HE Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), has said that the Authority views scientific and applied research in food sciences and technology with utmost importance since it is crucial to creating a strong knowledge base for the industry in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Al Shariqi made the remark on the occasion of ADFCA's Dr. Mohamed Al Farsi winning the Sheikh Khalifa International Award on Date Palms in the category of research and development for his study on strengthening dates paste.
Al Shariqi pointed out that it was in recognition of the strategic importance of research and studies that the Authority had set up a separate division for research and development, focusing attention on various aspects of food safety, agriculture and animal wealth. "We encourage our staff to take part with their studies and research in local, regional and international forums so they not only contribute their knowledge, but also bring back valuable knowledge and information that would contribute to the strengthening of the local knowledge base," he added.
The research by Dr. Mohamed Al Farsi of ADFCA's Research and Development division revolved around the manufacturing of dates paste, a highly popular product in the UAE and a key ingredient in various delicacies, and the ways in which the powdered seeds of the dates could be used in producing the paste aimed at increased the nutritional and medicinal value of the product. The study elucidated that if the paste is fortified with 3% of seed powder, it would lead to an increase of moistness of the product by 26%, fiber content by 37% and anti-oxidants by 27%.
This increase in the paste's ingredients will also improve the overall functional quality of the product, in addition to lessening its hardness and increasing its weight, resulting in nutritional and commercial gains.