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DATES PROCESSING

Date fruit are unique as they constitute with a set of properties and characteristics. It has high nutritional value as 1 kg of dates possesses 3000 calories. It consists of 70% carbohydrates, 15-30% Moisture content, 3.9% fibre, 2.5% Protein, 2.1% Minerals, 0.4% Fat. Dates cultivation start from the month of February every year and lasts till its harvesting in the month of July. This makes almost a 200 days cycle from the pollination stage to harvesting. Harvesting takes place from the mid of July and last till the end of August. Major dates producing countries are Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Pakistan, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan & Tunisia. Major dates importing countries are India, France, Germany, UK, Malaysia, Italy, Spain, Russia, Canada and USA. Major Dates Exporting countries are Tunisia, Pakistan, France, USA and Germany. There are more than 300 varieties of dates like Khodry, Khesab, Hulwa, Beid, Barni Al madina, Barhi, Ruziez, Rabeaa, Thawee, Deglet noor, Khenaizy, Khalas, Sullaj, Sukkari, Sari, Safawi, Shaishee, Shahal, Shebebi, Miskani, Majhool, Mabroom, Qatarah, Ghur, Anbara, Wannana, Hilali, Nabtat Ali, Nabat Seif, Nabtat Sultan, Meneifi, Maktomi,etc.,

FRUIT MATURATION: There are 5 stages of fruit maturation, it comes as follows.

KIMIRI (STAGE-I)
Stage- I:

KHALAL

(STAGE-II & III)

RUTAB (STAGE-IV)

TAMAR (STAGE-V)

The Formation of fruit takes place after the pollination has occurred. At this stage dates is a baby fruit with Light greenish colour. Stage II: At this stage, the fruit is picked up from tree for its processing as a dry dates. The fruit will get shape & hardness and it will be light yellow in colour with sweeter taste. Stage III: This is the matured stage; most of the fruits are harvested at this stage. Stage IV: At this stage the fruit ripened from lower end & reaches up of the fruit. Half remain hard & yellow in colour and other half is soft & yellowish brown in colour. Upper half remains sweet & crunchy. This stage dates are frozen & exported for a higher price. Stage V: Only 5 to 7 % of the fruit is left on tree to get this stage and for few varieties only. It will be brown in colour & too sweet with fascinating chewing mass with seed in the center.

GENERAL PROCESSING OF DATES

RECEIVING

WEIGHING

FUMIGATION

GRADING & SIZING

WASHING, CURING &DRYING

METAL DETECTION

WEIGHING & PACKAGING

RECEIVING: Date & Time of arrival should be noted while receiving. WEIGHING: Type of variety and weight should be recorded.

FUMIGATION: It would prevent the fruit from infestation. Methyl bromide (CH3Br) is most commonly used. Fumigation is carried ten days before processing the fruit. GRADING / SIZING: There are 6 grades of dates 1. Extra class 2. Grade A 3. Grade B 4. Good Average Quality GAQ 5. Fair Average Quality FAQ 6. Industrial dates Grading process done with the conveyor system. WASHING, CURING & DRYING: Washing is done with the help of circular washer with sprinkler. Curing & drying is done with the help of Hot air blow system METAL DETECTION This process is also carried out simultaneously with grading (or) sorting. This is done to identify metal particle or item that could have been picked up with the crop. WEIGHING & PACKAGING: As per requirement weighing & packaging have to be done.

COMMON CONSUMPTION PATTERN OF DATES: Fresh table dates Frozen dates Stuffed dates with almond (or) cashew Dates with chocolate coating Dates with sesame seeds

VALUE ADDED PRODUCTS: Dates blocks Dates energy bars Dates syrup Dates honey Dates pickle Dates paste Dates spread Dates dry powder Dates sugar Dates sparkling juice Dates vinegar Dates ethanol fuel Dates processing plant is the urgent need of the dates sector for improving the quality of the product. At present there are only limited private sectors with limited capacities. The processing can improve the quality and worth of dates.