Sun-dried tomatoes are easy to make yourself at home, but you can also purchase them at the grocery store. However, if you are eating a raw food diet, you should ask the manufacturer about the drying process and guaranteed temperatures. Sun-dried tomatoes contain about 5% monosodium glutamate, which accounts for the savory taste (umami).
Humans have been eating naturally dried fruits for more than 5000 years, most likely first dates and then figs and grapes that they found on the ground already dried. They quickly learned to dry certain fruits in the sun so that they would have a supply for later.
Below you will find information about dried fruit and monosodium glutamate. For information about the fruit, please click on this link: Tomato
Information about dried fruit:
From Wikipedia: “Dried fruit is fruit from which the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized because of its sweet taste, nutritive value, and long shelf life.
Today, dried fruit consumption is widespread. Nearly half of the dried fruits sold are raisins, followed by dates, prunes, figs, apricots, peaches, apples and pears. These are referred to as "conventional" or "traditional" dried fruits: fruits that have been dried in the sun or in heated wind tunnel dryers. Many fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries and mango are infused with a sweetener (e.g. sucrose syrup) prior to drying. Some products sold as dried fruit, like papaya, kiwi fruit and pineapple are most often candied fruit.
Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits. The specific nutrient content of the different dried fruits reflects their fresh counterpart and the processing method.”
Drying methods and nutritional value:
“Fruits can be dried whole (e.g., grapes, berries, apricot, plum), in halves, or as slices, (e.g., mango, papaya, kiwi). ... 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. ...
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. ... Sulfur dioxide, while harmless to healthy individuals, can induce asthma when inhaled or ingested by sensitive people.”
“The fruit can be dried at temperatures ranging from 0°C to 70°C. However, when the temperatures are too high, the dried fruit quickly loses taste and flavor and at temperatures starting at 40°C, the first vitamins are destroyed.
Dried fruits are a rich source of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, copper, and manganese) and have about 1,050 kJ (250 kcal) and 1 to 5 g of protein per 100 g.*”
Information about monosodium glutamate:
From “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate”: “MSG is used in the food industry as a flavor enhancer with an umami taste that intensifies the meaty, savory flavor of food, as naturally occurring glutamate does in foods such as stews and meat soups. It was first prepared by Japanese biochemist Kikunae Ikeda, who was trying to isolate and duplicate the savory taste of kombu, an edible seaweed used as a base for many Japanese soups. MSG as a flavor enhancer balances, blends, and rounds the perception of other tastes.”
Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry