The Es in Dried Fruits - (PART 1)
“Colourful as rainbow and tasty like heaven - they have lots
of fibers and some healthy minerals inside them. They are ‘Dried
Fruits’. Of course fresh fruits are lovely and refreshing.
Nothing beats juicy watermelons, crunchy apples or stinking good
“But hey, dried fruits are some healthy bunch of quick bites,
aren’t they? They are healthier alternatives compared to junk
foods like chips, cakes, candies and cookies. Who does not fancy
tasty dried fruits like raisins, figs, prunes, dates, dried
apricots and peaches?”
“But I heard that they contain lots of things called
THE Es. Who
are they? Are they Energy, Vitamin
E, Essential fatty acids or
something bad like E. coli?”
“To satisfy my hunger of understanding the Elusive Es, I started
digging for answers."
"What I found was that besides involving a drying process, dried
fruits makers add some amounts of chemicals. Each of those
chemicals is coded with the letter E. Collectively, they are
called ‘The E-Numbers'.
"There are a long list of chemicals used in making food
(and my, they are really L-OOO-NG). Do not forget that chemicals
have long names too. When you combine these two factors, you
will have a DOUBLE WHAMMY.
First; manufacturers will eventually start scratching their
Second; We consumers will be confused too, obviously. Hey, you
cannot expect non-science folks to actually know every
chemically infiltrated jargons. Not to mention most of us have
short reading spans.
Indeed, easy-to-read and easy-to-understand ingredient list do
“Why they want to add chemicals to my dearest dried fruits (I
will not go long winded about what they add into other food
products like bread and sweets)?” you asked. Here is why:
1. Maintain the fruits’ appearances – First impression does
2. Retain some nutritional contents. Or replenish nutrients that
may be lost during processing.
3. Prevent microorganisms from breeding happily. You do not want
some colorful-looking things (usually moulds) to grow on your
dried fruits in matters of days.
4. Extend shelf-lives of dried fruits. Who likes spoiled food
Even though chemical preservatives (in particular, the
E- members) are good for the fruits, they are also harmful to us!
You may get headache, stomach ache, serious allergy reactions,
asthma attacks and even cancers!