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Everyone knows what raisins are. Don’t they? They’re dried grapes. Take a bunch of grapes and dry them and, there you are, you have grapes. Simple.

Perhaps not quite as simple as all that. before we get onto the complications, have you ever wondered why raisins are called raisins? The name comes from the Latin racemus: a bunch of grapes. “The Bunch of Grapes” is quite a common name for pubs in Britain, and there’s scope there for all kinds of jokes, but the amount of Latin spoken in the UK is such that the jokes would probably not be understood.

Back to the complicating factors. The reason it isn’t entirely straightforward is that, to dry, the grapes have to have all the water inside them pass through from inside the individual cells that make up the grape and onto the grape’s outer skin. But grape skins contain wax, and wax blocks the passage of water. Just to make it even more difficult, grapes have evolved ways of preventing water from being lost. So how do we get from grape to raisin? Bearing in mind that we want the raisins to look attractive, and that a slow passage of water through the skin makes them look unpleasantly discoloured?

First, the grape has to be prepared for drying. In the old days, this was done by mixing potassium carbonate with chemicals extracted from certain acids. Doing that speeded up water transfer by two or three times, but…potassium carbonate? Isn’t that the stuff in potash? And didn’t they used to make soap out of it? We’re going off raisins by the second. So now we use an emulsion made from olive oil, which works at least as well and doesn’t have customers saying, “Ugh!”

When that has been done, the grapes are dried. You can do that in the sun, though that introduces microbes and the risk of deterioration. It’s also very slow, which takes us back to the questionable appearance of a slow-dried raisin. Drying in the shade works but has the same drawbacks. So most drying today is mechanical. Then, when the raisins are completely dry, they’re washed clean (and dried again, this time by passing air through them) and sorted to get rid of anything that might be substandard.

You can get raisins from lots of places. Why should you choose Cyprus raisins? For the same reason as our grapes are so much in demand; you’re buying a product that you want to be high in natural sugars, and sweet, and grapes don’t come sweeter or higher in natural sugars than Cyprus grapes – attributes they pass on to their dried equivalents. Our raisins are 72% natural sugars, high in antioxidants, and contain no cholesterol at all. They’re nutritious as a snack. Introducing young children to the idea that the best snack is not something mass produced with added colorings, but raisins, could just be one of the best things you can do for them.

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968