Are prunes dehydrated plums?

Have you ever pondered upon the question “Are prunes dehydrated plums?” whilst munching on them? Or are you one of those who believe that prunes and plums belong to different species altogether? Fret not, dear reader, for in this article we shall explore the various aspects of these two dried fruits and answer the age-old question that has plagued mankind.

The Anatomy of a Plum

Before we dive into whether or not prunes are dehydrated plums, let us first understand what a plum is. The fruit belongs to the family Rosaceae and is closely related to peaches, apricots, and almonds. A plum consists of three main parts:

1) The Skin

The skin is generally dark purple or red but can also be yellow-green or light pink. It is edible but some people prefer to peel it off before consuming as it could be sour and slightly bitter.

2) Flesh

Beneath the skin lies soft juicy flesh which tastes sweet.

3) Pit

The pit or stone sits inside the fruit’s fleshy part which houses its seeds. These pits cannot be consumed raw as they contain hydrocyanic acid which releases Cyanide when ingested.

Now that our basics are clear, let’s move ahead!

How Are Prunes Made?

Prune-making involves drying fruits under specific conditions until they lose most of their moisture content resulting in wrinkled appearance with chewy texture hence called ‘dried-plum’. California produces nearly all US prune supply; thus having well-defined regulations concerning drying methods used- sun dry (called specialty), vacuum-dry(no longer available due impairment to quality consistency), mechanically dry(97% market share – mostly opt-in). However sterilization technique remains same across board i.e hot water dip.

Sun Drying Method

Back in the day, Prunes were dried under natural sunlight. Fruits are laid out on flat trays with no more than a couple of layers deep enabling regular turning for optimal exposure to heat which ranges between 85-90°F.

Vacuum Drying Method

This method is no longer in use due to lack of consistency with resulting quality compared to sun and mechanical procedure but basically involves removal of air pressure from vacuum chamber before applying heat ranging between 50°C – 80°C (122°F -176°F) until moisture content reduced by half & pliable like raisin.

There’s also mechanically drying process which makes up most market shares…

Are Prunes Dehydrated Plums?

To answer this question simply: Yes, prunes are dehydrated plums! The druplets that become ripe fruits separate from stems just like as normal plum during harvesting; However not all plums get dehydrated into prunes because only certain varieties of European Plum (Prunus domestica L.) make good candidates e.g. d’Agen plum or Stanley prune-plum harvested when firm then later subjected/added concentrated sugar syrup after initial drying stage. In summation whereby it can be easy sometimes to mix up fresh and dried plums as their taste profiles could be similar; nonetheless cosmetically they appear almost identical since both share same plants species i.e ”House Of A Dozen Relatives”.

Next time you encounter a prune may your mind and tastebuds enlighten you!

So What Are The Benefits Of Eating These ‘Dried Plums’

While researching for this article, we discovered some interesting facts regarding the benefits consuming prunes:

1) Prevents Osteoporosis: They contain an ample amount of Vitamin K (thanks mother nature!) essential in maintaining strong bones, reduce risk fractures especially among menopausal women who have low estrogen levels accelerating bone mineral density loss leading osteoporosis.

2) Promotes Digestive Health: A natural laxative, prunes are high in dietary fiber which aids bowel movement (unlike some prescription pill pushers) plus supports healthy microbial abundance thereby keeping bloated stomachs at bay! (Brb grabbing myself a handful of these babies)

3) Lowers Blood Pressure: Prunes contain potassium which studies suggest decreases the risk of hypertension by regulating sodium-potassium pump; henceforth lowering blood pressure – sweet yes?

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that prunes are nothing but dehydrated plums resulting from specific drying methods under controlled conditions. With their long shelf life and numerous health benefits, they certainly warrant a place in our daily diet (in moderation of course 😉 ).

So folks next time your granny insists on feeding you prune juice or adding them to your muffins just smile knowing what you know now… or share this article with her so she knows we’re all caught up.

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