SULTANAS – Nutritional Profile
Sultanas are dried, seedless white grapes. They have a golden colour and tend to be plumper and sweeter than other forms of raisin.
A 100g portion contains 299 calories, 79g of carbohydrates, 4g of fibre, 59g of sugars (57g of which are monosaccharides) and 3g of protein. It also contains 2.3mg of Vitamin C, 0.12mg of Vitamin E and 3.5 µg of Vitamin K. Vitamins in group B are also found as 0.766mg of Niacin, 0.0174mg of Pyridoxine, 0.125mg of Riboflavin and 0.106µg of Thiamin are present.
Sultanas contain a wide variety of minerals. Calcium (50mg) , Copper (0.32mg), Iron (1.88mg), Magnesium (7mg), Manganese (0.3mg), Phosphorous (101mg), Selenium (0.6µg) and Zinc (0.22mg) are all present.
SULTANAS – Health Benefits
Sultanas can be considered nature’s healthy alternative to candy because not only do they have a sweet taste, they have also been the subject of phytonutrient research which have discovered a diverse range of health benefits.
The phenols in the sultana have shown to have high levels of antioxidant activity. These antioxidants go on to protect the body from “free radicals”, a harmful body that can lead to cell damage, clogging of arteries or even some forms of cancers.
Boron is a mineral that is critical to good health, particularly in women. The Boron found in sultanas is used to convert oestrogen to vitamin D and helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis and other bone degradation problems.
Sultanas are also a great form of energy as they are a very dense fruit. The Sultana is packed with natural sugars which promote the efficient intake of vitamins, proteins and other nutrients into the body.
The high iron and copper content of the sultana is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Sultanas also help to correct any iron deficiency (anaemia) and promote blood clotting during wound healing.
Polyphenic phytonutrients found in sultanas also possess antioxidant properties that protect the eyes from free radicals. They help to prevent the development of cataracts, blindness and other visual disorders.
The Oleanolic acid found in the sultana provides protection against cavities and tooth decay, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause gingivitis.
SULTANAS – Product History
The Sultana raisin was traditionally imported from the Ottoman Empire to English speaking countries. The major producers of the sultana were Turkey due to the hot environment which caused the seedless grape to dry.
Originally the American name of the grape used to make the sultana was Thompson seedless, referring to William Thompson, a viticulturist who was credit with being an introducer and early grower of the variety in California.
Traditionally grapes were sun dried but due to such high demand sultanas are often steeped in a solution of water, potassium carbonate and vegetable oil in order to hasten the drying process.