Dried fruit: How dried fruits made

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit

Dried fruit is fruit that has had most of its original water content evaporated, either naturally through sun drying or artificially through the use of dehydrators or dryers. Since the fourth millennium BC, dried fruit has been used in Mesopotamia and is highly valued for its sweet flavour, nutritional value, and long shelf life.

Popular Dried Fruit

Most popular dried fruits are:

Anjeer (Anjeer Fruit Dried or Dried figs)
Kismis (Kishmish/Dried Angur)
Fig fruit
Apricots (Dried apricots)
Dried dates
Dried Gooseberry
Dried Guavas
Dried Mangoes
Black Raisins


Most of the nutritious value of fresh fruits is still present in dried fruits. The distinct nutritional makeup of the various dried fruits reflects both its fresh counterpart and the manner of processing.

Consumption of dried fruit is commonplace today. Dates, prunes, figs, apricots, peaches, apples, and pears round out the top ten dried fruit products sold, accounting for about half of all sales. These dried fruits—which have been exposed to the sun or heated wind tunnel dryers—are referred to as "conventional" or "traditional" dried fruits. Many fruits are infused with a sweetener (like sucrose syrup) before drying, including cranberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and mango. Papaya, kiwifruit, and pineapple are examples of goods that are commonly candied fruit yet are advertised as dried fruit.

History of Dried Fruits

For millennia, traditional dried fruit such raisins, figs, dates, apricots, and apples has been a mainstay of Mediterranean cuisine. This is partly attributable to its early cultivation in the Fertile Crescent, an area in the Middle East that includes parts of contemporary Iran, Iraq, Turkey's southwest, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, and northern Egypt. Grapes, dates, and figs that fell from the tree or vine would dry in the blazing sun, making drying or dehydration the earliest method of food preservation. These fruits fell to the ground and took on an edible form, which early hunter-gatherers noticed and valued for both their stability and concentrated sweetness.

The earliest known written recipes are found on Mesopotamian tablets from around 1500 BC, which also contain the earliest recorded mention of dried fruits. These clay slabs were engraved in cuneiform and are written in Akkadian, the common language of Babylonia. They describe diets that consisted of cereals (such as barley, millet, and wheat), vegetables, and fruits like dates, figs, apples, pomegranates, and grapes. Dates, date juice that has been reduced to syrup, and raisins were all utilised as sweeteners in these ancient civilizations. They possessed more than 300 recipes for bread, from basic barley bread for the workforce to extremely ornate spiced cakes with honey for the palaces and temples, all of which incorporated dried fruits.

Health Benefits of Dried Fruit

A measure of how a food influences blood sugar levels, the Glycemic Index (GI) of traditional dried fruit is low to moderate. The GI tests a person's reaction to eating a food that contains carbohydrates (often 50 grammes of accessible carbohydrates) in comparison to how they react to the same amount of carbohydrates from either white bread or glucose. Foods containing carbohydrates can have a GI score of high (above 70), moderate (56-69), or low (0-55). Generally speaking, foods with a high fibre content have a low GI. The type of carbohydrate or sugar present, the physical characteristics of the food matrix, and the presence of organic acids are among the additional elements that affect a food's glycemic response. Dried fruit has been found to have a low to moderate GI across all trials, and the insulin response is inversely correlated with GI. The fluid texture of dried fruits when chewed, their complete food matrix, the presence of phenolic compounds and organic acids, and the type of sugar present (approximately 50% fructose in most traditional dried fruit) are all thought to play a role in this glycemic response.

How Dried Fruit Made

Dry fruits are made or processed naturally in the sun or artificially in machines. The following are the most commonly used methods to process dried fruits:

Dehydration methods

Food preservation has been a tradition among humans for a very long time. Numerous folktales illustrate various methods of food preservation based on regional and cultural customs. Dehydration techniques aid in keeping food safe for consumption for a longer period of time and preventing it from spoiling. Fruits can avoid developing bacteria, yeast, or fungal by reducing the amount of water in them. Dried fruit can be produced using a variety of methods, each of which has a unique impact on the fruit's appearance, rehydration abilities, and nutritional content. Sun drying, tray (air) drying, freeze drying, and vacuum microwave drying are some of these drying techniques. Each method has advantages and cons of its own.

Sun drying

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This technique uses natural airflow along with solar exposure as its thermal source. Spreading fruits under the sun to dry them out is another common drying technique. Lower humidity and warmer temps allow moisture to swiftly escape from the fruit and into the air. The prolonged drying period, warm weather, and daylight, as well as the possibility of animal infestation and unwelcome microbes, are all drawbacks.

Tray drying

Similar to a convection dryer, a tray dryer stacks individual trays on top of one another in an enclosed, insulated chamber. Batch feeding of input materials results in trays being loaded into ovens for drying. Dried fruits are one example of a product where drying and heating are crucial steps in the industrial manufacturing process. Small pieces of fruit are dried in trays using hot, dry air or the sun until they are sufficiently dry to be kept at room temperature without significantly deteriorating. Despite having weak rehydration abilities and appearing smaller, this process only needs a brief amount of time, along with hot air and controlled humidity.

Freeze drying

A unique kind of drying called freeze-drying eliminates all moisture and has less of an impact on food flavour than regular dehydration. The fruit is placed in a vacuum chamber with low heat to increase shelf life. Freeze drying is a method of water removal that is frequently used to preserve pear material. In order to neutralise the frozen water in the substance, this technique first freezes the material, then reduces pressure while increasing heat. Despite its high cost, this process of drying mangoes allows the fruit to maintain its shape, retain the maximum colour value, and provide a superior rehydration property. Foods with sufficient water content are very simple to handle and will retain their original shape when the freeze-drying process is finished.

Vacuum microwave drying

A certain amount of energy is produced by the microwave, which makes drying time readily shortened. Additionally, under vacuum, the boiling point of water is dropped, raising the temperature of the dried particles on the product's surface. A dehydration procedure called "microwave vacuum drying" uses microwave radiation to produce heat under full pressure (chamber pressure). High-energy water molecules propagate to the surface and evaporate due to low pressure during vacuum drying. Vacuum drying prevents oxidation and preserves the colour, texture, and flavour of dried goods by eliminating the presence of air. This equipment may enhance the functionality of nutritious foods, expand the shelf life of food, retain the original taste and nutrients of food, maintain the physical activity of raw materials, and raise the value of agricultural products.

In comparison to other thermal drying techniques, this one offers better flavour retention, excellent rehydration, the least amount of nutrient loss, and the least amount of colour change. It also dries products more quickly. In addition to drying the mango quickly with a vacuum microwave, vacuum drying also reduces the amount of fibres and microorganisms present in the pulpy part of the fruit, somewhat distorting the fruit's flavour. In particular, vacuum drying in a closed environment prevents the growth of additional microorganisms.

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