Extracting Health Benefits from Date Pomace Using Modern Techniques

Jim Crocker
5th June, 2024

Extracting Health Benefits from Date Pomace Using Modern Techniques

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at United Arab Emirates University found that date pomace, a by-product of date fruit processing, can be efficiently used to extract beneficial polysaccharides
  • The extracted polysaccharides have excellent physicochemical properties, making them suitable as thickeners or stabilizers in food products
  • These polysaccharides also exhibit significant health benefits, including promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improving gut health
The recent study conducted by researchers at United Arab Emirates University[1] explores innovative methods to enhance the utilization of date pomace, a by-product of date fruit processing, by extracting novel polysaccharides using ultrasonication-assisted green extraction techniques. This research aims to optimize the extraction process, understand the complex structure of the polysaccharides, and assess their various health-related functionalities, including their physicochemical, rheological, biological, and prebiotic properties, alongside their ability to modulate the gut. Date pomace, often considered waste, holds significant potential as a functional food ingredient due to its rich polysaccharide content. Polysaccharides are long carbohydrate molecules that can have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and prebiotic effects. This study seeks to maximize the value derived from date pomace, contributing to sustainability and waste reduction in the food industry. The researchers employed ultrasonication-assisted green extraction techniques to extract polysaccharides from the date pomace. Ultrasonication uses high-frequency sound waves to agitate particles in a solution, which helps to break down cell walls and release polysaccharides more efficiently. This method is considered 'green' because it reduces the need for harmful chemicals and excessive energy consumption, aligning with environmentally friendly practices. The study's findings revealed that the extracted polysaccharides exhibited promising physicochemical properties. These properties include the ability to form gels and maintain structural integrity, which are essential for their potential use in food products. The rheological properties, which refer to the flow and deformation behavior of the polysaccharides, were also favorable, indicating their suitability as thickeners or stabilizers in various food applications. In terms of biological properties, the polysaccharides demonstrated significant health benefits. They exhibited prebiotic properties, meaning they can promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. This is crucial for gut health, as a balanced gut microbiome is linked to improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and reduced inflammation. The study also assessed the gut modulation abilities of the polysaccharides, finding that they could positively influence gut microbiota composition, further supporting their potential as functional food ingredients. The exploration of polysaccharides' health benefits aligns with findings from previous studies on other polysaccharide sources. For instance, Phellinus linteus polysaccharides (PLP) have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting inflammatory cytokine expressions and blocking MAPK activation[2]. Similarly, jujube polysaccharides have demonstrated various biological effects, including immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and gastrointestinal-protective activities[3]. The current study on date pomace polysaccharides adds to this body of knowledge, highlighting their potential in promoting gut health and overall well-being. Furthermore, the study's focus on optimizing the extraction process is crucial for maximizing the yield and purity of the polysaccharides. Efficient extraction methods ensure that the functional properties of the polysaccharides are preserved, making them more effective as food ingredients. The use of ultrasonication-assisted green extraction techniques represents an advancement in sustainable food processing, reducing the environmental impact while enhancing the value of agricultural by-products. In conclusion, the research conducted by United Arab Emirates University demonstrates the potential of date pomace polysaccharides as functional food ingredients with significant health benefits. By employing ultrasonication-assisted green extraction techniques, the study not only enhances the utilization of date pomace but also contributes to sustainable food processing practices. The findings support the growing interest in polysaccharides from various sources, including banana-peel composites for thermal insulation[4], and underscore the importance of innovative extraction methods in unlocking the full potential of natural resources.



Main Study

1) Date pomace polysaccharide: ultrasonic-assisted deep eutectic solvent extraction, physicochemical properties, biological activities, gut microbiota modulation, and rheological properties

Published 4th June, 2024


Related Studies

2) Polysaccharide isolated from Phellinus linteus mycelia exerts anti-inflammatory effects via MAPK and PPAR signaling pathways.


3) Isolation, structures and bioactivities of the polysaccharides from jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.): A review.


4) Towards a circular economy: valorization of banana peels by developing bio-composites thermal insulators.


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