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Nutritional and Functional Properties of Dates: A Review

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This review article provides information on the nutritional and functional constituents of dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and their seeds from over 80 references. Date flesh is found to be low in fat and protein but rich in sugars, mainly fructose and glucose. It is a high source of energy, as 100 g of flesh can provide an average of 314 kcal. Ten minerals were reported, the major being selenium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. The consumption of 100 g of dates can provide over 15% of the recommended daily allowance from these minerals. Vitamins B-complex and C are the major vitamins in dates. High in dietary fiber (8.0 g/100 g), insoluble dietary fiber was the major fraction of dietary fiber in dates. Dates are a good source of antioxidants, mainly carotenoids and phenolics. Date seeds contain higher protein (5.1 g/100 g) and fat (9.0 g/100 g) as compared to the flesh. It is also high in dietary fiber (73.1 g/100 g), phenolics (3942 mg/100 g) and antioxidants (80400 micromol/100 g). This detailed information on nutritional and health promoting components of dates and their seeds will enhance our knowledge and appreciation for the use of dates in our daily diet and their seeds as a functional food ingredient.
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Nutritional and Functional Properties of Dates: A Review
Mohamed Ali Al-Farsi a; Chang Yong Lee a
a Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University, Geneva, NY, USA
Online Publication Date: 01 November 2008
To cite this Article Al-Farsi, Mohamed Ali and Lee, Chang Yong(2008)'Nutritional and Functional Properties of Dates: A Review',Critical
Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition,48:10,877 — 887
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Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 48:877–887 (2008)
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ISSN: 1040-8398
DOI: 10.1080/10408390701724264
Nutritional and Functional Properties
of Dates: A Review
MOHAMED ALI AL-FARSIand CHANG YONG LEE
Department of Food Science and Technology, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456, USA
This review article provides information on the nutritional and functional constituents of dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and
their seeds from over 80 references. Date flesh is found to be low in fat and protein but rich in sugars, mainly fructose and
glucose. It is a high source of energy, as 100 g of flesh can provide an average of 314 kcal. Ten minerals were reported,
the major being selenium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. The consumption of 100 g of dates can provide over 15%
of the recommended daily allowance from these minerals. Vitamins B-complex and C are the major vitamins in dates.
High in dietary fiber (8.0 g/100 g), insoluble dietary fiber was the major fraction of dietary fiber in dates. Dates are a
good source of antioxidants, mainly carotenoids and phenolics. Date seeds contain higher protein (5.1 g/100 g) and fat
(9.0 g/100 g) as compared to the flesh. It is also high in dietary fiber (73.1 g/100 g), phenolics (3942 mg/100 g) and
antioxidants (80400 μmol/100 g). This detailed information on nutritional and health promoting components of dates and
their seeds will enhance our knowledge and appreciation for the use of dates in our daily diet and their seeds as a functional
food ingredient.
Keywords sugars, mineral, vitamins, fiber, phenolics, antioxidants
INTRODUCTION
Dates are produced largely in the hot desert regions of South-
west Asia and North Africa, and are marketed worldwide as a
high-value fruit crop. With the present uncertainty in the world
food supply and an expected increase in demand, the date palm is
likely to continue to provide a good source of low cost food. The
world production of dates has increased from about 4.60 million
tons in 1994 to 6.9 million tons in 2004 (FAO, 2007). Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq are the main producing countries
(Table 1). Table 1 shows that Tunisia is leading the exporting
countries in terms of gross exports (84.4 million US $), followed
by Iran (36.4 million US $), Saudi Arabia (24.1 million US $),
and Pakistan (22.5 million US $). However, the United States
achieved the highest export price (3,339 US $/ton) among these
countries, followed by Tunisia and Algeria, due to their strategy
of growing top quality date varieties and targeting the high-value
European markets (Zaid and Arias-Jimenez, 2002).
Dates pass through four stages of development known by
their Arabic names; Kimri, Khalaal, Rutab, and Tamer. Many
studies had discussed the physical and chemical development
Fulbright visiting scholar from Oman.
Address correspondence to Chang Yong Lee, Department of Food Science
and Technology, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456, USA, Tel.: +315-787-
2255; Fax: +315-787-2284; E-mail: cyl1@cornell.edu
of dates as they pass through these stages (Sawaya et al., 1982;
1983; Mustafa et al., 1986; Siddiqui and Gupta, 1994; El-Zoghbi,
1994; Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995; Al-Hooti et al., 1997; Myhara
et al., 1999; Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2003). At the Kimri stages
there is a rapid increase in size, weight, and sugar content. The
moisture content at this stage is up to 85%. At the end of this
stage the fruit starts to turn yellow or red depending on the va-
riety. In the Khalaal stage weight gain is slow, the sucrose starts
to be converted to glucose and fructose, the moisture content
goes down, and tannins will start to precipitate and lose their
astringency. In some varieties this latter process occurs rapidly,
which makes the fruit palatable at the Khalaal stage. Normally
the tips of the fruit start ripening by turning brown as they enter
the Rutab stage which is characterized by a decrease in weight
due to moisture loss, the conversion of sucrose into invert sugar
(the degree depending on the variety) and a browning of the skin
and softening of the tissues. The moisture content decreases to
about 35% and the dates at this stage are sold as fresh fruit. Only
when the dates are left to ripen further on the palm or sun dried
will they develop into the Tamer (dried) stage. Therefore, dates
distinguished from most other fruits in that they have a botanical
maturity at least 3 commercial maturation levels, the sweet Kha-
laal, the Rutab, and the Tamer stage (Barreveld, 1993). There are
over 2000 different date varieties (Amer, 1994). According to
variety and growth conditions, date fruits (Tamer) vary in shape,
size, and weight. Usually they are oblong in shape although
877
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878 M. A. AL-FARSI AND C. Y. LEE
Table 1 Cultivation area, production, export, and export value of dates for
2004.
Countries
Area
1000
Hectares
Production
1000 tons
Export
1000 tons
Commercial
value
US $/ton
Export value
1000 US $
Algeria 135 470 8 1,820 14,563
Egypt 35 1,166 3 457 1,370
Iran 185 880 95 383 36,430
Iraq 102 875 24 183 4,392
Oman 34 238 5 436 2,180
Pakistan 81 622 65 346 22,473
Saudi Arabia 145 901 44 548 24,090
Tunisia 45 122 40 2,110 84,382
UAE 186 760 60 219 13,127
USA 2 15 4 3,339 13,357
World 1,129 6,908 377 786 296,248
Source: (FAOSTAT). (FAO 2007).
certain varieties may be almost round. Length and width may
vary from 18–110 mm to 8–32 mm, respectively and the average
weight per fruit is about 2 to 60 grams (Zaid and Arias-Jimenez,
2002).
Sun drying is the common method of drying dates; taking
around 7 to 10 days depending on the daytime temperature
which varies from 30 to 50C and the humidity (60–85%) (Al-
Farsi et al., 2005). Several factors affect date quality during
sun drying. These include insect infestation, microbial infesta-
tion, and browning by enzymatic and non-enzymatic reactions
(Barreveld, 1993). The drying of dates can also be achieved by ar-
tificial heat treatment in circumstances where early rains threaten
to damage the crop. The process requires rooms in which tem-
perature, humidity, and air ventilation can be controlled. Drying
rate is a function of temperature, relative humidity, and velocity
of the air. For drying soft dates, 65C is recommended, which
ensures a reasonable drying rate with minimal effect on the basic
qualities. Relative humidity should be maintained at over 40%,
but should not exceed 60% to avoid case-hardening and also for
fuel economy (Barreveld, 1993).
Dates consumption is seasonal; it reaches its peak in the Ra-
madan month (Muslims fasting month) where dates are needed
to break the fasting, and the consumption drops after that month.
Dates are mainly consumed dried, the average daily consump-
tion per capita of dates was estimated in Oman and United Arab
Emirates at 164 and 114 grams respectively (MAF, 2005; Ismail
et al., 2006). Socio-economic changes have reduced date con-
sumption due to improvement in living standards, changes in
eating habits, continued urban drift, and the tendency toward a
smaller size family. The wide availability of alternative compet-
itive confectioneries and other fruits all year round have aggra-
vated the problem.
Dates consist of 70% carbohydrates, most of which is in the
form of sugars. In most varieties, the sugar content is almost en-
tirely invert sugar, which is rapidly absorbed by the human body
(Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995; Al-Hooti et al., 1997; Myhara et al.,
1999). Dates also contain large amounts of dietary fiber, and are
thought to be a good source of some minerals, e.g., iron, potas-
sium, and calcium. However, relatively few detailed analyses
of their composition have been published. In some instances,
the variety analyzed has not been identified and, in addition,
conflicting results for some constituents have been published.
There is a particular lack of information on functional con-
stituents of dates and their potential value as functional foods.
Functional foods are defined as those foods that provide health
benefits beyond basic nutrition (IFICF, 1998). Epidemiological
studies have consistently shown that there are clear significant
positive associations between intake of fruits and vegetables and
reduced rate of heart diseases mortality, common cancers, and
other degenerative diseases as well as ageing (Joseph et al., 1999;
Dillard and German, 2000; Prior and Cao, 2000; Wargovich,
2000). This is attributed to the fact that these foods may provide
an optimal mix of dietary fiber, natural antioxidants, and other
biotic compounds.
The functional constituents of dates include dietary fiber,
which is important for the health of the digestive tract. Dietary
fiber consists of the edible plant material which is not hydrolyzed
by the human digestive tract. Many studies recommend the pub-
lic to consume adequate amounts of dietary fiber from a vari-
ety of plant foods (NIM, 2001; Marlett et al., 2002; Mai et al.,
2003).
0It is possible that dates may also contain useful quantities
of antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to play an essential
role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (Renaud and
De Lorgeril, 1992; Fuhrman et al., 1995), cancers (Wargovich,
2000; Dragsted et al., 1993), neurodegenerative diseases, such
as Parkinson’s and Ahlzeimer’s diseases (Joseph et al., 1999;
Okuda et al., 1992; Clarke, 1999), as well as inflammation
(Joseph et al., 1999; Lietty et al., 1976) and continuous ageing
(Prior and Cao, 2000; Ames et al., 1993; Gaulejac et al., 1999).
A dietary antioxidant is defined as a substance in foods that
significantly decreases the adverse effects of reactive species,
such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen, on normal physiological
function in humans (NIM, 2000). Antioxidants markedly delay
or prevent oxidation of the substrate when they are present in
foods or in the body at low concentrations (Halliwell, 1999;
Shahidi, 2000). Natural antioxidants consist primarily of plant-
phenolics, vitamin C, carotenoids, and selenium (NIM, 2000;
Shahidi and Naczk, 2004). Examples of common plant phenolic
antioxidants include flavonoid compounds (anthocyanins), cin-
namic acid derivatives, coumarins, and tocopherols (vitamin E)
(Shahidi and Naczk, 2004).
This review examines the major constituents of dates and date
seeds and discusses their nutritional and functional properties.
In order to compare the composition of fresh (Rutab) and dried
(Tamer) dates with other dried fruits, all presented data from
cited references has been recalculated on wet weight bases.
PROXIMATE COMPOSITION
The moisture content, protein, fat, ash, carbohydrates, and
energy of fresh and dried dates are shown in Table 2. The aver-
age moisture content of 10 fresh date varieties is 42.4 g/100 g
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NUTRITIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF DATES 879
Table 2 Proximate composition of fresh and dried datesa.
Varieties
Moisture
g/100 g
Protein
g/100 g Fat g/100 g Ash g/100 g
Carbohydratesb
g/100 g
Energyc
kcal/100 g References
Fresh dates
Naghal 44.1 2.0 0.2 1.2 52.6 207 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khunaizy 37.9 1.9 0.1 1.2 58.8 229 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khalas 41.3 1.1 0.1 1.0 56.8 218 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Barhi 39.7 1.8 0.2 1.1 56.9 222 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Lulu 45.2 1.6 0.2 1.0 52.2 204 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Fard 37.6 1.5 0.2 1.3 59.4 229 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khasab 50.4 1.1 0.1 1.0 47.8 185 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Bushibal 43.2 1.4 0.1 1.1 54.2 210 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Gaafar 40.0 1.5 0.1 1.4 57.0 221 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Habash 44.2 1.3 0.1 1.3 53.1 205 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Average 42.4 1.5 0.14 1.16 54.9 213
Dried dates
Naghal 9.2 2.7 0.2 1.9 86.2 336 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khunaizy 25.1 3.0 0.1 1.4 70.5 277 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khalas 12.6 1.7 0.5 1.8 83.4 324 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Barhi 29.5 2.3 0.1 1.5 66.1 258 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Lulu 21.3 2.4 0.2 1.3 75.1 293 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Fard 18.5 1.5 1.4 1.5 77.1 308 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 16.5 1.6 1.0 1.6 79.3 313 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Bushibal 16.3 1.9 0.1 1.8 79.9 308 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Gaafar 7.2 2.2 0.1 1.9 88.6 342 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Habash 12.8 1.7 0.1 1.6 83.8 322 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Deglet Noor 20.5 2.5 0.4 1.6 75.0 293 (USDA, 2007)
Medjool 21.3 1.8 0.2 1.7 75.0 290 (USDA, 2007)
Hallawi 7.3 2.1 0.5 1.8 88.3 344 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Sayer 7.5 2.6 0.3 1.7 87.9 343 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Khadrawi 9.5 2.2 0.4 1.9 86.0 335 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Zahdi 8.3 2.0 0.4 1.7 87.6 340 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Average 15.2 2.14 0.38 1.67 80.6 314
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. bCarbohydrates were calculated by subtracting total percent values of moisture, protein, fat and ash from 100. cEnergy
value was calculated by multiplying carbohydrates by 3.75, protein by 4 and fat by 9.
where the average moisture of 16 dried varieties is 15.2 g/100 g.
The significant reduction in the moisture content of dried dates
is mainly due to sun drying. Sun drying is the traditional way of
preserving dates. Since sun drying depends on uncontrolled fac-
tors such as daytime temperature and humidity, the production
of uniform and high quality products is not expected (Barreveld,
1993; Arthey and Ashurst, 1996).
Protein and fat occur in small amounts in dates. The average
protein content of fresh and dried dates is 1.50 and 2.14 g/100 g
respectively. The fat content is 0.14 g/100 g for fresh dates
and 0.38 g/100 g for dried dates. The increased protein and
fat after drying are mainly due to moisture loss. However, these
values, differing between varieties, would be expected due to
differences in cultivation, drying conditions, and determination
methods.
Carbohydrate composition was calculated by subtracting the
sum of the contents of moisture, protein, lipid, and ash from
100. As shown in Table 2, the average carbohydrates in fresh
and dried dates are 54.9 and 80.6 g/100 g, respectively. The
carbohydrate content would be expected to be high and consists
of mainly sugars and fiber.
The energy provided by the protein, fat, and carbohy-
drates in dates was calculated according to MAFF (1995)
and shown in Table 2. This method of calculation of en-
ergy assumes that all carbohydrate present is energy pro-
viding. However, a proportion of the carbohydrate in dates
would be expected to be dietary fiber, which would not con-
tribute to the energy provided when they are consumed by
humans.
Dates are a good source of energy mainly due to their high
sugar content. The average energy of fresh and dried dates is
213 and 314 kcal/100 g respectively. The energy requirements
of adult men range from 2300 to 2900 kcal/day and 1900 to
2200 kcal/day for adult women (NIM, 2001). Hence, a por-
tion of 100 g of dates supplies approximately 12 to 15% of
the total energy requirement per day per adult. Table 10 shows
comparison data of different dried fruits including dates. Al-
though dates have the lowest content of protein and fat com-
pared to other dried fruits, it can still provide high carbohydrates
and energy to our diet. Thus dates make a significant contri-
bution to the diet and, therefore, their nutrient contribution is
important.
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880 M. A. AL-FARSI AND C. Y. LEE
Table 3 Sugar content of fresh and dried datesa.
Varieties Fructose g/100 g Glucose g/100 g Sucrose g/100 g Total g/100 g References
Fresh dates
Naghal 20.8 23.4 Nd 44.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khunaizy 21.5 24.7 Nd 46.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khalas 21.7 24.5 Nd 46.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Lulu 21.9 22.0 Nd 43.9 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Fard 24.1 26.1 Nd 50.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khasab 19.8 21.9 Nd 41.7 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Barhi 19.4 21.4 Nd 40.8 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Bushibal 13.6 21.9 3.3 38.8 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Gaafar 15.0 24.6 0.7 40.3 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Habash 16.2 17.6 8.1 41.9 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Average 19.4 22.8 4.03 43.4
Dried dates
Naghal 21.2 23.2 Nd 44.4 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khunaizy 25.4 28.5 Nd 53.9 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khalas 31.9 30.3 Nd 62.2 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Lulu 27.1 30.5 Nd 57.6 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Fard 28.2 28.5 Nd 56.7 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 27.4 28.7 Nd 56.1 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Barhi 27.6 29.7 Nd 57.3 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Boumaan 29.5 26.8 Nd 56.3 (Ismail et al., 2006)
Bushibal 33.4 33.0 Nd 66.4 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Gaafar 36.8 36.8 Nd 73.6 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Habash 34.4 33.5 Nd 67.9 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Ruzeiz 29.4 24.6 Nd 54.0 (Ismail et al., 2006)
Dalady 14.1 17.6 33.9 65.6 (Salem and Hegazi, 1971)
Deglet noor 19.6 19.9 23.8 63.3 (USDA, 2007)
Medjool 32.0 33.7 0.5 66.2 (USDA, 2007)
Hallawi 34.5 40.5 4.4 79.4 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Sayer 35.2 41.4 3.2 79.8 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Khadrawi 34.8 40.5 4.1 79.4 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Zahdi 35.9 30.1 11.6 77.6 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Average 29.4 30.4 11.6 64.1
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. nd: not detected.
SUGARS
Fructose, glucose, and sucrose were the only sugars detected
in fresh and dried dates. The sugar contents of fresh and dried
dates are shown in Table 3. The average content of fructose, glu-
cose, and sucrose in fresh dates are 19.4, 22.8, and 4.03 g/100 g
respectively, with an average total of 43.4 g/100 g. Sugars in-
creased in dried dates to 29.4, 30.4, and 11.6 g/100 g for fruc-
tose, glucose, and sucrose respectively, with a total content of
64.1 g/100 g. Fructose and glucose were the major sugars in most
date varieties and are found almost in equal amounts. The sugar
differences between fresh and dried dates could be related to
the stage of maturation and to the cultivation area with moisture
reduction (Barreveld, 1993).
Sugars in dates are the most important constituents as they
provide a rich source of energy to humans. Reducing sugars,
such as glucose, are readily absorbed during digestion and lead
to rapid elevation of blood sugars (Liu et al., 2000). As fructose
is twice as sweet as glucose, it induces a feeling of satiety and
may also reduce the total calorie intake compared to fat-rich
foods (ACBCI-EU, 2007). However, sticky foods such as dried
fruits may contribute to tooth decay (Whitney and Rolfes, 2002).
MINERALS
Table 4 shows the mineral content of fresh and dried dates
and their Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Adequate
Intakes (AI). Dates were found to be rich sources of selenium,
copper, potassium, and magnesium in the diet, as the consump-
tion of 100 g of dates provides over 15% of the daily RDA/AI
of these minerals. Moderate concentrations of manganese, iron,
phosphorus, and calcium, per 100 g of dates, provide over 7%
of the daily RDA/AI. The high potassium and low sodium con-
tents in dates are desirable for people suffering from hyperten-
sion (Appel et al., 1997). In comparison with other dried fruits
(plums, apricot, figs, raisins, and peaches), USDA National nu-
trient database reported, that 100 g of these fruits contain on
average of 0.8 μg Se, 0.3 mg Cu, 864 mg K, and 43 mg Mg
(USDA, 2007). Thus, dates are regarded as a good source of
these minerals.
Selenium is a coenzyme for the antioxidant enzyme glu-
tathione peroxidase, and therefore, has a role in the protection of
body tissues against oxidative stress, maintenance of defenses
against infection, and the modulation of growth and develop-
ment (NIM, 2000). The high levels of selenium in dates could
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NUTRITIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF DATES 881
Table 4 Mineral content of fresh and dried dates (mg/100 g)a.
Varieties Mg Na Ca P K Mn Fe Zn Cu Se References
Fresh dates
Naghal 34 169 7.8 451 0.40.30.20.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khunaizy 48 124 5.1 467 0.30.70.10.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khalas 36 124 11 345 0.20.80.20.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Barhi 54 126 7.0 482 0.20.80.10.20.24 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995,
Al-Showiman et al., 1994)
Lulu 43 76 5.0 382 0.20.70.20.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Fard 42 176 8.7 882 0.30.80.20.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khasab 31 107 8.4 407 0.30.60.20.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Bushibal 54 1.8 48 39 423 0.40.40.40.2 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Gaafar 53 3.2 57 49 537 0.40.80.50.3 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Habash 38 1.8 44 35 487 0.20.50.30.2 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Average 43.390.920.241.0 486 0.29 0.64 0.24 0.21 0.24
Dried dates
Naghal 43 261 14 716 0.51.10.20.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khunaizy 44 148 11 527 0.31.10.20.1 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Khalas 76 3.6 85 74 742 0.30.60.50.60.28 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Barhi 58 53 9 603 0.40.20.10.1 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Lulu 56 50 8 445 0.40.50.10.2 (Ahmed and Ahmed, 1995)
Fard 61 3.5 82 59 624 0.30.60.50.80.4 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 67 2.4 55 63 603 0.21.10.60.60.4 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Bushibal 41 4.3 41 41 468 0.41.50.39 0.2 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Gaafar 45 2.9 52 56 550 0.31.40.50.3 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Gash Habash 44 1.3 44 48 500 0.31.40.60.3 (Al-Hooti et al., 1997)
Hardrami 91 1.0 94 787 0.01 0.30.02 0.01 — (Mohamed, 2000)
Succari 140 14 206 1093 0.03 0.20.10.03 0.25 (Al-Showiman et al., 1994,
Mohamed, 2000)
Mabroom 86 4.5 136 1062 0.03 0.02 0.01 — (Mohamed, 2000)
Safawi 150 1.4 132 1287 0.10.02 0.03 — (Mohamed, 2000)
Beed 55 6.8 129 524 0.02 0.02 0.02 — (Mohamed, 2000)
Boumaan 25 9.1 1248 0.30.70
.2 (Ismail et al., 2006)
Ruzeiz 41 55 413 0.41.40.38—0.24 (Ismail et al., 2006,
Al-Showiman et al., 1994)
Medjool 54 1.0 64 62 696 0.30.90.40.4 (USDA, 2007)
Deglet noor 43 2.0 39 62 656 0.31.00.30.2 (USDA, 2007)
Average 64.232.970.758.1 713 0.27 0.83 0.27 0.24 0.31
RDA/AI mg/day 420 1000 700 3500 2.38.011 0.90.055 (Whitney and Rolfes, 2002)
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. RDA/AI is Recommended Dietary Allowance/Adequate Intakes per adult per day.
be used to promote and market this crop in the producing coun-
tries as well as in other countries. However, the high level of
selenium is also a cause of concern as the concentration present
in dates (0.31 mg/100 g) is close to the toxic level (0.85 mg)
(NIM, 2000). Although each mineral has its own health bene-
fits, minerals are generally important as constituents of bones,
teeth, soft tissues, hemoglobin, muscle, and nerve cells (O’Dell
and Sunde, 1997; Sardesai, 1998).
VITAMINS
Table 5 shows the vitamin content of dried dates with their
daily RDA/AI. Dried dates are generally a moderate source of
vitamin B6,B
9,B
2, and B3as 100 g of dates provide over 9% of
the daily RDA/AI for adults. Vitamins B1, C, and A are found
in relatively low concentrations in dried dates, as 100 g of dates
provide less than 7% of the daily RDA/AI. Dried fruits of plums,
apricot, figs, raisins, and peaches contain, on average, 52 μgB
1,
136 μgB
2, 2046 μgB
3and 1980 μg vitamin C per 100 g
respectively (USDA, 2007). Therefore, compared to these dried
fruits, dates are regarded as a reasonable source of vitamins,
particularly vitamin C (3900 μg/100 g).
Vitamins are essential nutrients found in foods; the daily re-
quirements are small but they perform specific and vital func-
tions essential for maintaining health. Dates contain mainly wa-
ter soluble vitamins (B-complex and C). They dissolve in water
and are not stored in the body; they are eliminated in urine and
therefore we need a continuous supply of them in our diets. By
contrast fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) dissolve in fat
before they are absorbed in the blood stream to carry out their
functions. Excesses of these vitamins are stored in the liver. B
and C vitamins serve as coenzymes that facilitate the work of
every cell in our body. They are active in carbohydrates, fat,
protein metabolism, and in the making of DNA of new cells.
Vitamin C, acts as well as an antioxidant, protects tissues from
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882 M. A. AL-FARSI AND C. Y. LEE
Table 5 Vitamin content of dried date (μg/100 g)a.
Varieties A Retinol B1Thiamin B2Riboflavin B3Niacin B6Pyridoxal B9Folate C Ascorbic References
Medjool 44.7 50 60 1610 249 (USDA, 2007)
Deglet noor 3.0 52 66 1274 165 400 (USDA, 2007)
Hallawi 92 160 53 3300 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Sayer 120 125 65 16000 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Khadrawi 85 135 39 2900 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Zahdi 73 153 58 2200 (Yousif et al., 1982)
Khudari 1000 (Sawaya et al., 1982)
Sullaj 1500 (Sawaya et al., 1982)
Average 23.85 78.67 116.5 1442 207 53.75 3900
RDA/AI μg/day 900 1200 1300 16000 1300 400 90000 (Whitney and Rolfes, 2002)
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. RDA/AI is Recommended Dietary Allowance/Adequate Intakes per adult male per day.
oxidative stress, and thus may play an important role in prevent-
ing diseases (Whitney and Rolfes, 2002).
AMINO ACIDS
Table 6 shows the amino acid content of fresh and dried dates.
Within the same stage of maturation, the amino acid content
varies significantly. Most of the studies cited used an amino
acid analyzer for determination with the exception of Salem
and Hegazi (1971) (colorimetric method). Amino acids content
increased in dried varieties mainly due to water reduction, as
Auda et al. (1976) and Ishurd et al. (2004) reported the reduction
of the amino acid content through maturation stages.
Although the amounts of protein are too small to be con-
sidered an important nutritional source, dates contain essential
amino acids which the body cannot make and must be provided
in the diet. Glutamic, aspartic, lysine, leucine, and glycine are
the predominant amino acids in fresh dates, whereas glutamic,
aspartic, glycine, prolin, and leucine are the predominant amino
acids in dried dates.
DIETARY FIBER
Table 7 shows the content of soluble, insoluble, and total di-
etary fiber of fresh and dried dates. The references selected used
the same principle for determining dietary fiber, mainly cellu-
lose, hemicelluloses, pectin, and lignin. Insoluble dietary fiber
was the major fraction of dietary fiber in dates. The total fiber
content in fresh dates increased from 7.5 g/100 g to 8.0 g/100 g
in dried dates due to moisture reduction and to the ripening pro-
cess in which enzymes gradually break down these substances to
the more soluble compounds which softens the fruit (Fennema,
1996).
From the total dietary fiber content in dates and the recom-
mended daily intake of total dietary fiber (25 g/day) (Marlett
et al., 2002), dates could be a good source of dietary fiber in the
diet, as 100 g of dates provide 32% of the recommended daily
intake of dietary fiber. The high content of the insoluble fiber
induces satiety, and has a laxative effect due to increased stool
weight. It therefore may reduce the risk of serious conditions
such as bowel cancer, and diverticular disease (Marlett et al.,
Table 6 Amino acid content of fresh and dried dates (mg/100 g)a.
Varieties Ala Arg Asp Cys Glu Gly His Iso Leu Lys Met Phe Pro Ser Thr Try Tyr Ref.
Fresh dates
Khastawi 68 76 183 48 217 86 34 4 94 136 13 51 73 70 57 — 34 (Auda et al., 1976)
Khadhrawi 52 46 100 21 125 53 23 37 69 70 4 35 53 47 38 — 29 (Auda et al., 1976)
Zahdi 30 34 72 13 100 42 14 23 41 53 6 25 36 29 23 — 16 (Auda et al., 1976)
Average 50.052.0 118 27.3 147 60.323.721.368.086.37.737.054.048.739.3— 26.3
Dried dates
Khastawi 83 72 143 53 202 107 33 55 102 75 14 55 113 60 56 — 33 (Auda et al., 1976)
Khadhrawi 104 56 144 36 232 102 0.1 55 100 60 21 56 97 62 50 40 (Auda et al., 1976)
Zahdi 133 67 117 53 231 106 24 43 76 85 11 49 69 58 41 — 25 (Auda et al., 1976)
Hallawi 105 39 129 32 158 98 21 43 84 51 18 53 110 64 51 46 15 (Al-Rawi et al., 1967)
Sayir 79 45 119 35 183 92 19 41 78 51 12 43 100 58 45 46 15 (Al-Rawi et al., 1967)
Balady 110 148 309 — 382 268 — — 242 154 — — 128 95 92 156 (Salem and Hegazi, 1971)
Zahdi 63 81 67 — 200 45 46 37 61 42 24 45 94 65 55 37 (Al-Aswad, 1971)
Hillawi 70 91 59 — 225 64 44 44 72 46 28 66 81 53 44 49 (Al-Aswad, 1971)
Sayer 117 95 148 248 105 29 50 105 52 62 67 148 74 57 52 (Al-Aswad, 1971)
Medjool 78 60 220 46 265 90 29 45 82 54 17 48 111 62 42 7 16 (USDA, 2007)
Deglet noor 83 136 213 67 359 101 32 49 84 66 22 50 130 57 43 12 15 (USDA, 2007)
Average 93.280.9 152 46.0 244 107 27.746.298.766.922.953.2 105 67.452.640.641.2
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis.
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NUTRITIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF DATES 883
Table 7 Dietary fiber of fresh and dried datesa.
Soluble Insoluble Total
Varieties g/100 g g/100 g g/100 g References
Fresh dates
Khalas 7.1 (Myhara et al., 1999)
Fard 8.6 (Myhara et al., 1999)
Hayani 0.96 5.89 6.85 (El-Zoghbi, 1994)
Average 0.96 5.89 7.5
Dried dates
Fard 1.3 6.7 8.0 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 1.1 7.4 8.4 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khalas 0.4 5.9 6.3 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Deglet Noor 8.0 (USDA, 2007)
Medjool 6.7 (USDA, 2007)
Rabeaah 9.7 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Shalaby 10.3 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Mabroom 8.5 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Sukkary 8.2 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Sofry 7.8 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Shorcy 7.1 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Bamy 6.4 (Al-Shahib and Marshall, 2002)
Hayani 0.54 3.03 3.57 (El-Zoghbi, 1994)
Khalas 10.9 (Myhara et al., 1999)
Fard 10.1 (Myhara et al., 1999)
Average 0.84 5.76 8.00
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis.
2002; Cummings et al., 1992). In comparison with other dried
fruits in Table 10, dates are a rich source of dietary fiber.
CAROTENOIDS
Table 8 shows the carotenoids composition and the to-
tal carotenoids in fresh and dried dates. The average total
carotenoids content of fresh and dried dates are 913 and 973
μg/100 g respectively. With lutein, β-carotene, and neoxanthin
are the major carotenoids. Carotenoid values varied probably
due to the differences between variety, maturation, drying, and
analysis conditions. The total carotenoid content in dates varied
between the yellow and red colored varieties. The high con-
tent of carotenoids in Khalas was expected, as this variety has
a yellow color. Fruits that are red usually contain hydrocarbon
carotenoids such as lycopene, neurosporene, gamma-carotene,
delta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, phytofluene, and
phytoene. The yellow colored fruits contain, in addition to the
carotenoids above listed, a complex mixture of carotenol fatty
acid esters (Fennema, 1996).
Drying processes can result in degradation or formation of
cis isomers of carotenoids (Chen et al., 1995; Sa’nchez-Moreno
et al., 2003). Al-Farsi et al. (2005) reported destruction ranged
between 4–30% of dates carotenoids after sun drying. This de-
struction was attributed to the drying temperature (30 to 50 C)
and the duration of the process (7 to 10 days) (Al-Farsi et al.,
2005).
Typical carotenoid concentrations in other dried fruits range
from 0.032 mg/100 g for figs to 2.2 mg/100 g in apricot (Ta-
ble 10). Therefore, dates (0.97 mg/100 g) can be considered a
moderate source of carotenoids compared to other dried fruits.
Although not all carotenoids act as provitamin A, dates are likely
to contribute to the human requirement for vitamin A.
ANTHOCYANINS, PHENOLICS, AND ANTIOXIDANTS
Table 9 shows the total content of anthocyanins, phenolics,
and antioxidants (ORAC, FRAP, and DPPH) of fresh and dried
Table 8 Carotenoid content of fresh and dried dates (μg/100 g)a.
Varieties α-Caro. β-Caro. Zeax. β-Zea. Lute. Neox. Total References
Fresh dates
Date (unknown) 3.0 18 33 9.0 63 (Ben-Amotz and Fishler, 1998)
Deglet Noor 6.4 156 167 (Boudries et al., 2007)
Tantebouchte — 3.3— — 28 32.6 (Boudries et al., 2007)
Hamraya — 2.5— — 33.6— 37.3 (Boudries et al., 2007)
Hayany 116 541 381 1270 (Gross et al., 1983)
Deglet Noor 60 461 230 920 (Gross et al., 1983)
Fard 1390 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 1310 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khalas 3030 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Average 3.0 34.4 33.0 9.0 244 306 913
Dried dates
Deglet Noor 3.0— — 60 64.3 (Boudries et al., 2007)
Tantebouchte — 9.5 129 145 (Boudries et al., 2007)
Hamraya — 3.0— — 45.7— 51.3 (Boudries et al., 2007)
Hayany 146 520 365 1260 (Gross et al., 1983)
Deglet Noor 54 485 206 920 (Gross et al., 1983)
Barhee 143 491 184 1320 (Gross et al., 1983)
Fard 1200 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 900 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khalas 2900 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Average 59.8 289 252 973
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. α-Caro: α-Carotene; β-caro: β-carotene; Zeax: Zeaxanthin; β-Zea: β-Zeaxanthin; Lute: Lutein; Neox: Neoxanthin.
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884 M. A. AL-FARSI AND C. Y. LEE
Table 9 Phenolics and antioxidants of fresh and dried datesa.
Varieties
Anthocyanins
mg/100 g
Phenolics
mg/100 g
ORAC μmol
trolox/100 g
FRAP
μmol/100 g
DPPH
% References
Fresh dates
Fard 0.9 280 1738 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab 1.5 167 1169 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khalas 0.2 134 2060 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Average 0.87 193.7 1656
Dried dates
Fard nd 343 999 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khasab nd 217 821 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Khalas nd 339 1254 (Al-Farsi et al., 2005)
Deglet-Noor 661 3895 (Wu et al., 2004)
Medjool 572 2387 (Wu et al., 2004)
Tazerzait — 3.91 0.1 (Mansouri et al., 2005)
Tafiziouine — 4.59 0.12 (Mansouri et al., 2005)
Deglet noor 6.73 0.17 (Mansouri et al., 2005)
Tantbouchte — 8.36 0.22 (Mansouri et al., 2005)
Date (unknown) 6980 (Guo et al., 2003)
Average 239.5 1871 6980 0.15
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. nd: not detected.
dates. Anthocyanins, found only in fresh date varieties especially
the red color varieties, averages 0.87 mg/100 g. The absence
of anthocyanins from dried dates is probably due to their de-
struction during drying process (Al-Farsi et al., 2005; Markakis,
1982; Shahidi and Naczk, 1995). Al-Farsi et al. (2005) reported
100% destruction of dates anthocyanins after drying. In addition,
many other factors such as genetics, light, agronomic factors, and
storage are also responsible for the degradation of anthocyanins
(Shahidi and Naczk, 2004; Mazza and Miniati, 1993). In com-
parison, Cantos et al. (2002) reported anthocyanins present in
red grapes ranged from 7.0 to 15.0 mg/100 g. Also, according to
Tomas-Barberan et al. (2001), anthocyanins in peaches ranged
from 5.4 to 14.3 mg/100 g for white varieties and from 8.6 to
27.4 mg/100 g for the yellow varieties.
The average contents of phenolics ranged from
193.7 mg/100 g for fresh dates to 239.5 mg/100 g for
dried dates. The total phenolics of dates varied among dried
varieties; although they used the same methodology (Folin
Ciocalteu), the use of different phenolic acid standards, such as
ferulic acid and gallic acid, make the quantitative comparison
invalid. In general, drying is regarded as unfavorable due to
the possibility of inducing oxidative decomposition either
enzymatically by polyphenol oxidase and glycosidase or by
thermal degradation of phenolic compounds (Shahidi and
Naczk, 2004). However, phenolics increased after drying of
some varieties. This could be explained by the degradation
of tannins by heat and maturation enzymes during the drying
process, which leads to the release of phenolic compounds
(Maillard and Berset, 1995). According to Maillard and Berset
(1995), the linkages between p-coumaric acid and lignin and
between ferulic acid and arabinoxylans could be broken at high
temperature. In comparison with other dried fruits in Table 10,
dates can be considered to be a good source of total phenolics.
The total antioxidant content of fresh and dried dates were re-
ported by three different methods, Oxygen Radical Absorbance
Capacity (ORAC), Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP),
Table 10 Composition of common dried fruitsa.
Fruits
Moisture
g/100 g
Protein
g/100 g
Fat
g/100 g
Ash
g/100 g
Sugars
g/100 g
Carbohydrates
g/100 g
Energy
kcal/100 g
Fiber
g/100 g
Vitamin
Cμg/100 g
Carotenoids
mg/100 g
Phenolics
mg/100 g
Antioxidantsb
μmol/100 g Ref.
Dates 15.2 2.1 0.4 1.7 64.1 80.6 314 8.0 3900 0.97 240 1871
Plum 30.9 2.2 0.38 2.64 38.1 63.9 240 7.1 600 0.69 500 710 (USDA, 2007; Guo
et al., 2003;
Vizzotto et al.,
2006)
Apricot 30.9 3.4 0.51 2.57 53.4 62.6 241 7.3 1000 2.2 160 340 (USDA, 2007; Guo
et al., 2003; Ruiz
et al., 2006)
Figs 30.1 3.3 0.93 1.86 47.9 63.9 249 9.8 1200 0.032 960 3383 (USDA, 2007; Wu
et al., 2004)
Peaches 31.8 3.6 0.76 2.5 41.7 61.3 239 8.2 4800 2.08 163 1863 (USDA, 2007; Wu
et al., 2004)
Raisins 15.0 3.1 0.46 1.85 59.2 79.2 299 3.7 2300 1065 3037 (USDA, 2007; Wu
et al., 2004)
aAll data are expressed on wet weight basis. bAntioxidants was measured by FRAP method for plum and apricot and by ORAC method for the rest.
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NUTRITIONAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF DATES 885
Table 11 Date seed compositiona.
Varieties
Moisture
g/100 g
Protein
g/100 g
Fat
g/100 g
Ash
g/100 g
Carbohydrates
g/100 g
Energy
kcal/100 g
Fiber
g/100 g
Phenolics
mg/100 g
Antioxidants
μmol/100 g References
Mabseeli 3.14 3.92 5.02 1.03 86.89 387 79.84 4430 58000 (Al-Farsi et al., 2007)
Um-sellah 4.40 5.40 5.9 1.16 83.14 386 80.15 4293 90300 (Al-Farsi et al., 2007)
Shahal 5.19 2.29 5.09 0.89 86.54 379 77.75 3102 92900 (Al-Farsi et al., 2007)
Fard 10.3 5.7 9.9 1.4 72.7 385 67.8 (Hamada et al., 2002)
Khalas 7.1 6.0 13.2 1.8 71.9 412 64.5 (Hamada et al., 2002)
Lulu 9.9 5.2 10.5 1.0 73.4 391 68.8 (Hamada et al., 2002)
Deglet noor 9.4 5.04 9.23 1.0 75.3 386 (Besbes et al., 2004)
Allig 8.6 4.73 11.58 1.02 74.07 401 (Besbes et al., 2004)
Ruzeiz 5.4 6.43 9.65 1.04 77.48 403 (Sawaya et al., 1984)
Sifri 4.5 5.92 10.03 1.05 78.5 408 (Sawaya et al., 1984)
Average 6.8 5.1 9.0 1.1 78.0 394 73.1 3942 80400
aData are expressed on wet weight basis.
and DiPhenyl-l-PicrylHydrazyl (DPPH). Most data available
for antioxidants in dates is reported by the ORAC method.
ORAC values of fresh dates (Fard, Khasab, and Khalas) av-
eraged 1656 μmol trolox/100 g and reduced after drying to
average 1025 μmol trolox/100 g (Al-Farsi et al., 2005). The re-
duction in antioxidants on drying has been reported by Al-Farsi
et al. (2005). They found antioxidant loss ranged from 29.7 to
42.5% after sun drying of three date varieties. This loss could be
due to the decomposition of natural antioxidants in dates after
drying.
The antioxidant content of other dried fruits ranged be-
tween 340 μmol/100 g for apricot to 3383 μmol/100 g for
figs (Table 10). Thus, in comparison with these fruits, dates
are a good source of antioxidants. This finding is supported by
other studies published on date antioxidants; Vayalil (2002) and
Guo et al. (2003). Although these researchers used different as-
says methods, which make the quantitative comparison invalid,
Vayalil (2002) stated that the antioxidant and the antimutagenic
activity in dates is potent and implicates the presence of com-
pounds with potent free radical scavenging activity. Guo et al.
(2003) reported that dates had the second highest antioxidant
value of 28 fruits commonly consumed in China, and Hawthorn
fruit had the highest amount of antioxidants. The variation be-
tween samples could be due to varietal, extraction techniques,
and instrumental analysis. Unless there is a standard method for
antioxidants analysis, such variation could exist.
SEED COMPOSITION
Date seed constitutes between 10% to 15% of date fruit
weight (Almana and Mahmoud, 1994; Hussein et al., 1998).
At present, date seeds are used mainly for animal feed, whereas
most is regarded as waste. Utilization of such waste is very im-
portant to date cultivation and to increase the income to this
sector. Table 11 shows the composition of different date seed
varieties. Date seeds contain relatively high amounts of protein
(5.1 g/100 g) and fat (9.0 g/100 g) compared to date flesh. They
are a very rich source of dietary fiber (73.1 g/100 g), phenolics
(3942 mg/100 g) and antioxidants (80400 μmol/100 g). Date
seeds could potentially be considered as an inexpensive source
of dietary fiber and natural antioxidants. Therefore, seeds can
be used as a functional food ingredient.
CONCLUSION
The data presented in this review show that dates may be
considered as a nutritious food and can play a major role in
human nutrition and health because of their wide range of nutri-
tional functional components as well as serving as an important
healthy food in the human diet. Also, date seeds are rich sources
of dietary fiber and natural antioxidative compounds that could
potentially be used as a supplement of fiber and antioxidants in
nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and medicine industries.
Based on the International Food Information Council Foun-
dation’s definition of functional food (IFICF, 1998), dates and
their seeds may be regarded as good examples. They are rich
in antioxidant nutrients including selenium, phenolics, and
carotenoids. They are also high in insoluble fiber which is impor-
tant for gastrointestinal health. In comparison with other fruits
and vegetables, regarded as functional foods, e.g. grapes and car-
rots (ADA, 1999), dates are equally as valuable, due to their fiber
and antioxidants constituents. For this reason date consumption
and utilization of its seed should be recommended.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors kindly acknowledge Nancy Smith for her valu-
able contribution. The senior author would like to express his
appreciation to the Council for International Exchange of Schol-
ars for his Fulbright senior scholarship.
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... Dates are rich in several vitamins, minerals and fibers. This fruit contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, magnesium, it also contain vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin K which are beneficial for health [4,5]. Vitamins play role as antioxidants and help regulate immune function, maintenance of cell function for growth and reduce morbidity of infectious diseases [6,7]. ...
... It is considered a moderate source of riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxal and folate as 100 g of dates provide over 9% of the daily (RDA/AI) for adults [8]. Thiamin, retinol and ascorbic acid found in low concentrations in dried dates, as 100 g of dates provide less than 7% of the daily RDA [4,8]. ...
... It is also said that taking one date per day helped to maintain eye health all your life. Dates are categorized as a laxative, they promote healthy bowel movement and comfortable passage of food as they have high level of soluble fiber, that is why they are frequently eaten by people suffering from constipation to get relief [4]. Dates help in strengthing bones due significant amount of minerals present in them, they help in fighting off painfull and debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. ...
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This study was designed to study the role of dates on geriatric cases. Date palm is a high energy value crop with a good nutritional value. Date palm has many properties like it prevent abdominal cancer, promote healthy bowel movement, control diarrhea, strengthen bones, diminish allergic reactions, maintain healthy weight, great energy booster, boost nervous system, reduce the risk of stroke, lower night blindness. General well-being in case of geriatric patients was accessed by physical examination, by monitoring bowel habits and evacuation, energy level, increase in stamina, mental alertness, removal of pain from bones while walking and by laboratory investigations like measurement of Hb and Lipid profile. Subjects-Sixty cases of both sex above 60 years of age were enrolled in the study. Duration of the project was two year while the duration of treatment was 6 months. Physical examination was done once in fifteen days while lab investigations like Hb, Lipid profile was measured at one month interval for six month time. 20-35 Dates was given on daily basis to all the geriatric cases enrolled in the study. There was significant increase in Hb and lowering of LDL levels in geriatric cases while on the other hand there was improvement in the general well-being of the geriatric cases. There was increase in energy level or increase in stamina, improvement of digestion, removal of diarrhea, boost in nervous system by removing headache, remove bone pain. Dates also help in increasing immunity in geriatric cases by relieving them from cough and cold. It can be said that 20-25 Dates should be by all geriatrics to improve their living and to lead healthy life.
... The total date palms production in the season 2018/2019 was 9.075 × 10 6 t [7]. The date seed constitute 10 to 15% of the date's weight [8]. Therefore, approximately 1.0 × 10 6 t of date seeds are produced every year. ...
... Date seeds are composed of 22.5 to 80.2% dietary fibers, 5.0 to 13.2% fats, 2.3 to 6.4% proteins, 3.1 to 7.1% moisture, Mouna Kehili and Asli Isci contributed equally to this work and share the first authorship. and 0.9 to 1.8% ash [8]. Date seeds contain hemicelluloses composed of heteropolymers including xylans, arabinans, and mannans [8]; these components could be a potential feedstock for the production of oligo-saccharides. ...
... and 0.9 to 1.8% ash [8]. Date seeds contain hemicelluloses composed of heteropolymers including xylans, arabinans, and mannans [8]; these components could be a potential feedstock for the production of oligo-saccharides. Date seeds are also good source of phytochemicals such as phenols, sterols, carotenoids, anthocyanins, procyanidins, and flavonoids [9,10]. ...
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In this study, for the first time, polyphenols are extracted using microwave-assisted deep eutectic solvents (MW-DES) from supercritical CO2 defatted date seeds under variable operating conditions. The best conditions consisted of choline chloride: formic acid (1:2 molar ratio), a solid to solvent ratio of 1/20 (g/mL) (0.75 g of dry biomass in 15 mL solvent), an extraction time of 50 s, and a microwave power of 400 W. The maximum polyphenols extraction yield was 128 g gallic acid equivalent/kg dry biomass (g GAE/kg) (which is the highest value ever reported in literature for date seeds extracts). The antioxidant activity of the optimum extracts was assessed with the DPPH and ABTS quenching capacities being equal to 27 and 145 mg trolox equivalent/g dry biomass, respectively. Mainly mannose and manno-oligosaccharides were solubilized during extraction. The highest yields were (obtained at 200 W, 120 s) 35.07 and 32.18 mg/g of dry biomass for mannose and manno-oligosaccharides, respectively. It was also observed that the total mannose (monomer and oligomer) release during the extraction increased linearly (r2 = 0.9951) with respect to microwave energy applied per gram of date seeds (J/g).
... On the other hand, sugar content increases, because of moisture loss during ripening [55]. Total sugar content can reach 81.40% w/w, 83.41% w/w, and 88.30% w/w, in Barthe, Khalas, and Deglet Nour varieties, respectively [56][57][58]. ...
... In addition, dates can be defined as the richest and most important source of dietary minerals among other common fruits consumed by humans [48]. A 100 g portion of date fruit is enough to provide the 15% of daily recommended minerals [58]. ...
... The vitamins content of dates is reported to be low. Depending on the stage of ripening and production processes, however, they are considered a good source of folate and vitamin C [16,52,58,63]. Several studies have reported even the presence of numerous bioactive phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, and steroids, in most of the varieties of date fruits [16,17,33,54,62]. ...
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Currently, foods and beverages with healthy and functional properties, especially those that claim to prevent chronic diseases, are receiving more and more interest. As a result, numerous foods and beverages have been launched onto the market. Among the products with enhanced properties, vinegar and fermented beverages have a high potential for growth. Date palm fruits are a versatile raw material rich in sugars, dietary fibers, minerals, vitamins, and phenolic compounds; thus, they are widely used for food production, including date juice, jelly, butter, and fermented beverages, such as wine and vinegar. Furthermore, their composition makes them suitable for the formulation of functional foods and beverages. Microbial transformations of date juice include alcoholic fermentation for producing wine as an end-product, or as a substrate for acetic fermentation. Lactic fermentation is also documented for transforming date juice and syrup. However, in terms of acetic acid bacteria, little evidence is available on the exploitation of date juice by acetic and gluconic fermentation for producing beverages. This review provides an overview of date fruit’s composition, the related health benefits for human health, vinegar and date-based fermented non-alcoholic beverages obtained by acetic acid bacteria fermentation.
... In addition, the therapeutic potential of date palm is due to its polyphenolic contents [30]. Polyphenols possess a variety of properties: induction of apoptosis, inhibition of oxidation, modulation of CYP enzymes involved in stimulation of procarcinogens, upregulation of genes that encode antioxidant enzymes, and potential to alter cellular signaling [31]. ...
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... Productive program learning is basically dual-based, namely learning in schools, and strengthening in the business/industrial world, especially in developing productive competencies. Al-Farsi & Lee (2008) explain that vocational learning will be effective in developing work and entrepreneurial competencies if it is carried out collaboratively between schools and the business/industry world. Based on research findings, aspects that need to be developed in productive program learning are learning materials, methods, and assessments. ...
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The demand for healthy items such as sugar-free, low-calorie, and high-fiber foods is rising. The increased fiber content in meals is a new trend in the fight against health problems like hypertension, diabetes, and colon cancer, among others. The effects of date pulp powder (DPP) as a sugar substitution on the chemical composition, nutritional values and sensory properties, of cake were studied. The obtained results revealed that, DPP had a higher concentration of crude fiber and ash (3.88 and 2.70%) than Wheat flour (WF) 72%, (1.04 and 0.65%). However, DPP constituted a little high potassium value (513.32 mg/100 g), followed by phosphors and magnesium (87.5 and 42.90 mg/100 g, respectively). Chemical compositions of date cake product were increased compared with the control cake. The mineral contents and vitamins of date cake product were increased as compared with the control. Sensory evaluation results indicated that, the date cake product had better taste and aroma compared to the control cake samples. The texture of the date cake product was lower compared to the control cake samples. In addition, there were no changes were found in overall acceptability for date cake product and control.
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This study aimed to explore the effect of enzymatic hydrolysis conditions (enzyme types and hydrolysis time) of date seed protein hydrolysates (DSPH) on in-vitro inhibition of molecular markers related with diabetic and hypercholesteremia. The DSPH was prepared using alcalase, bromelain, papain, and protease at different hydrolysis time (HT) (2, 4 and 6 h). Higher degree of hydrolysis was observed for papain at 6 h HT. The results showed that alcalase and bromelain generated DSPHs at 6 h HT greatly improved the pancreatic lipase inhibition activity while the cholesterol esterase inhibition activity was greatly enhanced with alcalase and protease at 6 h HT and papain generated DSPHs at 4 h HT. Bromelain generated DSPH displayed the highest inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) and amylase at 6 and 2 h hydrolysis time, respectively. All the enzymes at 2 h HT except that of papain showed the highest α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. These results revealed that the DSPH displayed enhanced inhibitory activities towards molecular markers related with diabetes and obesity and thus have promising potential to be used as health-promoting ingredients in the fabrication of functional foods.
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Dates are a traditional and important part of the sustainable arid food system. As their popularity is growing worldwide, along with global climate change, there is an increasing need for a better understanding of the environmental aspects of the date production system. Israel is one of the major sources of the Medjool variety of dates. We use an environmental “footprint family” framework to analyze Medjool date production, and direct and indirect environmental interactions, and identify positive and negative hotspots. The research focuses on the Israeli Arava desert region. We found that producing 1 ton of marketable dates has an average material footprint of 1550 kg, a land footprint of 1 m2, and a water footprint of 2450 m3, which leads to 990 kg of solid waste and a carbon footprint of 4820 kg of CO2eq. The cultivation stage was responsible for most of the footprints, mainly due to the direct and indirect consequences of fertilizer usage and water production and intake. The significant differences between the plantations were traced back to their varying mix of palms’ age and even more to the human factor and the cultivation methods of individual farmers. We suggest that the environmental footprint of dates can be reduced by adopting improved agricultural methods, such as lower-impact fertilizers and renewable energy. This paper is one of the first to embrace a systematic approach to analyzing dates grown in a desert area. These data can bridge the knowledge gap over the unique food system and crop and, therefore, can provide an initial data body for future research, policy-makers, and farmers as means to advance more efficient, less-intensive use of resources while enhancing production in arid areas and support local and global food security.
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Date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera L.), commonly grown in the hot arid zones predominantly in the Middle East and North Africa, became one of the highly important cultivated palms around the world, because of the multiple processing utilization of the edible fruit, and the various industry- uses of the whole tree parts. Moreover, there are intensive studies indicated the higher nutraceutical value of the essential biological compounds in the date palm tissues like (carotenoids, phenols, lignin, flavonoids, tannins and sterols) and their therapeutic aspects, such as antioxidants (lutein, β-carotene and vitamin A), antibacterial (syringic acid, vanillic acid and gallic acid), antifungal (tannic acid) and anti-cancer (quercetin) and anti-sterility (β-sitosterol and stigmasterol). Meanwhile, the biotechnology approach provides the production possibilities of the plants' secondary metabolites, using cell suspension cultures and the scale-up by bioreactors. Also, using the biotic and abiotic elicitors as important factors inducing bioactive compounds accumulation in plants tissue cultures. This review describes the progress in studying the in vitro production of some important secondary metabolites from the date palm tissues.
Book
Phenolics in Food and Nutraceuticals is the first single-source compendium of essential information concerning food phenolics. This unique book reports the classification and nomenclature of phenolics, their occurrence in food and nutraceuticals, chemistry and applications, and nutritional and health effects. In addition, it describes antioxidant activity of phenolics in food and nutraceuticals as well as methods for analysis and quantification. Each chapter concludes with an extensive bibliography for further reading. Food scientists, nutritionists, chemists, biochemists, and health professionals will find this book valuable.
Book
Fruit and fruit products, in all their many varieties and variations, are major world commodities and part of the economic life blood of many countries, particularly in the developing world. The perception of the healthy nature of fruit is a major reason for its increased consumption in the developed world, and many consumers today find a wider selection of fruit varieties, available at all times of the year, than ever before. This volume, however, is not so much concerned with fresh fruit as those principal areas of processing to which it may be subjected. Fruit processing arose as a means of utilising a short-lived product and preserving its essential nutritional qualities as far as possible. A chapter on the nutritional aspects of fruit is included in this work to reflect the importance of this topic to most consumers. After a general introduction, the chapter on fruit storage is the only contribution which deals with a process from which fruit emerges in essentially the same physical condition. Beyond that the book sets out to cover most of the major areas in which fruit may be processed into forms which bear varying semblances to the original raw material.