Phoenix dactylitera :
In the previous articles we talked about the history of Date Fruits in Iran and all around the world, then we mentioned the impact and importance of this fruit in the Islamic religion. This nutritious fruit is a bit unfamiliar to European and American countries and they might only be using it in bakeries and desert making/ they might only use them in pastries and deserts. However, consumption of Date Fruits in the middle east, especially Arab countries and Southern cities of Iran, is very different and Dates are the main and essential item/ingredient/element in most of their dishes. Sugar contents of Dates include: glucose, fructose and sucrose, which make most of the Fruit’s weight. Usually in softer fruits that are consumed freshly, there is not much sucrose as sugar but in Dry Dates almost a third of the sugar content is sucrose. the more sucrose content in the Dates creates lesser quality in the fruit.
After sugar content most of the Date Fruit’s chemical properties is water. The water content of the Dates is depended to the number of dates on a tree, the growth and evolvement environment and the climate of the cultivation. The humidity percentage of the Date Fruits is visible with the amount of the syrup and the sugar sightings in the box while it is stored.
Alongside all that’s been mentioned, there are many other chemical properties of this Fruit that we will talk about in detail.
Chemical Composition of Date Fruits:
Date Fruits consist of: 25% sucrose, 50% glucose, Albuminoidal contents, pectin and water. For every 100 grams of eatable Dates there is, 72 milligrams of calcium, 60 milligrams of phosphorus and 2.6 milligrams of iron. In addition to these minerals, vitamins are one of the most important composition that exist in Date Fruits; In a way that for every 100 germs of eatable Dates there are 50 global units of vitamin A, 0.09 milligrams of vitamin B1(thiamine),0.1 milligrams of vitamin B2(riboflavin) and 0.22 milligrams of vitamin B3(niacin).
Most of Date fruits consist of sugar and in Dry Dates, the sugar content is more than 70% of the fruit. Most of this sugar doesn’t not crystalize and it’s an absorbent for the humidity. In Date Fruits sugar which mainly is sucrose is decomposed in a watery environment and becomes glucose and fructose. Producing liquid sugar from the unwanted grade 2 or 3 of the Date Fruits is a good way to not have them go to waste.
After the sugar content water is the main percentage of the Date Fruit and the humidity of the fruit has a direct correlation with creation of sugar crystals and syrup which is an unwanted property for the Dates.
According to studies almost 2% weight of a wet matured Date Fruit is ash. This ash consists of minerals such as: calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, iron and coper.
Vitamins are another important component that are in a Date Fruit. The vitamin content is vital for the consumer and the producers who want to print the information on the Date Fruit’s box.
In the attached table there is a comparison of Date Fruits and nuts, and you can clearly see that Dates are more nutritious than many nuts specially since they’re more affordable. There are also many different amino acids in Date Fruits which variate due to the cultivation conditions.
A small tannin layer under the Date Fruit skin, gives a tangy feel and after the fruit matures and changes color from green to yellow or red, the tannin content becomes Insoluble and the Date Fruit becomes Sweet.
6.cellulose and starch content:
The outer layer of the Date Fruit’s molecular content is cellulose. When the fruit is young and green, almost 85% of the dry content is cellulose and Insoluble materials. But after it matures and gains color, the cellulose content changes to the sugar content in the Date Fruits.
There are many different pectin components in the Date Fruits like Protopectin. These materials create an issue when try to extract syrup from the Dates which can be solved by boiling the syrup and controlling the PH level of the liquid.
8.fat and acidic fats:
The eatable content of the Date Fruits has a low percentage of fat, which is between 0.6 and 0.72%. most of this fat is on the outer layer of the Dates and the Date Fruit’s seed has more fat content around 8.5%.
Date Fruit Seeds:
Usually, people don’t pay attention to the seeds of the fruit that they are consuming. It goes the same way with Date Fruits. However, nowadays using Date Fruit seeds has become popular specially in western countries that use these seeds without processing them and simply using them as an herbal tea. The nutrient properties of Date seeds are so high that could be very impactful tools for controlling health and we are going to briefly talk about these properties.
On average Date Fruit seed has 5.65% protein, 9.3% fat, 1.25% ash, 83.8% carbohydrate and from this carbohydrate, 48.5% acid soluble fiber, 67% neutral soluble fiber is detected.
Analyzing the mineral content of the seeds, we understand that potassium can be found abundantly (300 milligrams in 100 grams of (Dry Dates). After that there is phosphor, magnesium, calcium and sodium. Decomposing oil of the Date Fruit seeds using gas chromatography showed us that oleic acid was the dominant non saturated fat (with 45.36%) and the saturated fat was lauric acid (with 19.98%). Meristic, Palmitic, Linoleum and Stearic are acids with respectably, 12, 11, 11, 10, 8.66 and 3.93% of the seed’s fat content. The conclusion shows us that Date Fruit seeds have a lot of fiber and starch contents that can help to improve the healthiness of the body and the seeds oils can be used for medical, food and cosmetic industries. Existence of antioxidants and antimicrobial properties of the Date Fruit seeds need further research that we will talk more about in the Future.