The term raisin denotes a dried grape. Raisin varieties depend on the type of the grape used. In the region of the Peloponnese the most commonly found variety is the currant, the black Corinth grape variety or mavromata (black-eyed). The second most important variety is the sultana or the sultanina. Dried raisins are produced by a completely natural process. The sweet and seedless grape is harvested and sun dried for 15 day in August. Then it is packaged in modern processing units of the area. It can be consumed on its own or used as an ingredient in baking and cooking. During the 19th and 20th century, raisins were one of the most significant export products of Messinia and a driving force of its economy. Even today there is a large number of raisin producers.

About 12000 acres are cultivated and 10000 tons of raisins are produced annually.


The black Corinth grape (currant) is only cultivated in the Peloponnese and is an exceptionally high quality product. All raisins, and especially currants, are rich in antioxidant substances. It contains a number of trace elements, such as potassium and calcium, 35% fructose and fiber (7% w/w). Raisins are rich in simple sugars, like fructose and glucose, which provide immediate energy to the body. Furthermore, the micronutrients resveratrol, flavonoids, and anthocyanins contribute significantly to human health. They have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system by improving the function of the endothylium. They prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation and have a possible supportive effect in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The antioxidant activity of raisins is due to their phenolic compounds. Raisins have a prominent position in the Messinian Diet Pyramid. A small serving of raisins is equal to 2 tablespoons or about 30 gr.

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