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History of the date palm

The date palm is one of the oldest cultivated plant species. It is a tree of great interest due to its high productivity, the highly sought-after nutritional quality of its fruits and its adaptability to the Saharan regions. In addition to its ecological and social roles, it essentially contributes to the agricultural income of farmers and offers dates and a multitude of by-products for domestic, artisanal and industrial uses (Sedra, 2003).

The history of the date palm and dates are an imperative crop, especially grown in hot and arid regions of the world, having extraordinary nutritional and therapeutic value (Alghamdi et al., 2018). It has always played an important role in the economic and social life of the inhabitants of these regions. The fruit of the date palm is well known as a staple food. It is composed of a fleshy pericarp and a seed (Besbes et al., 2004). With global date production reaching 9 million tonnes in 2007, approximately 960,000 tonnes of date seeds are produced (Basuny et al., 2011).

At present, the kernels are mainly used for animal feed in the cattle, sheep, camel and poultry industries. However, value can be added in several food products (Rahman et al., 2006).

Date stones are rich in proteins, fats, ash and dietary fiber(Al-Farsi and Lee, 2008). They also contain high levels of phytochemicals such as phenols, sterols, carotenoids, anthocyanins, procyanidins and flavonoids (Alharbi et al., 2021). The nutritional value is not only determined by the composition, but also by the accessibility and digestibility of the components. Although the hard structure of date seeds is a real obstacle to optimizing food value, they can be ground into powder (Al-Farsi, 2011) and can be used to improve the nutritional value of incorporated food products (Habib and Ibrahim , 2009; Al-Farsi and Lee, 2008).

Roasted and powdered date stones are used by some rural communities as caffeine-free coffee substitutes and in coffee-like preparations in Arab markets (Aldhaheri et al., 2004). Date stone powder is also used and added to food products such as meat and vegetables.

2 meat products (Rosa-Alcaraz et al.,2017), bakery products (Almana and Mahmoud,1994) and chocolate (Bouaziz et al.,2016).

In addition to its nutritional importance, this plant waste reduced to powder has numerous medicinal activities such as #antioxidant, #anti-inflammatory, #hepatoprotective, #anti-tumor, #gonadotropic activities..etc< /strong>.

These therapeutic effects are attributed to its #

flavonoids which have the ability to trap free radicals and protect cells and tissues from degeneration (Niazi et al.,2017). Therefore, the chemical composition, nutritional and medicinal value, and usage of date stone powder have been focused in this work.

date branches hanging from date palms
date trees before harvest

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