With an estimated 40.7 million date palm planted in the country, the United Arab Emirates is rapidly becoming one of the world’s largest producers of dates, accounting for around 6 per cent of total global production.
There are different companies located in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, packaging and processing dates which provide the finest quality of products around the world and are exported with high standards.
The companies are HACCP certified and supplied with the latest technologies & machineries which ensures product perfection. Other special products are mainly dates paste and date syrup, the first is used mainly for the preparation of sweets.
Date syrup, has been gaining popularity as an alternative sweetener that can be used much in the same way as maple syrup or honey. Date syrup is thick, dark brown and super-sweet and it’s commonly used for cooking in the Middle East, to add flavour to everything from chicken dishes to desserts. It can be mixed with yogurt fruits and cereals to prepare a healthy breakfast in the morning.
Whole dates are a good source of fibre and minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium and copper, and they contain some B vitamins. Commercially-produced date syrup is typically made by extracting the thick, sticky juice from cooked dates, which means the health-promoting fibre is left behind.
Also some of the other nutrients that are abundant in whole dates are lost when the dates are cooked and the syrup is extracted. Date syrup still contains more minerals, particularly potassium and calcium, than many other sweeteners.
Recent research studies point out that date syrup contains a number of phenolic compounds that form naturally in the date fruit as it matures. These compounds, available in the syrup are easily absorbed by our body and are known for their antioxidant properties.
Moreover, they have also shown to have antibacterial activity and can avoid infections brought about by the most common pathogens such as Escherichia Coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
Date syrup antimicrobial activity is mediated through hydrogen peroxide generation in inducing oxidative stress in bacteria and consequently inhibiting their growth.
The syrup mixed with a range of bacteria inhibits their growth in about six hours, and it is faster than honey, which is known for its antibacterial and healing properties.
Date syrup could find clinical applications similar to honey as a topical disinfectant for wounds, used alone or in conjunction with bandages.