Most people tend to think of all tried fruit as the same. But there are several methods of drying fruit that all produce different textures, tastes, and nutritiousness. Sun drying is both the oldest and most widely used method. California is the largest producer of it in the world, providing over 90 percent of the roughly 2 pounds each American consumes every year. Specialized dryers or dehydrators are also used, and are generally ideal for making your own at home, but are not widely used commercially. Freeze drying is a lesser known process that dries the fruit in temperatures of -50°C to -80°C. This method leaves the fruit with the highest nutritional content, along with having a more intense taste and smell, and is also lighter and crispier than using traditional techniques.
2. Some Are Actually Candy
Have you ever been eating some dried fruit and it seemed a bit sweeter than dried fruit should? Well, it’s possible that dried fruit was actually just an ingredient in a large pile of sugar. You see, some dried fruit, including some found in nut mixed is less like dried fruit, and more like sugary fruity candy. It’s made by mixing the freshly cut fruit with a bunch of sugar, and then boiling it. There are also many types of dried fruit that are infused with syrup before drying to intensify the taste. Sometimes the wording on the packaging can be vague, so just take a second look at the nutrition facts and make sure you’re not just basically eating sweet tarts.
3. Grapes Are The Earliest And Most Prevalent Type
Dried grapes, which you know as raisins, was one of first fruits to be eaten dried, and is still the most widely consumed variety. They’re written about in Babylonian texts from almost 4,000 years ago, along with figs, dates, apples and pomegranates, and were a staple of early diets. Currently, over 1.7 million tons of grapes are produced for raisins every year just in the United States, over 95% of which are produced in California.
4. Most Of The Nutrient Content Is Retained
There seems to be a lot of talk lately about dried fruit not being nearly as nutritious as fresh. Yes, some of the nutrients get lost during the drying process, specifically, a reduction in thiamine and vitamins B, B1 & C. But most of the nutrients are preserved, enough to make it pointless to argue against eating it. This is especially true when the other option is snacking on potato chips or candy. You do tend to feel less full when eating it, but that’s just because the water content has been reduced so much. So feel free to snack on!
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