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Date Paste from Tunisia

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#1 Dalways


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Posted 28 November 2019 - 02:05 PM

Hi Team 

I am looking at a new supplier of date paste from Tunisia and as this is a new material for me though i have completed all  usual risk assessment for micro, chemical, pesticide . Is there anything I sahll be worried about when it comes to Date paste. any threat or vulnerability criteria will be usefull too 



#2 pHruit


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Posted 28 November 2019 - 02:54 PM

Did your chemical risk assessment include aflatoxins?
I'd add that if not.

Based on experience I'd also consider authenticity - primarily potential adulteration with exogenous sugar source (possibly including other fruits). I can't recall specific cases off the top of my head, and being a product with limited commercialisation (as compared to high volume juices, purees etc) the dataset will always be a bit limited, but the region and product type would make me inclined to look at the sugar composition. It's not a product I've had to analyse, but gut feel is possibly an oligosaccharide profile via GC-FID and maybe 13C isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

Whether it's actually necessary to go for the analysis will perhaps depend on your risk assessment outcome.

If you do feel it necessary then Eurofins have a lab in Nantes that is very good with processed fruit products and can be arranged via your local Eurofins rep if you have an account with them in the UK, and I'd also highly recommend GFL (Gesellschaft fur Lebensmittel-Forschung) in Berlin for this type of work, and will be able to give solid recommendations on analysis suites/methods that would actually be useful.


Edited to add: Pretty sure I've seen RASFF notifications for contamination with moulds and with insect fragments for date products. To a large extent the nature of the actual product and process will dictate whether this is a risk, but even if not then I'd probably document that you're aware of it and it's been considered as part of the RA.

Edited by pHruit, 28 November 2019 - 02:57 PM.

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