Dried apricots are a delicacy that many love. But some people mistakenly believe that this is the name of a special variety of apricots. Another mistake is to choose dried apricots by color, preferring a brighter one. Yes, and these dried fruits are dried in a completely different way, as many believe. We discover what is true and what is myth, what is useful and harmful dried apricots and which is better to choose in a store or market.
Common myths about dried apricots
Myth: Dried apricots are a variety of apricots
No. This is exactly one of the options for dried apricots, when the fruit splits in two and a stone comes out. According to GOST dried apricots and peaches can be called dried apricots. The whole seedless fruit (one is removed, but the fruit is not cut in half) is kaisa. Also, in stores and markets, you can still find apricots – this is the name of an apricot, dried whole, pitted.
Myth: The brighter the color of dried apricots, the tastier and healthier they are.
Although in accordance with GOST dried apricots of different varieties (extra, premium, first and table) can have different shade, its bright color is not a sign of good taste. It only says that the dried fruits have been treated with sulfur compounds – the latter not only give the dried apricots a more attractive appearance and bright color, but also act as preservatives, protecting the dried fruits from insects, mold and fungi. Apricots that have not been treated with sulfur dioxide will have darker shades. And somehow dried apricots are considered more useful.
Myth: Dried apricots, like apricots, are low in calories.
In fact, the caloric content of raw materials and dried fruits varies considerably. Thus, in 100 g of dried apricots there are 241 kcal, while in 100 g of fresh apricots – only 48 kcal. For sure, Dried apricots are a healthier alternative to caramel and similar sweets, but also has plenty of sugar and calories.
Myth: Sugar is added to dried apricots during drying.
According to the rules dried apricots are dried without added sugar. However, unscrupulous manufacturers can theoretically boil it first in sugar syrup – and then dry the fruit, which does not differ in good taste. Many exotic sweets are cooked in a similar way. There is little benefit from them and there is a record amount of sugar in them.
Myth: Dried apricots are dried in the sun
In the past, dried fruits were actually dried in the sun. Now only a handful of small farm owners can afford it. Ι inhabitants of southern countries who prepare dried fruits for themselves. On an industrial scale, special dryers, ovens, drying cabinets are used. The bone removal process is also automated.
They damage the dried apricots
Dried apricots, like other dried fruits, are very easy to overeat. It also contains a lot of sugar. “Dried fruits contain the same nutrients as their fresh counterparts (except for vitamin C), but in more concentrated amounts,” says nutritionist Nagima Semchukova. “They are less filling, so it is easy to overconsume and get too much simple carbohydrates. ”
Dried apricots are rich in fructose. If the latter is poorly tolerated by the body, it can cause side effects from the gastrointestinal tract, such as:
Also, foods high in fructose can make irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) worse.
Another side effect may occur sulfites, which are processed into dried apricots. Cleveland Clinic experts warn that they can cause asthma and allergy symptoms. In very rare cases, anaphylaxis is possible. Other studies note that sulfites may inhibit the growth of not only harmful but also beneficial bacteria.
According to a study by scientists from South Korea, Apricots can cause oral allergy syndrome (oral allergic syndrome). Symptoms usually appear within minutes of consuming the product and usually include local reactions in the mouth and throat, such as mild burning, itching or inflammation.
The benefits of dried apricots
Apricots are rich in potassium and beta-carotene. They also have a lot of calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid. In dried form, fruits lose most of their vitamin C: 100 g of dried apricots have only 1 mg, while 100 g of fresh apricots have 10 mg. However, they still retain many other useful substances.
Dried apricots contain a lot of fiber (about 7 g per 100 g) necessary for good digestion and a number of important vitamins and minerals. Between them:
- calcium – 55 mg;
- iron – 2.7 mg;
- phosphorus – 71 mg;
- potassium – 1160 mg;
- magnesium – 32 mg;
- selenium – 2.2 mcg;
- niacin – 2.6 mg;
- foliar – 10 mcg.
- Vitamin A – 180 mcg RAE;
- vitamin E – 4.3 mg;
- Vitamin K – 3.1 mg.
This dried fruit is one of the record products for potassium content, one of the most important macronutrients for human health. According to the Bulletin of the US National Institutes of Health, increasing dietary intake of this substance may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension and stroke. Dietary potassium is also able to prevent vascular calcification.
Like many other fruits and dried fruits of yellow-red hues, Dried apricots are rich in flavonoids – vegetable dyes with many useful properties. One of these substances – rutin – as noted in numerous studies, has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, hypolipidemic, antiplatelet, antihypertensive, antispasmodic, cytoprotective action. Both vitamins A and E, as well as beta-catarrhine, protect against the development of a number of age-related eye diseases.
How to choose a good dried apricots
As we have already discovered, it is better to buy dried apricots that have a brown tinge, have not been treated with sulfites. Rospotrebnadzor experts also advise you to pay attention to certain points.
- Attractive appearance. The good fruits are whole, without traces of mold or tears or cracks. shells through which the pulp comes out.
- Density – Dried fruits must be sufficiently elastic and durable. If they are too crumpled, they have not dried properly and will be hard and tasteless.
- Label – it is better to prefer those that have dried according to GOST and have a certain degree of quality – in addition, higher, first or table (the last dried apricots are the least delicious, usually this is used for compotes).
- also better not to buy dried fruit in dubious places and from unknown producers – no one will guarantee that they followed the technology. Some unscrupulous producers may use dried fruit treatment with solutions and vapors of chemicals that are not intended for contact with food and are often poisonous.
Many myths surround another popular delicacy – chocolate. Some, for example, believe that it is good for digestion. And someone, on the contrary, avoids the product, believing that it is forbidden to those who lose weight and diet.