Ninety-eight percent of all juices,
including apricot juices, sold in the United States are pasteurized to
stop the natural enzyme action that would otherwise turn sugars to
alcohols. Pasteurization also protects juices from potentially harmful
bacterial and mold contamination. Following several deaths attributed to unpasteurized apple juices that contain E.coli, the FDA ruled that all
fruit and vegetable juices must carry a warning label telling you
whether the juice has been pasteurized. By the end of the year 2000, all
juices must be processed to remove or inactivate harmful bacteria.
Five pounds of fresh apricots
produce only a pound of dried apricots. Drying remove the water, not
nutrients. Ounce for ounce, dried apricots have twelve times the iron,
seven times the fiber, and five times the vitamin A of the fresh fruit.
Three and a half ounces of dried apricots provide 12,700 IU of vitamin
A, two and a half times the full daily requirements for a healthy adult
man, and 6.3 mg of iron, one-third the daily requirement for an adult
woman. In some studies with laboratory animals, dried apricots have been
as effective as liver, kidneys, and eggs in treating iron-deficiency
To keep them from turning brown as they dry,
apricots may be treated with sulfur dioxide. This chemical may cause
serious allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, in people who
are sensitive to sulfites. Apricots can also be found in medical uses.
They are used in lowering the risk of some cancers. According to the
American Cancer Society, apricots and other foods rich in beta-carotene
may lower the risk of cancers of the larynx, esophagus, and lungs.
Although this remains unproven, the ACS recommends adding apricots to
your diet. There is no such benefit from beta-carotene supplements. On
the contrary, one controversial study actually showed a higher rate of
lung cancer among smokers taking the supplement.