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Sun-dried fruit

Hey everyone, I wrote to the people at Sunmaid (dried fruit company) and I just thought you would be interested in their response.

“The process of making our raisins requires Seedless green grapes and the extended period of drying sun found in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Early in the spring, tender blooms appear on the grapevines. If weather cooperates, blooms turn into tiny grape bunches. Growers must irrigate their vineyards to encourage grape development. July is the hottest time of the year in the Valley, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The sun and soil work a special magic, turning grapes gradually sweeter. By August, the grapes are plump and full of sweetness.In the traditional harvest method, ripe grapes are picked and placed on clean paper trays laid beside the vines. Generally, it takes two to three weeks of hot, dry September weather to turn the sweet green grapes into plump, tasty raisins.

During drying, the hot sun bakes the vineyard floor, producing intense ground temperatures that caramelize the sugars in the grapes enough to give California raisins their distinctive flavor and color. The temperature on the ground is extremely hot and can reach 143 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Sun-Maid Mission Figs, Calimyrna Figs, CA Apricots, CA Chopped Dates and Pitted Dates are also dried in the sun in a similar way.

All of our other fruits are dried in dehydrators at temperatures that well exceed 115 degrees.

Thank you for your inquiry and your interest in our products. Sincerely,Sun-Maid Growers of CaliforniaConsumer Affairs”

I also need a bit of clarification here because, as they claim that their product is sun-dried, it still reaches over 115 degrees. Is this still “raw” (I mean, of course, minus the other fruits they put in the dehydrator) because it’s sundried?


  • According to many raw enthusiasts anything that is exposed to temperatures above 110 degress Fahrenheit will lose all of it’s natural enzymes. They will no longer be considered raw. I am not sure what the enzymes have to do with anything however because they simply get digested with the rest of the fruit. I am certain many fruits and vegetables that naturally grow in high temperature areas such as California often are exposed to higher temperatures than 110 degrees. Does that make them unhealthy? I do not know but I eat dates often which grow in desert conditions and I do not feel that they harm my health.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I have often wondered the same thing being from Arizona. In the summer it can easily get to 110 degrees or more. Does mean everything grown here is not raw? I have always thought that even if it is grown at over the “magic raw number”, if it is grown in it’s natural enviro., then it is o.k.

  • I usually hear the “magic temperature” cited at more like 118 or 120 degrees.

  • okay so I’ve been thinking about it and here’s my thought on the topic: I’ve heard that as you become more and more raw, you’re taste significantly simplify, to the point that you don’t need to be constantly dehydrating foods and making recipes and all that (I really don’t make recipes now actually, but then again I’m not 100% yet). I wonder if sun dried fruits are actually okay, even if the temperature naturally reaches high levels, but are more of a “transition” food. I’ve read even on this forum I believe that some simply stop craving such concentrated sweets after a period of being on the raw diet. I know for me (a vata), I LOVE my sweet things, so I tend to overload on the fruits. I’ve been feeling really down the past couple of days, which explains my cooked food “binges” (not really binges cuz I still didn’t eat much of it), and I read that simple carbs, such as fruits with a high glycemic index (very sweet) like I’ve been eating can increase depression and anxiety. I have a history of both. I stayed away from fruits completely today (except avocado and tomato) and focused on my veggies, and felt miles better.

    So anyway long story short, maybe dried fruit is a safe alternative for this transitioning and detoxing, rather than cooked food, and a good thing for travelers, but def. not somethign we “need”, as our bodies seem to indicate down the path.

  • Shambavi, you are correct. As you get more and more into this kind of a diet you will feel less and less of a need to eat complex food. I eat as many as 12 – 15 bananas in one time and sometimes 2 1/2 pounds of cherries. I do not feel the need to eat anything dehydrated or dried. The exception I make is dates which are dried on the tree. Now with summer coming I will probably reduce my date consumption and replace it with juicy fruits of summer. I don’t know if you are aware of the 80/10/10 Diet, but the book is great to find out about the reasons why you feel like you do when you eat sweet fruit. The sugar in fruit can’t get absorbed easily in your tissue when there is too much fat in your body from undigested fats like nuts, seeds, avocados and oils. This leaves it in your blood where it can cause problems. So it is not the sweet fruit that is causing the problem but the fat. If you limit the fats in your diet to 10% of your calories you should have no problem eating tons of sweet fruit.

  • Yay, I just ordered this book today!! I spent forever looking for it in stores but finally just got it off his site. I’m SO happy to hear that someone else consumes large quanities of food too, heehee, makes me feel a little better. I gues it’s better to eat 10 bananas than cooked food.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Shambavi, the detox is also mental and emotional, not just physical. It is very common for old feeling of depression to come up to be released and finally let go of. Maybe it is something old being released and not something new taking hold of you.

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