In a salad, stew, a hand as a tasty snack in between or in the morning through the yoghurt with muesli. We love dried fruit! Dates, apricots, plums, apples, and so on. But is it really that healthy? or do we unconsciously eat sugar bombs?
Why you would dry fruit speaks for itself: fresh fruit can spoil, dried fruit cannot. After drying, it contains virtually no water, so molds don’t stand a chance. Dried fruit therefore stays good for a very long time in a closed package or jar. In recent years, favorites such as apricot, plum, apple, raisin and fig have been joined by exotics such as mango, papaya, banana, pineapple and passion fruit. You can actually dry almost any fruit, although one variety lends itself slightly better than the other – and an E number here or there also helps.
Dried fruit, how does the drying process work?
Drying food is perhaps the oldest preservation technique. Eastern civilizations have been doing it since 12,000 BC, just in the sun. Mechanization has simplified the drying process. Dried fruit in stores today usually comes from drying tunnels through which hot air is blown. Unfortunately, some fruits also lose their attractive appearance with the moisture. A fresh orange apricot has turned into a dark frummel at the end of the drying process.
See also: apricot-almond-chocolate fudge
Sulfurized dried fruit… how healthy is that?
To preserve the color, apricots, apples and grapes (which turn into raisins!) are treated with sulphur. In that case, the label will say ‘sulfite’, ‘sodium sulfite’ (E221) or ‘sulphur dioxide’ (E220). These preservatives, approved and laid down in European food laws, so not harmful to health, are common in many other foods. Those who do not like it can choose from all kinds of unsulphured fruit in organic shops. Although, according to some, it has a less tasty taste.
Vitamins are lost
Another thing happens during drying: the vitamin C is largely lost. That is immediately a big difference with fresh fruit. However, that is not very dramatic because these fruits contain relatively little vitamin C anyway. Fruits that do contain a lot of vitamin C, such as berries and strawberries, are difficult to dry. You will therefore not easily find them in dried form. Other nutrients in fruit, such as potassium, are largely preserved after drying.
But what about: can you eat dried fruit with confidence, or is it actually not that healthy? Read the rest of the article on Gezondheidsnet.nl
Also read: eat the rainbow: color is so important for your health