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Postharvest Handling of Dates


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#1 socal225

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:48 AM

Hello everyone,

I have a question regarding the post harvest handling of dates, specifically the packing process. Is it recommended to wash dates with an antimicrobial solution and if it is, what solution would be suitable? We currently fog our dates with potable water and then we clean them with moist rags before sorting and packaging. The rags are washed with a laundry detergant in a conventional washing machine during 2 hour intervals or as-needed. Is this an appropriate method of washing dates? What concerns me is the abscence of an antimicrobial wash when washing the dates and the use of a laundry detergant for the rags.

 

Aslo, employees use rags to clean the conveyer belts and other food-contact surfaces during production and these rags are submerged in plain water with no sanitizing solution and like the rags used to clean the dates, they are washed as needed and returned to the buckets filled with just potable water. I think a sanitizer solution would be ideal, what would be recommended for the rags in the buckets and at what concentration?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 socal225

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:28 AM

Can someone please help me?

 

Thanks



#3 Charles.C

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:43 AM

Dear socal,

 

I presume that the end-product is ready-to-eat.

 

Yr description of the use of rags sounds, to me, hygienically questionable in many ways. I would personally recommend you to avoid use of rags altogether for the food / food contact surfaces. If somehow unavoidable, i suggest to at least validate their BPC acceptability, do not re-use, and dispose at appropriate intervals.

 

I have no direct experience of date processing and it is not quite clear as to the technological level of yr operation. I deduce there is a majority of manual handling. This would normally require substantial hygienic control, eg environment, equipment, personnel, for a safe RTE end-product.

 

As far as initial use of rags for product cleaning is concerned,  I note from da3 (below) that this is not unusual for date cleaning purposes. If unavoidable, the  sequence in da1 seems a little superior (to me) to the one you describe although maybe still having significant hygienic risks, even  with subsequent antimicrobial treatment.

 

As far as more advanced processing / use of antimicrobial chemicals is concerned some typical options are in the sections on “dates” / “sanitizers” in the articles below. A  typical example (da8) is   –

Wash and Hydrocooling Water  

All water which comes in contact with produce for washing or hydrocooling must be safe  to  drink.    Water  should  contain  between  100  and  150  parts  per  million  total chlorine and have a pH of between 6 and 7.5.  Chlorine use prevents the potential for cross contamination of all produce in the washing or hydrocooling system, it will not sterilize the produce.  Change the water in dump tanks and hydro-coolers regularly.

 

Some other refs use much lower levels of free chlorine, eg 1ppm, others use different  chemical systems. I suggest that specific advice is obtained for yr product.

Attached File  da1 - Date Harvest & Tutorial (Pictorial).pdf   9.48MB   19 downloads

Attached File  da2 - date production.pdf   1.05MB   24 downloads

Attached File  da3 - postharvest handling.pdf   4.89MB   29 downloads

Attached File  da4 - postharvest sanitation,sec.9 - 2013.pdf   184.83KB   19 downloads

Attached File  da5 - cleaning and sanitising fresh produce.pdf   518.97KB   33 downloads

Attached File  da6 - minimising microbial contamination on fresh produce, 2006.pdf   117.16KB   24 downloads

Attached File  da7 - FAO, processing tropical fruits vegetables.pdf   966.7KB   25 downloads

Attached File  da8 - chapter 11, FAO, Small-Scale Postharvest Handling Practices.pdf   67.77KB   22 downloads

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Thanked by 1 Member:

#4 socal225

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 05:51 PM

Dear socal,

 

I presume that the end-product is ready-to-eat.

 

Yr description of the use of rags sounds, to me, hygienically questionable in many ways. I would personally recommend you to avoid use of rags altogether for the food / food contact surfaces. If somehow unavoidable, i suggest to at least validate their BPC acceptability, do not re-use, and dispose at appropriate intervals.

 

I have no direct experience of date processing and it is not quite clear as to the technological level of yr operation. I deduce there is a majority of manual handling. This would normally require substantial hygienic control, eg environment, equipment, personnel, for a safe RTE end-product.

 

As far as initial use of rags for product cleaning is concerned,  I note from da3 (below) that this is not unusual for date cleaning purposes. If unavoidable, the  sequence in da1 seems a little superior (to me) to the one you describe although maybe still having significant hygienic risks, even  with subsequent antimicrobial treatment.

 

As far as more advanced processing / use of antimicrobial chemicals is concerned some typical options are in the sections on “dates” / “sanitizers” in the articles below. A  typical example (da8) is   –

Some other refs use much lower levels of free chlorine, eg 1ppm, others use different  chemical systems. I suggest that specific advice is obtained for yr product.

attachicon.gifda1 - Date Harvest & Tutorial (Pictorial).pdf

attachicon.gifda2 - date production.pdf

attachicon.gifda3 - postharvest handling.pdf

attachicon.gifda4 - postharvest sanitation,sec.9 - 2013.pdf

attachicon.gifda5 - cleaning and sanitising fresh produce.pdf

attachicon.gifda6 - minimising microbial contamination on fresh produce, 2006.pdf

attachicon.gifda7 - FAO, processing tropical fruits vegetables.pdf

attachicon.gifda8 - chapter 11, FAO, Small-Scale Postharvest Handling Practices.pdf

 

Rgds / Charles.C

Thank you so very much! This info was very helpful.



#5 Ferdi1982

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 09:16 AM

Dear Socal,

 

We are performing an experimental study with University of Florence (Italy) concerning post-harvest pest control on Siwi and Deglet Nour dates using electromagnetic fields. Should you be interested in a collaboration please write me at my email address

 

Best regards

Ferdinando 


Edited by Charles.C, 07 November 2013 - 01:07 PM.
email address deleted





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