Apricots are grown mainly in central Asia and around the Mediterranean. With a maximum height of twelve metres, they are considered small trees, which blossom very early on in the season. The fruit of the tree are also called apricots. They are yellow to orange coloured fruits that look quite like small peaches. Their taste can range from sweet to tart and they have firm, not very juicy flesh.

Dried apricots are considered a type of traditional dried fruit. Their colour ranges from vivid orange to brownish – depending on the method of drying. The bright orange fruits are treated with sulphur, the darker types, with a coarser texture, are natural fruits.

Dried apricots have been a popular fruit for ages, thanks mainly to their long shelf life. Apricots are originally from China but became widespread throughout the Ottoman, Persian, and Russian Empires. The fruit arrived in Europe via Armenia, which is why their scientific name is Prunus armenaica. After the Spanish brought dried apricots to America, California became the world’s largest producer. Nowadays, most dried apricots are from Turkey, where about 95 per cent of the production is provided by the Malatya Province.

The drying process degrades a fruit’s content of water-soluble and heat-sensitive vitamins such as vitamin C, yet other nutrients become more concentrated. As a result, dried apricots contain higher levels of most nutrients per gram than fresh ones. Dried apricots are an important source of carotenoids and other antioxidants, vitamin A and potassium. Dried apricots normally do not have any sugar added. Dried apricots are typically used in middle-eastern cuisine.


Dried apricots may come as wholes or halves; with or without kernels; and sulphur-dried or sun-dried.


Whole apricot sizes range from #0 tot #8. The sizes are calibrated by length of the dried fruit and count of dried fruits per kilogram.

Size        Diameter               Count per kg.

#1           36mm or larger     up to 100

#2           32 - 36mm             101 - 120

#3           29 - 36mm             121 - 140

#4           26 - 32mm             141 - 160

#5           24 - 29mm             161 - 180

#6           24 - 26mm             181 - 200

#7           21 - 26mm             201 - 220

#8           20mm or less        220 or more

Diced apricots are usually supplied in the sizes 3-5mm, 5-8mm, 8-10mm.


Dried apricots, like figs, are often treated with sulphites to extend their shelf life by preventing oxidation and bleaching of colours. Sulphite treated fruits are easily recognised by their bright orange colour. To people who are sensitive to asthma, these fruits can cause acute bronchospasm. Therefore, sulphite sensitive persons can instead safely consume unsulfured dried fruits, which have brown colour.

Small apricots are normally dried whole. Larger varieties are dried in halves, without the kernel. The maximum moisture rate allowed in Turkey is 25 per cent.

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Proximates Units
Energy kcal 241
Protein g 3,39
Carbohydrate g 62,64
Fiber g 7,3

Total fat g 0,51
Saturated fat g 0,017
Monounsaturated fat g 0,074
Polyunsaturated fat g 0,074
Cholesterol mg 0

Calcium mg 55
Iron mg 2,66
Magnesium mg 32
Phosphorus mg 71
Potassium mg 1162
Sodium mg 10
Selenium mcg 2,2

Vitamin A IU 3604
Vitamin B6 mg 0,143
Vitamin C mg 1
Vitamin E mg 4,33
Vitamin K mcg 3,1
Carotene, beta mcg 2163
Carotene, alpha mcg 0
Cryptoxanthin, beta mcg 0
Lutein + zeanxanthin mcg 0
* Apricots are dried, sulfured, uncooked.
"Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
for Standard Reference, Release 26 (2013)"
g = gram; mg = miligram ; mcg = microgram; IU = International Units


The world's largest apricot producing countries are Turkey, Iran and China. Turkey produces around two thirds of the world production.


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