Raisins, as everyone knows, are a type of dried fruit and, in fact, are a dried grape. This delicacy has been deservedly popular for more than five and a half thousand years, although raisins (from Turkish dialect, this word is translated as “grapes”) were previously considered exclusively berries, containing stones.
The product without a bone is commonly referred to as “kishmish”.
How are raisins made?
As a rule, wine-growers, in countries where climatic conditions permit, dry the grapes under the sun in the open air for two or more weeks. A prerequisite is the presence of light, air, and heat, therefore the greatest amount of raisins is produced in the countries of Asia and North America.
Far from any grape variety is suitable for making raisins, but only berries that have thin skin and juicy fleshy flesh.
Properly prepared raisins in the process of drying in the open air, as a rule, do not lose their nutritional and beneficial properties while maintaining up to 80% of the vitamins and completely saving all the main nutritional elements.
To get one kilogram of the finished delicacy, the growers have to dry up to five kilograms of raw materials.
Recently manufacturers of raisins, to reduce labor costs and speed up the drying process, are increasingly using artificial equipment (ovens) for temperature processing of berries, while using chemically active substances. The raisins produced in this way are better stored for obvious reasons and less damaged by pests and infections. Therefore, if you come across an attractive product of bright saturated color, then most likely it was artificially dried, treated with sulfur dioxide, and then tinted with a dye. To make the berries shine and attractive presentation, unscrupulous manufacturers often grease the berries with either glycerol or fat, so you should beware of buying obviously low-quality products. Technologically correct dried berries have a natural, natural color and a small matte coating.
To check the quality of raisins, it is enough to take and throw up a dry berry. When falling, it will make a sound resembling the fall of a small pebble. Any other sound will mean a fake.
If you still acquire suspicious-looking berries, it’s not worth worrying about it, sulfuric acid will evaporate during heat treatment, though with some vitamins and other beneficial substances. This should be remembered.
Healthy properties of raisins
Ancient healers used raisins as a remedy for treating a wide variety of diseases, and so far, grapes occupy one of the places of honor in traditional medicine, continuing to be in high demand due to the presence of a large number of elements useful to the human body.
The energy value of raisins is 300 kcal (per 100 grams of the product).
100 g of raisins on average contain:
- Water – 15.4 g
- Protein – 3.2 g
- Fat – 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates – 73.7 g
- Dietary fiber (fiber) – 5.3 g
- Ash – 1.8 g
- Vitamin A (beta carotene) – 6 mcg
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.16 mg
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.08 mg
- Niacin (vitamin B3 or vitamin PP) – 0.8 mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – 0.6 mg
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – 0.24 mg
- Folic acid (vitamin B9) – 3.3 mcg
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 3.3 mg
- Vitamin E (tocopherol) – 0.7 mg
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone) – 3.5 mcg
- Biotin (vitamin H) – 2 µg
- Iron – 2.07 mg
- Manganese – 303 mcg
- Copper – 303 mcg
- Selenium – 0.69 mcg
- Zinc – 276 mcg
This delicacy contains a huge amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vegetable sugars, acids, tannins, and other macro and microelements, including iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and so on (you can safely list the entire periodic table of the great Mendeleev).
It is believed that raisins with bones are more useful than seedless ones. In addition, according to most scientists, it is thanks to the drying process, in which excess moisture is removed from the berries, the nutrients in the berries become more concentrated. For example, the content of glucose and fructose is eight times higher than the amount of these components, compared to fresh berries.
Raisins contain a lot of iron (especially in dark varieties), a huge amount of vitamins (B1, B2, B5), so eating berries favorably affects the human nervous system, improves sleep, and has a sedative effect on the body, including strengthening the immune system.
Dried berries contribute to the improvement of the cardiovascular system, activating the activity of the heart muscle, and help resist high blood pressure. They should also be consumed with bronchitis, lung disease, runny nose, cough, and sore throat.
Due to the content in the berries of a large amount of boron, the raisins are recommended to be used by older people, because it suppresses the development of osteoporosis (improves bone strength). Proved positive effects of raisins on the kidneys, because the berries have a strong diuretic and choleretic effect, as well as normalize the work of the gastrointestinal tract.
It has long been known softening effect that raisins have with problems with constipation, and arginine contained in the fruit contributes to increasing male strength.
Due to oleanolic acid, which is a part of raisins, a significant antibacterial effect on the human body appears, therefore, the use of berries has a beneficial effect on the state of the dental cavity and gums.
It is very important to introduce raisins on the menu of pregnant women. Iron, which is rich in dried fruit, increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood of women in the position, and, therefore, solves the problem of anemia. Vitamins and mineral salts contained in the healthy dessert will benefit and bear the fruit under the heart, as they provide the baby with normal development and well-being. In particular, regular consumption of raisins by a pregnant woman contributes to the formation of the musculoskeletal system of the child and prevents the possible oxygen starvation of the little ones.
No less important is the raisins in the diet of the person undergoing the period of breastfeeding of the infant. Only here it is necessary to carefully use the dried fruit, carefully watching the reaction of the newborn. An excess of raisins eaten by mom can cause bloating and intestinal upset in an infant. But if the baby was born prematurely, raisins will help him gain weight faster. For this, you need a nursing woman to drink a decoction of dried grapes.
Raisins effect, although very indirectly, the sexual function of the female body. Under the influence of this herbal product to a certain extent increases the power of sexual desire.
Dangerous properties of raisins
Before eating raisins should be very thoroughly cleaned, as they are treated with sulfur and other chemicals that are hazardous to health during industrial drying.
It is not recommended to use raisins for people suffering from obesity, gastric ulcer, and acute heart failure.
Raisins are not recommended for people suffering from diabetes due to their high sugar content. But, in extreme cases, in the presence of this disease, you can eat little raisins, boil for 15 minutes.
Raisins are contraindicated in the open form of tuberculosis and peptic ulcer of the mouth, as it can provoke an exacerbation of these diseases.
Also known are cases of allergic reactions to raisins.
Varieties of raisins
Usually, negligent merchants sell raisins, inviting customers, calling just an unimaginable number of different attractive and ear-drawn names.
In fact, there are only four varieties of raisins:
- Light without stones (raisins)
- Dark (black) pitted
- Olive with one bone
- Large raisins with two or three bones inside
There is also a red raisin, which is obtained from the fruit of the grapes with a pinkish tinge. This rather exotic type of raisins, which occupies an intermediate position between light and black. This variety comes to the trading network quite rarely.
Consider the above types of raisins in more detail:
1. Kishmish, as a rule, is a small variety of grapes (grayish, greenish, or white). Depending on the method of drying, one or another variety is determined.
- “Soyag” – this type of raisins is obtained by drying not in the sun, but in a room specially adapted for this, since the grapes dried in the sun tend to be harder.
- “Boyaga” – the grade which is dried up in the open air, under the influence of the sun, without any additional processing.
- “Sabza” is a variety of grapes, which are boiled in an alkaline solution before drying in the sun.
White raisins usually contain large amounts of natural sugar.
2. Black raisins (sometimes there is a dark maroon skin color), pitted from dark grape varieties. It is often called “brown bread”. It contains less sugar, but it has a pleasant, specific musky flavor.
- “Shagan” is a type of raisin that is dried in the open air, directly under the sun.
- Avon. For the production of this variety used several varieties of grapes. Drying is done in the sun.
- “Hermian”. Like Sabza, it is pretreated, before drying, with an alkaline solution. Selected grape varieties are used for production.
3. Light olive raisins (with one bone) are the most popular and classic.
4. Black raisins with several bones, as a rule, are rather large and very sweet in taste. His flesh is juicy and fleshy. It is prepared from the world-famous grape variety “Hermione” or “Husayn”, better known as “Lady Fingers” (the length of individual berries can reach two and a half centimeters).
For amber shade, this raisin is often called “amber”.
Due to their excellent taste, raisins are widely used in cooking. It is used as an ingredient for cooking pilaf, other cereals, as well as used in meat dishes and salads.
For obvious reasons, raisins are most actively used in the preparation of various culinary products: in the production of pastries, muffins, cookies, puddings, ice cream, and so on, the range of its use is very wide.
Found this product a place in medicine and nutrition.
Modern medicine recommends using raisins for anemia, headaches, cancer, and as a prophylactic against the formation of malignant tumors.
Berries are widely used to cleanse the bowels and treat kidneys and are recommended for women during pregnancy.
Raisin also helps to eliminate edema and is useful for children of any age.
Raisins are quite effective in using, despite their high-calorie content, in dietology, as the dietary fibers of the berries, swelling, increase in volume, thereby reducing the feeling of hunger. In addition, the berries contain substances that contribute to the breakdown of fat cells, which is important.
For cosmetic purposes, raisins are often used to make various masks and creams. Its natural strength, thanks to a large number of powerful antioxidants and nutrients, perfectly rejuvenates the skin.