The raisins are dried grapes. All grapes are, however, not suitable for making raisins. The grapes, which are very sweet, are only selected for drying. Raisins have high nourishing qualities.
Basically dry grapes and they are known as kishmish, bedana, manuka or dry fruit. During earlier days, grapes were dried on plants only which was a very crude method resulting in wastages. Processing using some chemicals was invented but there was considerable consumer resistance. Since then a new method without use of chemicals, known as Australian method, has been introduced successfully. Sangli and Nasik districts of Maharashtra grow large quantities of grapes and many growers or gardeners are keen to supply to raisin makers due to assured market. Maharashtra is, therefore, a preferred. Raisin is a popular dry fruit item with shelf life of around 6 months if stored properly. Apart from use as a dry fruit item, it is used in large quantities in many sweet preparations, some farsan items and desserts.
The raisins are esteemed for their rare food value. Rasins is rich in carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. They form a very valuable food when taken with milk. They supplement each other as the milk contains sufficient protein and the raisins, sugar. In same way they can be taken with advantage with nuts such as cashew nut, walnut and groundnut. Raisins are extensively used in salads. They may be-added to curries. They are also used in the bakery and confectionary and widely used in the preparation of jams, jellies, cakes, puddings and pies.
The high food value of raisins arises chiefly from their sugar content. They contain eight times more sugar than grapes. The sugar contained in the raisins is of superior quality, like that of the grapes, as major portion of this sugar is formed by glucose and fruit sugar, As is well known, glucose produces quick heat and energy in the body. Raisins are thus an excellent food in all cases of debility and wasting diseases. They are also valuable during convalescence. In Europe, persons suffering from various chronic ailments are taking recourse to an exclusive diet of raisins for some time. This forms a treatment by itself and is known as ‘raisin cure’. It is believed that raisins, taken in this manner, for one month will bring about considerable improvement in health as a result of proper elimination of acidosis, Constipation, Anemia, Under Weight, Febrile Cases.