The quality and health of dried fruits determined using physical, chemical, and microbial testing methods. Dried fruits are classified based on color, odor, taste, amount of live pest, dead pest, amount of external matters in dried fruit packaging, damage, contamination, and immaturity of fruits. Therefore, we have selected the standard methods for these tests and selected one dried fruit, dried apple, as a sample, with Iran International Standard No. 3612. Physical testing methods for other dried fruits are similar.
Determining color, smell, and taste
Depending on the color and type of apple fruit, they should be sorted before the drying process and different colors should be separated. In addition, if there is a difference in the freshness and smell of dried fruit after drying, they should be separated. The taste and smell of dried fruit are tested after drying operation to improve their quality.
Check the dried fruit. Dried fruit should have its natural smell, taste, and flavor. It should not have the taste of fermentation or any strange smell.
Dried fruit should have a natural color. The color of dried fruit should be united and in proportion to its grade. The shape of the dried fruit should also be united and the same size.
Determining the live pests in dried fruits
Live pests include any living thing, such as hexapoda, mites, fungi, and bacteria that attacks and causes damage, both during crop growth and after harvest. If these pests are alive in the crop, they are called live pests. Plants and fruits are their food source and can be propagated.
Determining pests dried fruits
All the damages caused by pests that are visible by eyes are called pests such as dead insects, body parts of hexapoda, wastes, and body hair of rodents.
Determining external matters
Any substance other than dried fruit including pieces of skin, pods, small twigs, soil, sand, gravel, etc., is called external matters. The tail and seeds are not considered as external matters of dried fruit. For this test, we can select and weigh a sample of dried fruit. Then separate all the external matters and weigh them as well. The ratio of the weight of external matter to the total weight of the sample shows the percentage of external matter. The less and closer value to zero shows the higher quality of dried fruit.
Determining damage for quality of dried fruits
If a part of the dried fruit is damaged by natural, mechanical, and biological factors (such as bitter black spots and cork tissue), it should be removed from the healthy part immediately. Fractures are also considered as damages and the fractured pieces should be removed from the healthy part. The whole dried fruit is weighed, then the fractured and damaged part is separated and weighed, too. This weight ratio of fractured to the whole part of dried fruit should be reported as a percentage of damage.
Determining pollution for quality of dried fruits
Pollution of dried fruit is the contamination of its surface with soil, debris, straw, tree leaves, dead insects, and any other external matter that is visible to the naked eye and cannot be easily removed.
Immaturity of dried fruit includes a condition that fruit has not grown enough for any reason and as a result of slicing the dried fruit is less meaty, does not have a natural color, shape, taste, and so desired quality.
All physical tests of the produced dried fruit by Food Lord Brand have been performed precisely and the products of this company have first-class quality.
Ref: Physical tests for quality of dried fruit