#dried, #sweet, #fruit, #longans, #banana, #survival, #food,
Dried sweet fruits as energy food.
In general, any sweet fruit can be dried by the Sun and kept as an emergency energy food supply. Dried sweet fruits may also be used as components of food for survival (similarly to chocolate bars).
Many sweet fruits can be dried and kept in this way. They include bananas, longans, jack fruits, apricots, persimons, plums.
1. Advantage of naturally dried fruits.
a/ Dried fruits have practically no water content and is resistant to spoiling by mould.
b/ Dried fruits can be preserved at ambient temperature for a long time.
c. Concentrated sugar inhibits cell growth and bacterial growth. Dried sweet fruits can be preserved at ambient temperature for an even long time.
d. Well prepared dried sweet fruits which are properly kept in refrigerators can be easily preserved for more than 10 years.
e/ The same fruits may be dried to different extents for totally different market requirements.
Example: Roll pressed bananas may be dried to a dark colour but still in pliable state for consumption in less than a year. They may be dried even further until becoming crunchy and can be preserved for more than a year.
f/ Naturally dried sweet fruit contains NO PRESERVATIVE, is less objectionable to health food enthusiasts.
2. Traditional method of drying fruits by sunlight.
a/ In tropical countries like Vietnam sweet fruits are just peeled and may be additionally cut or pressed into thin slices and placed on aerated plates.
b/ The aerated plates are placed on hot tin (or tiled) roofs every day from 9am to 3pm for about 14 days.
c/ The drying is completed when the fruits or fruit slices reach their individual required dryness.
d/ The drying of plates of fruits needs someone’s watching. The watcher keeps away birds, flies and ants.
3. Improved method of drying fruits by sunlight.
Fruit drying operators may place aerated trays of fruits in aerated enclosed glass boxes under sunlight.
This keeps birds, flies and ants out.
4. Industrial method of drying fruits.
The fruits are placed inside a vacuum vessel and water eveporate from it.
5. Roughshod methods of drying fruits.
a/ Fruit trays are placed on hot, black bitumen surface of paved roads. This method has been practiced in Vietnam. The dried fruits are then dirty and may have sands small gravels sticking to their surfaces.
b/ Fruits are placed in wire baskets in the hot exhaust streams of the tractors or the transport trucks. There are rumours that the method may have been practiced in China. The dried fruits then have smoky smells and are contaminated with heavy metals from the exhaust streams.
6. Eating dried fruits.
Figure: Longan Fruits
Figure: Dried longans packed, wrapped and packed in paper box. This box was bought in year 2002.
The Vietnamese name for longans is “long nhãn” (long= dragon, nhãn= eye, long nhãn= eyes of dragons}.
Figure: Boiled longans. The longans come straight from the paper box bought in 2002 in the previous figure, having been kept in a refrigerator for 15 years.
a/ Some can be eaten without further preparation (roll pressed bananas, dried banana).
b/ Some are best boiled before eating (dried longans).
c/ AVOID eating any dried fruits prepared by roughshod methods.
d/ You must clean your teeth thouroughly after eating dried SWEET fruits, they have high sugar contents. They may cause TOOTH DECAY.
1. Warning on lead and heavy metals contamination of some imported dried fruits may be only the tips of some bigger icebergs.
2. Smoky smell of a dried fruit may be the sign that it had been dried by hot exhaust streams from tractors.
3. Sand and gravel contamination is the sign that the dried fruits had been dried on a road surface.
Dried fruits may be found in Specialty Asian Foodstores.
The small pack of dried longans in the first figure may cost around 2AUD.