Nutritional and Functional Properties of Dates: A Review
AbstractThis review article provides information on the nutritional and functional constituents of dates ( Phoenix dactylifera L. ) and their seeds from over 80 references. Date flesh is found to be low in fat and protein but rich in sugars, mainly fructose and glucose. It is a high source of energy, as 100 g of flesh can provide an average of 314 kcal. Ten minerals were reported, the major being selenium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. The consumption of 100 g of dates can provide over 15% of the recommended daily allowance from these minerals. Vitamins B-complex and C are the major vitamins in dates. High in dietary fiber (8.0 g/100 g), insoluble dietary fiber was the major fraction of dietary fiber in dates. Dates are a good source of antioxidants, mainly carotenoids and phenolics. Date seeds contain higher protein (5.1 g/100 g) and fat (9.0 g/100 g) as compared to the flesh. It is also high in dietary fiber (73.1 g/100 g), phenolics (3942 mg/100 g) and antioxidants (80400 μ mol/100 g). This detailed information on nutritional and health promoting components of dates and their seeds will enhance our knowledge and appreciation for the use of dates in our daily diet and their seeds as a functional food ingredient.