Below are the most commonly asked questions about California Dried Plums. If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us.
- Are dried plums the same as prunes?
- Why was the name prunes changed to dried plums?
- Where are most of the dried plums grown?
- What are the most popular ways of using dried plums?
- Why are dried plums such an effective digestive aid?
- What nutrients do dried plums contain?
- What nutrients does prune juice contain?
- When are the fresh plums harvested that are made into dried plums?
- How are the fresh plums dried into prunes/dried plums?
- Are preservatives used in processing dried plums/prunes?
- Are sulfur dioxide or other sulfating agents used on dried plums?
- How long can I store unopened packages of dried plums/prunes and bottles or cans of prune juice?
- How can I make prune purée at home if I want to use it as a fat substitute in baking recipes?
- How can I make stewed prunes/dried plums?
- What is the California Dried Plum Board?
Are dried plums the same as prunes?
Yes, they are. All prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes. Prune plum varieties have very high sugar contents that enable them to be dried without fermenting while still containing the pits.
Why was the name prunes changed to dried plums?
Research conducted in the U.S. showed that our target audience, women ages 25 to 54, responded more favorably to the name dried plums. It is also more descriptive for people who don’t know that prunes are fresh plums that have been dried. Outside the U.S., the product is still called prunes.
Where are most of the dried plums grown?
California grows 99% of the U.S. supply of dried plums. The primary California growing areas are the Sacramento Valley and the San Joaquin Valley.
What are the most popular ways of using dried plums?
Dried plums are often eaten right from the package as a convenient, portable, nutritious snack. They are also added to salads, cereals and stuffing, stewed in water or fruit juice and used in baking muffins and cakes. See the recipe section for other ways to use them in cooking and baking.
Why are dried plums such an effective digestive aid?
Dried plums contain both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as sorbitol, an unfermentable sugar which has been shown to produce a good medium for the production of desirable intestinal microorganisms. Insoluble fiber adds bulk and pulls water into the intestine resulting in a softer stool that is more quickly eliminated. Soluble fiber mixes with water in the stomach to become more viscous. This can result in the stomach emptying more slowly, giving a feeling of satiety, and aiding in the absorption of important nutrients.
What nutrients do dried plums contain?
Dried plums contain potassium, soluble and insoluble fiber, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants as well as some iron and Vitamin A.
What nutrients does prune juice contain?
Prune juice is a water extract of prunes/dried plums and contains vitamins and minerals including iron, Vitamin A and potassium.
When are the fresh plums harvested that are made into dried plums?
Harvest usually begins about August 10 and lasts approximately 30 days.
How are the fresh plums dried into prunes/dried plums?
The orchard-ripe plums are washed, placed on large wooden trays and dehydrated in tunnels using a series of scientifically controlled operations.
Are preservatives used in processing dried plums/prunes?
The only preservative used in processing is potassium sorbate (the potassium salt of sorbic acid) which is used to prevent mold and yeast spoilage. Sorbic acid is completely safe, since it is found in nature in the European sorb apple and in rowanberries.
Are sulfur dioxide or other sulfating agents used on dried plums?
No. Since dried plums are already dark in color after dehydration, there is no need to use any sulfating agents to prevent darkening.
How long can I store unopened packages of dried plums/prunes and bottles or cans of prune juice?
These products should be fine for 18 months if stored away from extreme temperature and humidity
How can I make prune purée at home if I want to use it as a fat substitute in baking recipes?
Combine 1-1/3 cup (8 ounces) pitted prunes/dried plums and 6 tablespoons hot water in container of food processor. Pulse on and off until prunes are finely chopped and nearly smooth. Prune purée can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
How can I make stewed prunes/dried plums?
Place the prunes/dried plums in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. No sugar is needed. For variety, simmer with a slice of lemon or a cinnamon stick or a few cloves.
What is the California Dried Plum Board?
The California Dried Plum Board is an instrumentality of the Department of Food & Agriculture, State of California, which represents all growers and packers of dried plums in California. Its mission is to protect and support the health, growth and integrity of the California dried plum industry.