WHAT IS SULPHUR AND IS IT SAFE?
Sulphur dioxides and sulphites (E220 – E228) are naturally occurring chemical compounds that are most commonly used as preservatives in a wide range of foods including beer, wine, dried fruits and meat products. Sulphur dioxide is definitely not the most appealing sounding ingredient, so is it safe to eat?
According to the British Journal of Diseases of the Chest, sulphur is safe for most people, but it can induce asthma in those that are sensitive to it. Some people may even experience other side effects including bloating, stomach pain and digestive issues.
WHY IS SULPHUR ADDED TO DRIED FRUIT?
You may have noticed that our dried fruits appear to be significantly darker than ones in the supermarkets - especially our organic dried apricots which are brown rather than a striking orange! This is quite simply because our dried fruit does not contain sulphur. Many conventionally dried fruits have added sulphur dioxide to preserve the fruits original colour at ripeness, keep them soft and increase their shelf life. The darker appearance on our dried fruits occurs from the natural aging – we can’t all stay young forever!
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR FRUIT CONTAINS SULPHUR?
Sulphur is commonly listed on the ingredients as 220 or 221, 222, 223, 224, 225. The good news is that organic dried fruit is prohibited from containing any form of sulphur. This means all of our dried fruits (including our natural non-organic) are sulphur and preservative free!
While it does mean that your dried fruit will not last on the shelf for as long as conventional products, however naturally dried and organic dried fruits have an intense natural flavour and aroma, they will be eaten well before they expire anyway!
ORGANIC DRIED FRUIT FAQS
What does 'Naturally Dried' mean?
Sun-dried fruits have been dried in a solar tunnel, on racks, or occasionally while still on the vine. Fruits which are naturally dried also have no oils or dips used during the drying process, which enables the natural flavours of the fruit to shine through. Some fruits such as raisins and berries do require a very small amount of sunflower oil to prevent clumping.
Why do some dried fruits contain sweeteners?
As a general guide, the majority of dried fruits should not contain added sugars, however, some fruits, particularly berries, in their natural state are quite tart and unpalatable. For this reason, they do require sweetening with some brands choosing to use cane sugar, whereas we prefer to sweeten our organic dried cranberries, organic dried cherries and organic dried blueberries with organic apple juice concentrate. This is a much healthier and natural choice compared to refined sugars, plus it gives the berries a balanced and delicious flavour!
How do I rehydrate dried fruit?
Place fruit in a glass or pyrex bowl. Add boiling water or fruit juice at a 2:1 ratio to fruit. Allow to sit for 15-45 minutes, then drain the liquid. It is that simple! The soaking liquid can be used as a sweet addition to baked goods, hot cereals or dried fruit compotes.