Dried peaches are a healthy between-meal snack. They contain many vitamins and minerals. When treated with sulfur dioxide, they retain their bright yellow-orange color. Untreated peaches take on a brownish color after drying. The addition of sulfur dioxide is not necessary to maintain the flavor and extend the shelf life. For more information on peaches, please follow this link: Peaches.
From “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peach”: “The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Shan mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach or a nectarine.”
Dried peaches consist of 23 % water, 54 % carbohydrates, and 0.6 % fat. In addition, they are rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. They also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E.
Dried peaches make for a nice snack. They are also found in muesli, fruit breads, chutneys, and sweet desserts.
From Wikipedia: "Fruits can be dried whole (e.g., grapes, berries, apricot, plum), in halves, or as slices, (e.g., mango, papaya, kiwi). Alternatively they can be chopped after drying (e.g., dates), made into pastes, or concentrated juices. The residual moisture content can vary from small (3 – 8%) to substantial (16 – 18%), depending on the type of fruit. Fruits can also be dried in puree form, as leather, or as a powder, by spray of drum drying. They can be freeze dried. Fresh fruit is frozen and placed in a drying chamber under vacuum. Heat is applied and water evaporates from the fruit while still frozen. The fruit becomes very light and crispy and retains much of its original flavor. Dried fruit is widely used by the confectionery, baking, and sweets industries. Food manufacturing plants use dried fruits in various sauces, soups, marinades, garnishes, puddings, and food for infants and children. ...
The high drying and processing temperatures, the intrinsic low pH of the fruit, the low water activity (moisture content) and the presence of natural antimicrobial compounds in dried fruit make them a remarkably stable food. There is no known incident of a food-borne illness related to dried fruit.”
“Sulfur dioxide is used as an antioxidant in some dried fruits to protect their color and flavor. For example, in golden raisins, dried peaches, apples and apricots sulfur dioxide is used to keep them from losing their light color by blocking browning reactions that darken fruit and alter their flavor. Over the years, sulfur dioxide and sulfites have been used by many populations for a variety of purposes. Sulfur dioxide was first employed as a food additive in 1664, and was later approved for such use in the United States as far back as the 1800s.
Sulfur dioxide, while harmless to healthy individuals, can induce asthma when inhaled or ingested by sensitive people. The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) estimates that one out of a hundred people is sulfite-sensitive (allergic), and about 5% of asthmatics are also at risk of suffering an adverse reaction. Given that about 10% of the population suffers from asthma, this figure translates to 0.5% of the whole population with potential for sulfite-sensitivity. These individuals make up the subgroup of greatest concern and are largely aware of the need to avoid sulfite-containing foods. Consequently, the FDA requires food manufactures and processors to disclose the presence of sulfiting agents in concentrations of at least 10 parts per million.”
“Peaches can be dried at temperatures from 0 to 70°C. If the temperature is too high, dried fruit more quickly loses its taste and flavor. And some of the vitamins are destroyed at temperatures as low as 40°C.*”
Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry