Packed or canned raisins are available in the local grocery store throughout the year. Several brands and grades of raisins are available, so always buy raisins of good quality.
Raisins are available in small serving-size boxes and large containers. Try to purchase raisins that are sold in transparent containers, or loose, so that you can check their quality. While buying packaged raisins, make sure that the container is properly sealed and is not tampered.
Substandard and low quality raisins have thin flesh and very poor taste. Buy raisins that are plump in appearance and are not very shriveled.
Avoid buying old stocks and those that have molds, excess moisture or are rotten as this will affect their appearance and edibility.
Shake the box or container and avoid buying boxes that rattle loudly as this indicates that the raisins have dried out.
Even though there are relatively small traces of pesticides in raisins, their impact on health is well-documented. They tamper the liver’s ability to process other toxins, inhibiting the cell’s ability to produce energy.
Commercially grown raisins are even treated with sulfur dioxides to extend their shelf life and prevent oxidation and bleaching of colors. This can cause adverse reactions, especially in people who suffer from asthma and are sulfite sensitive. So, consider buying organic raisins if you’re sulfite sensitive.
Raisins are best consumed within six months from the date of purchase.
Proper storage is very important for maintaining the freshness and the quality of raisins.
Raisins are ideally kept in a cool and dry place. They stay fresh for more than two months if kept in an airtight container and will last even more if stored in a refrigerator.
Refrigeration is recommended if you are preserving the raisins for later consumption. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to one year and in the freezer for up to two years. Prolonged cold storage may result in the crystallization of the sugar content of raisins.
To prevent the crystallization, transfer the raisins from the container to an airtight storage bag and press out the air as much as possible. Seal the bag properly and place it in the refrigerator or the kitchen cabinet. This will prevent the raisins from crystallizing or turning stale. You can even soak them in warm water to dissolve their crystals.