A recent study has cast doubt on the traditional belief that raisins, like other dried fruits, contribute to tooth decay in children. Sweet and sticky, raisins have gotten bad press. Now a study has vindicated the common snack food, raising it to the level of a cavity fighter in the battle of prevention and dental hygiene.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry have discovered five antioxidants in raisins that may help prevent cavities and gum disease. The most prominent of these was oleanolic acid which has been shown to slow the growth of bacteria that causes cavities and periodontal disease. The acid also stops bacteria from sticking to surfaces, preventing the formation of plaque.
So perhaps it is once more safe for children to pack some raisins in their lunch boxes and snack bags. Don’t forget to make them organic.
The study was funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board in case anyone was wondering. Results were presented at the American Society of Microbiology in Atlanta.