Review of dried fruits: phytochemicals, antioxidant efficacies, and health benefits.
Dried fruits, which serve as important healthful snacks worldwide, provide a concentrated form of fresh fruits. They are nutritionally equivalent to fresh fruits in smaller serving sizes, ranging from 30 to 43 g depending on the fruit, in current dietary recommendation in different countries. Daily consumption of dried fruits is recommended in order to gain full benefit of essential nutrients, health-promoting phytochemicals, and antioxidants that they contain, together with their desirable taste and aroma. Recently, much interest in the health benefits of dried fruits has led to many in vitro and in vivo (animal and human intervention) studies as well as the identification and quantification of various groups of phytochemicals. This review discusses phytochemical compositions, antioxidant efficacies, and potential health benefits of eight traditional dried fruits such as apples, apricots, dates, figs, peaches, pears, prunes, and raisins, together with dried cranberries. Novel product formulations and future perspectives of dried fruits are also discussed. Research findings from the existing literature published within the last 10 years have been compiled and summarised.