Why unripe dates could be the next big UAE food trend

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world's leading producers of dates, most dates are sold and eaten when they are in their later stages of ripening. Science could be about to change that, with benefits to the diversification of the UAE's date market and to consumer health. A study by researchers at the UAE University college of agriculture and veterinary medicine, including Eihab Fathelrahman, a visiting scholar at the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that those surveyed enjoyed the taste of dates at an earlier stage of ripening, which have a lower sugar content, contain more fibre than ripe dates and offer more health benefits, an important consideration in a country with high levels of obesity.

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