Prune

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Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,006 kJ (240 kcal)
Carbohydrates63.88 g
- Sugars38.13 g
- Dietary fibre7.1 g
Fat0.38 g
Protein2.18 g
Vitamin A781 IU
Vitamin C0.6 mg (1%)
Phosphorus69 mg (10%)
Potassium732 mg (16%)
1 prune, pitted 9.5 g
1 cup, pitted 174 g
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
 
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Fresh prunes (Prunus domestica)
Dried prune

A prune is any of various plum cultivars, mostly Prunus domestica or European Plum, sold as fresh or dried fruit. The dried fruit is also referred to as a dried plum. In general, fresh prunes are freestone cultivars (the pit is easy to remove), whereas most other plums grown for fresh consumption are clingstone (the pit is more difficult to remove).

Contents

Production

More than 1,000 cultivars of plums are grown for drying. The main cultivar grown in the U.S. is the Improved French prune. Other varieties include Sutter, Tulare Giant, Moyer, Imperial, Italian, and Greengage. Fresh prunes reach the market earlier than fresh plums and are usually smaller in size.

Marketing change

Due to popular perception (in the U.S.) of prunes being used only for relief of constipation, and being the subject of related joking, many of today's distributors have stopped using the word "prune" on packaging labels. Their preference is to state "dried plums".[1]

Uses

Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,006 kJ (240 kcal)
Carbohydrates63.88 g
- Sugars38.13 g
- Dietary fibre7.1 g
Fat0.38 g
Protein2.18 g
Vitamin A781 IU
Vitamin C0.6 mg (1%)
Phosphorus69 mg (10%)
Potassium732 mg (16%)
1 prune, pitted 9.5 g
1 cup, pitted 174 g
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Prunes are used in cooking both sweet and savory dishes. Stewed prunes, a compote, are a dessert. Prunes are a frequent ingredient in North African tagines. Perhaps the best-known gastronomic prunes are those of Agen (pruneaux d'Agen). Prunes are used frequently in Tzimmes, a traditional Jewish dish in which the principal ingredient is diced or sliced carrots; in the Nordic prune kisel, eaten with rice pudding in the Christmas dinner; and in the traditional Norwegian dessert fruit soup. Prunes have also been included in other holiday dishes, such as stuffing, cake, and to make sugar plums. Prune filled Danish pastries are popular primarily in New York and other parts of the U.S. East Coast. Prune ice cream is popular in the Dominican Republic. Prunes are also used to make juice.

Health benefits

Prunes and their juice contain mild laxatives including phenolic compounds (mainly as neochlorogenic acids and chlorogenic acids) and sorbitol.[2] Prunes also contain dietary fiber (about 6%, or 0.06 g per gram of prune). Prunes and prune juice are thus common home remedies for constipation. Prunes also have a high antioxidant content.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Janick, Jules and Robert E. Paull (2008). The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts. CABI. ISBN 0-85199-638-8. p. 696.
  2. ^ Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M; Bowen, PE; Hussain, EA; Damayanti-Wood, BI; Farnsworth, NR (2001). "Chemical composition and potential health effects of prunes: a functional food?". Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 41 (4): 251–86. doi:10.1080/20014091091814. PMID 11401245. 
  3. ^ "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. November 2007. http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/ORAC/ORAC07.pdf. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 

External links