Sanitation and disinsectisation of dates

Our client, one of the main Tunisian actors in the culture and packaging of dates, was looking to disinfest his production without using any chemical

Customer needs

Dates are exposed to the risk of contamination by parasites, and in particular moths, beetles, yeasts, and molds. The treatment of the product is currently done by fumigation of methyl bromide or phosphine.

 

However, these gases are highly toxic, difficult to handle, and are not compatible with organic farming. Morevover, methyl bromide is banned in more and more countries because it destroys the ozone layer.  Our client was therefore looking to replace them with another method.

Main constraints

Dates are not a particularly fragile food. However, their high sugar content makes them particularly vulnerable to mold and yeast, in addition to moths and beetles larvae.

 

The main difficulty therefore consists in deactivating these microorganisms, while preserving the organoleptic properties: appearance, taste, and texture of the dates.

Solution proposed

Our company has conducted a comprehensive study to ensure that the microwave treatment is effective while preserving the integrity of the dates. By testing different wavelength, power, and treatment duration, our company has established the most effective program in order to obtain an effective treatment against parasites and micro-organisms, while preserving the taste and appearance of the fruits.

 

We have proposed a microwave tunnel at 915 MHz who can treat up to 1200 kg/h of product, without the use of any chemical. The temperature of the dates reach around 75 °C for few minutes, which is sufficient to kill mold and pest.

Key benefits

By using the volumetric heating properties of the microwaves, our equipment is able to raise quickly and homogeneously the temperature of the dates, from core to surface.

 

The speed of the process, who last less than 10 minutes, allow a perfect sanitation of the dates, while preserving their organoleptic properties.

 

Finally, for an optimized logistic, the fruits can be treated directly in their final packaging !

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