|Authors: ||R.A. Elahmer, N.S. Madi, M.A. Nahaisi, A.T.I. Thabet|
This work presents the results of a study on some physical and chemical properties of three varieties of Libyan soft dates (called Rutab in Arabic) widely distributed in coastal regions, namely Tabouni, Ammi and Brunsi.
The fruits ranged in weight from 11.25 g for Tabouni to 17.69 g for Brunsi, while their lengths ranged between 3.30 cm for Tabouni and 4.32 cm for Brunsi.
Fruit diameter ranged from 1.65 cm in Ammi to 2.19 cm in Tabouni.
The pH values in these varieties were 5.32, 6.20 and 7.02 for Tabouni, Ammi and Brunsi, respectively, while the acidity levels reached 0.28, 0.21 and 0.03% as citric acid, respectively.
It was found that the differences in moisture content between the three studied varieties of Libyan soft dates were significant (p<0.05). All varieties had distinctly high contents of moisture, but the highest moisture content was recorded in Brunsi (54.12%), followed by Tabouni (48.04%) and the lowest was in Ammi (43.29%). Content of total sugars varied between the varieties.
The highest concentration was found in Ammi (49.49%) followed by Tabouni (38.54%), while the lowest concentration was recorded in Brunsi (35.87%). Results indicated that there were significant differences in protein concentration between the three varieties: the highest concentration was found in Tabouni (2.69%), followed by Ammi (1.62%) then Brunsi (1.47%). The lipid contents were markedly low in all varieties and ranged from 0.18 to 0.39%. The ash content ranged from 1.22 to 1.37%, while the fiber contents were relatively high and reached 9.70% in Tabouni.
These results confirmed the high nutritional value of these soft date varieties, and their high content of moisture compared to other dates.
The high moisture content of soft dates is thought to accelerate their spoilage and deterioration.
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