Dried apricots are a type of traditional dried fruit. When treated with sulfur dioxide (E220), the color is vivid orange. Organic fruit not treated with sulfur vapor is darker in color and has a coarser texture. Generally, the lighter the color, the higher the SO2 content. Light-colored varieties (with the sulfur content of more than 2000 ppm) are banned in the European Union.
Apricots have been cultivated in Central Asia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on the Silk Road. They could be transported over huge distances due to their long shelf life. Before the 20th century, they were ubiquitous in the Ottoman, Persian, and Russian Empires. In more recent times, California was the largest producer, before being overtaken by Turkey, where about 95% of the production is provided by the Malatya Province.
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