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Dried Fruits: "Gifts of the Sun" circa 1946 DelMonte

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Published on Jan 7, 2012

more at http://food.quickfound.net/

"Beautiful Kodachrome film showing how California dried fruit is grown, harvested, processed, sorted, weighed, and packed. With alluring imagery of apricots, prunes, peaches, and raisins."

NEW VERSION with improved video & sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raorR...

Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and equalization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit

Dried fruit is fruit where 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, wrinkly texture, 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 (dried plums), 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 mangoes are infused with a sweetener (e.g. sucrose syrup) prior to drying. Some products sold as dried fruit, like papaya and pineapples are actually candied fruit.

Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits. The specific nutrient content of the different dried fruits reflect their fresh counterpart and the processing method. In general, all dried fruits provide essential nutrients and an array of health protective bioactive ingredients, making them valuable tools to both increase diet quality and help reduce the risk of chronic disease...

Traditional dried fruit such as raisins, figs, dates, apricots and apples have been a staple of Mediterranean diets for millennia. This is due partly to their early cultivation in the Middle Eastern region known as the Fertile Crescent, made up by parts of modern Iraq, Iran and Syria, southwest Turkey and northern Egypt. Drying or dehydration also happened to be the earliest form of food preservation: grapes, dates and figs that fell from the tree or vine would dry in the hot sun. Early hunter-gatherers observed that these fallen fruit took on an edible form, and valued them for their stability as well as their concentrated sweetness...

Today, dried fruit is produced in most regions of the world, and consumption occurs in all cultures and demographic segments. In the United States, Americans consumed an average of 2.18 pounds (processed weight) of dried fruit in 2006. Raisins accounted for about two thirds of this. California produces the largest percentage of the US and the world's dried fruit crop. It accounts for over 99% of the US crop of raisins and dried plums, 98% of dried figs, 96% of dried peaches, 92% of apricots and over 90% of dates. Most of California dried fruit production is centered in the San Joaquin Valley where the soil and climate, especially the hot, dry summers, provide ideal growing conditions. While these fruits were commonly dried in the sun in the past, now only raisins are almost entirely naturally sun-dried.

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,[10] 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 if 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.

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