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Dried fruits are very popular for a multitude of reasons! Eating fruit is associated with improved health and provides many of the essential minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and fiber that you need every day. Dried fruit doesn't spoil as quickly and is an easy snack to pack, especially for activities like hiking!

But keep in mind, dried fruits are higher in calories because they are more concentrated once the water has been removed. Weight for weight, fresh fruit will have few calories than its dehydrated version. One hundred grams of fresh plums contain only 46 calories, whereas 100 grams of prunes (dried plums) have 240 calories. It is also important to note that some vitamins are lost during the drying process. For the same fresh plums, you are eating 16% of your daily needs for vitamin C, but when dried, you are getting only 1%.

It is also important to note that a single serving of fresh fruit is 1 cup, but when fruit has been dehydrated, a single serving is only one half of a cup.

When you are selecting different dried fruits, be sure to read the packaging label. Look not only at the appropriate portion size, but also what else has been added to the dried fruit. Often dried fruits have additional sugar added to enhance the flavor and draw the water from the microbial cells, thereby protecting it from spoilage. Look for labels that say "no sugar added," or the dried fruit might be a treat rather than a healthy snack. Some dried fruits will be hard to find without added sugar, especially cranberries, pineapple, and bananas. Another commonly added ingredient is sulfur dioxide, which works to preserve the fruit and prevent discoloration.

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