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Apricots - How processing affect it

How Processing Affect Apricots

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 anemia.

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.

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