My daughter suffers from lactose intolerance and/or milk protein allergy (this has yet to be confirmed by a paediatrician due to the way the NHS works in the UK).

I tend to bake fruit cakes and mix dried fruit in my cereal. My little lass likes dried fruit, too, including dates, raisins; mixed fruit generally, really.

My wife is quite adamant that she read something somewhere regarding dried fruit 'taking the calcium' from other foods that it's mixed with, or reducing calcium levels in the blood stream.

Can anyone confirm or refute this, as my wife can't remember where she read this? (I'm not looking for personal opinion, here, more hard fact).

(I've tried to tag this question to the best of my ability, but there's no dried-fruit tag).

  • 2
    This is a question about nutrition, which is off topic for this site @Paul. We can tell you all about how to cook with dried fruit if you have a question about preparation or use.
    – GdD
    Feb 8, 2018 at 13:07
  • @gdd: Close away.
    – Paul
    Feb 8, 2018 at 13:30
  • 3
    Consider Health.SE instead.
    – Erica
    Feb 8, 2018 at 14:32
  • 1
    As I can only speculate I comment. Dried fruit could actually be a medium source of calcium. A very good one if in the fruits we include nuts and seeds. They are, and specifically the latter, recommended for women in menopause and to people with osteoporosis. This I am sure as for plenty of physicians and nutritionists say so. It is a comment just because I can't give you a ref. that discards dried fruits as interference to Calcium absorption. I got the feeling that your wife found a blog with the logic SO2 in fruits acid rains bones..... or something like that. I will be surprised that ..
    – Alchimista
    Feb 10, 2018 at 18:40
  • ..... ALL dried fruits behave the same with respect to Ca absorption and/or Ca level in blood.
    – Alchimista
    Feb 10, 2018 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


The only thing of note I've ever taken from commercially available dried fruit is that sulphur dioxide is almost universally used as a preservative. Some people are sensitive to this. There are various limits on how much you are allowed to use, but no outright bans in preservation.

You can buy fruit that has no added sulphur dioxide. This tends to be in the organic section and therefore tends to be that much more expensive.

But remember that dried fruit is essentially concentrated sugar. There's a reason young children like it. So for the same reason you don't let them eat as much chocolate as they'd probably like, I'd encourage some moderation. Perhaps try some fresh fruit in your baking.

In relation to calcium, it's sulphur dioxide that makes "acid rain", which leaches away limestone and other calcium carbonate rock sources. I can't find anything reputable that makes a link here but there's a big pile of "health" blogs out there that seem to think "because acid rain" is an answer enough, who has time to do the science? I'm certainly not saying you should avoid sulphites (unless you medically need to) but they can be avoided.

Dried prunes are apparently well recognised for their benefits to bone health.

  • My daughter is quite the savoury girl ;-). The acid raid idea is interesting, but the limestone is simply dissolved, basically turned into smaller particles, which reforms elsewhere or runs into the sea. I would suspect that organic dried fruit, not containing sulphur dioxide, would be outside of the argument, though. Thanks for your input.
    – Paul
    Feb 8, 2018 at 11:17
  • 1
    Forget acid rains and SO2 etc in relation to your question. Even drinking acid rains won't be a reason for bones damage. A chemist with at least a reasonable knowledge and a feeling for internet non sense.
    – Alchimista
    Feb 9, 2018 at 12:47
  • This could use reputable sources. Also, I do not understand what "sensitive to [sulphur dioxide]" means, nor its relation to calcium absorption?
    – Erica
    Feb 9, 2018 at 13:08
  • @Alchimista For clarification, I'm not suggesting there is a relationship between dried fruit consumption and bone leaching. I'm suggesting that people might make that link based flimsy reasoning, eg "look, acid rain!".
    – Oli
    Feb 10, 2018 at 18:14
  • 1
    Yes Oli. I wanted to reassure OP. Nor I am a fan of SO2. Perhaps I am too scientific but either we speak of dried fruit or of dried fruits as commercially available , of Calcium sequestration or allergies. ... anyway is the pile of blog that I was concerned of, rather than you:)
    – Alchimista
    Feb 10, 2018 at 18:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.