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Dried papaya is the papaya fruit pulp that is converted into its dried form. Another dried form of the fruit is papaya powder that is mainly prepared by concentrating the papaya juice and then drying it. Papaya seeds are also dried and powdered and used for many health benefits.
Photo Credit: dryingallfoods.com/
Papaya is a tropical fruit rich in many bioactive compounds such as phenolics, flavonoids and amines which provides an abundance of health benefits such as antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and many more.
However, topical fruits are highly perishable after harvesting and prone to damage. Drying papaya is among the several ways that may help preserve its nutritious constituents, providing approximately the same benefits as fresh papaya fruit. 
Though the colour, flavour, texture and some minor nutrients in papaya can be compromised after drying, it is considered promising in preserving most of the bioactive compounds such as phenolic and flavonoid compounds, and vital vitamins and minerals present in papaya pulp.
In this article, we will discuss some of the health benefits of dried papaya, how it is prepared and its uses. Take a look.
Nutritional Profile Of Dried Papaya
100 g of dried papaya contains 270 kcal of energy and 62.5 g of carbohydrates. It also contains the aforementioned nutrients.
How Is Dried Papaya Prepared?
Freeze-drying is the prominent technique that is used to dry the pulp of papaya and save the maximum of its nutritional constituents. It is a technique that helps remove water from the pulp by sublimation, a process that converts the substance directly from solid to gas, without converting it into a medium liquid state. 
Spray drying is another method that is used to prepare dried papaya. In this method, an encapsulating agent like maltodextrins is used that help convert the substance into dry powder in one single step. Spray drying is considered to be faster and cost-effective than freeze-drying.
A study has shown that both these processes can effectively help retain most of the phytochemicals and vital nutrients such as lycopene and decrease levels of monosaccharides like glucose and fructose.
Around five phenolic compounds that include protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid and artepillin C were identified in papaya spray-dried powder, along with fresh papaya pulp. 
Health Benefits Of Dried Papaya
1. Helps lose weight
When papaya is dried, there is a decrease in glucose and fructose (natural papaya sugars). Therefore, the dried papaya is less in sugar and less in calories which makes it effective to lose weight easily. Also, the satiating effect due to its high fibre content adds to the weight loss benefits.
2. Energises the body
Dried papaya is a packed with high fibre and essential vitamins (like vitamin A and C) that helps energise the body when consumed either with water or sprinkled on foods like salads or soups. It also helps keep the person full for longer and perform works for long hours without being tired easily.
3. Protects liver health
A study has shown that dried papaya has an anti-hepatotoxic activity that may help protect the liver from damage caused due to exposure to drugs. This could be due to the antioxidative effect of papaya powder. 
4. Lowers blood pressure
Dried papaya is rich in certain nutrients like potassium, vitamin A and flavonoids that help improve blood circulation and keep the heart healthy. A study has shown that potassium can help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Therefore, the consumption of dried papaya can help prevent and control blood pressure and reduce the risk of diseases like stroke. 
5. Protects the heart
Lycopene in papaya powder is positively linked to improving vascular health and preventing the risk of heart diseases. The antiatherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihypertensive and antiplatelet properties of lycopene can help prevent a range of heart diseases like stroke and atherosclerosis. 
6. Manage arthritis
Lycopene is retained in higher amounts when papaya is dried. This essential compound has potent anti-inflammatory properties that could help in the management of arthritis. The antioxidative property of dried papaya also helps prevent damage to bone tissue due to oxidative stress. 
7. Improves vision
Dried papaya is rich in vitamin A, a nutrient that is vital for eyes health. It helps maintain good vision and prevent the risk of age-related macular degeneration such as glaucoma and cataract. 
8. Has chemopreventive effects
Artepillin C in dried papaya is abundantly found which is known for its chemopreventive properties. A study has shown that this compound induces selective oxidative stress on cancerous cell lines and may help reduce its progression. Artepillin C could also be a new promising candidate for manufacturing anticancer drugs, such as those related to cervical cancer. 
Uses Of Dried Papaya
Some of the uses of dried papaya include:
- Smoothies or fruit juices.
- Can be mixed with water and consumed before meals.
- Teas or coffees to spice up the drinks.
- Yoghurt or ice-creams
- Baked goods or desserts.
- Curries or soups
- Sprinkled over salads.
Dried papaya or papaya powder act mainly as a herbal supplement to the fruit. Therefore, before using it to treat any medical condition, it is better to consult a dietician or a medical expert to know about its doses, side effects and other details.
According to the USDA, dried papaya contains 42.5 g of sugar while raw papaya contains 7.8 g of sugar per 100 g. However, a study published in the journal Springer says that spray drying tends to decrease glucose and fructose concentration in papaya pulp while freeze-drying causes no to little decrease in their amounts.
Yes, dried papaya can be eaten directly as a snack. The powdered form of dried papaya can, however, be consumed with water before any meals, or can be added to dishes like soups, desserts, baked goods, yoghurt or curries.
Manufacturers of dried papaya usually prefer not to add sugar or any preservatives that could decrease their health benefits. Also, in dried form, papaya naturally tastes a bit sweeter than its raw forms. While preparing papaya powder from its juice, adding sugar is also avoided.