Dating back to the fourth millennium BC, humans have been drying fruits as a method of consumption. Dried fruit has a variety of qualities including preservation and high nutritional value. It also makes for a phenomenal snack that is sweet and easy to eat. As you can see, we clearly have a fond appreciation for dried fruit. There are many ways to dry fresh fruits and we would like to share one of them with you. In this post, we are going to talk about the factory process of drying apricots in bulk.
The first step is to make sure the fresh apricots are ripe and ready. Ripe fruit is absolutely essential to a successful drying process. The firmer the fruit is the more nutritional value you will get out of it. Not to mention, it will be sweeter from a higher concentration.
If you are drying your own fruit, you may want to consider growing it yourself. The US soil grows many different dried fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, peaches, pears, plums, figs, and apricots. A good portion of these fruits, including apricots, come from California which has extremely rich soil and a climate which is great for growing these types of products.
Once the fruit is picked, it is separated into small, medium, large, and extra large sizes. Separation makes for a smoother process. The apricots then go through conveyer belts for quality control. As a result, this process leaves all the twigs, branches, leaves, or soil behind. This is to assure you are only getting the apricots and nothing else. Once quality control is complete, they again separate each of the sizes into industrial grade, standard grade, and choice grade. At many factories, they have exceptional technology equipped with cameras called optical cameras. These cameras are able to sort the apricots with blemishes on them from the more perfect ones.
Ever wonder why apricots come in orange or brown colors?
The next step is to analyze the sulfur dioxide and moisture content in each of the apricots. Brown apricots have no sulfur added. With Sulfur, apricots hold their orange color that we all recognize them for. Therefore, this is typically done by introducing buffered sodium chloride solution to the highest quality of apricots from the farm. Once quality levels are determined the apricots are ready to be dried. They place them in the sunlight, a method which makes them softer and surprisingly adds moisture to the dried product. The amount of time for drying Apricots is usually around 3-4 days. Once they are through with the drying process, they place the dried fruit away in cold storage. Upon receiving an order, the fruits are washed and packaged for shipping. Obviously, that’s when they come to your doorstep and you get to snack.
Voila! You now know the factory process for drying apricots. Pretty cool, huh?
An informative video on a supplier drying apricots for consumers: