Dried fruit is preserved fruit, often dried using sulphides or other chemical dehydrating materials. Dried fruit can also be produced naturally, by removing the water content; this is done by simply leaving it to dry. Dried fruits have been a traditional part of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years, due in part to the fertile soil and warm temperatures, which make excellent fruit-growing conditions.
The Middle East
Iran exports dried fruit such as dates (over 400 types cultivated on Iranian soil), raisins and figs to Europe.
South Africa produces subtropical fruit for the dried fruit market such as dried mangoes, dried bananas and dried papayas in the Limpopo region. In the Western Cape, the South African farmers produce deciduous fruit (fruit from trees which shed leaves during the Fall) such as apples, pears and peaches which are all destined for the dried fruit market. In the Northern Cape, South Africans farm raisins and sultanas.
The Turkish dried fruit and nut industry grew by 10% last year, according to Today’s Zaman.com, a Turkish News website. Turkish dried fruit exports account for 20% of the world’s apricot consumption, and they also export sultanas, figs and dates.
The “SunMaid” raisin brand is Californian. California also exports grapes, apples, plums and melons as dried fruit produce to India.