THE CONSUMPTION PATTERN OF DATES AND ITS RELATED FOOD HABITS AMONG UAE CITIZENS IN AL-AIN CITY, UAE: A PILOT STUDY

H.S. Qazaq, N.Z. Al Adeeb
Objectives: (1) to measure the level of general knowledge of UAE citizens about palm trees, dates and dates products, (2) to identify the consumption pattern of dates, and (3) to highlight the food habits related to dates consumption in Al-Ain city, UAE.
Subjects and methods: 209 UAE citizens aged 15-65 years were recruited by convenient, time sampling technique during January-February 2006 in Al-Ain City. A pre-tested questionnaire consisting of 3 parts: knowledge, consumption pattern and habits, was used to collect the data through face to face interview.
Results: the results of the knowledge part show very low scores (37/100) with significant differences according to gender in favor of males, while no differences were detected as per the subject’s age. The average number of dates daily consumed was 8 dates with significant differences according to gender (males: 12, females: 7). A statistical proportional increase in the daily dates consumption was detected as the subject’s age increases. Results showed that the percent of the subjects who ate dates daily was 63%, weekly: 23%, monthly: 10% and who never ate dates was 5%. The dates were consumed frequently in the afternoon time (41%) and in the evening (18.2%). The favorite dates were: ‘Khlas’ (53.1%), ‘Khnaizi’ (9.6%) and ‘BuM’aan’ (6.7%). About 21.3% of the sample did not know the name of the dates they are eating. About 47% of the children do like eat dates.
Conclusions and recommendations: this pilot study is one of the little studies highlighting the pattern of date consumption in UAE. The knowledge about dates can be described as a very weak level. More efforts should be spent to encourage younger people to eat dates. Adopting programs aiming at increasing daily consumption of dates is highly recommended.
Qazaq, H.S. and Al Adeeb, N.Z. (2010). THE CONSUMPTION PATTERN OF DATES AND ITS RELATED FOOD HABITS AMONG UAE CITIZENS IN AL-AIN CITY, UAE: A PILOT STUDY. Acta Hortic. 882, 1083-1089
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.882.125
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.882.125
dates, consumption pattern, food habits, nutrition, United Arab Emirates
English

Acta Horticulturae