Chapter One 1.1 Background to the Study  

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is one of the major fruit trees in Egypt (El- Assad et al.,2005). Its production and consumption is growing continuously due to its therapeutic properties beside its high nutritive value (Karagul et al.,2004). Date fruit consumption is an important source of supplying mineral and vitamin elements in a balanced nutrition regime (Al-shahib and Marshall,2003). Research proves that when dates are eaten alone or in mixed meals with plain yoghurt have low glycemic indexes (Yousuf et al.,1996; Miller et al.,2003). The good news is that consumption of dates may also benefit in glycemic and lipid control of diabetic patients (Miller et al., 2002,2005). Lately, several therapeutic virtues are assigned to the date palm and its derivatives. Date fruit has anti tumor activity (Ishurd and Kennedy,2005), antioxidant and anti-mutagenic properties (Vayalil,2002; Mansouri et al.,2005). The fruit has been recommended in folk remedies for the treatment of various infectious diseases and cancers (Duke,1992). Dry date fruits are used in Indian traditional medicine after childbirth as immunostimulant (Puri et al., 2000). Extracts of the dates provided to the women after childbirth stimulate their immune system (Puri et al.,2000). Aqueous date extract was also found to inhibit significantly the lipid per oxidation and protein oxidation in a dose-dependent manner (Al-Laith,2007). Further more, Al-Shahib and Marshall (2003) concluded that, in many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits. On the other hand, a polysaccharides isolated from dates presented an antitumor activity (Ishurd and Kennedy,2005). Extracts of the pits date decrease quickly and meaningfully the women wrinkles (Bauza et al., 2002).

1.2 Problem Statement

Increased  intake  of  added  sugar  might  increase the risks for  obesity, cardiovascular  diseases,  dental caries,  glucose  intolerance,  diabetes  mellitus, hypertension  and  behavioral  complications  such  as hyperactivity  in  children  (Anderson, 1997;  Johnson and  Yon,  2010). Date has shown to have low glycemic index (Yousuf et al.,1996) which can help solve this problem. It is hoped that processing of date fruit into syrup will improve its consumption.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The major objective of the Study is the quality assessment and sensory evaluation of date syrup. This is to be achieved through the following specific objectives:

(i) Determination of the Proximate and chemical composition of the date syrup and

(ii) Microbiological assessment of the date syrup.

1.4 Research Questions

(1) what is date fruit?

(2) what are its economic importance?

(3) why the need to assess the quality of date syrup?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research gives a clear insight into the quality assessment of syrup produced from date fruit. Processing of date fruit into more shelf stable products like syrup will make it more readily available and increase its consumption. The findings of this research will also give an insight into the acceptability of date syrup.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This research focuses on the quality assessment and sensory evaluation of syrup produced from date fruit.


Anderson, G.H.1997. Sugars and Health: A review. Nutr. Res.17:1485-1498

Al- laity, A.A., 2007. Antioxidant activity of Bahraini date palm (Phoenix dactyliferal L.) Fruit of various cultivars. Into. J.Food Sci. Technology., 43:1033-1040.

Al-Shahib, W. and R.J. Marshall, 2003. The fruit of the date: its possible as the best food for the future? Int.J. Food Nutri.,54:247-259.

Bauza, E.C.D. Dal Farra, A. Berghi, G.Roberto, D. Peyronel and N. Domloge, 2002. Date palmkernel exhibits antiaging properties and significantly reduces akin wrinkles. Int. J. Tissue React.,24:131-136.

Duke, J.A.,1992. Handbook of phytochemical of GRAS herbs and other Economic plants. CRC Press, Boca Rayon, FL.

Karagul, Y., C. Wilson and H. White, 2004. Formulation and processing of yoghurt. J. Diary Sci., 87:543-550.

Ishurd, O. and J.F. Kennedy, 2005. The anticancer activity of polysaccharides prepared from Libyan dates (Phoenix dactyliferal L.) Carbohydrate polym, 59:531-535.

Mansouri, A.,G. Embarked, E. Kokkalou and P.kefalas,2005. Phenolic profile and antioxidant activity of the Algerian ripe date palm fruit (Phoenix dactyliferal). Food Chem.,89: 411-420.

Puri, A., R. Sahai, K.L. Singh, R.P. Saxena, J.S. Random and K.C saxena,2000. Immunostimulant activity of dry fruits and plants materials used in Indian traditional medical system for mother after childbirth and invalids. J. Ethnopharmacol., 71:89-92.

Vayalil, P.K.,2002. Antioxidant and antimutagenuc properties of aqueous extract of date fruit (Phoenix dactyliferal L Arecaceae). J. Agric. Food chem., 50:610-617.

Johnson, R.K. and B.A. Yon,2010

 Weighing in on added Sugars and health. J. Am. Diet. Assoc.110:1296-1299.

Kranz, S., H. Smiciklas-Wright, A.M. Siega-Riz and D. Mitchell.2005. Adverse effect of high added sugar consumption on dietary intake in American preschoolers. J. Pediatric.146:105-111.

World Health Organization. 2003.2003. Food and Agriculture Organization. 2003. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Expert consultation Diet, nutrition and the prevention of Chronic Diseases. Technical support series 916. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.





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