Dried fruit is fruit where the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized because of its sweet taste, nutritive value, and long shelf life.
Today, dried fruit consumption is widespread. Nearly half of the dried fruits sold are raisins, followed by dates, prunes (dried plums), figs, apricots, peaches, apples and pears. These are referred to as “conventional” or “traditional” dried fruits: fruits that have been dried in the sun or in heated wind tunnel dryers. Many fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries and mangoes are infused with a sweetener (e.g. sucrose syrup) prior to drying. Some products sold as dried fruit, like papaya and pineapples are actually candied fruit.
Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits. The specific nutrient content of the different dried fruits reflect their fresh counterpart and the processing method. In general, all dried fruits provide essential nutrients and an array of health protective bioactive ingredients, making them valuable tools to both increase diet quality and help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
|Use||Preservation of fruit for sweeteners or snacks|
|Production||Earliest: Dates and raisins
Biggest modern: Raisins
|Nutrition||Dried fruit have the same nutrition value as fresh fruit but at the same time they do not transfer diseases|