[NAFEX] Fwd: New Focus on an Old Fruit

Nate nrhora at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 11:51:11 EDT 2006

Interesting piece:

Dates being an important aspect/staple in various cultures, with their
ripen fruit being added to cuisine daily; ensures the survivability of
civilizations for generations to come. Though their native climate is
not in the americas, still shows how nature (in general) can climatize
in different environments, and somehow flourish.

On 7/11/06, Lon J. Rombough <lonrom at hevanet.com> wrote:
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
> Date: July 11, 2006 6:34:07 AM PDT
> To: ARS News subscriber <lonrom at hevanet.com>
> Subject: New Focus on an Old Fruit
> Reply-To: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
> A Bright Future for an Ancient Fruit
> ___________________________________________
> ARS News Service
> Agricultural Research Service, USDA
> Erin Peabody, (301) 504-1624, ekpeabody at ars.usda.gov
> July 11, 2006
> --View this report online, plus any included photos or other images, at
> www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr
> ___________________________________________
> Maybe it's their dried-out skins, wrinkled from months spent in the
> sun. Or their lackluster brown hues, lost among the bright reds,
> yellows and oranges of the produce aisle. Whatever it is, dates aren't
> exactly flying off U.S. grocery store shelves.
> But Robert Krueger, a scientist with the Agricultural Research Service
> (ARS) in Riverside, Calif., thinks we should take a cue from Middle
> Eastern cuisine and open our eyes, and stomachs, to these dazzling
> little gems.
> With the help of University of California (UC) colleagues, the ARS
> horticulturalist recently uncovered new information about the date
> palm, including findings on the tree's origins, its current state of
> diversity and how its impressive levels of antioxidants vary by
> cultivar.
> Researchers have known for a while that dates are top-scorers in terms
> of their phenolic compound content. Also found in red wine, phenolic
> compounds are powerful antioxidants, capable of shielding our bodies'
> delicate cellular machinery from the everyday assault of harmful free
> radicals.
> Krueger, who works at the ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository for
> Citrus and Dates, and UC-Davis colleagues ran antioxidant tests on six
> dates commonly grown in California. It turns out that the Deglet Noor
> date--the kind most likely to be eaten by Americans--was their best
> performer.
> Krueger, with Egyptian researcher Ashraf El-Assar and UC-Riverside
> researchers led by Thomas Chao, recently completed an extensive
> evaluation of the genetic diversity of date palms in Egypt. Egypt is
> the world's largest supplier of dates, having grown them since about
> 3200 B.C.
> The scientists found that while there's much diversity among Egyptian
> date palms, the country's date industry may want to round out its
> cultivated date groves with other, genetically different cultivars.
> Plant diversification guards against potential disease threats and
> habitat loss.
> This research has important implications for the future of the date
> industry--and date palm diversity--which is centered in the Middle
> East.
> Read more about the research in the July 2006 issue of Agricultural
> Research magazine, available online at:
> http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jul06/dates0706.htm
> ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research
> agency.
> ___________________________________________
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