Healthy nibbles

DRIED APRICOT

DRIED APRICOT

DID YOU KNOW?
Initially considered a form of peach, the apricot has been grown for thousands of years in Asia and for at least two thousand years in Europe. Although also consumed fresh, the largest part of the world’s apricot production is preserved by drying.1
According to the Russian Botanist Vavilov, the origin of the apricot has three places of origin: The Chinese (China and Tibet), the Central Asian (from Tien-Shan to Kashmir) and the Near-Eastern (Iran, Caucasus and Turkey). Apricots spread from Central Asia to Europe and later the Spaniards and the English took it to America.1,2
Turkey is the leading producing country of dried apricots. Other main producers currently are Iran, Uzbekistan, China and Afghanistan.
BENEFITS
Nutrients
Dried apricots are high in fiber, potassium, copper, vitamin A and vitamin E (α-tocopherol), and a source of iron and niacin.3,4
Vitamin A
Of all dried fruits, dried apricots contain the highest amount of vitamin A (3604 IU/100 g).
Beta-carotene
The content of β-carotene in dried apricots is 2163 mcg in 100 g. Dried apricots contain the highest amount of the pigment, which is part of provitamin A carotenoids.
FUN FACTS
The inhabitants of Hunza (Pakistan) enjoy remarkable health and longevity, attributed in part to their famous small dried apricots. 1
DRIED APRICOT
Malatya
Malatya, the major apricot-producing city in Turkey, is known as the “World Capital of Dried Apricots”.
References:

1)    Faust, M.; Surányi, D. and Nyujtó, F. 1998. Origin and Dissemination of Apricot. In Janick, J. Ed., Horticultural Reviews, Volume 22 pp.225-265. USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
2)    Yilmaz, K.U. and Gurcan, K. 2012. Genetic Diversity in Apricot. In Prof. Caliskan, M. Ed., Genetic Diversity in Plants, pp249-270. Rijeka, Croatia: In Tech.
3)    USDA Food Composition Databases. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 slightly revised May, 2016: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list.
4)    Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en.

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