Dates fruit decontamination, Saudi Arabia

Fruit decontamination – packaging

Type of production:
Al-Hassa plant is a date fruit packing factory owned by the Saudi Government. It is located in the biggest oasis of the world, close to Dammam. The Saudi dates farmers every year brings 14.000 tons of date to this factory. It is then sorted, washed, dried and packed.

Problem description and the case company:
The dates are exported as part of the food help that the Saudi government provide to developing countries. There have been cases with some shipments being refused because of microbiological tests at the border control. The microbiological contamination was higher than the international standards.

fruit decontamination

In 2014, INFUSER installed a system to ozonate the water of the 12 washing lines in the factory. The system was composed of one central ozone production unit and 12 individual ozone infusion points. A special ventilation system has also been installed to remove the residual ozone gas. The factory has more than 300 employees during the high season and the safety was the priority in that project. Therefore, 25 ozone sensors connected to a central alarm system has been installed.

The factory is running with the system fully implemented and the microbiological analysis shown a reduction of contamination of bacteria by up to 80%. This allowed the contamination to be below the international microbiological threshold values for exportation of dry fruits.