Most people understand that a prune is a dried plum. But, have you ever wondered which plums are used to make prunes? If you have, then we are here to help.
In this guide, we will look at:
- What type of plums are used for prunes?
- Do all plums make prunes?
- Can prunes be made from black plums?
- Is eating plums the same as eating prunes?
- Why do prunes make you poop and not plums?
So, What Type of plums Are Used for Prunes?
In truth, you can use any plum to make prunes, but some are better suited than others.
Japanese plums are not generally used for producing prunes because most are clingstone types. This means that the flesh of the plume is attached to the pit, making it difficult to remove.
The majority of European plums are freestone and are favored for making prunes for this reason. The three most common species of plums used to produce prunes are:
- Prunus domestica
- Prunus salicina
- Prunus americana
These three species have a unique carbohydrate composition that prevents them from fermenting during the drying process despite having very high sugar content.
Do All Plums Make Prunes?
Any dried plum is technically a prune.
That is not to say that any plum will make a good prune. Some varieties are difficult to pit. Some plumes have thicker skins that can become tough when dried, and many of the almost 300 types of plums cultivated simply don’t have the sugar content to produce sweet prunes.
Can Prunes Be Made from Black Plums?
Many varieties of black plums make excellent prunes.
Though not generally used commercially:
- Autumn Pride
- Black Ambar
- Black Beauty
- Black Royal
- Late Catalina
Are all black plum varieties that you can use to make prunes at home.
Is Eating Plums the Same as Eating Prunes?
Plums and prunes generally have similar vitamin and mineral content if considered on a per-piece basis. However, the drying process does create some subtle differences:
- By weight, prunes are richer in amino acids, antioxidants, carbohydrates, sugars, starch, fat, protein, and fiber.
- Plums contain 15 times the amount of vitamin C that prunes do.
- Prunes contain polyol, sorbitol, and chlorogenic acid (natural laxatives), which form during the drying process.
- Prunes have a lower Glycemic Index rating due to being denser and digesting slower.
Why Do Prunes Make You Poop and Not Plums?
By virtue of being dried, prunes are a more concentrated source of fiber and sugars than plums. Fiber is a bulking agent that helps to increase fecal volume. The sugars help draw water out of the body and into the intestinal tract, where it acts as a softening agent.
Plums also lack polyol, sorbitol, and chlorogenic acid, which form in the prune during the drying process. These compounds act as natural laxatives that help loosen stools.