In the history of mankind date palm has played an essential role in providing food and shelter to numerous people. Pakistan is the great cultivator of date palm that is why it is known to be the 4th largest producer in the world. In world’s production it contributes about 11%. Dera Ismail Khan is well-known for producing a prominent local cultivator that is known as “Dhakki”.
Economically this fruit is very essential as it is large in size that is about 5cm long, 3cm thick and weighs about 20g. The pit of this date is small in size ad has a fine quality and delicious in taste. However this variety of date takes time to grow, as it is prone to ecological pressure as the tempestuous monsoon season concurrence with the period of fruit ripening. The two main reasons that cause quality worsening and are responsible for extreme wastage are the due to the bumpy production and a lack of post-harvest machinery.
By keeping these points in mind a sorption isotherm was raised in the series of 0.12 to 0.97 aw, and better water movement was determined to grow Dhakki Dates. Under the conditions of oxygen, air and nitrogen the constancy of Dhakki Dates were observed at O.52 – 0.75 aw, by storing it for 4 months in tinplate cans at high temperature of about 40 degree C. On monthly bases its quality was estimated in terms of pH, darkening and titratable acidity, while the appearance of slime was noticed twice daily.
The shape of sorption isotherm is sigmoid and has water bustle of 0.25 – 0.62 aw that represents the monolayer dampness exposure, but 0.61 minus plus 0.01 aw was witnessed for the freshly matured Dhakki Dates. The worsening of quality was exaggerated equally by water activity and headspace environment. The sample stored with water actions were superior than 0.75 aw, depreciated hastily with slime formation, while those one demonstrated with lower water actions showed great stability and at 0.52 aw, they retain their color and taste with a semi-dried appearance. The impact of water activity and headspace environment on quality consideration was statistically considerable.
So to increase the shelf life of Dhakki it should be stored under static environment with a water activity nearer to 0.61 plus minus 0.01 aw. Due to its distinct characteristics it has captured the International market. Its nutritional value has been evaluated with the two leading varieties of world and hence it was proved that Dhakki is the leading variety of date. Dhakki is rich in Fiber, sodium, potassium, proteins and calories.