METHODS OF RAISIN PRODUCTION IN IRAN
Raisin is produced in different ways in various parts of the country and at the time we
will describe the common method used in Rezayieh.
Production of Sabzeh or green raisins_ Picking the grapes crop to produce raisins is
usually implemented in Mehr month, but 20 or 30 days before collecting the grapes, its
drying location which is called Varzan should be prepared.
Varzan is a steep piece of ground that its slope is toward south to make the utmost use
of the direct sunshine and its heat. In most grape gardens, Varzan surface is thatched
with clay and straw after surfacing,administrative according to the advice of standards
administrative, Varzan surface is covered with a sheet of asphalt, so Varzan will be
ready for grapes drying. Near Varzan surface has been devised to boil the Alkaline
solution that an iron dish with a capacity of 50 liters of solution is placed on it. In
addition to this boiler number of big barrels, each with a capacity of approximately 200
liters are also of the means to prepare the solution.
The Alkaline substance which is used to nitrify the green raisins, is obtained from a
plant named Shooran or Oshnian that its scientific name is Salsola soda.
The ash of this plant which grows in salt marshes,,comprise a relatively high amount of
Potash and Sodium salts in form of carbonates. These salts have two effects on a single
grape. One of them is causing minute cracks which are hardly seen with the eye and
speed up the evaporation of the available water in grape juice, and the other effect of
nitrifying the grapes is to prevent the change of grape colour when it is being dried.
Nitrifying the grape to prepare green raisins is so that they shatter nearly 15 kilos of ash
that is jelled in form of rock parts and is so known as Alkali stone then it will be placed
in a wire netting basket after that the basket is hanged in 200 liter barrels which
contain pure water.
Alkali stone will be solved after 24 hours and leaves a viscous solution then 50 liters of
this solution will be poured into a special iron pot that is placed on the furnace under it
there will be a fire to boil the solution. Before boiling the Alkaline solution it should be
tested to determine the concentration degree, ie they dip the finger tip into the
solution if there is any burning feeling the solution is concentrated more than it is
needed, and immaculate water should be added to it, so that its concentration reduces
and there won't be any feeling of burning.
To speed up the Alkali stone solving and having a clear limpid solution, they add 100grs
to 150grs of lime to each barrel.
After that the solution in the iron pot begins to boil, workers will place 10Kgs of the
grapes which have been previously cleaned and their spoiled unripe singles have been
separated in wire netting basket and then they will place it near iron pot containing
boiling Alkaline solution. At this moment, another specialist worker will dip the grape
baskets into the Alkaline solution which is boiling rapidly and then he will take it out
and place it on another basket near the furnace, then the workers will take the
nitrified grapes to Varzan, and will place them on Varzan. The important fact is that in
the whole duration of nitrifying the grapes, the Alkaline solution should be boiling.
When placing the grapes in Varzan, there should be complete attention that the two
clusters won't be placed on each other, cause there will be a high possibility of the
under clusters to be spoiled, as well as their being dried late.
When nitrifying the grape cluster, as soon as the amount of the solution in the iron pot
reduces because of the application or evaporation, they pour some fresh solution into
the pot from the storing barrels.
A week or 10 days after putting the clusters in Varzan, the grapes will be dried and will
change into raisins. At this time, workers will collect the raisins, and heap them up on
the same Varzan, meanwhile if singles are found that have not been dried yet, they will
put them in a corner of Varzan to be dried. 4 or 5 days later, the workers will expose
all the raisins to the wind so that leaf, twig and tail of the single grape is separated
from the raisins and is prepared to be carried to the store.