How Big Is a Prune

Prunes are a popular dried fruit loved by many. Ever thought about their size? They come in various measurements, which affect their taste and how we use them in cooking.

What size is a typical prune, and how does it stack up against a fresh plum? Let's find out.

Understanding the Prune's Size

Prunes are smaller than fresh plums; most are one to two inches long. This small size is because prunes get dried out. Drying shrinks them but also makes them richer in flavor and nutrients.

Prunes look more oval or oblong than the usual round plums. They’re also way lighter. One prune weighs around 10 to 15 grams. A fresh plum, on the other hand, can be 30 to 60 grams or even heavier.

The size of dried prunes is categorized by the U.S. Standards for Grades of Dried Prunes. Sizes go from Extra-large to Small. This affects how many prunes you find in a pound.

  • U.S. Grade A or U.S. Fancy: Allows up to 6% defects, and prunes are 85 or less to a pound.
  • U.S. Grade B or U.S. Choice: Lets up to 8% have defects, but they should be similar and of a good size.
  • U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard: Permits up to 10% in defects, also emphasizing similar size and type.
  • Substandard: Could contain up to 5% visible issues but not more than 1% decay.

Fruit size and quality really matter in earning money in the fruit world. Bigger fruit usually means more profit. This is why good pruning and care are key to getting the biggest and best prunes.

Prune Size during Fetal Development

In fetal development, we often imagine a baby's size by comparing it to fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly, a prune is a common analogy for the fetus's size early in pregnancy.

At 9 weeks of gestation, a fetus is as tiny as a prune. It's about 0.9 inches (23 mm) long and weighs only 0.07 oz (2 g). A week after, by the 10th week, it has grown to the size of a kumquat or a larger prune. Now it's 1.2 inches (30 mm) and weighs 0.14 oz (4 g).

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During pregnancy, the baby keeps growing. It goes from the size of a prune to as big as a watermelon at birth. Here's how the sizes change each week:

  • At 4 weeks, the baby is as small as a poppy seed.
  • By 9 weeks, it almost reaches an inch and weighs around an ounce.
  • At 10 weeks, it's the size of a prune or kumquat, measuring 1.2 inches (30 mm) and weighing 0.14 oz (4 g).
  • At 14 weeks, it's bigger, weighing over 3 ounces and measuring nearly 6 inches.
  • At 20 weeks, the baby is about 10 inches long and weighs about 11.5 ounces.
  • By 28 weeks, it's much bigger, weighing around 2 and 2/3 pounds and almost 15 inches long.
  • At 34 weeks, it reaches about 5.25 pounds and nearly 18 inches from head to heel.
  • By 40 weeks, the baby's size isn't compared as this marks a full term.

These comparisons make it easier to picture the baby's size over the weeks of pregnancy. From a small start like a prune to a full-grown bundle of joy, we understand their growth better.

How Big Is a Prune

Prunes are dried plums and are loved in snacks and recipes. So, how big are these fruits? A prune is usually 1 to 2 inches long (25 to 51 mm). It weighs between 10 to 15 grams (0.35 to 0.53 oz).

But, sizes can vary a lot. Some prunes are as small as 0.9 inches (23 mm). Others can be as long as 2.1 inches (53 mm).

Prunes can weigh from 7 grams (0.25 oz) to 49 grams (1.73 oz). The size and weight changes due to the plum type, where they grow, and how they are dried.

The usual prune looks like a big olive or a small plum. Its weight is between 10 to 15 grams. But, there is a big range in size and weight.

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Prune Characteristic
Typical Range
Length
1 to 2 inches (25 to 51 mm)
Weight
10 to 15 grams (0.35 to 0.53 oz)
Variation in Length
0.9 inches (23 mm) to 2.1 inches (53 mm)
Variation in Weight
7 grams (0.25 oz) to 49 grams (1.73 oz)

So, prunes come in different sizes and weights. On average, a prune is like a big olive or a small plum. It weighs 10 to 15 grams.

Still, their dimensions can vary a lot. This depends on the plum type and drying method.

Nutritional Value of Prunes

Prunes are basically dried plums. They're very good for your health. A serving of five prunes has 104 calories. It also contains 1 gram of protein, 28 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.

They offer many vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin A and Potassium. Just four to five prunes give you about 12% of your daily potassium needs.

Prunes are packed with antioxidants. These include neochlorogenic acid and chlorogenic acid. These can help to lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels.

Some studies show prunes may lower blood pressure and support healthy gut bacteria. But remember, eating too many prunes can lead to digestive problems. This is because they have a lot of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol.

Also, a few people might have an allergic reaction to prunes. This can cause itching, burning, or swelling in the mouth and throat. Allergic reactions are more common in those allergic to birch pollen.

Nutrient
Amount per 5 Prunes
% Daily Value
Calories
104
-
Protein
1 gram
-
Fat
0 grams
-
Carbohydrates
28 grams
-
Fiber
3 grams
-
Sugar
17 grams
-
Vitamin K
28.25 mcg
57%
Vitamin B6
0.12 mg
12%
Potassium
347.5 mg
24%

In a nutshell, prunes offer lots of healthy nutrients. They can help your bones, gut, and heart when you eat them wisely. So, adding prunes to your diet is a smart choice.

Prune Production and Varieties

Prunes are dried plums, mainly from the European plum tree. There are over 1,000 plum types for drying, making it a big industry. In the U.S., the main type is the 'Improved French' prune. Other types include 'Sutter', 'Tulare Giant', 'Moyer', 'Imperial', 'Italian', and greengages.

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Producers choose these types for their rich taste and firm texture when dried. Most prunes come from California, which leads global prune production. Fortunately, most types don't need other trees for pollination.

The 'Improved French' is California's top prune, famous for being sweet and juicy. Meanwhile, the 'Muir Beauty' ripens before the French and 'Sutter'. In July, the 'Sutter' draws attention for its larger, sweeter fruit. For fresh markets, the mid-July ripening 'Tulare Giant' is a great choice, with its high sugar content.

Prune Variety
Ripening Time
Characteristics
Improved French
Mid-August
California's leading prune variety, sweet and juicy
Muir Beauty
Early July
Ripens earlier than Sutter and Improved French
Sutter
July
Larger and consistently sweeter than French prune
Tulare Giant
Mid-July
Best suited for fresh market, high soluble solids

California is at the heart of the world's prune production, supplying much of the prunes in the US. The Sacramento Valley has been vital since the 1960s, harvesting over 80% of California's prunes.

Conclusion

Prunes are dried plums and they come in many sizes. They are usually 1 to 2 inches long and weigh 10 to 15 grams. Yet, prune dimensions can be quite different. Some are as small as 0.9 inches and some as long as 2.1 inches. They can weigh from 7 to 49 grams. People often compare the size of prunes to other foods, like during fetal development.

Prunes, besides their varying sizes, are rich in nutrients. They are a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Knowing about prune dimensions and their nutritional benefits helps us understand how good they are for us.

Because of their sizes and nutrients, prunes are great for health. You can eat them by themselves or use them in recipes. They add flavor and nutrition to any diet, making life better for those who eat them.

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