HURMA as a local product of Erkence olive varety in Karaburun peninsula and its nutrition properties

Place: turkey, Europe
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Total Budget: € 55,00 | Period: From October 2009 To March 2011


The project aims to examine and display values of the local product of Erkence olive variety known as 'Hurma or date in English' that becomes edible on-tree in Karaburun Peninsula. The product enables salt-free and raw olive consumption for those facing high blood pressure or heart problems. Through the humid wind, fungus spores located in snowslip pieces are carried onto olive fruits. These spores destroy oleorupein and eliminate the bitter taste olive fruit. It occurs only in 'Erkence' due to its rind structure. The major  outcomes are: the causual agent is isolated; the shelf-life is extended from 3-4 days to 40 days; composition and nutritional properties identified. The fruit composition is lipids 38.6 %, protein 1.2 %, reduced sugars 0.52 %,  starch 1.2 %, total phenolics 275.4 mg caffeic acid equiv. per 100 g.


Olive and Olive oil Research Directory - Turkey

Lead applicant

On olive and olive oil: -Data are collected and evaluated -Genetic resources are collected, evaluated and protected - İmprove the lab conditions and substructure - Education and publication -Applied researches are made in Aegean region -Grafting shoot are provided for breeder either official or nonofficial who are willing to making nursery The Vision of TAGEM; To improve the agricultural technology that the country needs within the country, To create a competitive R&D system in international level, To improve the standard of living in rural population, To produce agricultural policy, To consider the demands of target audience, To help solve the problems encountered by agricultural sector. To encourage the participation in research activities, To give priority to problem oriented, well-attended and multi-disciplinary projects, To improve research database and to monitor and evaluate the projects regularly, To transfer the results of the research to the users.

Izmir Food Control Laboratory Directorate - Turkey

Initiative partner

Department of Biology-Faculty of Science/ Ege University - Turkey

Initiative partner

To make research and to educate university students.

DATE "hurma" OLIVES of erkence varıety from tree to dırect consumptıon

Hurma is local product from Erkence olive variety produced at Karaburun peninsula in Izmir, western Turkey. This product doesn't need any processing before being consumed, when harvesting period comes, olives are ready to be eaten. Ripening on-tree is unique to Erkence variety under the ecological conditions prevailing at Karaburun peninsula. Hurma olive cannot be conserved as long as other processed table olive varieties do. Through this work, the marketing period was extended from 3-4 days to 40 days.

Through the humid wind that comes from the sea, it provides ripening and it eliminates the bitter taste. Fungus spores are known to be carried onto olive fruits that further destroy the oleorupein, the compound leading to bitterness. The agent was isolated.

ERKENCE Local Variety
Hurma local variety Hurma is local product from Erkence olive variety produced at Karaburun peninsula in Izmir, western Turkey.
Hurma local variety Hurma local olive variety produced at Karaburun-Turkey

Karaburun peninsula is located close to the sea. Winds that come from the sea are strong and the most dominant one is the North-Eastly wind. Hurma (in English date) olive fruit is produced only on Erkence variety, local variety for this area. The widespread consumption of this variety is as table olives. Specific characteristic is that hurma olives ripen on the tree. Therefore it does not need any further processing. These geographical and ecological conditions provide this characteristic properties to Hurma olive, a well known and highly expensive local product. From the economical point of view, the determination of causing factors and extension of shelf life to 40 days will improve the social welfare of the region.  

Karaburun Karaburun peninsula is located close to the sea, western Turkey.
Traditional system of hurma olive conservation Traditional system of hurma olive conservation in plastic bottles

Through this work, the sustainability and durability of the product have been increased. It provided economical contribution to producers. It led to the presentation and consumption of the product more and more. Hurma olive belongs to Karaburun peninsula so this enables people to learn about Karaburun. In this framework, it contributed to both tourism and agriculture sectors. It has also helped to preserve Erkence variety in which geographic identification process is on-going.

Through the improvement of packaging system product has become more charming and marketable.  

Hurma olive package Package process of hurma olive.
Olive package Innovative olive package contribute to extend the storability of olive.

First of all, producers are the real beneficiaries, not only Karaburun peninsula but also all olive growers with similar ecological conditions because they can store and market their products for longer periods. The storability was limited to 3-4 days now it is extended to 40 days. The full composition of the product and its variability within the peninsula has been revealed. These results enable the salt or any other chemical free (e.g. NaOH) olive consumption for people who have high blood pressure or heart problems and etc. Besides, it is suitable to new dietary rules for lowering daily sodium intake. Due to its high phenolic and energy contents, it is recommended for children, sportsman and elderly people.

Labour women Labour women collecting hurma olives.

This work was carried out as a joint work by the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Olive and Olive Oil Research Institution, Department of Biology-Faculty of Science/Ege University and Izmir Food Control Laboratory Directorate.

Project Managers:

Dr. Handan ATAOL OLMEZ and Dr. Ilhan OZKARAKAS (Olive and Olive Oil Reaearch Directory)

Microbiology Analyst:

Yrd. Doc. Dr. Alev UZTAN HALIKI and Dr. Ozlem ABACI (Ege University)

Quality Analyst:

Sahnur IRMAK, Feriste OZTURK GUNGOR, Gonul TUSU, Oya KOSEOGLU and Yesim ALTUNOGLU (Olive and Olive Oil Research Directory)

Responsible for packaging system:

Erkan SUSAMCI (Olive and Olive Oil Research Directory)


Project participants signboard Project participants signboard
Technician Microbiology Analysis

The main obstacle was related to the local ecological conditions since Hurma or natural on-tree reduction of the bitterness occurs as a consequence of the climatic conditions. The other bottleneck also related to the climatic conditions and the olive fruit composition was the difficulties faced in isolation of the fungal causal agent. The short shelf life and perishability of this product was the limiting factors faced in the region. In order to extend the shelf life and determine the nutritional properties, all work were done under the laboratory conditions. In this framework, all difficulties were eliminated and added value was provided to the local product.

The genetic erosion has been prevented because the conversation of olives were limited before. Now it is provided to be consumed longer. Therefore, the product becomes a significant product. It is healthy and it is considered totally rich through its contents. There is no need for processing. This local variety is cultivated according to organic agriculture. None of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers are used so in this way biodiversity has being preserved. There is no pesticide residue on products so the health of consumers are protected.

According to the results we obtained from our work, this local variety became a significant product. The production and consumption have increased. This local variety represents an example for other local varieties on the basis of preservation of the local varieties.  This research was let to carry out one master thesıs " Effects of Different Modified Atmospheres and Temperatures on Postharvest Durability of ERKENCE HURMA Table Olıves" and one Ph.D thesıs which is going on  " Determination of Climatic Factors and Olive Fruit Composition Affecting the Depittering of Olives (cv. ERKENCE) on the Tree ın Karaburun Peninsula" by Erkan Susamcı


Under this rearch programme, we organized one festival in order to promote thıs product, meetıng with media in order to present product to radiate. We also prepared one book including main information dealing with the HURMA OLIVES printed in 2011. We participated two different symposiums in Turkey.  


Hurma Olive Label Hurma Olive Label
Invitation for the olive hurma festival Invitation for the olive hurma festival
Poster for hurma olive festival Poster of festival for hurma olive, which took place on 22th december 2010 in Karaburun-Turkey.