dried fruit ingredients in prepared food
- The high fiber content provides water absorbing and water binding capabilities, tenderization and nutritional enhancement.
- Organic acids such as sorbitol act as humectants, provide dough and batter stability, and control of water activity.
- Fruit sugars add sweetness, humectancy, surface browning and control water activity.
- Fruit acids, such as malic acid and tartaric acid, contribute to flavor enhancement and act as anti-microbial agents (suppress mold and bacterial growth).
- Vitamins and minerals increase nutritional value and label appeal.
- Phenolic compounds slow down lipid oxidation in meats. They add a natural caramel color.
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.