Can I Serve Dried Fruit Instead Of Fresh?

Can I Serve Dried Fruit Instead Of Fresh?

 March 26th, 2010
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My severe macaw won’t touch fresh fruit.  Can I give him dried fruit? -Lonia G.,   Boston, MA

Dried fruits have a lot of advantages.  It lasts a long time, it is an easy snack if you are traveling and because there are no bacteria harboring juices, it works great in foraging toys and stays fresh in the cage all day. There are, however, some things you should be aware of.

When fruits are dehydrated, the process shrinks them to a fraction of their original size.  The concentration of sugar becomes very high and because they have less bulk and no water, more can be consumed leading to a very high sugar and calorie intake.

Dehydration will cause many of the fruit’s nutrients to be lost.  Vitamin C, for example, deteriorates in heat and is all but lost in the drying process.  Berries tend to lose a great deal of their nutrition.  Dried fruits do, however, maintain their fiber and iron content and many of their antioxidants.  In that regard, they are a healthy snack.

When you go to purchase dried fruits, be certain to buy only the products that state that sulfer dioxide is NOT used as a preservative. Sulfer dioxide is known to cause asthma-like symptoms in humans. Also avoid sweeteners. Often dried cranberries are sweetened because of their tartness. Be wary of packaging that target kids for that reason.

Most birds love dried fruits, and they are a perfectly safe and delicious snack when served in moderation.  But they do not offer the same benefits as fresh fruits.


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3 Comments on “Can I Serve Dried Fruit Instead Of Fresh?”

Shannon  04/02/2010 9:35 am

Very helpful info…thanks…I was unaware of this!!

Kate  04/07/2010 9:17 pm

What about dried veggies? I have a newly rescued Ekkie with some previous weight issues and I need foraging treats that aren’t fatty so I was thinking dried veggies?

Jamieleigh  04/07/2010 10:49 pm

Hi Kate,
This is Patty responding to your question. My article was posted in Jamieleigh’s name due to a technical problem. All of the same info applies to dried veggies. The caloric intake is higher and the nutritional value is lower than in fresh foods. Vitamin C is destroyed in the drying process and both A and C are depleted by exposure to air. As foraging toy treats, they are fine. Just be certain they are NOT sulfered or salted.