Background and Objectives: Nowadays, there is a demand for consumption of foods containing essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and fiber in daily diet. Date pit and sesame seeds are sources of essential fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and lignans. The objective of this study was producing a functional chocolate incorporating date pit and sesame seed powders and evaluating its physicochemical, nutritional and sensorial properties.
Materials and Methods: Date pit and sesame powders were added to the chocolate base at concentrations of 5, 10, 15 and 20% (w/w). The physicochemical properties of chocolate including moisture content, fiber, fatty acids profile, and minerals, as well as its microbial properties, sensory attributes and texture were determined.
Results: The results showed that moisture content, fiber, amount of essential fatty acids and most of the minerals (phosphorous, sodium and zinc) increased in the chocolates containing date pit and sesame in comparison with the control. The microbial enumeration of treatments fortified by date pit powder and sesame seed was not affected during 90 days of storage. The maximum texture hardness was observed in the control sample, and the minimum belonged to the chocolate containing 20% date pit powder and sesame seed. On the basis of consumer acceptance, the chocolate containing 10% date pit powder and sesame seed received higher sensory scores compared to the other treatments, and the control samples had the lowest sensory acceptance.
Conclusions: It can be stated that by using date pit powder and sesame seed in the production of chocolate, a new functional food with nutritional properties can be proposed for consumers.
Keywords: Date pit powder, Fiber, Functional chocolate, Minerals, Sesame