A fruit with astounding functionalities.
The original variety of Californian plum was imported to California in the 19th century by Louis Pellier from his home country, France. The plants found ideal conditions in the fertile valleys warmed by California sunshine.
Plums that are processed into prunes are among the few fruits that are allowed to ripen on the tree before harvest. In late summer, the fruit has achieved perfect firmness and sugar content – and this is when the plums are harvested from the tree. The fruits lose much of their water content during the subsequent drying process.
Whether used as a powder, as bits, diced, pureed, or as concentrate – prunes contain a unique combination of nutrients that make them interesting beyond their taste. For example, they contain a high proportion of sorbitol as well as fiber and are rich in vitamin A, copper, and potassium. Because they also have a lot of natural antioxidants, they can be used to halt oxidative processes and extend the shelf life of food products.
Another effect becomes evident in baked goods: Prunes bind moisture before and during baking – and thus keep the baked goods fresh longer. They also naturally enhance the flavor intensity of sauces. Thanks to their combination of sorbitol and fruit acids, prunes can even help to lower salt and sugar content in sauces or avoid the usage of caramel color.
A full third of global prune production now comes from California, where our partner Sunsweet is based. A cooperative of more than 300 farmers, it is now the world’s most popular prune brand.
- USA (California)