BETHERSDEN, UK: Dental health associations worldwide, including the British Oral Health Foundation, usually advise against snacking on dried fruits. Owing to their stickiness, they adhere to the teeth and are thus considered to be detrimental to dental health. By reviewing scientific literature on this topic, a nutrition expert from the UK has now found that this assumption might not be founded on scientific evidence.
The review was undertaken by Dr Michèle Sadler, a registered nutritionist. “There is a lack of good quality scientific data to support restrictive advice for dried fruit intake on the basis of dental health parameters and further research is required,” she concluded.
However, she found that there are a number of potential benefits of consuming dried fruits for dental health. For instance, eating dried fruits requires substantial chewing, which encourages salivary flow. In addition, they contain antimicrobial compounds and sorbitol.
Furthermore, Sadler pointed out that advice on dried fruit consumption should take into account the nutritional benefits of dried fruit, which are high in fibre, low in fat and contain useful levels of micronutrients.
Sadler has been an independent nutrition consultant since 2000. In her work, she focuses on the application of nutrition science within the food industry, including nutritional strategy, new product development and product positioning, particularly in the area of health claims, and provides advice on product composition.
The study, titled “Dried fruit and dental health”, was published online on 14 July in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition ahead of print.