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Apricots, dried, unsulphured (raw?, organic?)

Gently dried organic apricots are raw and have a high nutrient content. Unsulphured ones are a little browner, but free of preservatives.
We have provided the missing values for the nutritional information from the USDA database for this ingredient.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 94.14%
Macronutrient proteins 5.09%
Macronutrient fats 0.77%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Dried apricots ( Prunus armeniaca ) are a healthy snack, especially unsulphured and organic . When dried gently, the dried apricots are still raw .

Use in the kitchen

The color of dried apricots varies between orange-yellow and brown-orange. Unsulphured apricots tend to take on a brownish color, but they are free of Preservatives. Sulphur dioxide can be used to preserve the bright orange-yellow color of the pulp. However, sulfur is not necessary for the taste or shelf life.

Apricots taste great dried as a sweet, healthy snack together with macadamia nuts or almonds . They are often used in (homemade) muesli mixes, energy balls and fruit bars. The pea muesli combines excellently with the dried fruits. As a topping, they round off smoothie bowls, vegan yoghurt and porridge with their pleasant, chewy texture.

The drying process concentrates the aromatic substances, which gives dried apricots a more intense flavor than raw apricots .

Similar to dried dates , figs or plums, the dried fruits are used as a sweetener in sugar-free dessert cuisine and offer an alternative to sugar , honey or agave syrup . Cakes, tarts, creams, cookies and other baked goods can be sweetened with the dried fruit. Dried apricots are also a tasty component in chocolate.

Dried apricots give savory dishes a sweet, fruity note. They are a popular ingredient in salads, especially in combination with nuts such as walnuts , sunflower seeds orpumpkin seeds , and leafy vegetables such as spinach , radicchio or rocket . They also go well with fresh herbs such as parsley , coriander and peppermint . Oriental grain and rice dishes and curries can be given a more complex flavor profile with the dried fruits. For a particularly delicate texture, they can be added during cooking.

Making your own dried apricots

Dried apricots are easy to make at home. If possible, use ripe, organic and regionally produced fruit.

First, wash the fresh apricots , halve them and then remove the stone. You can use the halved apricots directly or optionally cut the fruit into thin slices. We advise against removing the peel as it contains important secondary plant substances. To preserve the color and reduce browning, you can sprinkle the prepared fruit slices with a little organic lemon juice .

To preserve the raw quality, the fruit should not be heated above 42 °C. The best way to do this is to use a dehydrator and set the temperature below that. Depending on the dehydrator, take into account the instructions regarding time and temperature for the fruit specified. Depending on the water content, the apricots need 8-12 hours to dry. The fruit is fully dried as soon as it has a leathery texture and is no longer sticky. No more liquid should come out when pressed.

If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use an oven with a convection function. To do this, place the prepared apricot halves on a baking tray lined with baking paper. You will often find instructions with drying temperatures of 70 °C, which allows for faster drying. However, for raw apricots, we recommend using temperatures below 45 °C to ensure gentle drying and preserve the quality of the fruit. However, if you use higher temperatures, it is important to monitor the drying process closely and check the apricots regularly to avoid overdrying.

You can wedge a wooden spoon in the oven door to allow the moisture that builds up to escape. Additional heat escapes through the open gap, which reduces the temperature in the oven slightly. This helps the apricots dry even more gently.

Vegan recipe for tabbouleh with dried apricots

Ingredients (for 4 servings): 80 g dried apricots, 250 g couscous , 450 g tomatoes , 1 organic cucumber , 1 bunch of mint , 1 bunch of parsley , 80 ml organic lemon juice , 40 g chopped walnuts , 30 g pine nuts , ½ tsp cinnamon , 1 tsp cumin , 2 tbsp olive oil (or rapeseed oil or linseed oil ),pepper , salt .

Preparation: Mix the couscous with the same amount of hot water (or as per the instructions on the packet) in a bowl and set aside to infuse. Wash the cucumber, tomatoes and fresh herbs and then chop finely. Dice the apricots and mix with the other ingredients including the couscous. Add pine nuts, walnuts (chopped), cinnamon, cumin, lemon juice and olive oil. Instead of the olive oil that is often used, we recommend using the healthier rapeseed oil or linseed oil, or omitting the oil altogether. Finally, season with salt and pepper. Optionally serve with pomegranate seeds, black sesame seeds and a little soy yoghurt .

Vegan recipes with dried apricots can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Dried apricots can often be found in the range of large supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer and Billa , occasionally even in controlled organic quality (organic quality). The dried fruit can also be bought in organic supermarkets such as Denn's Biomarkt and Alnatura , as well as health food stores, organic shops and online. Dried apricots are available all year round .

What is the difference between sulphured and unsulphured apricots? Sulphured apricots are soaked in a solution of sulphur dioxide or other sulphur compounds before drying. The sulphur treatment is used as a method of preservation to extend the shelf life and preserve the colour of the dried fruit. This process is not used for unsulphured apricots. Sulphured fruit can be identified by information on the packaging with either the addition "E220" or the adjective "sulphured". 1

Organic dried fruit is always unsulfured, as EU organic law prohibits it from containing sulfur or other preservatives! 1 For health reasons, unsulfured dried apricots should be preferred. Organic dried fruit also contains fewer pesticides.

Temperatures of 60-70 °C are often used for industrial drying, which is at the expense of taste and aroma, as well as nutrients (vitamins). Therefore, make sure to buy products that are as natural as possible, without added sugar (unsweetened), and that are of raw food quality. The term "raw food" is difficult to trace because it is not regulated by law. Unlike organic production, there are no state certification bodies. Products labeled "raw" or "sun-dried" should be consumed with caution. Manufacturers do not always adhere to the temperature limits (42-45 °C). However, dried fruit can be easily made at home (see the "Your own preparation" chapter).

Dried apricots should not be confused with dried peaches , which look very similar but are larger. You can read how to tell them apart under the ingredient fresh apricots .

The availability of dried apricots varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. Our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries can be found above under the ingredient image - and by clicking on them you can see their development at various suppliers.

Storage tips

Dried apricots can be kept for several weeks to months if stored in a cool, dark and dry place. Screw-top jars, cans and other sealable containers are suitable for airtight storage.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Fresh apricots contain 48 kcal/100g and consist of around 86% water. 2.18 Dried apricots have a high nutrient content and only contain around 30% water. 18 This increases the calorie content of the dried fruit to 241 kcal/100g, which comes primarily from carbohydrates (63 g/100g). The sugar content increases from 9.2 g/100g in fresh apricots to 53 g/100g. 100 g of dried apricots cover 59.4% of the daily sugar requirement. This high sugar content is comparable to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins (59 g/100g) or dried apples (57 g/100g). Dried apricots are high in fiber at 7.3 g/100g. The protein content is low at 3.4 g/100g and the fat content is low at 0.51 g/100g. 3

Like other dried fruits, dried apricots contain a lot of potassium . The potassium content of 1162 mg/100g (equivalent to 58% of the daily requirement) is particularly high compared to dried apple (450 mg/100g) or dried pear (533 mg/100g).Dried bananas (1183 mg/100g) or dried goji berries (1104 mg/100g) provide comparably high values.

The vitamin E content in dried apricots is 4.3 mg/100g. This makes up 36% of the daily requirement. Dried mango has a similar amount (4.4 mg/100g). Kernels, seeds and oils contain much more of this vitamin. Sunflower seeds contain 41 mg/100g, almonds 25.6 mg/100g and hazelnuts 15 mg/100g.

Dried apricots contain 180 µg of vitamin A as RAE per 100 g, which corresponds to 23% of the daily requirement. Raw apricots contain only half of that, at 96 µg/100g. Goji berries contain 2.5 times as much vitamin A, at 445 µg/100g, and in dried form, even 7.5 times as much, at 1341 µg/100g. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A, at 835 µg/100g. 3

You can find all the ingredients of dried apricots, how much they cover your daily needs and comparative values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables . In the article Nutrients comprehensively explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

Are dried apricots healthy? Dried fruits have a high fiber content, which promotes digestion and contributes to optimal intestinal health. They are a healthy snack and keep you full for longer. However, compared to fresh fruit, they contain significantly more sugar, which is why dried apricots should only be consumed in moderate amounts. 4

In addition, dried apricots provide the body with important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and iron. 3 For example, potassium has a positive effect on blood pressure and the regulation of high blood pressure and reduces morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. 5 Thanks to the vitamin A they contain, dried apricots also make a valuable contribution to eye health. 6

Apricots contain organic acids, of which malic acid is the most abundant, followed by citric acid. Organic acids can help regulate the acid-base balance in the body, especially in the gastrointestinal tract, promote digestion, and increase the bioavailability of iron. 7

Secondary plant substances

Many of the health effects of dried apricots can be attributed to the secondary plant substances they contain. The article on secondary plant substances provides an overview of the classification of the substance groups, their occurrence in foods and possible effects on humans.

Dried apricots contain the following secondary plant substances:

  • Polyphenols: phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid) and flavonoids (glycosides and rutinosides of quercetin, kaempferol and rutin, procyanidins, catechins, anthocyanins, phenylpropanoids) 8
  • Isoprenoids: Carotenoids (beta-carotene, gamma-carotene, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, phytoene, phytofluene and zeaxanthin) 8

However, it should be noted that the composition of secondary plant substances in dried apricots can vary depending on the variety, time of harvest and growing conditions - and therefore quantities are only rough at best.

Studies show that sulphurisation has an influence on the secondary plant substances in dried apricots. Compared to sun-dried apricots, the polyphenol content in sulphurised dried fruit is lower. Sulfur treatment therefore reduces the concentration of secondary plant substances. It is assumed that the sulphides bind to the polyphenols and thus impair their availability. It was also found that the concentration values of polyphenols in fresh and sun-dried apricots are almost the same. However, the polyphenol content in organic apricots is higher than in dried fruit treated with pesticides. 9

Oxidative stress, triggered by free radicals, can lead to pathogenesis and chronic diseases in the long term. 8 The polyphenols and carotenoids contained in dried apricots act as antioxidants. They act as radical scavengers and thus protect against oxidative damage and stress. 8,9 Antioxidants are important for the prevention of degenerative diseases in humans, including arthritis, Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. They also have a positive effect on coronary heart disease. 7,8

In addition, antioxidants are important for vision by maintaining the integrity and fluidity of the eye membranes. The two carotenoids have a protective function for the eyes: zeaxanthin filters the light and captures free radicals, while lutein protects the retina from damage caused by blue light. 7

The combination of vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids in apricots helps promote liver health and protects against liver toxicity and fatty liver. 7

Flavonoids play an important role in cellular processes and are therefore considered potentially anticarcinogenic. 8 Their abundance strengthens the immune system and activates red blood cells. 7 Studies have also shown positive effects in relation to cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. 2

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

People with gluten intolerance, histamine intolerance, fructose malabsorption and lactose intolerance generally tolerate apricots well. However, cross-reactions can occur if you are allergic to birch pollen or latex. If you have a pseudo-allergy (hypersensitivity) to salicylic acid, you should consume apricots in moderate amounts. 10

Sulphurized apricots can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people, especially those with asthma and a deficiency of the enzyme sulfite oxidase. 1,9 Unsulphurized peaches are therefore preferable and are considered safer. The European Food Additives Regulation has set a maximum limit of 2000 mg/kg for added sulphur compounds. Sulphur dioxide and sulphites must be labelled due to their potential intolerance. 1

Folk medicine - natural medicine

The dried fruits are used in folk medicine to treat colds, fever, coughs and constipation. According to folk traditions, they are also considered to be pain-relieving, anti-worm, anti-asthmatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, laxative, expectorant, eye-healing, analgesic, calming and strengthening. In traditional Chinese medicine ( TCM ), the fruits are used to regenerate body fluids, detoxify and quench thirst. 8

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

Various aspects, such as the cultivation method (conventional/organic), seasonality, country of origin, transport and packaging, have an influence on the ecological footprint of dried apricots. The drying method also plays a significant role in dried fruit. The development of new drying systems is an attempt to reduce energy requirements (see chapter "Industrial production").

A study compared integrated apricot farming with a biodynamic farming system, which proved to be more sustainable. The biodynamic farming method caused less energy consumption per kilogram and also led to increased CO 2 storage in the soil. 11

According to the CarbonCloud website , the carbon footprint of fresh apricots from Turkey is approximately 0.35 kg CO 2 eq/ kg.12 For dried apricots, it is 1.93 kg CO 2 eq/kg, which is 5.5 times higher.13 In comparison, " The Big Climate Database " puts the carbon footprint of fresh fruit at 0.79 kg CO 2 eq/kg and that of dried apricots at 2.24 kg CO 2 eq/ kg.14,15 These values clearly illustrate the difference in the carbon footprint of raw fruit and dried fruit.

Despite extensive research, we were unable to find any significant figures on the water footprint of dried apricots. The global average water consumption for fresh fruit is around 1300 l/kg. 16 The value can vary depending on the context. In the EU, for example, it is significantly lower at 169 l/kg and in Switzerland at 114 l/kg, which speaks in favor of buying regional products. 17

For detailed explanations of various sustainability indicators (such as ecological footprint, CO2 footprint, water footprint), see our article: What does the ecological footprint mean? .

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

The apricot originates from China. Its cultivation history goes back to 2000 BC. It spread through the Persian Empire and finally found ideal climatic conditions for its growth in the Mediterranean region, where it is still an important cultivated plant today. 8

Turkey is the world's leading producer of fresh apricots. Malatya, a city in eastern Turkey, is particularly important for the cultivation, production and processing of the fruit. The city exports about 80% of the world's dried apricots. 9 Other major growing areas are in Uzbekistan, Iran, Algeria, Italy, Afghanistan, Spain, Greece, Pakistan and Morocco. 2 There are also regional growing areas in Central Europe, including the Valais in Switzerland, the Wachau in Austria and the Vinschgau in South Tyrol.

Information on cultivation and harvesting can be found under the ingredient Apricots, raw (organic?) .

Industrial production

Drying in the sun is often associated with a long drying time, enormous weather dependence and necessary manual work. 18
In the industrial production of dried fruit, convective hot air drying systems are often used. 19,20 However, these require a lot of energy (between 12% and 25% of the total energy used in industrial processing). 20 Therefore, alternative drying methods are used, such as heat pump drying systems or solar drying systems, which require less energy. 19,20

The use of solar thermal drying methods offers a promising alternative to improve the efficiency of heat and mass transfer processes and to reduce costs during drying. It is also an environmentally friendly option that relies on the use of free and clean solar energy. 19,20

To reduce energy consumption and shorten drying time, the fruit can be pre-treated before the drying process. A popular method is osmotic dehydration, which removes some of the water content from the fruit before the drying process. Sugars such as sucrose, fructose or glucose are usually used. These pre-treatments affect the nutrient composition and increase the sugar content, but are simple and inexpensive. This method is also popular for frozen apricots ("osmodehydrofreezing"). 18,21

Further information

The apricot ( Prunus armeniaca ) belongs to the genus Prunus , which also includes many other popular fruits, such as the sweet cherry ( Prunus avium ), the plum ( Prunus domestica ) or the peach ( Prunus persica ). They all belong to the rose family ( Rosaceae ). Apricots are stone fruits.

Alternative names

In Austria and southern Germany, the apricot is known as Marille. In the past, the Latin name malum armeniacum was common, which means Armenian apple. In Rheinhessen, the apricot is called Malete and in English it is called apricot. The Swiss German term Barille is now outdated. Incorrect spellings such as Apricot are sometimes in circulation.