Physico-Chemical, Surface and Thermal Properties of Date Palm Pollen as a Novel Nutritive Ingredient
*Corresponding author: Haifa Sebii*, Sirine Karra, Brahim Bchir, Abir M. Ghribi, Sabine M Danthine, Christophe Blecker, Hamadi Attia and Souhail Besbes
Date palm pollen (DPP) is a natural product well-known in folk medicine in the Arab world. It is used to improve the fertility of human beings and studies have tested this activity on rabbits and rats. In the region of Sfax from Tunisia, a huge quantity of DPP could be discarded. Taking into account of the richness of this typical product of different components and of the trend of producing food supplements that could be sold at medium price comparing with the existing product, DPP was analyzed on the basis of physical and chemical properties in order to promote its use as a techno-functional ingredient in the agri-food and pharmaceutical field.
X-ray diffraction showed that DPP is characterized by an amorphous structure which leads to better techno-functional properties while stored in a water-air-tight container. Findings proved that DPP is capable to reduce the surface tension. Collected data from thermal analysis proved that DPP is thermally stable during storage and in different food systems.
The present study demonstrated that DPP could be used in the agri-food and pharmaceutical field. The obtained results help to define the suitable storage conditions of DPP and to predict its behavior when used as an ingredient. DPP can be used as a whole in food formulations or after extracting protein which is the main responsible agent for surfactant property. DPP proteins might be used as a food supplement in commercial sports nutrition products that can be sold at medium prices compared to some existing products.
Date palm pollen; Physico-chemical; Morphology; Surface; Thermal.