You may have heard eating dried fruits gives a lot of nutritional benefits. Many parents force their children to eat them as they contain a lot of nutrients. But does dried fruit have the same nutritional value as fresh fruit? Surprisingly, the answer is no! By drying fruit all the nutrients get depleted and reduced up to 30-80%. However, loss in dried fruits’ nutritional value depends on the techniques used in drying. There are four basic steps followed for conserving and drying fruits.
Freeze Dried Fruit Nutrition- Drying Technology
At the time of harvesting, raw food contains the highest nutritional value but after post-harvest, its value declines as it is exposed to light and air. Dehydrated fruit nutrition also depends on the drying technology.
Sun-drying- Sun-drying causes huge nutrient loss compared to indoor dehydration. Indoor drying loses vitamins for dehydration up to some extent and freeze-drying causes the least amount of nutrition loss.
Dried Fruits Are Good Sources of Which of the Following Minerals?
- A. Potassium
- B. Magnesium
- C. Phosphorous
- D. All of the above
Every method of drying causes nutrient loss, there is no method of drying that completely prevents nutrition loss. If you’re relying on dehydrated food nutrition for an extended period we advise you to take multivitamin supplements.
Does Dehydrating Food Remove Nutrients?
Yes, dehydrating food removes nutrients. High temperature and pressure are not the only reasons for nutrient loss. Peeling, slicing, chopping also causes additional nutrient loss. As soon as you cut open fruits, nutrient loss occurs as it is exposed to the elements in the environment. Vitamin C and Vitamin A decrease up to 80% when food is dried. Niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin have a minimal loss during drying. There is no loss of fiber or iron content in dehydrated foods.
Pre-treatments before the drying process retain some vitamins but destroy others.
- Chemical pre-treatments- Sulfur dioxide protects vitamin A and vitamin C but destroys Vitamin B1 (thiamine).
- Natural pre-treatments- Hot water blanching helps preserve carotene and thiamine but causes loss of Vitamin C.
Dehydrated Fruit Nutrition
One cup of mixed dry fruits contain the following nutritional value
- Calories: 480
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 112 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Sugar: 92 grams
Note: Freeze-dried food nutrition value differs from the above.
Is Dehydrated Fruit Healthy?
The answer is yes and no. Dried fruits have lost all of the water content through drying methods. So it is not as beneficial as fresh fruits. But consuming no fruits is better than eating fruits in any form. The biggest pros of dried fruits are that they are cost-effective and also meet your fruit requirement when it is not in the season.