Sultanas & Raisins

Sultanas & Raisins

Dried grapes are the dried, ripe fruit of the grapevine. After grapes reach the desired sugar content, they are harvested, washed, dried, sorted and packed. Grapes can be dried in the air (in the sun or in the shade) or in drying facilities. Sundried grapes have a darker skin color compared to grapes dried in the shade.

Dried grapes can be treated by sulphuring with sulphur dioxide (SO2), which is the common production process for the golden yellow types. However, sulphur dioxide cannot be used in the production of organic dried grapes. In order to prevent the raisins from sticking together, they are often coated with vegetable oil.

Dried grapes are eaten raw or used in cooking, baking, and brewing.

Raisins and sultanas are all popular types of dried fruit, more specifically, they are different types of dried grapes.

In the US, the term ‘raisin’ is applied to both raisins and sultanas. To distinguish the two, sultanas are referred to as ‘golden’ raisins. Internationally, it’s a different story. In most countries, including the UK, raisins and sultanas are differentiated by the type of grape and the processing method used. Please take into consideration that many countries have different classification for dried grapes, and there is no internationally accepted classification.

Main producers of raisins and sultanas; Turkey, the US , Iran, India, China, Uzbekistan.

Main importers of raisins and sultanas; the UK, the EU, Japan.


Raisins are dried grapes, in most cases the grapes are white/green in color and as they dry the color becomes dark and the concentration of nutrients turn dense. A range of grape varieties is used to make raisins. The size, taste and color depend on the type of grape used. Raisins have a soft texture, a sweet flavor and are typically larger than sultanas.


Sultanas are also known as ‘golden raisins’ as their color turns golden as they dry. This is simply because sultanas are made with golden white/yellow fleshed grapes known as ‘sultan’, which have absolutely no seeds or particles. The light skin color is preserved by dipping the grapes into a special solution and by a treatment with sulphur dioxide (SO2). Sultanas tend to be much plumper, sweeter, and altogether juicier than but also smaller than raisins.

Variations between raisins and sultanas are slight, but both are high in natural sugar, containing around 60–75% sugar.

ARASCO is trading both raisins and sultanas. Our main origins are Turkey, the US and India. Our extended network allows us to supply any origin, depending on your needs.

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