Friday, March 18, 2011
Great Vitamin packed Snacks
by Tom Billings
Q: Are the enzymes destroyed in the process of drying fruit? What about the effect of drying on water and oxygen? Are rehydrated, dried fruits as good as fresh?
A: If fruits are sun-dried, their enzyme loss will be minimized, provided the fruit is not heated above 118 degrees F. If they are dried in a kiln or (forced air) drier, above 118 degrees F, the loss can be worse. Some dried fruit is preserved with sulfur dioxide - best to avoid that and get dried fruit with no preservatives.
The purpose of drying is to reduce the water content, and as water is a good vehicle for oxygen, oxygen levels may be reduced. Rehydrated fruits, by most criteria, are not as good as fresh. However they are an alternative to fresh when fresh is not available or too expensive. It is a good idea to rehydrate dried fruit, as it may cause gas if not rehydrated.