S.A. Saleem, A.K. Baloch, A.A. Saddozai
The possibility of employing deep freeze technology was explored so as to enhance the performance of ‘Dhakki’ date cultivar at the doka stage. The fruits harvested at the fully matured hard, yellow and astringent stage were stored at 10, 0 and -15°C for one year, and examined for hardness, visual appearance and mold resistance. Subsequent performance of the doka was evaluated in terms of curing/drying period, quality, yield, and shelf stability of the product at the accelerated temperature of 40°C. The doka maintained at 10°C became mold infested just after 3 months storage, while those at the lower temperatures remained sound during the study period. Moreover the doka on thawing developed characteristics similar to the dong form resulting in color change from yellow to golden brown, sweeter in taste, and softer in texture. Subsequent curing/drying caused the product’s patchy and loose skin with gritty mouth feel, the feature however slightly improved on lowering the freeze temperature. Treatment with the optimum doze of potassium hydroxide introduced a product with enhanced quality, yield, and stability. Leaving doka frozen below 0°C until required for further processing additionally offers sound proposition for streamlining the availability of fresh dates for an extended period besides reducing post-harvest losses, facilitating the marketing and bringing price stability of dates.
Saleem, S.A., Baloch, A.K. and Saddozai, A.A. (2010). ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE OF DOKA OF 'DHAKKI' DATE EXERCISING FREEZE TECHNOLOGY. Acta Hortic. 882, 1109-1116
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.882.128
'Dhakki' dates, Phoenix dactylifera, freezing, potassium alkali treatment, quality, curing/drying, Pakistan

Acta Horticulturae