Dates & Prunes

SENTINEL provides organic disinfestation & disinfection to dates, prunes and other dried fruits.

Crop quality and food safety are at the top of every grower's and producer's list. Even with today's advanced tech and pest mitigation techniques, every outdoor grown crop is at risk of infestation, or post-harvest ruin. Many industry standard practices for disinfesting or disinfection use harsh chemicals to do so. From gas fumigation to kill insects to potassium sorbate to preserve fresh fruits, many of these common practices are potentially harmful to the product and consumer. Ziel’s SENTINEL system offers growers and producers a chemical free, USDA certified organic process to remove insects from freshly harvested fruits such as Dates, or to reduce a microbial load (disinfection) in prunes to extend shelf life and eliminate the need for chemical preservatives.


With any crop grown outdoors, it’s at risk for infestation from insects during the growing process or in a post-harvest environment. Even if the infestation is in a small portion of the crop, post-harvest processing puts an entire crop at risk if not mitigated. Dates are a prime candidate for infestation as they provide any pest or insect an attractive, high sugar meal. Once infested the problem only compounds itself once insects start laying eggs. Dates are often fumigated with toxic gas to kill the insects in the dates. This obviously poses a risk to the consumer. SENTINEL offers growers and producers a solution that can be deployed onsite, eliminating the need to send product offsite for treatment. SENTINEL is an organic process that uses microwaves to gently heat the dates to a temperature that either drives the insects from the dates or kills them; it also kills any eggs present in the dates to prevent a reinfestation. SENTINEL can be customized to fit any sized growing or processing facility, from as little as 1,000 pounds per hour or up to 10,000 pounds per hour of loose bulk product.


Prunes offer a prime environment for post-harvest mold growth, drastically reducing shelf life which can be detrimental to a grower, producer, or even at the consumer sales level such as a grocery store. Prunes are very high in moisture when packaged, if any substantial mold colony is present, it will surely multiply in the weeks or months until it is consumed. Ziel’s SENTINEL system offers an alternative to the typical chemical disinfection process, SENTINEL uses microwaves to reduce mold and bacteria levels extending the natural shelf life of prunes. The SENTINEL process is organic, and can treat product in loose bulk or in package, with typical throughputs of ~5,000 pounds per hour.

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