Table of Contents


W.H. Barreveld



Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome 1993

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ISBN 92-5-103251-3


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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


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
       f. Date condiments
       g. Date desserts  


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


4.1 Cull dates
4.2 Date pits
4.3 Presscake


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



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



1. Rural date orchard (top) with water lifting from shallow well (bottom)
2. Abandoned date garden (Bahrain)
3. Closely irregularly spaced traditional date grove
4. Mechanized date plantation with dusting operation in progress (California)
5. Dissemination of the date palm in the Old World
6. Major date production centres of the world
7. Unattended date palms in marginal growth conditions
8. Date bunches covered with paper bags against (early) rains and sunburn (California)
9. Bunch protection by coarsely woven baskets (Hadramaut, Yemen)
10. Hard desert dates, harvested on the bunch and thrown to the ground (Fezzan)
11. Tidal irrigation (Iraq)
12. Canary palms (Phoenix Canariensis) (note flower development in these overpruned ornamental palms) (Sicily, Italy)
13. Single date palm at the Port of Ischia (Italy)
14. Schematic picture of the date palm during a one-year production cycle
15. Major parts of the date palm
16. A fully laden Deglet Noor Palm (California)
17. Harvesting whole bunches of khalaal (cv Khuneizi). Note strung (nylon) rope attached to climbing belt to slide down the bunch (Bahrain)
18. Bunch of thinned Deglet Noor (California)
19 Newly planted offshoots (8 x 16m) (Bahrain)
20. 4-year old plantation of Zahdi offshoots (California)
21. Formation and ripening of the date
22. Major changes during date fruit development
23. Three major stages of maturity in which dates are consumed: a. Khalaal; b. Rutab; c. Tamr
24. Morphological and compositional changes in the major development stages of Ruzeiz (Saudi Arabia)
25. Equilibrium moisture content curve for dates
26 Enzyme activity in dates
27. a. Harvesting whole bunches of sweet Khalaal b. Baskets made of palm leaflets are used for transport (Bahrain)
28. Sweet khalaal on sale in the local market (Bahrain)
29. Packing of sweet khalaal for postal market sales (California)
30. Thawing of frozen khalaal (cv Kuneizi, a red variety) (Bahrain)
31. Simultaneous thawing and dehydration of frozen khalaal (Bahrain) a. Semi-continuous dehydrator with dates stacked on trays; b. Effect of dehydration at 45 C (higher temperatures cause frothing) on Barhee variety during
60 hrs. Moisture content is reduced from about 60 to 40%
32. Process for marketing frozen khalaal, a. Intake and weighing of freshly harvested whole bunches; b. Washing the whole bunchc. Stripping dates from the bunch; d. Filling/weighing small packs; e. Machine wrapping in stretch foli; f. Storage in carton boxes in deep freeze; g. Satisfied customers
33. Harvesting rutab, a. Selective picking of rutab collected in baskets; b. Harvesting whole bunch; c/d. Mixed late khalaal and rutab of 2 varieties selected in date garden for direct sale in local market
34. Rutab on sale amongst other exotic tropical fruits (Netherlands)
35. Fruit drop
36. Sundrying of rutab in date garden (Bahrain)
37. Sundrying of rutab in screened off, elevated platforms (Bahrain)
38. Harvesting tamr (California), a. Selective picking and containers made of cloth; b. Field sorting and use of wooden boxes and trays for further storage and treatment in packing plant
39. Different ways of transporting dates in and from the field
40. Plastic containers, a. Stacked empty boxes; b. Comparative volume of empty normal, and nested containers
41. Pressing dates in baskets
42. Local date store for bagged dates with ridges on the floor to accommodate syrup collection
43. Time/temperature/moisture relationships for storage of dates
44. Date grading on moving belts (Oman, Iraq)
45. Mechanical date washer
46. Washed dates loaded onto trays (Libya)
47. Prototype washer/stripper/grader for dates on the bunch (Bahrain)
48. Continuous hydration of dates
49. Effects of temperature manipulation in the storage and treatment of dates
50. Slice of pitted, pressed dates
51. Loose tamr on sale in open air market (a. Bahrain, b. Libya, c. Netherlands)
52. Hand packed bulk box of layered dates
53. Glove boxes
54. Natural dates on spikelets
55. Dates packed in polythene bags
56. Manual packing of cellophane wrapped pressed date blocks (a. Libya, b. Iraq, c. Bahrain)
57. Closed carton, window carton and transparent plastic cups for loose dates (a. Libya, b. Italy, c. Iraq, d. Netherlands)
58. Variety of date packs sold in roadside date products store (California, 1981)
59. Vacuum packaging of dates
60. Trays wrapped in stretch foli
61. Semi-automatic bag filling (Iraq)
62. Mechnically filled small packs of loose dates (Saudi Arabia)
63. Samples of date packs
64. Dehydrated dates in powder form
65. Breakfast foods incorporating dates
66. Ready-made mix for date bread
67. Date bar mix
68. Several types of date cookies
69. Date muesli bar
70. Dried fruit and nuts mixtures including dates, a. Raw trail mix; b. Roasted trail mix; c. Tropical mix
71. Date jam
72. Date banana chutney
73. Steak sauce
74. Different types of pickle incorporating dates
75. English sweet pickle
76. Centrifuged date solution
77. Schematic representation of a (a) one-, and (b) two stage extraction system
78. Date spread compared to date syrup produced from the same raw material
79. Process flow sheet for combined date syrup and spread production
80. Production of date syrup (rub, dibs) at the village level (Libya)
81. Different aspects of date syrup production
82. Semi-continuous, batch extraction system
83. Distillation and rectification of alcohol
84. Acetic acid (vinegar) generator
85. Date pits 86. Palm trunk used in roof making
87. Planks made out of palm trunk used for doors
88. Crate making from the leaf midrib: a. The crate maker' tools; b. Removing the edges; c. Cutting into standard lengths d. Rounding the rods; e. Perforating holes by punch f. Finishing the holes; g. Driving in the rods h. Finishing the crate bottom
89. Examples of crates: a. On camel's back; b. For fowl on donkey's back
90. Baskets made of plaited leaflets containing about 300 kgs of dates
91. Variety of hand baskets made from plaited palm leaflets on sale in local market
92. Containers for domestic use made out of fibre of the leaflets wrapped around cores derived from fibre cut off the fruit stalk
93. Hand-made cord made of shredded date leaflets, (a) a two-strand cord; (b) a hank of cord about 75-80 m long
94. Sheath fibre from the leaf base as it comes from the palm (top) and in detail (bottom)
95. Nets made out of sheath fibre cordage for transport
96. Several types of cordage made of sheath fibre in local market (Egypt)
97. Heavy rope made from shredded date palm fruit stalks
98. Climbing the palm: (top) In-the-belt position; (bottom) Use of climbing rope only
99.a-o. 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. Effect of palm tapping on trunk development (local method)
101. Effect of palm tapping on trunk development (Indian method)


1. Average relative humidity levels in different locations (%-age)
2. Relative salt tolerance of fruit crops
3. Date production ('000 MT)
4. Production record of a Californian date grower
5. Sugar content of dates from different countries
6. Sugar content of soft, semi-dry and dry dates
7. Overview of treatments of whole dates
8. Average moisture content of the different development stages of the dates
9. Lethal times in minutes for 100% mortality of different stages of Carophilus Hemipterus, L (Dried Fruit Beetle) exposed to 40 C-60 C (70% rel. humidity)
10. 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. humidity (R.H.)
11. 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.)
12. Classification and treatment of Deglet Noor for Export (North Africa)
13. Derived date products
14. Material balance - Date extraction in one step (100 flesh + 100 water)
15. Material balance - Date extraction in one step (100 flesh + 250 water)
16. Composition of date syrups
17. Composition of date syrups - Iraq
18. Composition of dried yeast
19. Approximate composition of date pits
20. Composition of date pit carbohydrates (excl. sugars - % of dry weight)
21. Dry distillation of date pits 169
22. Composition of date pit carbon 169
23. Weight gain of chickens fed on date pit meal (grams)
24. Composition of dried date presscakes
25. Weight gain, food composition and conversion efficiency during fattening period (49 days) of broilers
26. Palm sap yields
27. Yields of palm sap (Indian and local method)
28. Composition of jaggery
29. Composition of fibrous date palm parts
30. Composition of spathe (%-age on fresh weight)
31. Composition of pollen (dry weight basis)