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Medjool (Medjoul) Dates: Quality guide

How to recognise a high quality medjool date?

Today we will make you an expert on Medjool (Medjoul) Dates. How do you recognize what is high quality, and when there is a problem?

We will list the most important factors in determining the quality of Medjool Dates.

medjool medjool dates on belt min 1

Most important: Taste

medjool Dates open min

First of all: the Medjool has to be tasty!

You can expect a rich sweet taste. It must be free from salty notes. You should taste rich sweetness and hints of caramel and toffee.

Texture

The Medjool dates must have a nice toffee like texture.

The dates should be free from sugar crystals, not too hard, and not too soft.

You should be able to squeeze the dates in your finger without applying too much pressure.

The Moister level should be around 22%-26% and the flesh should look shiny and juicy.

medjool inside medjool date min

Size

medjool date size l j sj

The size is not really important quality factor.

However bigger fruit tends to have thicker pulp.

Bigger fruit looks nicer and looks more appealing!

Last, and least important: Skin separation

Skin Separation is the least important quality factor. Skin separation is the loose skin that hangs on the fruit and not attached to it. Low skin separation looks nicer and therefore it is more expensive.

The loose skin is not an indication of the freshness of the Medjool Date!

To the inexperienced, fruit with high skin separation may look dry, however usually the exact opposite is correct. high skin separation is usually a sign of a moist, juicy fruit.

medjool Dates with High skin separation

Defects that should not be found in Medjool dates.

Too Dry

Dry fruit is a fruit that has low moisture in it.

Signs of dryness are:

– Can not open the fruit with your fingers

– Fruit will not react when pressing it with your fingers

– Hard to chew

– Thin, fibrous and rubbery flesh

medjool Dry date min

Sugar Bloom

medjool sugar bloom 1 min

Sugar bloom is crystallization of the sugars in the date.

It is a minor defect, that shows the date was long time in a warm place.

It is perfectly safe to eat. Some people even like the crunchiness of it!

Insect damage

Sometimes insects infest the medjool date when still on the tree. Most of the times we see it when we pack the dates, however sometimes it is impossible to notice. In organic medjool dates this is more common as no pesticides are used.

medjool pest damage min

Black Mold (Aspergillus spp.)

medjool aspergillus in medjool dates

Aspergillus spp. is black mold that attacks medjool dates while still on the trees.

It looks like a black powder that is visible on the inside of the date.

Fortunately a recent study done in Volkani Institute (Israel) showed that the variety of Aspergillus mold found in medjool dates is not producing toxins dangerous to humans.

Most of black mold cases are already detected when sorting the dates.

Fermented

Medjool Dates are “semi dry” fruit. This means they have some humidity in them, that can lead to fruit fermentation.

When dates have a high water content (28%+) then it may ferment like any fresh fruit.

Usually these dates are very soft and have a foul, fermented smell.

medjool sour medjool date

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Nick Gough

    Thanks for the prompt reply, you are probably correct I was thinking along the same lines. I also have a big problem with the ‘Date Stone Beetle’ so I may have to spray against that next year and include a fungicide, spraying every twenty days.

  2. Nick Gough

    Help! I have a big problem here in Cyprus growing Medjoul dates. My yields are good but my dates suffer from the black mould (Aspergillus) and the Date Stone Beetle so much that I have had to reject most of this years crop.

    I practice rigorous hygiene to try to control the Stone Beetle and I am contemplating chemical control next year but what can I do about the mould?

    Your advice would be most appreciated.

    1. admin

      Hi Nick, I am not a growing expert, but It is probably because Cyprus is way too humid for Medjoul dates, and not hot enough. High humidity is ideal for Aspergillus to thrive and attack your palms. It is not a coincidence that Medjoul Dates are only produced in very hot, dry climates. I am sorry but it seems there is nothing much you could do about it.(grow your palms in a sterile hydroponic greenhouse may do the trick…)

  3. Julie

    good afternoon. we already bought your dates and thanks a lot for them and the delivery service. I have a question that I did not find answer in your website.
    how they are dried. they pick fresh ones and then how they dry until the dates are received by the distributor. thanks in advance for your answer

    Julie

    1. admin

      The dates are drying on the tree itself. Then they are passed into a greenhouse for solar disinfection for few hours. Fruits which are too moist stay there for few extra hours until the humidity level is correct (22%-27%). Then the dates are washed, sorted and packed in boxes. From this point on they are stored in the freezer.

      1. Robin

        so the dates are still a 100% raw when they are shipped and arrive? Also, do you know how the dates are washed. Is it in just plain water or are there other ingredients added.

        1. admin

          Yes, fruit is raw- not treated in higher temperatures than already normal in the fields. Dates are washed with plain water.

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