the raw material to improve the accessibility of the feed. A nutritional evaluation. It could be concluded that without appreciable loss in nutrients (based on chemical analysis) the pits gained in softness to the point of possible direct consumption by the animals (560). 28.g. 252. which resulted in increased in vitro digestion rates. but it requires more Page 155 . cotton seed cake) or urea is added (178. might qobit@yahoo. 45. Sodium hydroxide treatment of date pits has been experimented with (608). 281. is costly on energy and wear and tear of the machinery. The disadvantage is the high lye intake (average 6% of the straw) and the animal's water intake is greatly increased to remove excess sodium. The energy consumption can be reduced by first crushing the pits and then grinding. 4. Traditionally. 28) iii. except for its protein. The mechanism of alkali treatment is not known exactly but is most likely based on displacement of intra-fibril hydrogen linkeages by much larger Na-ions. 598. The result is a material with more accessible nutritive compounds and which is physically more attractive for the animal to ingest because the material becomes softer. ground date seeds can be used from 20 to 75% in ruminant rations if a good protein supplement (e. Further references on the use of date pits in or as animal feed are found in (151. and breakage of bonds between lignin and cellulose. A second improvement is grinding which.8 and 9. date stone meal can successfully replace a 10% barley content in chick rations. For instance. some chemical treatments are known to increase digestibility. Ground date pits were treated with respectively 2. The question is easily raised but only to be answered when all details are known. But even then they are not readily ingested by the animals. 347. though the increased live weight gain over the control is related to more feed intake (9) ii. 348. again in view of the hard structure of the pit. With regard to the acceptability and feed value of date pits a number of research trials have been carried out over the last decennia. if proven positive. The hard. 450. whilst complete replacement would reduce daily growth rate but increase fat content in carp flesh (37). a sampling of which is summarized below: i.6% NaOH solution. but may increase by 50% after a week or so. date seeds have a high digestibility coefficient for ruminants and somewhat less for pigs (34) iv.only determined by composition but also by accessibility and digestibility of the components. a wheat bran/barley mixture for carp feed could be replaced by up to 75% by date seed meal. 263). whether the high cost of size reduction is justified vis-à-vis the improved feed value resulting from it. date seeds were germinated (over a period of 74 days). especially at the rural level one has resorted to soaking the pits after which they are fed whole to ruminants. although it is also claimed that pits are an excellent slow release energy feed for camels during long desert journeys. 451.4. Date pits submerged in water for 72 hours will gain 25% in weight. Ammonia and urea in decreasing rates of efficiencies are also used for the purpose of upgrading ligno-cellulosic materials. In another attempt to avoid costly size reduction of date pits to make them more valuable as a feed source. alkali treated straw has a linearly higher digestibility coefficient (from 45% to 71% for respectively 0 to 120 g NaOH per kg of treated straw). Experimentally it was established that in a 40 HP swinging hammermill fitted with a 2 mm sieve the grinding of date pits consumed over 100 Kwh/ton whilst for barley or maize these figures are 19 and 15 Kwh respectively in the same mill.

both traditionally and experimentally.36% 51% qobit@yahoo.grav. Whole dates were carbonized (main reactions took place between 300-400° C) and the major formed products analysed: Table 21 Dry distillation of date pits Carbon Tar. the odour is fairly agreeable. In a test on making charcoal (554) the following results were obtained.67% 1. In a slightly modified form of dry distillation date pits can be turned into charcoal. and when mixed with coffee is difficult to detect". The result must have been promising because the method has been used to adulterate coffee powder.8% 4. grav. (226) In Tibesti and other remote desert areas date pits are heated in closed pots and the tar thus formed is used as a preserving agent for wood. crude Acetic acid Methanol The characteristics of the carbon were: 27% 13-14% 2-3% 2% Table 22 Composition of date pit carbon Moisture Volatiles Ash Apparent spec. The use of date pits for animal feed in the traditional way is still likely the most common practice but there are reports on other uses of date pits. The colour is a little interesting for village application of seeds for animal feed.0% 0. In remote parts of the desert a coffee like beverage is sometimes prepared from date pits by roasting and grinding in a similar way as for coffee Page 156 . A research article devoted to possible toxic effects of this adulterant. in spite of the time factor involved for germination. Real spec. then ground to a similar powder as for coffee. Porosity 0% 8. states "date seeds are roasted by dry heat.

However. And even a negative effect on growth rate of broilers by the feeding of date stones was reported (252). identified as estrone at the rate of 1. cleaned and polished have been used in necklaces and as earrings by women (445). 263. The feed value of date pit meal for chickens is therefore not quite clear as is shown from the various contrasting reports referred to (9. though it has been quoted as a fine charcoal used by silversmiths (445). 10 and 15% by date pit meal (263). In another similar experiment (9) the same accelerated growth in chickens fed on (partly) date stone meal is reported. 252). however. the production of protein from date stone by Apergillus oryzae (421). increased weight gain was not attained but did not change significantly in an experiment on broilers fed on rations replacing wheat bran/maize/lucerne at the rate of 5. but are more known for their growth promoting effect in animals. Their use in most countries is strictly regulated or totally forbidden for fear of the continuing effects of the hormone by consumption of the animal products by humans.8% mgaeq iodine/g carbon On the basis of these results it was concluded that pit carbon is not likely suitable as active carbon for use in metallurgy (ash content). The synthetically produced sisters of this female sex hormone have been used in chemical caponization of young cocks.9 mg per kg of date seeds (212).com Page 157 . A perhaps more interesting potential use already referred to in the fifties in animal feed literature is the presence of a growth stimulating hormone. Some attention has been given to investigate microbial conversion of date seeds such as utilization of date pits and cheese whey for the production of citric acid by Candida lipolytica (7). 522. Chickens given 10 g daily of ground date seeds with the normal diet gained weight at a faster rate than the control as the following average figures (for 10 birds each) show (522). which does not exclude the effect of a growth promoting substance in date seeds. Table 23 Weight gain of chickens fed on date pit meal (grams) Start After 1 week 900 After 2 weeks 919 After 3 weeks 1 067 Total increase 212 Chickens (control) Chickens (fed on date pit meal) 858 858 976 986 1 199 345 In this experiment no mention is made of the total feed intake of the two groups. Dates pits. qobit@yahoo. It does not exclude. the use as fire carbon which is still very common for small cooking stoves in the Arab World.Ion-absorption 1. and Candida Utilis (427) but practical follow-up to these investigations is unlikely in view of the type and composition of the raw material. but it was also measured that this increased weight is proportional to increased feed intake.

349) but no conclusive results were obtained. albeit weak. This method has been very successful for beet pulp and avoids the prohibitive costs of drying these wet pulps. depending on the type of extraction.2 8. It is the exhausted date flesh with some residual sugar with or without the pits incorporated.5 (215) The feed value is estimated somewhat lower than dried beet pulp (458) but no references on tests on ensiling date pulp have been traced. (NFE) Sugar (part of NFE) 87. food consumption and conversion efficiency during fattening period (49 days) of broilers qobit@yahoo. The search for minor components with a specific activity has not limited itself to the effects related to animal feeding: an ethanolic extract of date pits showed. antimicrobial activity on several strains of microorganisms and increased motor activity in mice (355). The composition of dried presscake (excluding the pits) varies but on average will be about: Table 24 Composition of dried date press cakes Dry matter Crude protein Crude fibre Crude fat Ash Nitrogen free extr. as shown in the following table (215): Table 25 Weight gain.4 11. Date waste in broiler diets partially replacing cereals at the rate of respectively 50. It is wet (up to 70% moisture) and therefore bulky (from Appendix III it can be seen that presscake constitutes about 30% of the weight of ingoing dates) and will deteriorate quickly and become a disposal problem.6 (458) 92. but at the cost of higher feed intake per kg gained. 100 and 150 g per kg of feed gave higher weight gains.7 (554) 95. Date seed extract lowered blood pressure in dogs when administered intravenously (522).1 1.1 2.3 Page 158 . Neither could any significant influence of incorporating date stone meal in the diet of Awassi ewes be detected on their reproductive performances (350).1 9. 4.8 4.The matter of purported hormonal effect of date stone meal was further pursued in tests measuring sperm output and concentration in rams (253. Some flavonoids were analyzed in date seeds (372).8 2.0 72.7 2.8 3.7 5.3 Presscakes Presscakes are the result of processes where dates are extracted such as for syrup and alcohol.6 55.6 2.3 21.

Treatments Weight gain. Page 159 . Further work on nutritional value has been reported (215.22 2. g./ weight gained 2. Date waste (150) IV.07 I. Date waste (50) II. qobit@yahoo. 420). 439. Date waste (100) III. 20. (mean) 1411 1472 1472 1371 Food consumption (g/bird) 3310 3324 3323 2861 Food cons. (Control) It can be concluded that date waste can be used in broiler diets and that its inclusion will relate to practicality and relative cost of the waste and the replaced grains. 616) as well as a few attempts on microbial conversion of date presscakes (232.26 2.26 2.

jetties and light foot bridges. after which the more recent product development and use will be assessed. A main division of date palm parts is made as follows: a) the trunk. On occasion the production of these palm products equalled or became more important than the date crop itself (318). girders.CHAPTER 5: PALM PRODUCTS (EXCLUDING DATES) Besides the fruit. trunk: The trunk or stem becomes available upon natural or accidental death of the palm or by forced removal. In time of food scarcity the inside of the trunk has been pulverized and turned into a coarse flour for human consumption (363). It seems. pillars. their use. beams (Fig. Date growers of the Sahara attribute depurative properties to the bud and it is consumed more for this purpose than as a food (363). and the sheath at the leaf base).com Page 160 . fruit stalk. transport and construction. b) the leaves (whole leaves. the date palm over the centuries has also provided a large number of other products which have been extensively used by man in all aspects of daily life. 5. to domestic use and reaching out also into the urban centres. sweet in taste. logical to review first the traditional uses of the various date palm parts. can be consumed either raw as a salad or as a cooked vegetable somewhat resembling artichoke hearts though this varies with the palm variety (445). On the other hand these same technological developments have made it possible to look at the palm as a raw material source for industrial purposes. midribs.1 Traditional use of palm products Through the centuries the use of palm products in the date producing areas was diffused in all sectors of the economy from agriculture. Its use is therefore geared to exploit this characteristic such as for poles. The soft growing point or terminal bud. leaflets and spines. therefore. 86). The often remoteness of the date producing areas with few other resources available has stimulated and refined these uses of basically rather coarse materials. a. which intrinsically is not of high quality because of the coarse vascular bundles (monocotolydon!) but it has great tensile strength. Practically all parts of the date palm. For this purpose they can be used whole or split in half or quarters. except perhaps the roots. However modern technological developments and improved communications have influenced. rafters. Hollowed out half trunks qobit@yahoo. spikelets and pollen) and d) a number of palm extracts. lintels. are used for a purpose best suited to them. But the trunk's main use is for its wood. and in many instances decreased. to which most of the contents of this publication is devoted. c) the reproductive organs (spathes.

leaves: Every year under normal growth conditions an average of 12 to 15 new leaves are formed by the palm and consequently the same amount can be expected to be cut as part of the maintenance of the palm. Furthermore the trunk was used extensively in the supporting strucures for water lifting be it in the Egyptian waterwheel. 87). And finally. finish and polish. is difficult to cut. b. or at shorter lengths for mangers and troughs.are used as conduits for water. Sawn into coarse planks they are made up into doors. qobit@yahoo. the Sakiyeh (318) or in the animal drawn water lifting from open wells. because of its coarse vascular structure. the trunks are also used as firewood. Figure 86: Palm Trunk used in Roof Making Figure 87: Planks made out of Palm Trunk used for Doors Rustic furniture has also been made though trunkwood. Taken over hundreds or thousands of trees this can lead to large numbers of leaves becoming available Page 161 . shutters and staircases for houses (Fig.

In assembling the crate the thinner rods are knocked down the holes making use of a flat thick piece of iron (Fig. midribs: the very base of the date leaf encircles the palm as a fibrous sheath and remains part of the trunk. When the leaf is cut off at a length dependent on the prevalent cultural practices. assembled in groups of about equal diameter. Leaf bases sharpened at the thin end and hammered in a close pack have been used to line the walls of open wells when the usual brick or stone are not available (139). There is a great variation in size and type of the containers. leaf bases are particularly suited as a fuel. 88e f). or in partitioning in houses and enclosures of terraces providing privacy but keeping a certain ventilation. After marking. ii. 88b). adapted to the specific purpose. Where mud is used in house construction whole date leaves may be laid across the ceiling beams (made of the trunk) in a thick bedding upon which a layer of mud is poured to form the first floor or roof cover (318). Leaves are further used as roofing to give shade or for newly planted offshoots. 88) (189). the holes are perforated by a punch (driven in by a mallet) an operation in which both the operator's hands and feet actively and efficiently participate (Fig. Whole palm leaves further have a special meaning at Christian and Jewish religious festivals and the introduction of the date palm into South America has been attributed to the missionaries who carried along date seeds from the Old World in order to secure a supply of palm leaves for religious celebrations. 88c) and. The smaller diameters are further smoothed and rounded for their intended use (Fig. midribs make effective building boards of about 50 x 200 cm. but the principles of construction are basically the same. And. qobit@yahoo. Soaked in water. Usually the leaf base is cut off and treated separately whilst the remaining "stick" (still called midrib to simplify nomenclature) when stripped of the spines and leaflets is used for different purposes. after which they are cut into pieces of standard lengths (Fig. the leaf base was used as a bat to densify mud walls by the mason (445). straightened and set and held closely together by cross members pierced through them. The most widespread use of the midrib is making crates.Leaves offer the most varied end use opportunities which are discussed by the individual parts in which the leaf can be divided: i. 88d). and used as partitioning or roofing (136). With a bit longer than the usual thin piece left on as a handle. 343). the leaf as a whole: whole leaves are used in fencing by sticking them into the ground and holding them together with two or three layers of rope made of the leaflets (Fig. like other fibrous parts of the palm. They were used by fishermen to float their nets and by the same principle helped children to learn to swim (445). From the midribs of the preferred varieties (because there are quality differences). but also furniture. first the edges (where the pinnae were attached) are removed by a stripping knife (Fig. since they are tapered. 88g h). a short description of which is given below (Fig. The thicker lengths to be perforated are levelled in order to at least have two flat surfaces. after which superfluous material is cut and trimmed by knife and file ( Page 162 . 10). The base can be split and beaten out with the resulting fibre mass being used as a hand broom. the base of the midrib is broad and flattened but quickly narrows from the base upwards into a more or less triangularly shaped stick which thins down towards the end of the leaf.

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bottle racks and furniture. birdcages and chicken coops to double deck twin cages.g.Figure 88: Crate making from the Leaf Midrib Starting from these basic operations and with increasing artisanal skills a wide variety of containers has emerged. The art of crate making has extended to other domestic products like carrying boards. carton. 89a/b). the crates may be lined with palm or other vegetable fibre. from simple fruit crates. e. Page 166 . For the more delicate products. or a camel's back to carry a wide variety of fowl and other produce to the market (Fig. fresh fruit or eggs. or heavy brown paper. especially chairs and bedsteads. sometimes with sliding doors. hung on a donkey's.

Leaflets are mainly used in plaits which are sewn together in a wide array of baskets and sacks. cane or fishing rod or as supports for grape vines and ripening date bunches (445).com Page 167 . midribs can also be turned into a light good quality charcoal (139). Though these measures may have had some impact they have not been able to stem the flow and use of modern packaging materials. leaflets vary in length from about 15 to 100 cm and in breadth from 1 to 6 cm (139). a. but also mats and smaller articles like fans and hats.Figure 89a: Examples of Crates. Nevertheless midribs do still play a role in the manufacture of crates and rustic furniture in the rural date producing centres. Besides serving as a direct fuel source when needed. crate making has diminished. plastics in particular. With the changing economic patterns in most date producing countries including increased labour costs and scarcity. Other uses of midribs have been reported such as a fibre source for rope making. smoothing and punching in central workshops and delivering the crates in kits to be assembled by the user thus saving transport costs. On Camel's Back Figure 89b. as a staff. Some attempts have been made to mechanize some of the operations by mechanical levelling. The fundamental technology for its most widespread qobit@yahoo. iii. The number of leaflets on one midrib may be in the range of 120 to 240.: For Fowl on Donkey's Back It is clear from the above description that artisanal crate making is labour intensive and comparatively slow.

and 30 cm high. see later) (Fig. is to plait the leaflets into strips of matting of considerable length which are coiled in a spiral and its edges sewn together with a thread made out of the same leaflets. for a common date basket with a bottom diameter of about 50 cm and 75 cm high. A common size for transport of earth. coal. the carrying basket is a most common utensil both for private and professional uses. is about 20 cm diameter at the bottom. These baskets are carried on the shoulder and through the ages a very large amount of material has been moved in this way. 91). widening to the top (in contrast to the date basket which narrows to the top). baskets. It will hold 30-36 kgs of earth or sand and needs reinforcement at the bottom and handles for a durable life span.use. are used. For private use. 90) (445). The finer the plaiting and the narrower the strips the more closely knit and sturdier baskets or bags can be made. Next to the date basket. in a larger version. but the supply of these fibres is necessarily limited (318). baskets or bags are often plaited with coloured leaflets to create colourful designs or reinforced with (brown) thread made of the fibre covering the frond base (sheath fibre. Figure 90: Baskets made of Plaited Leaflets containing about 300 kgs of Dates qobit@yahoo. yet tough Page 168 . For instance. building materials or even. For the most refined products fresh leaves just issuing from their protective cover on the palm and offering a less brittle. a plaited strip of about 10 cm width and 15 m length is needed (Fig.

Trays made in this way are used for many purposes in the house. Lids are also made in this way. Usually a two-strand cord is made with a thickness of about 7 to 10 mm (318) (Fig 93). 92). providing a vast array of baskets. sturdy baskets. whilst donkeys almost disappear under the loads of fruits and vegetables by similarly shaped side baskets hung on their backs (318). Figure 92: Containers for Domestic Use made out of Fibre of the Leaflets Wrapped around Cores Derived from Fibre cut off the Fruit Stalk Besides woven Page 169 . The technique consists of first forming cores of finely divided fibres of the date fruit stalk. vases and depository boxes (Fig. for instance. soaked in water and twisted into cord by rolling the fibre between the palm of the hands into a strand. qobit@yahoo. In this way all types of shapes can be given to the basket by the form in which the cores are laid. By a different technology but using the same raw materials. the leaflets are shredded into strips of about 2-3 mm wide. leaflets are also used for making cord which is used. and vase shaped containers and trays are made.Figure 91: Variety of Hand Baskets made from Plaited Palm Leaflets on Sale in Local Market Large-scale carrying baskets of an inverted cone shape slung over a camel's back and fitted with a valve at the bottom for easy discharge are used for longer distances. In making it. for tying up bundles of nursery stock or other temporary fixing jobs in horticulture. These cores are laid in a spiral and wrapped over with shredded leaflets at the same time linking them with the former spiral.

A different use of palm leaflets is the use as a stuffing material for cushions and mattresses. spines: they are specialized leaflets converted into tough pointed pins which may vary from very short to up to 20 cm in length and from very thin to 1 cm in width.000 whole leaves. Morocco). or turned into thick rope for further Page 170 . Situated at the lower end of the qobit@yahoo. The material comes out in fine threads. When softened they are put through a rippling machine which consists of a fast rotating drum with pins on its surface.Figure 93: Handmade Cord made of Shredded Date Leaflets. This material is dried (naturally) and baled. a. The quality of the material is determined by its elasticity and resistance to break under pressure. although rated lower in quality than the widely used "Krena" (crin végétal) made from the dwarf palm (Algeria. iv. One ton of krena requires a supply of about 2. Leaflets are also used as bedding for animals. The process consists of drying the palm leaves on concrete floors. stripping the leaflets from the midrib. A hank of cord about 75 to 80 m long Handbrooms are made from the leaflets by arranging and tying them in flat bundles and the very young white pinnae shredded into fine fibre and bundled at one end serve as fly whisks. bundling them (about 15 cm diameter) and soaking these bundles in water. A two-stand cord b.

Figure 94: Sheath Fibre from the Leaf Base as it comes from the Palm (a) and in detail (b).midrib they have the obvious function of protecting the central tender parts of the palm. which really would make the palm fully self sufficient in procuring packing material for its own produce. and surrounding the trunk of the palm. can be torn loose and is known under the name of leef. Apart from its fuel value it is best known for the many types of rope made from it. sheath: New date palm leaves come out from a tender cover tissue which upon growth of the leaf remains at its base attached to its lateral edges. The raw material has the appearance of a coarsely woven fabric (Fig. They can be used in the making of fishtraps and obviously. qobit@yahoo. spines normally have already been removed during preceding cultural practices to give the operator access to the central part of the tree. 94). No reference has however been found that the spine is used as a sewing needle in basket making. toothpicks or other uses where a sharp pointed utensil is needed. when pruning the leaves. When leaves are Page 171 . The connective tissue has gone and a brownish fibrous sheath is left which. v.

washcloths. Figure 95: Nets made out of Sheath Fibre Cordage for Transport In lighter versions rope is used for binding. 95). upholstering. etc. tying. Pollen is reportedly ingested to enhance fertility (128). brushes. Figure 96: Several Types of Cordage made of Sheath Fibre in Local Market Egypt) c. reproductive organs: Male flowers. padding. The male flowers have been also used to distill a scent from it called Tara water (136). and for a short period not yet required for pollination. handles and reinforcement of baskets. are sometimes consumed by the farmer (17). It is also made into nets with a mesh of about 20 cm for carrying (heavy) loads of coarse materials by camel or transporting forage and the coarser vegetables on a donkey's back (Fig. muzzles.Manufacture follows the usual pattern from purely manual rope making to the use of simple Page 172 . The leef as such is used for protecting newly planted offshoots.(Fig. being the first to mature. The product is rather coarse (somewhat like coir) but has sufficient strength to "hold ships together" (445) as was practised in the past when no nails were available. fishnets. Rope of different diameters is frequently used in waterlifting. 96). What remains after the annual reproductive cycle has ended with harvesting of the qobit@yahoo. bedding and shading live plants and produce.

in vertical position and holding the upper end of the stalk with the spikelets with his foot. More recently spathe extracts have been investigated for possible special properties (see later). and saddle girths. especially the basal end. With the fibre strips thus harvested the normal rope making procedures will start. 97). like the other fibrous parts of palm a fuel value.e. Making rope from the fruit stalks involves wetting (perhaps soaking) to soften the stalk somewhat. After pollination male spathes are removed and pieces are sometimes chewed by the farmer or soaked in drinking water to improve its flavour (343). qobit@yahoo. After this. i. twisting two strands into one cord and subsequently twisting three cords into one rope. fruit stalks are quite often preferred over other palm fibre for work where safety is a first requirement such as in climbers' ropes and belts. empty bunches: are composed of the fruit stalk with concentrated on one end the spikelets to which the dates were attached. the operator will strip the fibre bundles by hand starting from the basal end of the stalk. Secondly it has. Spathe can also be boiled and distilled resulting in a liquid used for flavouring hot or cold drinks and is also effective as a digestive (343). With the spikelets trimmed down the bunch as a whole may serve as a simple broom. making strands out of a number of strips.5 cm in diameter (Fig.dates. Also because the fibre is long. Having had to carry a considerable weight of ripening dates through the season (indeed in some date varieties the bunch has to be artifically supported for fear of breakage) it stands to reason that the fruit stalks must have notable tensile strength. after which it is hammered with a broad-faced iron hammer to loosen the fibre. A typical climbing rope is 2. are the spathes. ii. i. because the latter are much less in number than the female Page 173 . the fruit stalks and spikelets of the female tree and some spathes and flower stalks of the male palms.5 m long and 2 to 2. spathes: the initially green and tender shields that enclose the male and female flowers turn tough and fibrous at the end of the annual production cycle. The thinner the strands are made at this stage the finer and stronger rope can ultimately be made.

At the other end of the belt the doubled loops are assembled in one single loop through which the climber will knot the loose end of his rope after having passed it around the palm trunk (318). With a secure splicing technique the climbing rope is secured tightly to the belt at one end. 98a) to the more daring and quicker technique of using the rope only as a hand support and throwing it intermittently about one metre upwards whilst stepping up the palm (Fig. qobit@yahoo.Figure 97: Heavy Rope made from Shredded Date Palm Fruit Stalks To make a broad climbing belt to give more support to the back of the climber a 3 ply cord (5-7 mm) is laid out flat and folded back and forth in 16 to 20 parallel lines each about 110 cm in length. There are several techniques to climb a palm with the help of rope. 98b). These parallels are then stitched together Page 174 . from a safe tucked-in position in a belt (Fig.

be it on religious grounds or to protect a national food source. the curious fact exists that. tapping of the date palm has not developed in all date producing countries. increasing the invert sugar content. However. References to palm tapping date back long before the birth of Christ and also the famous Roman chronicler and historian Plinius makes mention of it (128. When the central growing point or upper part of the trunk is incised this palm sap will exude as a fresh clear juice consisting principally of sucrose. With regard to the latter point it should be emphasized that qobit@yahoo. Upon standing and favoured by the warm season (when tapping takes place). has always been marked with two phenomena: a potential danger of abuse of and addiction to the fermented sap. d. Palm tapping. a. 137). breakdown of sucrose will soon commence. The liquid will turn milky Page 175 .: in-the-belt position b. date palm sap The date palm sap stores the bulk of its reserve of photosynthetically produced carbohydrates in the form of sucrose in solution in the vascular bundles of its trunk. and a consequent decline of a recurrent food supply.iii. even if still existent in several parts of the date producing world. the spikelets are eaten by camels and the stalk fibre frequently used as coarse sewing thread and as the cores for special types of basket making described in b. after which fermentation will set in spontaneously by naturally occurring yeasts and within a day most of the sugar will have been converted into alcohol (around 5% v/v). apart from enforced bans on tapping that have been imposed.Figure 98: Climbing the Palm.: Use of climbing rope only Other uses of the fruitstalks are as decoration for the ceilings in the home (363). traditionally.

alternatively. If not forbidden outright by Governments. 138). It is done annually and it does not remove the whole crown of leaves. especially according to the methods used in the date producing countries. the question is raised whether sugar from date palm sap would under certain circumstances not be profitable. vi: restricting the period of tapping to 60 days. does a choice exist? Compared with the Indian experience where tapping the Wild date palm is a very well developed cottage industry. as a sugar (sucrose) containing sap. The fact that the natural (sweet) and the fermented juice in Arabic are known under the same name. These measures may assist in preventing a deterioration in date palm cultivation. Palmyra. However if one looks at the thousands of tons of sugar produced from the Wild date palm (Phoenix Sylvestris).com Page 176 . vii: obligatory substitution of the tapped palm by a new palm. but they fall short of preventing consumption or abuse of the fermented version of palm sap. the authorities have attempted to regulate palm tapping by restricting measures such as for example: i: subjecting it to a permit. a measure that more than often has been applied. declining or poor yielding palms. To illustrate the differences further both methods of tapping are briefly described (Fig. A severe wound inflicted on the palm is kept open every day to maintain the sap flow.tapping a palm. the palm will die. 99). potentially. lagbi or lagmi. iii: permitting tapping of only diseased. The palm's survival depends on the skill of the tapper (Usta) because if the daily scarring is carried on too far. iv: authorizing only registered tappers. thus leaving a great part of the productive capacity of the palm. Or put in another way: the date palm offers its "produce" in two ways. secondly palm tapping has developed in India in a much less drastic way. Figure 99: Comparison between Indian Method of tapping the wild date palm (Phoenix Sylvestris) and tapping the date palm (Phownix Dactylifera) as practiced in some date producing countries (Local Method) LOCAL METHOD INDIAN METHOD qobit@yahoo. as fruits and. It deprives the palm of most of its (productive) leaves and food reserves and to recuperate these losses it is knocked out for at least 3 or 4 years before it will bear a full crop of fruit again. two points emerge immediately: the Wild date palm does not offer an alternative product because its fruits are not attractive for human consumption hence it is not a choice anymore. v: marking and wiring of palms. ii: imposing tax. the Coconut palm. It is indeed not an easy task for the legislator to intervene in the consumption of a liquid derived from a natural juice for which he gave permission to be harvested and which spontaneously has changed its properties within a matter of hours. does not simplify the matter either. the Sago (Caryota Urens) and the Nipa palm. undesirable side effects and the safest way to prevent these from happening is to prohibit it altogether. It is generally agreed that palm tapping can have. Literally the palm's life balances on razor's edge (in this case the Usta's sharp sickle) and it adds a sentimental issue for some people who resent seeing a palm exploited to these extremes. viii: imposing heavy fines and/or imprisonment of trespassers (445. is a severe intervention.

com Page 177 .a) Preparing the tools a) Preparing the tools b) Removal of leaves b) Removal of leaves qobit@yahoo.

c) Cleaned tapping surface c) Cleaned tapping surface d) Cover with sheath d) Make incision Page 178 .

changing of pots qobit@yahoo.e) Inserting the spout e) Inserting the spout f) The collecting pots are hung f) The collecting pots are hung g) (Twice) daily juice Page 179 .

At the base of the cone a canal is cut around it.Clarified.and periodically renewing the cut g) (Twice) daily juice Page 180 . changing of pots and periodically renewing the cut h) .Partially fermented sap (left) . filtered sap (right) i) Indian stove under construction j) Adding phosphoric acid to haeted limed juice k) Measuring PH with PH paper l) Filtering the neutralized juice m) Cleaning the pan Palm tapping as practised in some of the date producing countries consists of removing all the leaves except some of the outer circle to give support to the tapper whilst working.Sap froma limed pot (middle) . in which the juice oozing from the cone is collected and guided via a spout made of the leaf qobit@yahoo. carefully leaving the terminal bud intact. The top of the trunk is cut in a cone shape.

As in most cases. age/height and location (e.7 Page 181 . Whilst this daily process is going on.2 16.212 l in one particular case.20 1. 138.midrib into an (earthenware) jar.1 397. hung on the side of the palm.1 732. water supply).9 47.20 Together with the (scarce) literature references (169.2 8.9 10.6 400. Twice daily the tapper will climb the palm to collect the juice and to shave a thin sliver of tissue of the cone's surface to keep the vessels from drying up.1 12. Length of tapping period largely goes by the individual character-istics of the palm and cases have been known of up to 3 or 4 months.3 32. this tapping method is used for an eventual fermented beverage.1 229.1 5.2 268.8 14. In terms of yield (both in total litres and kgs of solid matter) only indicative figures can be given because several factors are determining such as variety.5 12.30 8. The flow of juice starts slowly but may reach full capacity after six or seven days. 363) major conclusions on yield for the varieties recognized as the more adapted for tapping are that: i. by an inverted basket or by palm fibre.3 35.00 0.85 1.20 Hammuuri Aami (seedling) poor yielders 5. From comparative tapping tests between the local and Indian methods some actually measured results for the local method are given (61): (all palms were located in the same area) Table 26 Palm sap yields Variety Known as Palm height (grnd level to terminal bud.7 44.09 1. However.8 9. canal and spout implant has to be made.9 0.8 5.4 8.95 Bikraari Beyuudi good yields 5. m) 3.g.50 No. the terminal bud is growing upward also and every 20 days or so a readjustment of the cone. of tap.80 7.06 1. no precautions are taken to keep the yeast population down as is done in Indian tapping.0 11. total yield in litres for one tapping period may easily reach 500 l but higher yields are known (1. (138)) qobit@yahoo. yielder 352. Yield in solids (kgs) Solids (% age) Average juice/day (1) Average solids/day (kg) Limsi Limsi exc.7 62. if not all.40 3. the law has usually put a limit to that in order to prevent too much exhaustion and a risk of high mortality amongst the tapped palms.days (x) dried up (o) ongoing 42 (o) 45 (o) 41 (x) 52 (o) 46 (x) 39 (x) Yield in l. On the contrary some of the earlier (already fermented juice) may be left in the jar as a starter to hasten the process for the newly collected juice (the yeast accumulated from lagbi was also used as leavening agent in breadmaking in Tibesti) (143). The cone is protected from the sun against drying out.1 8.

By the number of those rings one can tell how many times a palm has been tapped. Eventually after several years of tapping the trunk will assume a zig-zag configuration (Fig.ii. 100). a daily yield of 8-10 l is an acceptable range as an overall average iii. In this respect it should not be forgotten that each ring adds another relatively weak spot in the trunk and the risk for the tapper proportionally Page 182 . 101). but three and four is rather common. and leaving again a similar scar. with higher levels possible but these are mainly due to lower moisture excretion iv. the daily yield of solid matter (mainly sugar) turns out to be rather constant for the different palms and amounts to about 1 kg/day Apart from quantitative appraisal there is also a qualitative appreciation of the juice and there are varietal preferences. A number of six rings is seldomly seen. the average solids contents of the juice is around 10%. The next cut will be made on the other side of the trunk (180 ) a little higher because the palm has grown. normally not more than once every 5 years. qobit@yahoo. The tapping operation eventually will leave a scar on the trunk in the form of a circular indent (Fig. Figure 100: Effect of Palm Tapping on Trunk Development (Local Method) After tapping is finished in March the cut surface will dry out and heal but leaving an indent in the trunk.

local I. which can go on for an average of 25 Page 183 .170 (32) qobit@yahoo. Yields in solids (kgs) Solids (% age) Average yield/day (1) Average solid yield/day (kgs) Reference Wild date palm (Ph.Figure 101: Effect of Palm Tapping on Trunk Development (Indian Method) Yields of juice are. of tapping days (x) dried up (o) ongoing Sap yields in l. sylvestris) I - 45 (over a period of 105 days) 75 7.5 10 (estimate) 1. India Palm height (grnd level to terminal bud. Together with some yield figures from literature (32) for the Wild date palm and the measured results from the earlier referred to tests between local and Indian tapping (61) some indicative figures on yields are given in Table 27. though higher productive life spans have been recorded (32).7 0. much less than for the method described before. Table 27 Yields of palm sap (Indian and Local Method) Palm Method of tapping L. because of the reduced exposed surface area. m) No. but the palms can be tapped every year.

the picture looks different. With the production of sugar from palm sap as an alternative to the date crop in mind.6 0.0 0.2 10.090 .560 .Tabuuni I 1.2 17. A freshly harvested sap will for the greater part consist of sucrose (say around 10%).9 4. certain tendencies can be discovered from these yield figures: i.5 10 (id) 3.640 . will be briefly described.4 21.50 15 (o) 49. in consequence of the lower daily yield but with the same if not more daily work required to harvest the palm sap for the Indian method.9 4.0 8.5 8.70 23 (o) 152.930 .50 45 (o) 397.1 9.6 0.3 14.8 3. Dactylifera) .0 6. the yields of juice and solid matter by the Indian method on the date palm (Ph.7 12. It is of vital importance to start work with a sound raw material.060 . Sylvestris).8 1. the daily and seasonal yields by the local method are higher than for the Indian method.30 31 (x) 94.0 0.8 1. the process of the different forms of sugar as practised in India as a cottage industry. which involves a continuous fight against infection and multiplication of yeast.290 With due appreciation for the possible variations caused by varietal differences.300 (32) Date Palm (Ph.2 13.Hallaawi L 1. qobit@yahoo.3 10. but taking into consideration that by the local method the palm will not produce sap or dates for 2 years after tapping and in India the palms are tapped every year.540 .80 41 (x) 400. iii. Dactilyfera) are consistently higher than for the Wild date palm (Ph.Limsi L 3. minimal invert sugar. say less than 0.Bikraari L 5.Wild date palm (high yielder) I - 45 (id) 13.0 19. Dactilyfera could be tapped every year by the Indian method with the same result.0 Page 184 .1 44. most likely the total yield over three years would be higher than for the local method. ii.3 11.6 0.5 17.4 14.Limsi I 4. If indeed Ph.5 13.2 3.7 11.3 10. the labour hours involved per unit sap harvested is definitely higher.0 0. This belief is reinforced by the fact that at least part of the crown leaves is left on and the palm's photosynthetic capacity is only partially impaired in contrast to the local method.Bikraari I 2.5% and small amounts of protein.9 0.Limsi I 3.40 14 (o) 39.9 3.30 19 (o) 57.10 26 (x) 120.00 30 (o) 138.6 47.330 .Hallaawi I 1.3 0.550 . height/age of the palms and length of the tapping period.0 10.Hallaawi L 2.9 4.

Artificial means to keep down the yeast are smoking the collecting pots by putting them head down on smouldering leaves before being used or by adding a small amount of quick lime to the pots. jaggery (gur). k. l). Four main sugar products are made from palm sap: i. In the case of jaggery making a separately prepared starter to accelerate crystallization is mixed in the boiling liquid just before pouring into a mould and left to cool and crystallize. To keep it in this form tools and pots should be kept clean. palm leaves. The latter method is definitely more effective to reduce the sugar inversion but for good quality gur (jaggery) production the lime has to be removed again by precipitation and filtering during processing (Fig. As an average the outturn of jaggery is 10-15% of the weight of the raw juice (32). P Vitamin. stagnant juice on the palm should be avoided and collected early in the morning. e. The precipitated calcium phosphate is filtered Page 185 . Removed from the moulds jaggery presents itself as a light to dark brown crystallized block. A typical composition of jaggery is: Table 28 Composition of jaggery Moisture Total sugar Protein Fat Ca.5% Traces Traces Traces Strong promotional campaigns to encourage cottage industries in India have helped much to modernize jaggery making. 99j. C Riboflavin 8-10% 85-90% <0. large sugar cyrstals iv.5% <0. sugar-candy. which during processing is neutralized with phosphoric acid with PH indicator paper as a guide. is fed on one side of the stove and the smoke leaves from another hole or primitive chimney. The end point of boiling which may take a couple of hours is different for each of the intended products and usually recognized by the type of bubble which appears during boiling. 99n). In determining the end qobit@yahoo. Time between collection and processing of the juice should be kept to a minimum. the crystallized whole (sometimes clarified) sap ii. Fuel. crystalline sugar with remaining molasses iii. and minerals. The less invert sugar was present in the raw juice the better quality jaggery results. Fe. B. sugar syrup In the most traditional method the juice is boiled down in earthenware pans filling in the holes of an arched clay oven (Fig.gums. The use of lime is now common.

On the basis of the foregoing the question posed at the beginning of this Chapter (d) whether sugar from palm sap could become an alternative to a date crop. perhaps less pronounced. Dates formed part of various ointments. Each situation will have its own conditions and an on-the-spot feasibility is necessary.c. Pharmaceutical use Be it. also in terms of the total productive lifespan of the palm (following the Indian method). mention has already been made of the depurative properties attributed to the terminal bud by Saharian palm growers (363) or the use of pollen to enhance fertility in (ancient) Egypt (128).point of boiling also use is made of refractometers. Though the possible responsible agents to this effect have not been isolated scientifically. They heal bruises" (128). in passing. e. organoleptically or monetary. Production-wise it would appear that it requires more labour hours and a longer annual involvement to produce one unit of sugar from sap than from dates. skill persists to date in the traditional date producing countries. In the foregoing text. f. And from the same source: "the sap of leaves is a remedy for nervousness.) is practised for its flavour only. In Assyrian times. And this sampling of medicinal use of date palm products could not end without reference to the invigorating power bestowed on man when consuming male flowers and male spathe (445. belly and intestines. invigorate the loins whey they are atrophied and when boiled with milk they cut short fever and ague" (445). the palm was worshipped and depicted frequently in decorative art and for the embellishment has been witnessed in different times and places and. bladder. This esteem and adulation has probably also contributed to a sometimes overestimated belief in the medicinal powers of dates and other parts of the palm. was felt to resemble that of humans. Medically. the fact has transpired that the date palm has always had an aura of mystique around it. V 1. it is interesting (and sometimes amusing) to have a closer look at what benefit people obtained or thought to obtain from the different cures based on date palm products. An economical evaluation therefore depends on the appreciation. A notable Sheikh in the 16th Century elaborates: "dates fortify the body.i. Technically however the date palm offers the possibility of alternative sugar production. dates were recommended in mouth washes (an application most likely frowned upon by a present-day dentist). wax and saffran to the stomach. as a purgative or in gynaecologically related interventions (128). or that the "Tree of Life" with its single head and trunk and division into male and female sexes with a corresponding reproductive system. bandages and opthalmic prescriptions and Plinius reports: "dates are applied with quinces. Burnt seeds are made in an ointment for ulcers or a collyrium that produce long eyelashes". that the date palm historically has been so closely interknit in the farmer's life and environment. Though remaining a cottage industry performed with simple means the qualitative aspects have greatly improved. Physiologically it would seem that in sugar value the yield in the form of dates or in the form of sugar from sap are about equal. kidney trouble and putrid wounds and calms the effervescence of the blood. Shade qobit@yahoo. one wonders whether the chewing of spathe (Ch. There are many references to this effect in literature and if not for a desire of the search for alternative medicines. has become a little more but not fully answerable. 341). which at times devleoped into a palm cult. for instance. Improved stoves have resulted in reduced fuel use and better controllable fires. cure pains in the back. enrich the Page 186 . attributed to the different products and the effect of their diversity and applicability.

though still modest. 5. which all represent additional cost factors. midrib. leaflets. in the second group. spikelets. It is to be noted. albeit very modest. Soil amendments Whilst the use of date fibre and date leaflets as a mulch in a maize growing experiment in comparison with transparent plastic.2 Palm products development In the previous section it has been demonstrated that. there seems to be some scope to use shredded palm leaves (SPD) as a potting medium in greenhouse cultivation of certain vegetables. historically.A chapter on the traditional uses of date palm products could not close without making mention (again) of an abstract but ever so real attribute of the date palm: giving shade and protection from wind. Animal feed Lactating dairy cows divided in two groups were fed ad lib on alfalfa hay plus a rationed 16% CP (crude protein) concentrate in the first group and an ad lib mixture of NaOH treated date palm leaves (40%). however. black plastic and straw. was negative both in time to reach maturity and in yield (267). however. that date leaves were treated with NaOH and supplemented with wheat bran. In an evaluation in vitro of the non-fruit components of the date palm (frond bases. the date palms are maintained and planted also as an ornamental tree. broken wheat residues (15%) and poultry manure (15%) (DPLS). wheat residues and poultry manure. Digestibility values were highest. fruit stalks. Another field of attention has been extraction of components to be used as industrial feedstock such as cellulose and hemicellulose but also the search for minor constituents which might have an economic importance. plus the same (rationed) 16% CP concentrate. thus creating a micro-climate in which the harsh conditions of a hot and dry climate are tempered to make living conditions somewhat more sustainable. for spathes and spikelets (98). spathes) for feed value it was concluded that all components have a certain but limited value for ruminant feeding. palm parts were extensively used but that there has been an overall decline in their application due to alternative materials becoming available which proved better or more convenient for the intended purpose. wheat bran (30%). soil amendments and board where it concerns use of the whole Page 187 . diminish the opportunities for growing secondary crops and the introduction of mechanization in date palm cultivation. Their potential use has mainly concentrated on animal feed.Extreme density and irregular stands of palms. In the traditional date orchards especially in the oasis the density of palms is so great as to form an almost closed canopy. There seems therefore to be some scope. Closely related to being a provider of shade is the ornamental value of the palm and indeed in several date producing countries where date production has declined as a consequence of a fast economic growth. for the use of palm by-products in animal feed. It concerns mainly ligno-cellulosic materials with scarce protein and fat content but a high ash content. b. A good horticultural substrate must provide good qobit@yahoo. a. In consequence of this trend there have been several attempts to find new outlets for the annual crop of leaves and empty bunches that are obligatory by-products of date production. prompted the conclusion that the lower milk yield may be economically justified (381). Although the mean daily and total milk yields were consistently lower in the DPLS fed group than for the hay-fed group the fact that 40% of the ration was composed of an unused but plentiful resource.

c.drainage.5-9 Spikelets Spathe Moisture Ash* 38-40 10. pentosans (hemicellulose) and lignin.511. One machinery supplier rated the fruit stalks best for board making. aeration. An important cost factor is the amount of resin to be added. pressing and addition of binders. General conclusion is that board making from midribs and fruit stalks is possible with satisfactory results but that cost of production because of the intensive necessary disintegration (accompanied by much dust formation) and more than usual resin requirements. The ultimate economic feasibility depends on the raw material and production costs and the quality of the board expressed as density (kg/m3). Palm sheath fibre and the trunk are considered unsuitable (574). tension -. and swelling %-age upon soaking. tends to be higher than for wood boards.5-10 Leaflets Fruit Stalk 20-22 5. Though peatmoss combinations came out as the medium with the highest yield for both tomato and cucumber attributed to its good cation exchange capacity.5-24 6. bending -. % moisture. usually synthetic resins. followed by the midribs.5-8 60-65 5.5 22. shredded date palm leaves in combination with sand. perlite and vermiculite and tested as substrate for tomatoes and cucumbers.82 kg/plant) versus 2. Shredded date palm leaflets (about 8 cms long and less than 3 mm in width) were combined in different proportions of either/and peat moss. sand. Industrial rawstock Major contenders for extraction of industrial rawstock are: cellulose. and impact strength. For a general impression of their importance the composition of the various parts of the palm are given as percentage ranges (adapted from 96): Table 29 Composition of fibrous date palm parts % Frond bases 55-65 9. perlite and vermiculite gave good result in tomato yield (1.5 Page 188 .13 kg/plant in a similar combination based on peatmoss (3). and have a high cation exchange and water holding capacity. It is located in Iraq which alternatively uses also reeds as raw material. the main three components of the fibrous parts of the date palm. Practically all ligno-cellulosic waste materials can be turned into board by disintegration. Panel board Experimental work (164) and feasibility studies (574) have led to the establishment of at least one board factory based on palm leaves. Tests on making gypsum fibreboard were not entirely satisfactory with the process needing further perfection (164). in otherwise similar growth conditions.5-11.5 Frond midrib 60-66 8. d.5-6. which is inversely related to the lignin content (which under high pressure and temperature liquifies and starts to act as a binder). Unfortunately palm wastes have a tendency to have a lower cellulose and lignin content than wood and a higher than usual amount of water soluble substances which tend to increase the water absorption and swelling.

for cellulose preference goes to midrib. though they are produced in large quantities. frond bases and spikelets are quoted the best source (234) For lignin extraction further references can be found in (97.Holocellulose* Cellulose* Lignin* Furfural* (potential)** 54. 19). Pentosans form the major part of the difference between holocellulose and cellulose and are often indicated as hemicellulose. ii.7-1. date palm fibre was analyzed for length. From this table it can be concluded that: .for lignin the frond bases and leaflets and . they are quite dispersed and transport costs for this bulky raw material may become a limiting factor. 68.1 9. fruit stalk.2 60. Suggestions have also been made to use the fibre as a filtration medium to cover sub-surface drainage pipes in Iraq (617). strength and crimp and it was concluded to be best suited for needle-punched fabrics or in blends with jute (173).6 55. See also (485. 184. In a first attempt a distilled extract (pentane and ether) of freshly harvested spathes the analysis by gas chromotography revealed a prominence of 1.for furfural midribs. Cellulose extraction for paper making is technically feasible: the midribs yield a pulp easily bleachable and of good quality. 266.5 22.5 37 19.2 (average 9%).2-dimethoxyl-4-methyl benzene of up to 75% of total isolated volatiles. e.2 48 28 28.4 - * on dry weight basis ** Furfural is a derivative of pentosans (by hydrolysis and subsequent dehydration).g.6 33. 481).310. (Furfural yield is about 1/3 of the pentosan content. All three industrial rawstocks: cellulose. and lignin have in common that they have to be produced on a large scale to be competitive on a worldwide basis. which make the furfural yield figures in above table seem somewhat on the high side).5 27 13. Actually in another study (92) the pure furfural yield from midribs ranged from 6.1 g/kg spathe. whilst the pulp derived from the leaflets lends itself better to kraft paper or corrugating medium (152).4 30 21 55 26 12 16. Male spathes contained about 40% more of this substance than female spathes and its content in absolute terms ranged from 0. In the case of palm waste products this may create problems of supply Page 189 . 480.5 16. 10 furfural out of 30-32 pentosans in corn cobs (234). Various Various other attempts to make use of palm by-products are reported in technical literature. furfural.7 64. e.5 21. It has a pleasant characteristic flavour somewhat qobit@yahoo. spathe: inspired by some traditional uses of the spathe studies were carried out (343) to isolate and analyze organic compounds responsible for the pleasant fragrance (and flavour) of spathe and its purported pharmaceutical properties for certain intestinal disorders. 479. some of which are more of an academic nature than having a clear practical objective: i. fruitstalk and spathes as the raw material .

80). blood pressure and muscle vanilla. triterpenes and flavonoids (301). iii. without any effect on heart.30 3. more to the claim of nutritive value and a sort of mystique has built around it to the extent that pollen (of all kinds). and for biological activity in mice. clear that no final conclusions can be drawn at this stage of research on the active components in spathe distillate related to its flavour and pharmaceutical properties.04 0. It is.25 0. In how far this is overrated by advertising and promotional efforts is difficult to judge.42 3.o. Analysis of the distillate by gas chromotography revealed a number of organic compounds a. however. also from other plant species claims to have high nutritive value which seems to be confirmed by above analysis with its relatively high protein. of the camphor family besides the earlier mentioned cyclohexenes. Some work was carried out on the oil of the spathe (591). (95) Pollen. collected from bees through special devices attached to beehives. As mentioned previously early young male flowers when not yet required for pollination are eaten voluntarily by the date farmer.39 49. Pollen contains around 50% moisture and an average chemical analysis (on dry weight basis) of 5 Iraqi varieties is shown in Table 31. Isolation of micro elements has revealed the presence of estrone (30. sterols. is abundantly available in health food stores.42 3. rabbits.0 Page 190 .94 3.53 3.36 The aqueous distillate was tested for antimicrobial activity (proved negative). guinea pigs and frogs. sugar and fat values. saponins. however. Snack foods have been qobit@yahoo. In a subsequent investigation (338) a conventional chemical analysis of the major components of the spathe was carried out resulting in the following composition: Table 30 Composition of spathe %-age on fresh weight Moisture Sugars total reducing non-reducing Ca-pectate Crude fat Crude protein Crude fibre Ash Furfural (potential) 33. There is.

however. Table 31 Composition of pollen (dry weight basis) Ash Crude fibre Crude protein Total sugar . processing and marketing have taken place.9 27. made it possible to achieve more uniformity and higher quality standards. New outlets for at least part of the crop were found through better handling and processing methods to cater for more sophisticated emerging markets. but before indulging in pollen as a nutrient it is better to check for symptoms of allergy. Considering the fact that the first step in industrialization is the most difficult. and some still lean heavily on Government support. A mixed culture of Candida Utilis and Saccharomyces sp. sometimes adapted. but a number have been successful and have reached a true commercially viable Page 191 . Modern technologies. mostly imported. packing and processing could be modernized. The highly traditional nature and close relationship of the date grower and his crop has undoubtedly also played a role in preventing a decline in date production. packing.2 15. otherwise the consumer may be in for an unpleasant surprise. sugar Total lipids sugar . date cultivation. under the influence of newly acquired oil wealth. in spite of a tendency of decreasing importance of the date as a staple food resulting from the same welfare increase. leaves) were hydrolyzed and tested on different strains of yeasts for production of single cell protein.1 12. Perhaps one of the most striking trends in a number of date producing countries of the Old World has been that.2 18. gave the best results (420). fibre: the cellulosic material of different parts of the palm (stalks. TRENDS AND OUTLOOK During the last 30 years or so several changes in date harvesting.5% 9. An indicative figure for this development is the number of new date packing and processing plants that came into existence amounting to some 40 and distributed as follows: Algeria Bahrain Egypt Iran Iraq 5 1 2 5 9 Libya Morocco Oman Pakistan Qatar 2 2 2 3 1 Saudia Arabia S.1 iv.supplemented with date pollen (2).non-red. Yemen Sudan Tunisia 4 1 1 2 (529) Not all of these plants have fared well. when all the problems have to be qobit@yahoo.1 2.

Some of the salient technical aspects of this progress are the following: . briefly described as follows: . the latter also during transit (294. which has become. is that the dates are much easier handled and store better. Today. pack and sell their fruit on the spot in roadside stores. a tourist Page 192 .use of vibrating tables and conveyors during grading for better inspection and bulk packing of dates by vibration instead of pressing (294) .dates pressed in baskets intended as a low cost popular food. Major consequences of the prolonged stay on the palm are the need for more protection against early rain. there have been marked changes especially over the last ten years. in many instances. it can be concluded that progress has been made and will continue to be made. also for its favourable climato-logical conditions.S.S. 394) .introduction of automatic filling of bags and thermo-form packs and packing under vacuum and nitrogen gas (394) . Historically world trade in dates was divided in several sectors each with its own charcteristics.continued consideration for the introduction of insect control by irradiation . 394) . In the New World (mainly California) the most characteristic phenomenon has been the gradual change-over of private. Another major change that has taken place in U. There is no need for the smaller entrepeneur for an elaborate and expensive marketing and distribution system. the dates are left longer on the palm and are harvested only all in one go. This market was mainly confined to the Gulf area and to other Arab countries and the Far East. 294) . An advantage of the lower moisture content at harvesting. 341.regulation of moisture content (hydration. facilitated by worldwide spread of containerization .increased use of vacuum fumigation and the use of phosphine. Origin was mainly Iraq.improved bulk date shipments.increased automation in date packing plant operations (394) . is now practically restricted to one major area (Coachella Valley).increased use of mechanized pitting and stuffing of dates (394) . dehydration) in the packing plants for better control on product quality and uniformity (341.faced together and simultaneously. however. There emerging trend of marketing khalaal and rutab under refrigerated conditions (529. The commercial success of these enterprises is no doubt helped by the fact that date cultivation in the U. 394) .increased use of plastic boxes and crates for improved field handling and storage of dates (529. more chance of infestation on the palm necessitating dusting and reconstituting the dates to the required moisture level after harvesting to prepare them for the market. date cultivation under the impact of increasing labour costs and height of the palms has been the mechanization of cultural practices and in particular the timing and method of harvesting. some notable exceptions to this process and several individual farmers grow. however.intensified production of date products and industrial use of dates. As for external marketing. the clients come to him. individual ownership of the date plantations into large holdings by companies integrated with large-scale packing and processing facilities. which has by far qobit@yahoo.

. It also gave other date producing countries a chance to get into the market and a country like Pakistan managed. which so far has hardly been done.S. which made industrial users look for substitute products. .S. This trade originated exclusively as a bulk trade for repacking in Europe (mainly France).S. . Tunisia).com Page 193 .exports of selected. As far as the European market is concerned the emphasis for retail table dates has become even more accentuated on the North African Deglet Noor. the occurrence of the Iraq/Iran war in the eighties has had a profound effect. the cif cost of Iraqi dates was practically always lower than locally produced dates in the receiving countries.the highest per capita date production in the world and is an exporter by necessity. compared with 11 to 12 kg in Iran. The general price levels for this trade are much higher than for pressed dates in baskets. perhaps slightly less select. which has not made it any easier for local date industries to emerge. perhaps partly used for industrial purposes. dates in bulk are shipped to Europe for use in date products or repacking. for instance (363). centralized marketing organization. not always perfect as reported in a consumer protection magazine (300) which after inspection of a number of samples of packed dates found a variety of defects ranging from deformation to live infestation and insufficient labelling. This trade has existed for many years and the imports into the U. a guarantee of wholesomeness. Also trade in retail packs to Europe (not to the U. mainly for use in date products. The situation is.on a parallel line. With a wellorganized. qobit@yahoo. In addition. through a major effort of private initiative to get a chunk of this trade (294).000 tons of North African dates (Algeria. Since independence of the two producer countries of Deglet Noor a local packing industry has also emerged with direct sales to the European retail in boiled dates (khalaal matbuukh) mainly directed to India. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia also had built up a modern date industry and had increased its export potential. to Europe for repacking and sales in retail packs. The guiding standards are laid down in the "Revised recommendations concerning the marketing and commercial quality control of whole dates moving in trade between and to European Countries" (576) There has been a trend away from using additives like preservatives or coating materials except those that can be considered natural products like ascorbic acid and glucose syrup (394). If whole dates are to acquire a larger portion of the dried fruit market in Europe these occurrences of quality defects should at all cost be avoided. This. however. which in turn created a lower demand for dates. reinforced by imports from the United States. The European market for whole dates increasingly demands first quality fruits of preferred varieties and more than anything else. distributors and retailers should put the use and nutritional and organoleptical qualities of dates more on the spot by advertising and television campaigns. bulk packed dates from Iraq and Iran to the U. presumably because of the higher price levels. The size of this market is difficult to estimate but an impression may be obtained from the import figures for dates in the Arab countries and the Far East (Appendix I) . In the first instance it created sharp rises in date prices. have been as high as 15.) exists. Consumption of dates in Europe has only slightly increased over the last decennia and it does not normally exceed 100 g per capita per year.a variant of the trade of pressed dates and which have not been constant in time or volume. Whilst in the sixties and seventies there were no drastic changes in this trade pattern. . not only from Iraq but also from other Gulf countries like Oman and Saudi Arabia. but so far has not been able to fill the gap. are shipments of pressed dates. to countries like China and the former USSR. mainly Deglet Noor.

the ultimate goal of date production is to produce fruits of a high quality to be sold as a fruit which as an economical proposition has a different dimension. unfortunately. has moved to other date producing countries in the Old World. private plantations to large holdings and the closure of the U. For a long time it was the only publication solely devoted to dates. but scientifically very little was done..S. Indio. Whilst in date products the intrinsic flavour and taste are preserved. International contacts and cooperation in date cultivation. which under the pressure of increasing problems of introducing a foreign crop in new land. The first issue was in 1924 and continued up until 1979. originally mainly concentrated in Iraq and the U. when qobit@yahoo. which could. Amongst its activities. the change from small. the industrial use of dates has seen a more extensive development in the traditional date producing countries because of the quantities and quality of dates available.S. One exception must be made for the group of date planters and researchers in the U. IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) has taken the initiative for establishing a Network on Dates. and Baghdad (Iraq. no immediate follow-up by national governments to continue this work at a Regional level. an annual report containing many valuable technical research results and articles of general interest for the date industry have been issued. but have also now found applications in date producing countries of the Old World. 1965 and 1975). packing. Perhaps a distinction should be made between the modified forms of the sound date flesh to cater for the emerging needs of the consumer. Over the years many of the date producing countries have received specialist advice and equipment for starting or improving their date industry. The reasons for this unfortunate demise were the coming of age of the Californian date industry. not only on the skill and dedication of the date producer but to a large extent on the availability of the adequate genetic stock adapted to the different climatological conditions. 1959). when the 54th and last issue was published. It is further to be noted that a substantial amount of date research and develop-ment work. Department of Agriculture. Before World War II these contacts were practically non-existent except through trade channels. In the first category the major efforts were made in the U.S. which have broadened the outlets for dates besides the use as a table fruit. However. issuance of a half-yearly Date Palm Journal and a Date Bibliography. with which the Institute was closely related. processing and marketing has increased enormously. Date and Citrus Station. and headquartered in Baghdad at Iraq's National Date Centre. Ever since. which included production. Improving quality of the crop depends. were training courses. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations started its technical assistance programme on dates in the early fifties. put their imagination and effort together and created the Date Grower's Institute under the auspices of local agricultural authorities and in cooperation with the U. consultancies and outposted field officers in specific fields. On the contrary. Industrial use of dates has provided an outlet for usually the lower quality fruits and however beneficial this has been. With respect to date products the past thirty to forty years have shown marked developments. and the use of dates as an industrial raw material resulting in products less closely related to the date Page 194 . however.S.At present (1992) the supply situation is more uncertain than ever taking into consideration the after effects of the Gulf War and no great positive developments in date consumption and trade can be expected until the political situation in the major supplier countries has been cleared up.S.S. which have also been of great assistance to date workers outside the U. in industrial date products the relation becomes much less pronounced and raw materials of different origin become a competitive factor. An FAO/UNDP funded Regional Project on Date and Date Palm Improvement started operating in 1978 with a membership of 17 countries. Three International Date Conferences. processing and marketing aspects of dates. The project came to an end in 1985 and there was. under FAO sponsorship were held in Tripoli (Libya.

the secondary benefits derived from it and the limited choice of alternative crops especially under the more extreme environmental situations. which are a most valid contribution to the reference literature of specialized knowledge on the date.g. the quality and yield/palm generally speaking are rising and there has developed a substantial date product diversification. economic Page 195 . Apart from the many technical and country reports on dates. continue the international linkage between date producing countries of the Old World. and problems of water supply (e. In its persistance in surviving the trends against its continuation. UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) was involved in several date projects whilst Government bilateral aid programmes and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development have on occasion also given assistance on specific matters in various countries. The future of date production although with to be expected shifts in cultural practices and marketing outlets can be looked upon with optimism. The latest major manifestations on all aspects of the date palm were organized in two Symposia by the King Faisal University. increasing labour scarcity and cost in the date gardens.approved. historical ties with the date producer. are witnessed. the date palm is greatly helped by the traditional. and localized ventures in the Old World but on the negative side also cases of abandonment of palms under the pressure of. war situations. The net balance of the different developments in the date industry over the last thirty to forty years is positive in spite of several countercurrents such as change in food habits away from dates. cultivation methods and handling the crop have improved. increasing salinity of the Shatt-al-Arab). mainly. This positive main development stream is on one side accentuated by great success stories such as the Californian date industry. Al-Hassa. Processing and Packing of Dates (130) and on Date Production and Protection (142). The results and full text of the papers of the two Symposia. held in 1982 and 1986 respectively. FAO published manuals on Handling. Nevertheless world date production has increased. APPENDIX I qobit@yahoo. are published in the Proceedings. Saudi Arabia. but it will be essential to maintain the momentum of improvement programmes.

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3 Styles Styles may be classified as: (a) unpitted. and Sayir (Sayer) 2. 2. 2. which fruit: (a) is harvested at the appropriate stage of maturity. and (b) pitted. Khadraawi (Khadrawy). (d) may be dried or hydrated to adjust moisture content. (b) Invert sugar varieties (containing mainly invert sugar . SCOPE This standard applies to commercially prepared whole dates in pitted or un-pitted styles packed ready for direct consumption.1 Product Definition Dates are the product prepared from sound fruit of the date tree (Phoenix dactylifera L.). and fructose) such as Barhi (Barhee). 2. (c) may be pitted and capped. (b) is sorted and cleaned to remove defective fruit and extraneous material. DESCRIPTION 2. Saiidi (Saidy). (e) may be washed and/or pasteurized.2 Varietal Types Varietal types are classified as: (a) Cane sugar varieties (containing mainly sucrose) such as Daglat Nuur (Deglet Noor) and Daglat Beidha (Deglet Beidha). Hallaawi (Halawy).4 Sub-styles Sub-styles are as follows: qobit@yahoo. Zahdi (Zahidi).com Page 206 . and (f) is packaged in suitable containers to assure preservation and protection of the product.APPENDIX II CODEX STANDARD FOR DATES (World-wide Standard) 1. It does not apply to other forms such as pieces or mashed dates or dates intended for industrial purposes.glucose.

(a) Pressed . 30% Invert sugar varieties (b) Size (minimum) Unpitted Dates . (b) Unpressed or Loose . be free of live insects and insect eggs and mites and meet the following additional requirements: (a) Moisture content Cane sugar varieties Daglat Nuur Maximum 26% 30% (not processed in accordance with 2. ESSENTIAL COMPOSITION AND QUALITY FACTORS 3.1 Composition 3. 3.1(d)(e)). (c) Clusters .2.5 Size Classification (Optional) Dates may be designated as to size names in accordance with the following charts: (a) Unpitted dates (b) Pitted dates Size No.dates which are free-flowing or packaged without mechanical force or compression.1 Optional Ingredients Glucose syrup. flour. vegetable oils.1 General Requirements Dates shall be prepared from such fruit and under such practices that the finished product shall possess a characteristic colour and flavour for the variety and type. be of proper stage of Page 207 .dates with the main bunch stem attached.2 Quality factors 3.dates which are compressed into layers using mechanical force.1.75 grammes qobit@yahoo. 2.4. of dates in 500g Small Medium Large more than 110 90 to 110 less than 90 3. sugars. of dates in 500g Small Medium Large more than 100 80 to 100 less than 80 Size No.

dark spots. . . .Dates not pollinated as evidenced by thin flesh. fragments of insects or mites or their excreta.2 Definition of Defects . have shrivelled or little flesh or a decidedly rubbery texture.Pitted Dates .Not more than two pits or 4 pieces of pit per 100 dates (d) Mineral impurities 3.0 grammes (c) Pits (Stones) (in Pitted Style) .com Page 208 . blacknose or similar abnormalities in surface appearance affecting an aggregate area greater than that of a circle 7 mm in diameter.Dates that area in a state of decomposition and very objectionable in appearance. discoloration. .(Unpitted dates only) .Not more than 1 g/kg (a) Blemishes . . .Dates having embedded organic or inorganic material similar to dirt or sand in character and affecting an aggregate area greater than that of a circle 3 mm in diameter.Dates damaged by insects or mites or contaminated by the presence of dead insects or mites. . light in colour.Presence of mould filaments visible to the naked eye. (g) Scouring (h) Mould (i) Decay qobit@yahoo. (b) Damaged (c) Unripe Dates (d) Unpollinated Dates (e) Dirt (f) Insects and mites damage and contamination . immature characteristics and no pit in unpitted dates.2.dates affected by mashing and/or tearing of the flesh exposing the pit or to such an extent that it significantly detracts from the visual appearance of the date.Dates which may be light in weight.4. sunburn.Scars.Breakdown of the sugars into alcohol and acetic acid by yeasts and bacteria.

2.1 and does not exceed the allowances for the respective defects in sub-sections 3.3 Allowance for Defects The maximum allowances for the defects defined in 3.1) qobit@yahoo. 7. CODEX STAN. 5% by count (5 dates out of 100) may weigh less than the specified minimum. and (b) the sub-sample. 2. 4.2. (h) and (i) 3. the following specific provisions apply: 7.2 shall be: A total of 7% by count of dates with defect (a) A total of 6% by count of dates with defects (b).2. and (b) shall not contain any substances originating from microorganisms in amounts which may represent a hazard to health. Page 209 . 4 and 6 of the General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (Ref. WEIGHTS AND MEASURES Containers shall be as full as practicable without impairment of quality and shall be consistent with a proper declaration of contents for the product. LABELLING In addition to sections 1.3 Lot Acceptance A lot will be considered as meeting the quality criteria requirements of the standard when: (a) there is no evidence of live infestation. as taken in conformity with sub-section 8. the product: (a) shall be free from microorganisms capable of development under normal conditions of storage.2.1 Glycerol ) ) 4. FOOD ADDITIVES Maximum Level 4. 1-1981).2 Sorbitol ) 5.2 When tested by appropriate methods of sampling and examination.2. except that.1 It is recommended that the product covered by the provisions of this standard be prepared in accordance with the International Code of Hygienic Practice for Dried Fruits recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Ref.3. 6. CAC/RCP 3-1969).2 meets the general requirements of sub-section 3.3. No.1.2 and 3.1. HYGIENE 5.1 The Name of the Food In accordance with GMP (see also Section 3. with respect to size requirements. (c) and (d) A total of 6% by count of dates with defects (e) and (f) A total of 1% by count of dates with defects (g).

7.2 List of Ingredients A complete list of ingredients shall be declared on the label in descending order of proportion in accordance with the provisions of sub-section 3.2(c) of the Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (Ref. exporter or vendor of the product shall be declared. "Barhee".1.1 Method of Sampling 8.1 The name of the product shall be "Dates" or "Dates coated with Glucose Syrup". month and year in uncoded numerical sequence except that for products with a shelf-life or more than three months but not more than 18 months. 7.2 When the product undergoes processing in a second country which changes its nature. 7. storage instructions shall be in close proximity to the date marking. and the shelf-life of the product is valid to the end of a given year. "Khadrawi". 7. 7.3 Where practicable.1 The country of origin of the product shall be declared. 8. 7.7. importer. 7.3 The name of the product may include the name of the varietal type. packer.1 The "date of minimum durability" (preceded by the words "best before") shall be declared by the day. 7. 7.1. such as "Hallawi".com Page 210 .2 The style shall be indiated as "pitted" or "unpitted". and the size designation as "small". In the case of products requiring a declaration of month and year or year only. the sub-style as "pressed" or "unpressed". "Sayer". as required by the country in which the product is sold. METHODS OF SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS 8. the country in which the processing is performed shall be considered to be the country of origin for the purposes of labelling.6 Lot Identification Each container shall be embossed or otherwise permanently marked in code or in clear to identify the producing factory and the lot.5. or others. any special conditions for the storage of the food shall be indicated if the validity of the date depends thereon. the month and year will suffice.7 Date Marking 7. the year will suffice. 7. as is applicable.5. 7.5 Country of Origin 7.7.7. CODEX STAN. 7. The month may be indicated by letter in those countries where such use will not confuse the consumer.1. "medium" or "large".1 Gross Sample qobit@yahoo.4 Name and Address The name and address of the manufacturer. "Daglat Noor". 1-1981). distributor.1.3 Net Contents The net contents shall be declared by weight in either the metric ("Système international") units or avoidupois or both systems of measurement.2 In addition to the date of minimum durability. the expression "end (stated year)" may be used as an alternative. and for those with a shelf-life of 18 months or more.

CAC/RM 50-1974 (FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Methods of Analysis for Processed Fruits and Vegetables. Data given are: .1 will be the defining method.000 kg portion of the lot. Use the gross sample for checking carefully for live infestation and general cleanliness of the product prior to its examination for compliance with other provisions of the standard.1 Codex Defining Method (Type I method) In accordance with the AOAC (1975) Method (Official Methods of Analysis of the AOAC. Moisture Determination .2. If the dates are pitted.013. the method in 8.2.000 g. Date juice extraction in two stages at 30oBx (calculated). METHOD OF EXAMINATION Page 211 .2 Codex Alternative Approved Method (Type III method) In accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Method. Moisture in Dried Fruits) (Vacuum Oven Method). 8. slit the date open so as to expose the pit.1. 22.2. 12th Ed.100 dates 8. 1975.2 Sub-samples for Examination and Testing Mix the gross sample well and take small quantities at random from many different places as follows: For moisture test . CAC/RM 50/531974.. From each individual package draw a sample of 300 g and in any case sufficient to obtain a gross sample of not less than 3. However. 8. in cases of dispute. Third Series.Select at random not less than 2 individual packages per each 1.1.Composition of dates (flesh) moisture (M): 20% soluble solids (SS): 70% non-soluble solids (NSS): 10% . remove the pit and examine the pit cavity.1.Electrical Conductance Method).1 Determination of Moisture Content 8.Moisture content for presscakes (P) qobit@yahoo.100 dates For specified defects and size requirements .500 grammes For pits (in pitted style) . APPENDIX III Calculation of a two-stage extraction system at 30oBx and comparison with measured results in a pilot plant 1. If the dates are unpitted. open up the flesh so that the internal cavity can be viewed.2 Methods of Analysis 8.2. 9.1.1 Internal Defects Examine each date carefully for internal defects using a strong light.

No water or solid material is spilled in the process In the extraction schedule below the underlined figures are known data.P1 = 62%) ) P2 = 72%) .3 (89.Date juice recovered 30oBx .2) (154.6) 0 (11.8) Slurry 1 100+a+b (189.4) 12.8) Date Juice (S1) Presscake (P1) (87. To facilitate calculation initially the following letter symbols are used (all on weight basis).Non-soluble solids do not enter in Page 212 .4) w x (54.7) 46.8) (66.7+b on (221.7) 70+c (308.6) 70 62 30 (26.3) qobit@yahoo. but remain in presscakes . Material Balance empirical data COMPOSITION (PERCENTAGE) MATERIAL Dates Date Juice (S2) M 20 (90.4+a+b (209.4) SS 10 0 NSS WEIGHTS TOTAL 100 ION H20 20 70 SS on a+b a b (208.1) 20+a (19.Equilibrium in each extraction stage is reached .6) 70 (9.1) a-34. water in S2 = a soluble solids in S2 = b water S3 = c water in P1 = w soluble solids in P2 = x The figures in brackets are the result of the calculations.3) (23.

6+c-a-b 54. All other unknown components in weights can now be expressed in a.3) (257.4) 0 (20.6) a+b (224. w = 54.Juice in presscake P2 and Date Juice S2 are in equilibrium hence have the same Brix level.7 qobit@yahoo. hence (equation 3) Three equations.3).3) (23.3) c c 0 (169.Since S1 is 30oBx and contains no soluble solids.6) 0 (11.6+c ( Page 213 .1) (19.8) (189. expressed as follows: and (equation 2) b . b and c can now be solved: a = 189.3-b (48.9) Slurry 2 87.2) a b on (208.3+c-a 23.6) (54.4) 0 (87.9) 54.7) Calculation (35.on Presscake (P1) Water (S3) 62 100 (26.7) 87.1) (3.4) (7.6) 72 (9. b and c.1 b = 19. it follows: (equation 1) .3. a. three unknowns.655 rounded 19.3+c (23.6) Equilibrium is reached.5) Date Juice (S2) Presscake (P2) (90. It follows: out of which x and w can be solved (x = 23.Moisture content P2 is 72%.12 rounded 189. hence Brix of the juice in the presscake P1 is the same as in recovered juice S1 (30o ). .

Proceedings of the Second Symposium on the Date Palm.0 0 22 18.2 298.c = 169.3 0 6.3 8. HASSAN.0 5. 2.0 4.4 22. M.6 Extraction Presscake (P1) Water (S3) Slurry Separation Date Juice (S2) Presscake (P2) 89.9 48.6 8. ABBAS.3 177.K.3 12.5 28.0 9.6 SS NSS 10 Page 214 .2 H20 20 177. Material Balance Operational Material Composition %-age M SS NSS 20 89. qobit@yahoo.8 20. H. Saudi Arabia.6 70 9.3 2.4 3. S1 d) composition of juice S2 by sampling during operation.4 198.0 77.2 100 30.89 rounded 169.9 48.0 22. MYSARA.4 88.S.5 0 2.9 149. all other unknowns can now be calculated and the material balance is completed.1 Weights Total 100 198. Date juice extraction in two stages at 30oBx in date syrup pilot plant (Libya) The extraction part of the pilot plant (about 50 kgs/hr date input) consists of two horizontal continuous extraction vessels in which dates and extraction liquid are in contact at 85o C for about ½ hour whilst being sitrred.0 12.0 28.2 28.6 72.8 1.3 63.2 198. M. (1989) Study to produce a semisolid infant food from date and whey or skim milk.2 77..F.8 197.8 148.3 0 221. The performance data for the extraction were compiled by determining a) weight and composition of dates b) weight and composition of presscake P2 c) weight and composition of recovered juice.2 63.2 149.4 I .1 15.BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.3 10 1.3 Extraction Dates Date Juice (S2) Slurry Separation Date Juice (S1) Presscake (P1) 67.4 66.4 226..3 6.7 6. Separation between the stages consists of a combination of a vibratory screen followed by a twin expeller press.5 70 18.9 After having inserted these results in the schedule.

AL-MALIKY... 16. 2...A. Z. A. 6 (3). M.. MAKHASIN. ABO-RADY.. N.W. M. ISSN 0252-3353 7. S. Date Palm Journal 1 (1). 5.S. Tropical Agriculture. FAROOQI.. AHMED. A. 3. M.. M.S. Iraqi Journal of Agri. ABOU-ZEID. M. AFIFI. A.. 12. KHALIL.S. Acta Alimentaria Vol. BAGHLAF.R. F..K.A. ALI. AHEMD. R. A. 15. SAIED. AINJI. M.B.. (1988) The use of date liquid sugar as substitute for sucrose in white layer cake (Arabic).. CHAUDHRY. M.. (1985) Comparative evaluation of trial shipments of fumigated and radiation disinfested dates from Iraq. (1986) Disinfestation of commercially packed dates by a combination treatment. (1977) The effect of irradiated dates on the development of Oryzaephilus Surinamensis (L).. 18. A. A.H.S.. HAMEED. H. ABDEL-SALAM. S.S.B. M. A.. Sc. LANGERAK. S.A. No. KADHUM.B. AHMED.S. Acta Alimentaria 15 (3).A. qobit@yahoo. F. ABU-ZINADA.A..M. I. Date Palm Journal 1 (2).Z. S. Vol. FARKAS.a review.A.A. ABDEL KADER.A. Date Palm Journal 1 (2).2. AHMED.A. N.M.I. 6.K. Food Science and Technology Abstracts 14 8C 331 J. W.M.H. S.M. S. AHMED. ABDEL-WAHAB.H. M. OUDA. (1982) Irradiation processes in food irradiation. (1982) Fungi associated with dates in Saudi Arabia..S. HASSAN.S. Zahdi variety... ABDEL-WAHAB.K. ABOU-AZIZ. by ionizing radiation. A. (1987) The use of shredded date palm leaves as a substrate in horticulture II Growth and yield of tomato and cucumber. (1982) Disinfestation of commercially packed dates. Saudi Page 215 .S. Egyptian Journal of Horticulture 2 (1).M. AL-HAKKAK.. Agricultural Wastes 8 (3). KADHUM. A.. M. 43. (1975) Keeping quality of fresh date fruits (Phoenix Dactylifera L) var.D.K. J.. AHMED.O. ALWAN. ABOU-KHALED.. VAN DUREN. M. AHMED. 9.M... A... ABD-EL-MAGEED.D. 4. Directorate of Agriculture Bahrain Extension Unit. A. S.R. D..A. EL-SAYED. S. 13. L.. Egyptian Journal of Horticulture 2 (1). Egyptian Journal of Food Science 15 (1). Samani and Zaglool as affected by cultivar and storage temperature.S. M. Bulletin No.S. M. A... 10. ALI. ABOU-AZIZ. KHAN. AL-HAKKAK. 8. Acta Alimentaria 14 (4)..A. Journal of Food Protection 45 (9). (1981) Investigations on insect disinfestation of dried dates by using gamma radiation . Cucujidae. ALI.. HAMEED.. A. AHMED..A. Proceedings of the Second Symposium on the Date Palm. LAMOOZA. ABDOU. A. (1983) Utilization of date seeds and cheese whey in the production of citric acid by Candida Lipolytica. KHADUM. (April 1966) Date stone meal as a substitute for barley in chick rations. HAMEED. (1982) Pre-liminary results of a date palm irrigation experiment in Central Iraq. Date Palm Journal 5 (2). Coleoptera. AL-MALIKY. M. S.H. A. (1978) The date palm in Bahrain. (1987) Supplementation of snack food with pollen grains of date palm (Egypt). 14. J. (1989) Studies on the effect of gamma irradiation on date fruit (Phoenix Dactylifera L) cv Hillawi during storage.I.H.A. FARKAS..S. E.A.B. J. 2. EL-SHIMI. (1975) Keeping quality of fresh date fruits as affected by cultivar and storage temperature. CHAUDHRY. 'Zanco' 6 (3). 17. KADHUM.A. LAMOOZA. HASSAN. Z.. EL-NABAWY. N. 11. M. A.K..S..H. AHMED..

German Federal Republic Patent Application 2. ALI. S. Iraq. (1978) Investigations of a mixed culture of Candida utilis (yeasts) and Trichoderma viridi (fungi) grown on wastes from date palm extraction processes. Alexandria Journal of Agric. Berichte Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft 91 (2/3). SIDAHMED. (1987) The use of liquid sugar-saccharin in production of low calorie soft drinks. (1982) The use of date stones for feeding and fattening ruminant animals.HP. Y. K. Dept.A.D. 35. S. 32. A.B. Ministry of Agriculture. Baghdad. 34. and others. AKHER.K. ALI. Phytochemistry 8. 459 407. (1956) The use of date products in the ration of the lactating dairy cow and the water buffalo. and others. (1963) New date products. ALI. 20. K. (1975) Soils.H..D. irrigation and drainage of the date palm. N. Baghdad. Faculty of Agriculture. (1984) A microbiological study of Sudanese date wines. Baghdad. 27. G. Page 216 . ARAR. FARAJ. Vol. ANNETT. MCLEROY..T. Date Palm Journal 5 (1). Handbuch der Futtermittel.... Journal of Food Science 49 (2).. Calcutta. K.. Sudan..C. University of Khartoum. AMIN. 23... A. ANON. (1974/78) The control of the fig moth (Ephestia Cautella (Walk. K.C. Date Growers' Institute. EL-. (1969) Isolation of estrone from moghat roots and from pollen grains of Egyptian date palm..A. N.. (1956) The use of dates and date pits for livestock feeding. (1965) Dattelkerne (date seeds) (German). 36.Z. Abu Ghraib Experiment Station.. N.A. FINE. N.T.H. of Animal Husbandry. 26. M. E. 25. E. Conf.M. AMIN. G. (1913) The date sugar industry in Bengal.J. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture in India.M. 30. 33. World Review of Animal Production 18 (3). MCLEROY. ALI. DE PETERS.. (1956) Macerated dates and ground pits as feed for fattening sheep. 24.. H. qobit@yahoo. M. O. G. Iraq. H. Abu Ghraib Agricultural Experiment Station. ALI. (1988) Physico-chemical evaluation of fruits of some Sudanese date cultivars.H. Datteln und Kaktusfruchte (figs. Abu Ghraib Experiment Station. SARSAM. STERNKOPF. ANON. FINE. K.T.. Iraq. 21. Iraq. 31. Ministry of Agriculture. Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform.U. DIRAR.19. (1965) Feigen. 28.B. Processing and Marketing.A. ALI. (1976) Continuous extraction of dates for the production of date juice for further processing. ANDERSON. 29. Handbuch der Futtermittel. Dept. 40.H. SARSAM. of Animal Husbandry.)) by chemicals and Thuricide . 22. dates and cactus fruits) (German).. M. N. SARSAM. RASHID. Harold. Lee and Ruth. A. Ministry of Agriculture. (1973) On the content of amino acids in date syrup from Iraq. Nahrung 17 (1). AL-OGAIDI. 1. ALI. Res. Vol.C.H.T. N. FINE. Government of India. ANON. 3rd FAO Tech. (1965) The chemical composition and utilization of palm tree leaves. Yearbook of Plant Protection Research. 12. ALI. A. Iraq. Tropical Agriculture 65 (2).H. ALWASH. A. Baghdad. on Improving Date Production.

EL-HAIDARI... 44. A. N. A.. AUDA. ATTIA. 45. ISBN 92-0-110081-7. AL-. AREF. (1955) Chemical changes in Samani dates during growth and ripening. ASHMAWI.. F. M. Sci.K. AL-A. J. MURAD.. Colombo (Sri Lanka).. F. qobit@yahoo. 43. H. ASHLOCK COMPANY.. ASIF.. (1976) Protein and amino acid composition of three varieties of Iraqi dates at different stages of development.M. Effect of gamma irradiation on the sugar and protein composition of Iraqi dates. Page 217 . 51.. Jenan. KHALAF. Alexandria Journal of Agricultural Research.. 54. AUDA.M.A. MIRJAN. King Saud University. 31 (1-2). Cairo University. Cairo University.K. 39. Faculty of Agriculture. HUSSEIN. Food Chem. (1956) Compositional changes in Zaglool dates throughout the different stages of maturity. ASHMAWI. ATTAR. SM 221/29a. 53. D. Bulletin No. 2 (2). International Atomic Energy Agency Report. 50. H.. (1980) Effect of gamma irradiation and storage conditions on amino acid composition of some Iraqi dates. Journal of Agr. H. 38. 49. A. No. J. AL-. AL-SAUD. 46.. AZAWI. 2(1). Moshtodor (Egypt). Journal of the College of Science. N. M. Food Irradiation Information. 19 (1). 40. Z.. Date Palm Journal. MIRJAN. (1983) Effect of high temperatures on fig moth. H. Ephestia cautella. SIAL.. Symp.S. Bulletin No. 48. Baghdad. H. AUDA.). H. on Combination Processes in Food Irradiation. H.. (1973) Chemical changes induced by radiation in Iraqi dates. Thesis (Ph. AL-WANDAWI. O.A. A. (1972) The nutritive value of fodder yeast produced from Iraqi dates.A. (1980) Ashlock Type "DP" Automatic date pitting machine (USA). (1988) Date palm seeds as food for carp. 36 (7). (1980) Chemical studies on the influence of a combined process of heat and irradiation on carbohydrates. H. Pyralidae). AZIZ. H. 2 (1)..B.B.D.S.F. and Food Chem.M. ASHMAWI. proteins and amino acids of dates. (1979) Effect of feeding date stones as a replacer for maize meal on the performance of broiler chicks. 20 (1). M. A. Walker (Lepidoptera.. Date Palm Journal. (1971) The amino acid content of some Iraqi dates.. ASWAD. M. Zazazig University. (1983) Ripening of Khasab dates by sodium chloride and acetic acid. AUDA. M.). 41. (Cyprinus carpio L. AL-WANDAWI. H.. AUDA. AUDA. H. H. 28 (3). in Radiation Preservation of Food. H. 10. a pest of stored dates in Iraq. Food Agric. EL-HAIDARI. 60. Company file DP 384.F.H. FAO/IAEA. Int. Pakistan Journal of Science. AL TAHER. Agr.. V. Faculty of Agriculture. A. J. AL-WANDAWI. 42. 52. H. L. ASWAD. H. ASGAH. F.. AL-CHARCHAFCHI.. 7 (Egypt).A. AL-. Chemical studies on date seeds.A. AREF.. Pyralidae).A.A. 47. 24 (2). AL-. NASSER. L.Y. AZIZ. H. 61.. (1955) Contribution to the knowledge of pigments present in some varieties of fresh dates (Phoenix Dactylifera). AZAWI. (1983) Effect of reduced atmospheric pressure with different temperatures on Ephestia cautellia Walker (Lepidoptera. AL-ADHAMI. HUSSEIN. H. SHAKER.. Date Palm Journal. Journal of Food Science.37. (1980) Date irradiation in Iraq. AL-.

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