ASEEL DATES OF PAKISTAN
Aseel Dates is one of the Dates varieties in Pakistan primarily grown in Khairpur Mirs, Pakistan. It is sweet, oval, nutritious. Color of the Aseel Dates is brown and dark brown. The Aseel Date variety is the most important commercial variety of Pakistan. This is a prime variety of Khairpur district. Aseel Date is an excellent semi-dry variety with fruit size around 4.3 cm in length and 2.5 cm in diameter depending on the quality. Size of Aseel Date varies with gradee.
Aseel Dates Cultivating Region
Pakistan’s largest export variety Aseel Dates is mainly grown in Khairpur District and out of the total cultivated, about 90 percent is cultivated in Khairput. Aseel is the most renowned and versatile of all date varieties in Pakistan. This variety is soft, large in size, oval in shapeand brown in color having an excellent taste.
The variety preserves its normal shape and form, and maintains its wholesomeness. This is the leading variety in respect of quality and availability in Khairpur area. It is exported to the developed markets as dried fruit, pitted, as well as the ripe cured fruit in oval shape and medium size of 35-45 mm length.
It is of light yellow color when still in Khalal stage /doka stage, yellow and brown color when in the Rotab stage/dung stage and of light brown color when in storable state / Tamr stage. However, the fruit is fleshy, soft and delicious when consumed in full Khala and Tamr stages. Aseel dates belong to soft date’s group and its sugar content is mostly present as invert sugar.
Aseel Dates Production in Khairpur ,Sukkur Sindh.
Sindh is the largest dates producing province of Pakistan which produces around 55% of the total dates produced in Pakistan. These dates are produced on an area of around 27,9855 hectors in Sindh.
Khairpur and Sukkur are the two main districts having the highest production, the districts have the most suitable climatic and soil conditions to produce Dates espcecially Aseel Dates variety. Almost 85% to 90% dates are produced in these two districts. In these two districts Therhi town of Khairpur merits the central place in production of Dates. around 90 % of the Aseel Dates traders, Aseel dry Dates exporters, Aseel Dates factory owners and Aseel Dates farmers , Aseel Dates retailerss belong to the Therhi town. Main livelihood of the residents of the Therhi town is production of Aseel Dates and trading of fresh Aseel Dates and export of dry Dates to India. Besides these two main centres of date production, there are a few more areas which produce around 10% of the total dates produced in Sindh province of Pakistan.
Production of Aseel Dates and export of Aseel Dates from Sindh is increasing every year because of local and international demand of Aseel Dates. This is a very encouraging sign for the date sector stakeholders in Pakistan and the economy of Pakistan which is fetching good foreign exchange and adding to the national kitty.
There is no exaggeration to say the flagship Dates variety of Pakistan is the Khairpur Aseel Dates / Sukkur Aseel Dates and the pride of Indus Valley wherein Dates haven grown and consumed for thousands of years.
Four Stage of Aseel Date Fruit ripening – Aseel Date Ripening Process.
Semi-dry Dates are sold in fourth stage and fresh Dates are sold in second or third stage.
Dates all over the world ripen in four stages, which are commonly known by their Arabic names kimri (unripe), khlal (full-size, crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe, sun-dried). But the Dates grown in Khairpur, Sindh province of Pakistan are known through their local names instead of Arabic names for Dates ripening. Sindhi language, being the oldest language of the Indus Valley is extremely rich in vocabulary and rarely borrows foreign language words unlike most of other languages of the world.
Aseel Dates undergo and complete four stages of ripening and consumed at either at second, third or fourth stage. Formation of fruit start taking shape after the Date pollination has occurred. Khasi, the local name in Sindhi, is the initial stage when baby fruit emerges. It appear light greenish in color. It is the germination stage for the Date fruit and the first stage, special care is taken for water and urea availability for gaining a good fruit for the next stage of ripening of Dates.
1. Khalal Stage of Aseel Date ripening (Arabic) . Local name Khasi in Sindhi.
After pollination when the Date fruit emerge is small in size with a firm green skin is not edible. It is very small in size initially which grows slowly and gradually in 3-4 months period to become full size of the Date ( green Doka in Sindhi) but still remain firm green in color. These young dates are quite bitter due to their high tannin content.
2. Bessar stage of Aseel Date ripening. Local name Doka in Sindhi.
Firm green skin of Aseel Date Khasi/Khalal changes to bright yellow. Doka /Bessar develops sugar content, despite higher sugar content the strong tannins can be overpowering rending the Date not fit for direct consumption as taste of the Date still remain a bit bitter. Unlike other Date varieties of the world, Aseel Date at Bessar /Doka stage is yellow in color and not that bitter as may be other varieties.
How Dry Dates are made in Pakistan (Chuhara-shohara kaise bante hain ?
Aseel Date at this stage is further processed to make other Date products. In Sindh, Pakistan, Aseel Date at this stage, the fruit is picked up from the tree tops for its processing as a dry date . Doka is boiled in big hot round tubs for making dry Dates (Chuhara,Chohara). If need be , Doka /Bassar Date can be processed for early ripening and turning it into a ‘tamr date’ or Kharak . But the taste and texture of the premature ripened Date is not appealing.
At what stage Aseel Date is harvested in Khairpur, Pakistan?
Aseel Date is harvested at Bassar/Doka stage when Date color become firm yellow and is partly sweeter in taste. The reason it is harvested at this stage, rather than Date become fully ripe and ready for harvest, is to produce the dry Dates (local name Chuhara-Chhuhara-Shohara). Almost 70% of the Aseel Dates harvest is used for making dry Dates-dry Aeel Dates in Khairpur and Sukkur region. Khairpur is the largest dry Dates producing region in Pakistan. The largest buyer of dry Dates is India. Almost 65 -70% of dry Dates are exported to India. Apart from export of dry Dates to India, Pakistan also export dry Dates to Bangladesh, Srilanka, Maldives , Nepal and some other countries. But the volume of dry Dates exports to these countries is smaller compared to export of dry Dates to India.
3. Rotab stage of Aseel Date ripening. Local name Dang/Dong in Sindhi.
This is the stage of Aseel Dates where fresh Aseel dates are at their best. The hard skin begins to soften at the tip and then turn brown, moving up the fruit as they continue to ripen. When the Date fruit softens, the tannins break down , reduce and the dates become much juicier and sweeter. Most people like the half-soft, half-firm stage as it gives a combination of sweet juiciness with a slightly crunchy texture.
How are Aseel Dates Processed?
At the time of Aseel Dates harvest , Rotab /Dang Dates are separated from bunches of Bessar Dates /Doka Dates -half soft -half firm . Then these separated Dates are sun-dried to further ripen the Date fruit to make semi-dried Dates or Tamr Dates. Normally whole bunches of yellow Dates at Doka stage are roved from the tree, but in some areas of Khairpur and Sukkur where the land area is desert and mountainous like , Dates are not harvested at this stage at one time rather gradually half ripe Date fruit is picked several times and then sun-dried to produce the Aseel Dates we eat or the remaining fruit is left for attaining tamr stage on the tree top to harvest at a time.
Do Aseel Dates ripen after picking?
The Dates also ripen after picking at Rotab stage and then sun-drying. From the stage when the Doka-Bessar turn into a Dong /Rotab, it starts getting ripened from lower end and reaches up to the half or more, of the fruit. The upper half remains sweet , delicious and crunchy. Dong takes the most delicious taste in this stage of maturation/ripening. It becomes very sweet, half remain comparatively hard and yellow in colour and the rest is soft and yellowish brown in colour. The Aseel Date retailers – Aseel Date wholesalers who sell Aseel Date at Rotab/Dong stage start picking the Date fruit from tree and then sell in open markets . The shelf life of the Rotab Aseel Date / Dang Aseel Date is very short lasting for only 3-4 days. But if stored in refrigerator /cold storage in frozen state can last the taste and texture for upto a year. Though, already in a few dates producing countries, dates are frozen at this stage and then exported for a higher price.
4. Tamar /Tamr stage of Aseel Dates / Kharak stage.
At this stage Aseel Date is fully ripe and semi-dried dates that are very sweet and juicy. Kharak is the synonym of date or the Khajoor. Unlike other Date producing countries where Dates fruit is left to dry on Date Palm tree and then whole bunches are cut-off or dried dates picked gradually from the Date tree, in Pakistan to produce Aseel Dates -Aseel Khajoor, Dates fruit is picked from the Date Palm at Rotab stage and then sun-dried. For the Aseel Dates in Khairpur, Dates growers or Dates farmers leave hardly 5 to 7% of the fruit only for gaining this stage on the tree top. Maximum quantity is processed on the ground after picking from tree semi-ripe Dates for making it Kharak-Khajoor.
This also happens due to the monsoon weather in July and August in Pakistan. So, instead of waiting for the Date to ripen on the Tree, Dates are picked half dried and the remaining ripening process is completed by drying the Dates on mats for 4-5 days minimum, depending on how hot the weather is, hotter the weather the lesser time it takes to complete the remaining half ripening process of the Aseel Date. Dates farmers -Dates growers in Khairpur Pakistan attempt this method to ripen their Dates to diminish chances of any disaster due to rains. Kharak -Tamar Aseel Dates bear a brown colour and is very sweet in taste with a very fascinating chewing mass with a fully made seed-pit in the centre of the fruit.
When Aseel Dates of Pakistan are best to eat : The Aseel Dates are best to eat when these are at Rotab stage or Tamr stage.
What are the Aseel Dates ripening stages/Aseel Dates maturation stages ?
In a nutshell , There are four most commonly known stages of Aseel date maturation . Four known stages of date maturation in Arabic Kimiri, Khalal, Rutab and Tamar. Kimiri stands for the first stage when a baby fruit emerges. Khalal is the second stage which equates with Doka and Wan Pakki stage in Sindhi. Rutab is the stage when fruit gets matured and is soft and sweet in taste (Dong). Lastly, it is Tamar where the Rutab turns into a proper date which is Kharak or Khajoor. Asia Foods International supplies Aseel Dates / Exports Aseel Dates at both Rotab stages and Tamar stages across Pakistan and the world.
Aseel Date Production in Pakistan. Where Aseel Date is Produced?
As Sindh has become the largest dates producing province of Pakistan and the largest Dates exporting province of Pakistan which accounts for 55 to 60 % of the total dates produced in Pakistan These dates are produced on an area of around 27,9855 hectors in Sindh. Khairpur and Sukkur are the main districts having the highest production and the most suitable climatic and soil conditions. Almost 80% to 85% dates are produced in these two districts alone . Within these two districts, Therhi town in Khairpur is considered as a Hub of Dates production and Dates export. Therhi town has a central place in farming and export of Aseel Dates in Khairpur and Pakistan. Asia Foods International has Date Palm orchards/ grooves and Aseel Dates factory located in Therhi Khairpur Mirs.
Aseel Date the largest Commercially Viable Dates Variety of Paksitan.
In Pakistan there are great many varieties of Dates and alone in Sindh Dates varieties Fasli, Karbalain and Kupro are well known varieties of Dates. But no Date variety in Pakistan beat the Aseel Date variety. largest Date variety in production and largest in Dates export.
Aseel Date variety has significant commercial value , due to its characteristics, Aseel is known as the best Sindhi date variety. It has a very sweet taste and a delectable texture along with a nice shiny surface. Aseel has a very good pit to flesh ration. The pit is closely clinched with the flesh making it difficult for air and insects to intrude. It’s length varies between 4 to 5 cm having a diameter from 2.5 to 2.9 cm. at properly controlled temperature temperatures below 8 Celsius , it can be stored for at least 2 years. Aseel is the most grown date variety and almost 85% of the dates produced in Khairpur & Sukkur is Aseel variety.
Good quality Aseel is used and traded as the Fresh Table Date in the local and international markets. However, C and D quality of Aseel is traded as a popular industrial date variety.Similarly, Fasli, Karbalain and Kupro of Khairpur are also regarded as very good varieties due to their characteristics , texture and taste.
Aseel Dates Consumption and Aseel Dates Value Added Products
Aseel Dates are consumed in both fresh and processed forms. Largely, Aseel dates are taken as fresh table dates. The biggest use of Aseel dates occurs in the month of Ramadan in Pakistan and rest of the Muslim World for breaking fast. Consumption of Aseel dry Dates also increases during Hindu Festivals in India particularly Diwali etc. Aseel Dates also consumed in many different ways such as:
Aseel Fresh table dates, Aseel frozen dong (Rutab) dates, Aseel stuffed dates with roasted nuts such as almond or cashew nuts, Aseel dates with chocolate coatings, Aseel dates with sesame seeds etc. Aseel Dates value addition is another important segment in the Aseel date consumption pattern in the world. The Aseel Dates value added products include; Aseel dates blocks, Aseel dates energy bars, Aseel dates syrup, Aseel date honey, Aseel date pickles, Aseel date paste, Aseel date spread, Aseel date dry powder, Aseel date sugar, Aseel date sparkling juice, Aseel date vinegar and Aseel date ethanol fuel, Aseel Date glucose. Pitted Aseel Dates, Diced Aseel Dates, Chopped Aseel Dates, Industrial Aseel Dates, Dates Chops, Block Pressed Aseel Dates, Dried Dates Chhoharay,Aseel Dates Diced .These Aseel Date value added products are greatly viable commercially.
Aseel Dates Trading – Where to buy Aseel Dates?
Asia Foods International can supply all quantity, variety and quality of Aseel Dates within Pakistan and across the world at the most competitive rates. Asia Foods International itself is one of the largest growers of Aseel Dates.
All districts growing Aseel Date house a dates’ market. Biggest Aseel Date market is Agha Qadir Dad Khan Agricultural Market in Sukkur. mainly dry dates are traded here .Second big Aseel Date market is Khajoor Anaaj Mandi in Khairpur , here mostly fresh dates are traded along with dry Dates trading. AseeI Dates in Karachi, there is a Khajji Market (Khajoor Bazar) in Lea Market area where a major trade activity related with Aseel Date takes place. Aseel Date is also tarded in almost all of the major urban centers of Pakistan. Buyers can easily by Aseel Dates in Lahore, Aseel Dates in Quetta, Aseel dates in Peshawar, Aseel Dates in Kashmir, Aseel Dates Faisalabad, Aseel Date in Punjab, Aseel Dates in KPK, Aseel Dates in Balochistan, Aseel Dates in Gigit Baltistan, Aseel Dates in Sindh.
Prices of Aseel dates in the local markets are fixed on the basis of various factors majorly on the basis of the Aseel Date demand and supply situation. Time plays pivotal role in setting the Aseel Date price. During the Ramadan season, Aseel Date price reach the peak level, Ramadan impacts on Aseel Date pricing. Price of Aseel Date also depend on the harvest condition, if there is bumper Aseel Date crop, the price of Aseel Date slump greatly and if due to monsoon weather Aseel date crop face damage then price of the Aseel Date scale up significantly. By all the means, demand and supply has a key role in determining the price level of Aseel Dates. Therefore, Aseel Dates traders, Aseel Dates growers, Aseel Dates dealers, Aseel Dates importers, Aseel Dates exporters, Aseel Date wholesalers, Aseel Date retailers and Aseel Dates farmers remain focused on the over all production volume of the Aseel fresh Dates and Aseel dry Date before engaging in any Dates trading activity.
Aseel Dates International Markets – Where Aseel Dates are exported.
Pakistan produces Aseel Dates not only to meet local demand of Aseel Date in Pakistan but also exports a big chunk of total Aseel date production across the world. Pakistan is a major date exporting country and stands at Second in exports after Tunisia. Pakistani dates are
exported to Bangladesh, India, Germany, Canada, Japan, UAE, Denmark, South Africa, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the USA and the UK.
Pakistan mainly exports medium and average quality Aseel Dates date. Though there remain big opportunity for good quality Aseel table Dates in European markets. Medical quality Aseel Dates are consumed directly whereas the Industrial quality Aseel Date is used or making food ingredients or used in making other products. Industrial Aseel date fetch a humble price. Biggest buyer of Pakistani Aseel dry Date is India. Where as Aseel fresh Dates -Aseel semi-dry Dates are exported to Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand. Therefore, one can find easily Aseel Date in Germany, Aseel Date in France, Aseel Date in Denmark, Aseel Date in Spain, Aseel Date in Holland, Aseel Date in Netherlands, Aseel Date in Czech Republic, Aseel Date in Slovenia, Aseel Date in Hamburg, Aseel Date in USA, Aseel Date in Canada, Aseel Date in Australia, Aseel Date in Japan, Aseel Date in Singapore, Aseel Date in South Africa, Aseel Date in Malaysia, Aseel Date in Indonesia, Aseel Date in India.
Pakistan is the major supplier of dry dates to India. Biggest Aseel Dates trade partner of Pakistan is India which also plays a big role in determining the demand of Aseel Date and price of Aseel Date. Ample room remains there for prime quality Aseel Date in aforementioned international markets of Aseel Date.
Aseel Date Products – What are Aseel Date Products?
Aseel Date is mostly consumed as a whole Date in Pakistan. But in addition to being consumed as a whole Aseel Date, various products are made from Aseel Date.
- Pitted Aseel Date:Pitted Aseel dates is seedless large, red-brown, thick-skinned soft, medium-sweet dates. Pitted Aseel date are semi-dried, fleshy and sweet date suited for fresh consumption and taste like all-natural candy. Pitted Aseel date is without pit are loaded with natural sweetness .Pitted date are firm and are somewhat drier than most of dates’ varieties and do not stick together unless kept under hot conditions.
- Chopped Aseel Date – Diced Aseel Date :Chopped Aseel date are naturally sweet, handpicked at the ideal ripeness, sundried, chopped to perfection with sizes, 6×6 mm 8×8 mm 10×10 mm. Chopped Aseel date are dusted and coated with Dextrose or rice flour to prevent pieces from sticking. Light flour also keeps chopped pieces from sticking with fingers.
- Block Pressed Aseel Date : Aeel block pressed dates / Date bars are made from pitted pressed Aseel dates, phoenix dactylifera (date palm), Block dates is light Brown to dark brown pressed date in different size from 100g, 250g to 500g to 1kg or as per order of the customers. Pitted dates are pressed into a block.
- Nut Stuffed Aseel Date: Pitted Aseel date is filled with a mixture of dried fruits including almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, pea nuts and walnut. Aseel Date are first pitted, and then stuffed with one or several nuts. Aseel date and nuts is a simple, pure, and natural combination perfect to restore blood sugar and is absolutely packed with nutrition.
- Aseel Date Paste : Aseel Date Paste is smooth and sweet. It is produced from soft and quality aseel date naturally without adding any unnatural additives or flavours. This all natural sweetener is so delicious and can be used in place of sugar in any recipe.
- Aseel Dry Date Powder : Aseel best quality dried dates powder is rich in taste and flavour. It is manufactured from fully dehydrated and sundried Aseel date.
- Aseel Dry Dates : Aseel dry dates are completely dehydrated and sun-dried. Unlike semi-dry dates, dry dates are quite hard in texture. Dry dates have lesser moisture and hence stay fresh for a longer period of time. They fall in the category of dry fruits. It is free from any additives and artificial flavours. It is less sweet than all other dates.
- Aseel Date Energy Balls : round high energy balls made from Aseel Date are super tasty and nutritious. Best quality Aseel Date are used prepare Aseel Date energy balls.
- Other Products : there is a good number of other products made from Aseel Date.
Aseel Date is the best Date variety of Pakistan. It is further researched to make many other value added products products from Aseel Date and can be exported across the world. Aseel Foods International has been making all efforts to promote use of Aseel Date and aim to bring it as a most known Date variety of the world.