Natural Sweetener from Date Palm Extract Using Safe Food-Grade Processing Method

Jim Crocker
24th June, 2024

Natural Sweetener from Date Palm Extract Using Safe Food-Grade Processing Method

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Khalifa University developed a natural sweetener from date fruit extract using colloidal gas aprons (CGAs) and Tween 20
  • The optimal conditions for maximum sugar enrichment were a CGA flow rate of 50 mL/min and a solution temperature of 23°C, achieving 92% soluble sugar enrichment
  • This new method offers a healthier alternative to white sugar, with significant potential for the food industry
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a staple fruit tree in the Middle East and North Africa, renowned for its nutritional benefits due to its high sugar content and abundance of phenols, minerals, and antioxidants. Researchers at Khalifa University have aimed to develop a soluble natural sweetener from date fruit extract using colloidal gas aprons (CGAs) generated with a food-grade non-ionic surfactant, Tween 20[1]. This study holds promise for the food industry, which is constantly seeking healthier alternatives to white sugar. The study focused on optimizing various process parameters such as the flow rate of the CGAs, the volume of the feed, and the temperatures of both the CGAs and the feed solution. The goal was to achieve maximum soluble sugar enrichment. The researchers found that the optimal conditions included a CGA flow rate of 50 mL/min and a solution temperature of 23°C, resulting in a maximum soluble sugar enrichment of 92%. This study builds on previous research into alternative sweeteners derived from date palm fruits. For instance, a prior study explored the ultrasound-assisted extraction of nutritive sugar from date fruit powder, achieving a maximum total sugar content of 812 mg glucose equivalent per gram of date fruit powder[2]. The ultrasound-assisted method proved effective due to the enhanced mass transfer diffusion facilitated by ultrasonic cavitation. The current study, however, takes a different approach by using CGAs and Tween 20 to achieve an even higher sugar enrichment. Another relevant study investigated the effects of hot water treatment (HWT) on the physicochemical characteristics and phytochemical properties of fresh date fruits[3]. This research showed that HWT could significantly increase the sugar content and improve the sensory attributes of date fruits. For example, Hillawi and Khadrawi date fruits treated with hot water for 3 and 5 minutes, respectively, exhibited higher levels of reducing sugar, total sugar, glucose, fructose, and sucrose compared to untreated fruits. These findings support the notion that processing techniques can enhance the sugar content of date fruits, making them suitable for use as natural sweeteners. The method employed in the current study involves the use of Tween 20, a non-ionic surfactant, to generate CGAs. These CGAs facilitate the formation of intermolecular hydrogen bonds between glucose molecules and the surfactant, as confirmed by molecular modeling studies. This interaction enhances the solubility and stability of the extracted sugars, making them more suitable for use as natural sweeteners. To measure the sugar content, the researchers likely used established colorimetric methods such as the phenol-sulfuric acid method, which is known for its sensitivity and simplicity[4]. This method has been optimized for high throughput analysis using 96-well microplates, allowing for greater sensitivity and economizing reagents. Such techniques are essential for accurately quantifying the sugar content in the extracts and ensuring the reliability of the results. In summary, the study conducted by Khalifa University demonstrates a novel method for preparing a soluble natural sweetener from date fruit extract using CGAs and Tween 20. This approach achieves a high level of sugar enrichment and builds on previous research that has explored various extraction and processing techniques to enhance the sugar content of date fruits. The findings hold significant potential for the food industry, offering a healthier alternative to traditional white sugar.

FruitsNutritionBiochem

References

Main Study

1) Soluble natural sweetener from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) extract using colloidal gas aphrons generated with a food-grade non-ionic surfactant.

Published 24th June, 2024

https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-023-05907-9


Related Studies

2) Ultrasound-assisted extraction of highly nutritious date sugar from date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fruit powder: Parametric optimization and kinetic modeling.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultsonch.2022.106107


3) Hot Water Treatment Improves Date Drying and Maintains Phytochemicals and Fruit Quality Characteristics of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera).

https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122405


4) Carbohydrate analysis by a phenol-sulfuric acid method in microplate format.

Journal: Analytical biochemistry, Issue: Vol 339, Issue 1, Apr 2005



Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙