Characterization and sensory analysis of some Tunisian date cultivars consumed at early maturity stage
In Tunisia, more than 200 common date palm cultivars (Phoenix dactylifera L.) are currently listed. Some of these cultivars are consumed at early maturity stage (Khalal) and are generally under-valued. The objective of this study was a physicochemical and sensorial characterization of eleven common date fruit cultivars that could be consumed at the Khalal stage. The studied cultivars presented different physical characteristics expressed for size, weight, skin color and firmness. All cultivars presented visually a yellowish skin color confirmed by L* (55.39-62.12) and a* (5.90-10.92) parameters. Firmness values ranged from 2.73 to 6.62 N. Moisture content, total soluble solids and titratable acidity were also determined. Sensorial characterization based on visual characteristics and taste (astringency, sugar content and texture) showed that ‘Bser Hlou’, ‘Arichti’, ‘Hlawa Bidha’ and ‘Lemsi’ were the most appreciated cultivars. Results showed also that some of the studied cultivars have high contents of total phenols and tannins and high antioxidant activity.
Sarra Cherif won an ISHS Young Minds Award for the best oral presentation at the II International Symposium on Date Palm at IHC2018 in Turkey in August 2018.
Sarra Cherif, B.P 47, 4042 Chott-Mariem, 4042 Sousse, Tunisia, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org