Color and Texture Evolution of Atmospheric and Vacuum- Packed Dates (Kabkab'Variety) During Storage at Different Temperatures



The physico-chemical characteristics and physiological qualities of palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fruit strongly depend on the storage conditions. Storage environment and packaging type are the factors most influencing on the quality of dates during their storage. Date fruits were packed within an aerobic atmosphere, vacuumed in PA/PE pouches and stored at different temperatures (-20, 4, 25 and 40 ?C). Throughout the study, the effect of packaging type, storage temperatures as well as storage time on physical properties of the fruits were investigated. The samples were evaluated for color indices (L*,a* ,b*) and as well for textural parameters (gumminess and chewiness) on a monthly basis, and during storage for a duration period of up to 6 months. Results demonstrated that the storage temperatures, storage time and packaging type greatly (p < 0.01) affect all the physical parameters (color indices, guminess, chewiness) during storage. The color index values (L*, a* ,b*) of dates stored at 40 ?C were lower than those of the other date fruits. L*,a* and b* indices of atmospheric packed dates were higher than those of the vacuum packed samples. The gumminess and chewiness were higher in the dates stored at 40 ?C within all packaging types within the sixth month. An increase of gumminess and chewiness was detected for all the samples throughout the storage period. However, it was noted that the increase was significantly greater at 40 ?C as compared with those at the other storage temperatures.