Fruits and vegetables are essential for our body. They provide us with a quantity of benefits and they contribute to our daily nutritional intake. According to some studies, a longer-term consumption of fruit will help our body reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and prevent hypertension.
A normal fruit or vegetable generally contains between 80 and 95% water. This enormous amount is greatly reduced when a fruit goes through the drying process. During this method, the fruit will lose between 30% and 60% of its water.
Naturally dry fruit or dehydrated fruit?
Naturally dried fruits, oilseeds, etc.
The so-called dry fruits are mainly nuts also known as oleaginous These fruits naturally contain little water and therefore do not require human intervention to be dried. They can be eaten plain, salted or roasted according to preference, but their virtues remain mainly intact during these changes.
In this category we find :
Fresh dried or dehydrated fruit
Dried fruits are normal fresh fruits from which as much water as possible has been removed to dry them. The method of water extraction can be done in two different ways.
1. For dehydrated fruit the solar drying method is used.
The fruit is soaked in boiling water, this way the fruit keeps its original color. It is then placed in warm, slightly sweetened water to firm up the texture of the fruit.
The drying part as such is done in a wooden dryer covered with a plastic cover. With the air space between the fruit and the cover, a greenhouse effect is created and absorbs the humidity contained in the fruit.
Finally, a fan is used to finish drying the fruit. This method is quite fast as it only lasts 3 days and at the end you get a slightly sweeter dried fruit than before.
2. For the dried fruit an oven drying method is used.
The fruit is put in an oven at 50 to 60°C for a period of 10 to 12 hours depending on the fruit. The oven is then opened to air and let the moisture out and the process is repeated several times. This method is quite long in total because it takes more than 3 weeks to obtain a completely dried fruit.
The result is 100% the original fruit with no added sugars.
For example, this technique is used on bananas, figs, pomegranates,, dates white blackberries and tomatoes.
Are dried fruits really good for the organism ?
If fresh fruit has so many benefits for the body, dried fruit should in theory be the same.
In fact, dried fruit is the ideal alternative to cookies and other sweet snacks that are eaten at snack time.
What nutrients do dried fruit provide?
In general, dried fruit are :
Rich in minerals (potassium, magnesium)
Filled with vitamins A and B
Rich in carbohydrates
A fibers source
Rich in trace elements
Dehydrated fruits are to be preferred over dry fruits (oleaginous) because fruits contain carbohydrates (sugars) while nuts contain lipids (fats). However, the body tends to store lipids and use carbohydrates directly.
Dried fruits and their benefits
They are energy concentrates which are very popular with athletes to eat during and after exercise. They provide 4 times more energy than fresh fruit.
A portion of 30g of dried fruit is equivalent to 100g of fresh fruit.
The fibers present in fruits are excellent to facilitate intestinal transit and help digestion.
Dried fruits are very popular for snacks, desserts and aperitifs in the form of potatochips.
The potassium present in dried fruits is good for preventing leg cramps.
Dried fruits have a satiating effect on the body.
As with fresh fruits, dried fruits help to prevent certain degenerative diseases.
Despite their many benefits, dried fruits should be eaten with moderation. It is advised not to take more than 100g per day. They do not completely replace the consumption of fresh fruit because dried fruit loses some of its properties during drying (vitamin C for example).