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Greek raisins: A traditional nutritious delicacy


Raisins are dried grapes of seedless varieties. Two types are produced in Greece: the Zante currants or Corinthian raisins, and the sultana or Sultanina. Raisin production includes 3 steps: a pre-treatment (optional), drying, and post-drying process. The pre-treatment methods are not usually applied prior to the drying of the traditional Greek raisins, with the exception of Sultanina of Crete which may or may not be subject to a pre-treatment method. There are three types of drying methods: sun drying, shade drying, and mechanical drying. Traditional Greek raisins are naturally dried (sun or shade) with the exception of Sultanina of Crete, that may be dried naturally or mechanically. Raisins are a popular and healthy snack, which provide essential nutrients, soluble and insoluble fiber and health protective phytochemicals. Raisins provide many necessary vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium and certain B vitamins. They also have extremely high boron content, a trace element considered important for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones. Cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention effects have been attributed to raisin consumption. So raisins, a product with considerable potential for the agricultural and export sector, are also considered an exceptional snack with health promoting properties.