Capital to unveil honey adulteration detector
By Anwar Ahmad
28 November 2010,
ABU DHABI ï¿½ With a new approach to detect adulteration of honey with date syrup, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) would soon be introducing worldï¿½s first honey adulteration detector.
According to Dr Mabruk Allagi, head of the ADFCAï¿½s Radiation Unit who presented a new approach to detect adulteration, mixing honey with date syrup is a wide-spread practice that is impossible to identify through sensoryâ€¨evaluation.
He was speaking at the Radiation Day workshop held by the ADFCA on the sidelines of SIAL Middle East at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The ADFCA is currently making arrangements for setting up a lab for detecting fraud in honey and other food stuffs. Allagi demonstrated that adulteration of this kind can be detected through a method based on the Potassium-40 levels in the product. Significant difference in the K-40 levels in honey and date syrup give the possibility of detecting adulteration of honey with date syrup, he explained.
Experts on radiation in food and agriculture said the application of nuclear techniques would offer effective solutions to many hitherto insurmountable obstacles to food security and help deal better with the issue of declining agricultural productivity around the world.
GCC seeks cooperation to achieve food security
28 November 2010
The environment, agriculture and food security ministers of the GCC region met and agreed to enhance technology to evade the lurking threat of drought in the region.
The Abu Dhabi Declaration was announced during the four-day conference, ï¿½SIAL Middle East 2010,ï¿½ organised by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) at Abu Dhabi Nationalâ€¨Exhibition Centre.
Speaking at the conference, Fawzi Al Sultan, President of the International Institute for Food Research Policy on Food Security and Safety at the global level and the Middle East and North Africa, said the population in the Middle East and North Africa would reach 700 million by 2050 and as per World Bank reports, the per capita availability of water in the Middle East and North Africa will be reduced by half. This reduction will result to infertile agricultural land, high prices of biofuel and climate changes that will lead to reduction in crop production by 11 per cent, Al Sultan said.
The Declaration emphasised cooperation between the public and private sectors in the development of agricultural and food industries and marketing of agricultural products. This can be achieved by strengthening collaboration among regional and international organisations related to food security, and reinforcing the capacity of United Nations Organisations related to food security, primarily the Food and Agriculture Organisations world wide.
On behalf of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, said the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the field of agricultural development and enhancing food security and development policies are vital and they should be in line with international best practices. The Minister stressed the need to strengthen cooperation among Gulf countries to achieve food security through strategies at the national and regional level.
According to Dr Jacques Diouf, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the world today is facing a new crisis over rising food prices which exacerbated the problem of food security. Diouf stressed that an interest in agriculture would to a large extend help eradicate poverty and achieve the food security.
Deals worth Dh918m signed
The first Middle East edition of the worldï¿½s largest food industry exhibition was also organised as part of the SIAL Middle East 2010 conference. Food industry traders signed trade deals of nearlyâ€¨Dh918 million with different participating companies.
Around 400 exhibitors from more than 40 countries participated in the exhibition, with 80 per cent of them presenting their products in the region for the first time.
According to the organisers, total deals struck during the event amounted to Dh183.5 million ($50 million), while the various memoranda of understanding are valued at over Dh734 million (around$200 million). All the MoUs will graduate to actual trade agreements in the next three months.
Using Abu Dhabiï¿½s stature as a major trade centre for a vantage point, the participants plan to reachâ€¨out to the rest of the region with their products. Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director-General, ADFCA said ï¿½The GCC Ministerial Forum on Integrated Food Policies, held on the sidelines of SIAL, played a large role in turning the event into a great success, The pre-eminent position of Abu Dhabi as a commercial hub with enormous purchasing power and the vital importance of food security for the whole Gulf region also are factors that clinched this success.ï¿½
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, chairman of the organising committee for SIAL and the International Date Palm Festival and spokesperson of ADFCA, said theâ€¨massive interest from the food industry in its first edition guaranteed a much bigger participation in the second edition next year.
Date Palm Festival begins on quiet note in Capital
23 November 2010
ABU DHABI - The first morning hours of the fourth International Date Palm Festival were quiet, with only a few visitors strolling through Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centreï¿½s Hall 11, where the six-day festival is â€¨taking place.
A few school groups staged some mini theatre performances but that was about it for the morning â€¨entertainment.
The promised cooking with dates competition, the traditional folklore and all other cultural activities were reserved for the afternoon, when the festival was officially inaugurated by its patron, Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and the chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.
On his tour of the Festival, Shaikh Mansour had plenty to enjoy. One of the most eye-catching pavillion was the Al Foah Company. Simple dates, chocolate dates, date syrup and very pretty wrapped up dates were all there to admire.
ï¿½Our main business this year is the ï¿½Zadinaï¿½ products, which we launched a few months ago. It is dates wrapped in chocolate or chocolate filled with date syrup and other flavours like strawberry,ï¿½ Saeed Al Hamli, general manager of Al Foah, told Khaleej Times.
ï¿½So far, you could only buy them in our ï¿½Zadinaï¿½ showrooms. We have one in Khalidiya area in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai Mall. We will soon open one more in Al Ain Mall and another one in Abu Dhabiï¿½s Central Market, which is completed and about to open,ï¿½ he revealed.
In the Omani area of the exhibition, Abdulaziz Al Sibani seemed to be the busiest salesman in the festival. His ï¿½Dates Worldï¿½ shop offered the highly sought after traditional Omani dates sweets.
ï¿½All our products are made with dates from Nizwa ï¿½ where we come from and where the shop is located ï¿½ and various types of nuts,ï¿½ said Al Sibani.
The simple, but beautiful looking pavillion of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage is serving up dates and Arabic coffee to anyone who walks in. From ï¿½Shi-Shiï¿½ to ï¿½khalasï¿½, several types of dates are available here for tasting, all from Al Ain.
There is no water available to wash down the sweet taste of dates, but there is Freshcoï¿½s stand nearby, which is offering cold dates milk shake for tasting, a rather healthy and tasty product made of cowï¿½s milk and dates with no added sugar.
Researchers, farming technology, as well as agriculture and other governmental representatives are also present in the exhibition.
ï¿½The Fourth International Date Palm Festival presents a remarkable journey into the heritage, tradition and benefits of the date fruit. The festival also highlights the current challenges faced by date farmers, modern farming methods and opportunities for local and international marketing,ï¿½ said Qaboos Khalid, a senior official.
Date Palm Festival comesâ€¨ to Abu Dhabi today
22 November 2010
ABU DHABI ï¿½ Changing its address from Al Ain to the Capital, the fourth International Date Palm Festival begins today at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Until November 27, the Palm Oasis, taking over ADNEC, will feature more than 100 exhibitors, four national pavilions and seven events that organisers claim first in the region.
ï¿½This year the festival will encompass over 5600 square metres of exhibition space,ï¿½ said Qaboos Khalid, director of the festival.
ï¿½Over 100 exhibitors and four national pavilions from Oman, Iraq, Jordan and Morocco will join forces to stage a remarkable display of the date varieties and provide additional opportunity for market growth in food services at international level.ï¿½
UAEï¿½s major dates producer, Al Foah Company, will exhibit new varieties of innovative date-based products for the first time at the Date Palm Festival.
ï¿½Al Foah will showcase at the exhibition some of the best Emirati date products that are produced by local farms,ï¿½ said Engineer Saeed Salem Mesarri Al Hamli, general manager of Al Foah.
The Arar Establishment ï¿½ Abdullah Arar Farms from Jordan is exhibiting some of the worldï¿½s best dates - Medjool and Berhi. The companyï¿½s exporters list include countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Maldives Islands.
ï¿½This year we produced 60 tonnes of Medjool dates, which are projected to reach 160 tonnes in 2015. Berhi dates reached 120 tonnes of yields this year,ï¿½ said Abdullah Arar, general manager of Arar Establishment.
Apart from top exhibitors, the six-day-long festival also has some top entertainment and cultural events. Palm tree climbing, tribal singing, dancing and poetry, dates competitions awards including dates cooking, dates tasting and even dates theatre performed by school children, fill up the daily programme.
ï¿½The festival sets a major milestone in the cultural history of Abu Dhabi. We invite everybody to visit the festival and enjoy a wide range of attractions,ï¿½ added Khalid.
To be inaugurated by its patron, Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, the festival coincides with the regional debut of the worldï¿½s largest food industry event, SIAL Middle East.
Opening times for the festival are Monday to Thursday from 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 10pm. On Friday and Saturday the festival will be open from 2pm till 10pm. ï¿½silvia@khaleejtimes.com