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Description: DATES - Damage usually occurs as a result of contact with water, causing the dates to ferment. Dates so affected can be used for the extraction of alcohol. They are subject to sourness on arrival at destination, which may arise through faulty preparation for shipment or prolonged storage. Dates are the berry fruits of the date palm of the palm family (Palmae, Arecaceae), which may reach up to 25 m in height. The date palm is one of the oldest cultivated plants and is probably native to the area around the Persian Gulf. The date palm is dioecious, and only a few male palms are kept; the female trees are pollinated by hanging pollen-impregnated cotton cloths over the female inflorescences, which then develop up to 200 dates per fruit spike. The single-seeded oval berry fruit, approximately the size of a plum, is golden yellow to brownish red in color and has soft flesh and an inedible stone. The water content of dates is reduced to 20% by natural or artificial drying. The latter process is preceded by immersion in boiling sodium hydroxide solution. Sometimes the stones, which constitute 15% of the fruit, are left in, resulting in dates with an attractive rounded appearance; the dates may on the other hand be stoned, but then have a sunken appearance.
Index: 332
Commodity Name: FRUITS (Dried)

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