Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world, such as the United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Greece, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Togo, and Jamaica, as well as South Africa and Southern and Eastern Europe. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking and baking.


The word "raisin" dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; in Old French and French, "raisin" means "grape," while, in French, a dried grape is referred to as a "raisin sec", or "dry grape." The Old French word in turn developed from the Latin word "", "a bunch of grapes." The origin of the Latin word is unclear.


Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used. Seedless varieties include Thompson Seedless (Sultana) and Flame. Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be "water-dipped," or dehydrated. "Golden raisins" are made from Thompsons, treated with Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) , and flame dried to give them their characteristic color. A particular variety of seedless grape, the Black Corinth, is also sun dried to produce Zante currants, mini raisins that are much darker in color and have a tart, tangy flavour. Several varieties of raisins are produced in Asia and, in the West, are only available at ethnic specialty grocers. Green raisins are produced in Iran. Raisins have a variety of colors (green, black, blue, purple, yellow) and sizes.

Regional variations

In the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, the word raisin is reserved for the dried large dark grape, with sultana being a dried large white grape, and currant being a dried small Black Corinth grape.

Nutritional value

Raisins are about 60% sugars by weight, most of which is fructose. Raisins are also high in antioxidants, and are comparable to prunes and apricots in this regard.


Raisins are sweet due to their high concentration of sugars. If they are stored for a long period, the sugar inside the fruit crystallizes. This makes the fruit gritty, but does not affect its usability. To de-crystalize raisins, they can be soaked in liquid (alcohol, fruit juice, or boiling water) for a short period, dissolving the sugar.

See also

* Blackcurrant
* Zante currant
* Redcurrant
* Sultana
* Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs
* Raisin Bran
* Snap-dragon, a Victorian parlour game that involved raisins being plucked from a bowl of burning brandy.


* cite conference | author=C. D. Wu, J. F. Rivero-Cruz, M. Zhu, B. Su, A. D. Kinghorn | title=Antimicrobial Phytochemicals in Thompson Seedless Raisins ("Vitis vinifera L.") Inhibit Dental Plaque Bacteria
booktitle=American Society for Microbiology meeting. June 5–9. Atlanta | year=2005 | pages= |url=http://www.abstractsonline.com/viewer/viewAbstractPrintFriendly.asp?CKey={F2F471D3-4975-4531-91A3-99EF6E664CEC}&SKey={A60C59D2-2740-438F-8EDB-FBCA9A4ED3C2}&MKey={382D7E47-BE0B-4BBA-B3A6-E511C92FA999}&AKey={32093528-52DC-4EBE-9D80-29DAD84C92CE}

External links

* [http://www.nutfruit.org INC, International Nut and Dried Fruit Council Foundation]
* [http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=33 The World's Healthiest Foods: Raisins]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • raisin — [ rɛzɛ̃ ] n. m. • XIIe; lat. pop. °racimus, class. racemus 1 ♦ Le raisin, des raisins. Fruit de la vigne, ensemble de baies (⇒ grain) réunies en grappes sur une rafle. Variété de raisin. ⇒ cépage; aramon, cabernet, chasselas, clairette, gamay,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • raisin — RAISIN. s. m. Le fruit de la vigne. Une grape de raisin. un grain de raisin. cette vigne porte de beaux raisins c est un bon raisin que le chasselas, que le muscat. du raisin muscat. un raisin bien doux. des raisins blancs. des raisins noirs. une …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Raisin — Rai sin (r[=a] z n), n. [F. raisin grape, raisin, L. racemus cluster of grapes or berries; cf. Gr. ra x, rago s, berry, grape. Cf. {Raceme}.] 1. A grape, or a bunch of grapes. [Obs.] Cotgrave. [1913 Webster] 2. A grape dried in the sun or by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • RAISIN — (santé) En France le sigle Raisin (Réseau d’alerte, d’investigation et de surveillance des infections nosocomiales) est un réseau dépendant de l’InVS qui permet un partenariat entre ce dernier et les 5 CClin (Centres de coordination de la lutte… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • raisin — Raisin, m. acut. Est le fruict de la vigne, Vua, Il vient de Racemus Latin. Grappe de raisin, Botrus, Racemus, Vua. Raisins qui ont la peau et la cotte dure, Duracini. Raisins de Corinthe, Racemi Corinthij. Raisins de Damas, Racemi Damasceni.… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • raisin — (n.) c.1300, from Anglo Fr. raycin (late 13c.), O.Fr. raisin grape, raisin, from V.L. *racimus, alteration of L. racemus cluster of grapes or berries, probably from the same ancient lost Mediterranean language as Gk. rhax (gen. rhagos) grape,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Raisin [1] — Raisin, Fluß im Staate Michigan (Nordamerika); mündet in den Eriesee …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Raisin [2] — Raisin (spr. Räsäng, Grand R., R. douple, R. simple, Petit R.), französische Papiersorten …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • raisin — ► NOUN ▪ a partially dried grape. DERIVATIVES raisiny adjective. ORIGIN Old French, grape , from an alteration of Latin racemus bunch of grapes …   English terms dictionary

  • raisin — [rā′zən] n. [OFr reisin < VL * racimus < L racemus, cluster of grapes] any of various kinds of sweet grapes, usually seedless, dried for eating …   English World dictionary

  • Raisin — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Raisin (homonymie). Grappes de raisin sur la vigne …   Wikipédia en Français

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