Dried Fruit – Nutritional Value
As the name implies, dehydrating, or food drying, via a food dehydrator, removes a significant amount of water from food. The water content for most fruits is very high, typically 80% to 95%. Removing the water from food, including fruits, inhibits various bacteria, yeast and molds from growing and spoiling the food and thus helps in its preservation and storage. Removing water from fruit also decrees the fruit's volume, that, once dried, the fruit's nutrient, calorie, and sugar content becomes more concentrated per serving. A half cup of dried fruit will contain 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 contain about 2.5 grams of fiber, 65 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates. A half cup of dried apples will contain approximately 6 grams of fiber, 180 calories and 50 grams of carbohydrates. While the dehydrating process does cause some nutrient loss, dried fruit is still an excellent source of:
* Vitamins A and various vitamin B's
* Minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper and manganese
* Natural sugars
Dried fruit generally does not contain 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 prevent food discoloration and offset flavor and nutrition 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.