Monday, June 20, 2011

Dried Fruit - Nutritional Value

As the name implies, dehydrating, or food drying, via a food dehydrator, removes a needful amount of water from food. The water content for most fruits is very high, typically 80% to 95%. Removing the water from food, along with fruits, inhibits various bacteria, yeasts and molds from growing and spoiling the food and thus helps in its preservation and storage. Removing water from fruit also decreases the fruit's volume, thus, once dried, the fruit's nutrient, calorie, and sugar content becomes more concentrated per serving. A half cup of dried fruit will consist of more calories, nutrients, carbohydrates (primarily the fruit's natural sugar), and fiber, among other nutrients and minerals, than a half cup of fresh fruit. For example, a half cup of raw apples will consist of about 2.5 grams of fiber, 65 fat and 17 grams of carbohydrates. A half cup of dried apples will consist of practically 6 grams of fiber, 180 fat and 50 grams of carbohydrates. While the dehydrating process does cause some nutrient loss, dried fruit is still an perfect source of:

* Vitamins A and various vitamin B's
* Minerals along with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper and manganese
* Protein
* Natural sugars
* Antioxidants

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit ordinarily does not consist of vitamin D and only contains small amounts of Vitamin C. However, applying a coat of lemon, lime, pineapple or other citrus fruit juice before the fruit dehydrating process can add vitamin C to the dried fruit, help forestall food discoloration and offset flavor and nourishment loss. Before drying, simply dip the fruit in the juice. Do not soak the fruit as this will prolong the drying time required in the food dehydrator.

Dried Fruit - Nutritional Value
Dried Fruit - Nutritional Value

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