Raisins have several health benefits within the body, including relief from a variety of symptoms, ranging from constipation to acidity in the stomach to sexual dysfunction. The dry grapes also come in handy for those who want to gain weight in a healthy way while the fruit also has a positive impact on the eye, dental and bone health. Raisins are widely used around the world either as fruits or for cultural cooking, especially as dessert. Raisins, also called dried grapes are obtained from drying grapes dried directly in the sun or with a drier. When dried, raisin will be golden, green or black in color. The black gems are considered more nutritious compared to the other two. Some of the top dried grape producing nations are looked at below.
Turkey is known as the "Motherland of Grapes". Grape cultivation in Turkey dates back to the 8th Century. The country ranks sixth in grape production but first in the production of raisins. Turkey produces 4 million tons of grapes on a 550,000 hectares of land of which 353,167 metric tons representing 37% of total grapes are dried as seedless grapes or raisins while the rest are blended into juice, wine or table grapes. Seedless grapes are planted mainly in the region of Aegean. The Sultan seedless raisin is the typical raisin variety planted in the country and the most exported as well. Grapes are either dried directly from the sun or by use of microwave drying machine. The dried grapes are then packaged and sent to the market. Turkey exports raisin to over 100 countries around the world including Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, and Australia.
The United States
Raisins are the most commonly consumed dried fruit in the U.S. The Thompson Seedless grapes are the typical raisin variety in the country. Other varieties include Selma Pete, Muscat, and Sultan. Commercial production of raisins is mainly in the California State. In the year 2014-2015, 332,760 metric tons of dried grapes were produced in the US valued at $709.5 million. Raisin acreage in California totals around 280,000 acres. Only Turkey exports more raisins than the US. 2014-2015, US exported 140,000 metric tons of raisin to several markets around the world. Raisin is marketed by the Raisin Administrative Committee. The committee also regulates the production, quality, and prices of raisin that are exported to the market.
Iran is one of the major exporters of raisins in the world. Iran’s raisin export accounts for 27% of the world’s raisin exports, earning the country over $250 million each year. The country exports its raisins to over 100 countries around the world including Australia, UK, US, Italy, and France among other countries. The country produces an average of 122,595 metric tons of raisin every year according to the 2014-2015 harvest. Some of the common raisin variety grown in Iran include golden, sultan, green and black raisin
The other main producers of raisins include Greece, Chile, South Africa, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. These countries each produce more than 30,000 metric tons of raisins annually. The majority of raisin produced in these countries is mainly for export. Sultana seedless grapes are the primary varieties of raisins produced by these countries.