A raisin is simply a dried grape. As there are a large variety of grapes fruit, raisins can be found in many different types such as Golden, Sultana, Kashmiri.
Raisins’ color includes black, brown, blue, green, purple and yellow. Seedless and seeded kinds exist as well.
Traditionally raisins are sun-dried grapes but they may be dried by artificial means.
Raisin has a similar taste to grape but as it has lost some water during dehydration process it is much sweeter.
Raisin’s history goes back to ancient Egypt’s evidence as early as 2000 B.C.
According to stories raisins were discovered accidently when they got dried on vines under the sun.
Export and import
Based on statistics, 1,205,000 metric tons of raisin was produced worldwide for the 2018-2019 year.
Turkey, known as “the Mother of grapes”, is the major producer of raisin.
The country produces 353,167 metric tons of raisin each year. Top export destination of Turkey’s raisin is the European Union. However, Turkey is exporting to over 100 countries such as Italy, Australia, France and UK.
United States of America is a close second producing 332,760 metric tons in a year.
California, the raisin exporting state, has been shipping 5,187 tons per month which has dropped by 33% comparing to prior year.
The state’s major export goes to Japan, UK, Germany and China.
Iran gets the third place by producing 122,595 metric tons annually. After carpet and pistachios, raisin has a leading role in non-oil exports of Iran. Iran has the eighth place in grapes production. Fars, Hamedan and Qazvin are some of the largest grape producer cities in Iran. Main customers of Iran’s raisins and grapes export are Russia, the European Union and Iraq.
United Kingdom has 10.9% of the global raisins import market with the value around $202.87M. Germany stands in the second place by $173.06M. Third biggest importer of raisin is India with $121.01M import value.
Types of raisin
A raisin is a dried grape so accordingly we can have variety of raisins .
They are different in size, color, taste and shape.
- Flame seedless raisin
- Golden seedless raisin
- Monukka raisins
- Muscat raisins
- Natural (sun-dried) seedless raisins
How we dry grapes makes a huge difference in the final result. It alters the final color, taste and texture of the raisins.
During the process the grape loses approximately 75% of its moisture.
If you have 4kg of grapes you will end up with nearly 1kg of raisins. Methods separates to natural and industrial.
Considering costs, natural methods are still preferred.
Raisin and grape ingestion can cause renal failure in dogs. It is not known yet but many dogs suffer vomiting and diarrhea after 6-12 hours of consuming grape or raisin. Their symptoms may include weakness, shivering and stomachache. 1-3 days after exposure, the pet can face renal failure or death. Visit your vet immediately in case of raisin and grape consumption.
Health and nutrition
Raisin is a sweet natural snack so you can replace it for sugary candies.
If you suffer from digestion issues or iron deficiency, raisins can surely help you out as they are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins.
These tiny morsels are rich in antioxidants too. These chemicals can help preventing cancers.
Raisin is high in sugar and calories but it has a low to moderate glycemic index depending on the raisin’s type you are having. It means it doesn’t raise your sugar blood suddenly. it releases energy gradually. Although this doesn’t mean you can have a whole box! Nothing in excess is good. so try to be moderate.
Even if you have diabetes you can put raisin in your diet plan but just as mentioned do not exceed. Otherwise you will have blood sugar strike.
Experts say the serving amount per day is about ¼ cup or 43 grams.
This portion contains nearly 120 calories, 26g sugar, 1mg iron, 25mg of calcium, 300mg potassium and 1.6 g fiber. It also contains some other vitamins and minerals such as sodium and vitamin C. For more information, see the nutrition table below.
These small sweet nuts are not just a healthy treat or a natural snack in the middle of the day. In many countries, raisins are popular in culinary and pastry.
Cookies and muffins with raisin and almond, normally served with warm milk taste delicious. You can add raisin or other nuts to your cereal or granola.
There are many other pies, biscuits, jams containing raisins.
In culinary, India is nearly the biggest fan of raisin.
It goes well with curry and other nuts so they use it in many recipes.
In England, Iran and so many other countries you can find raisin in dishes, stews, desserts or salads.
Traditional vs Industrial
Traditional ways include natural sun-drying and shade drying. In this natural method the raisin goes dark and a bit grainy. Sometimes the grapes are dried on the vine (DOV) and sometimes they are put in the trays. While Both bring the same result the process is different. Putting grapes in the trays needs space and labor while in DOV grapes are left on the vine until they get dried and be collected by special machines.
Industrial drying on the other hand uses chemicals like sulfur dioxide to prevent color changing, taste alteration and elimination of some certain vitamins during drying process. The raisin made in the process is much fruitier. Not to mention that industrial method is much faster than traditional form.