Development of quality and safety traits ofShareefa dates by gamma irradiation
Date fruit is a good source of high nutritional value food with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals packed in the fruit. Raw food products are progressively being perceived as critical vectors for transmission of food pathogens. A huge quantitative and qualitative losses of food occur during long time storage. Food irradiation is one of the few advanced technologies that address both food safety and quality by virtue of its ability to control foodborne pathogens without fundamentally influencing sensory or other organoleptic properties. Therefore, this study aimed to minimize the postharvest loss and to extend the quality and safety of date fruit using gamma irradiation. Date fruit of Shareefa cultivar was exposed to gamma radiation at different doses at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 4 kGy using Cobalt 620 source, and its effect on microbial load and proximate composition was investigated. All irradiated and control samples were stored at ambient and refrigerated temperature (4°C) for three months. The physical, microbial, and chemical properties (moisture, protein and fiber) were evaluated. The 4 kGy treatment effectively decreased the microbial load by reducing the fungal growth and completely inhibiting the bacterial growth after three months of storage at 4°C as compared with the control. No harmful or negative impact was observed on moisture, protein and fiber contents of the irradiated date samples. These findings show that gamma radiation at 4 kGy is a safe, effective, and economical treatment that has the potential to improve microbiological quality and to increase Shareefa date fruit storage life.
Shahwar, D., Abdullah, R. and Ahmed, Z.F.R. (2023). Development of quality and safety traits ofShareefa dates by gamma irradiation. Acta Hortic. 1363, 101-108
date palm, postharvest, quality, Shareefa, shelf-life, gamma irradiation