Grapes are non climacteric perennial fruits that grow on the woody vines. The fruit can be easily recognized by its clusters from 6 to 300 and its color varies from crimson, black and dark blue to yellow, green and pink. First of all it is necessary to say that the most common European grapes used for wine production are from a different cultivar, named “Vitis vinifera” , other cultivars around the world include:
- Vitis Labrusca: in Northen America and Canada
- Vitis Riparia: In Northern Quebec and Eastern U.S.
- Vitis Rotundifolia: known as “muscadines” from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico
- Vitis Vulpina: known as the “frost grape” native to the US Midwest
- Vitis amurensis: one the most important Asian species.
According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) there are more than 75000 square kilometers worldwide dedicated to grapes. More than half pf the production is used for wine (71%), 27% as fresh fruit and only 2% as dried fruit. The top in grape-production all over the world is occupied by Spain with more then 11000 square kilometers of vineyards, followed by France and Italy with approximately 8000 square kilometers of vineyards.
For pretentious people genetics found the solution and created seedless grapes, although grape seed oils are looked for all over the world because of its extraordinary cosmetic effects (it contains large amounts of vitamin E). The pulp is also rich in vitamins and other rare compounds. Scientists have lately discovered that polyphenol antioxidants contained by the grape pulp can reduce risk and cure cancer, heart diseases and atherosclerosis, they have antifungal properties.
The most appreciated products made of dried grapes are: raisins, currants, and sultanas. The countries producing such aliments are Afghanistan, Chile, Greece, Iran and Turkey.