Make your own raisins

Make your own raisins

Tasty summer experiment

Have you eaten raisins before? They look a bit strange, but they're very tasty!

Did you know_raisins were used as a currency

You can make your own raisins at home!

What you need:

  • Fresh red seedless grapes
  • Baking tray
  • Something to cover the grapes with - you can use kitchen roll, baking paper or a pillowcase
  • Sun

How to:

This experiment needs at least 3 days of sunshine, so check the weather forecast before you do it!

  1. Wash and gently dry the grapes.
  2. Spread the grapes on the baking tray. Make sure the grapes aren't touching each other.
  3. Cover the grapes up with kitchen towel or a pillowcase. Make sure whatever you're covering the grapes with won't blow away. You might need to weigh it down.
  4. Take the grapes outside and leave them for at least three days. The cover should prevent bugs getting to the grapes. If the nights are damp, take the grapes inside on an evening and put them out again the next day.

After three days you should be ready to eat raisins! What do you notice about the raisins? Are they smaller than the grapes? Are they lighter than the grapes?

If any of your grapes rot or get damp, remove them from the tray. Dry grapes will shrivel and turn to raisins, they won't rot.

What's happening?

Drying red grapes in the sunshine turns them into raisins.

The heat from the sun causes the water to evaporate from the grapes. It also heats up the sugar, causing it to caramelise. Because the water has evaporated, raisins are smaller and lighter than grapes. The caramelised sugar makes the raisins taste sweet.

Do you know how to make sultanas? Try the same experiment with white grapes!

Curriculum information

  • Summary

    This straightforward activity shows the change that happens when grapes dry out. Is it a reversible change? Can raisins be turned back into grapes? Your children can also find out about where foods come from and even eat the investigation!

    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • Changing materials
    • Investigating materials
    Raisin recipes from the BBC
    Lessons on changing materials from the Hamilton Trust
    Interesting information from California raisins
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum
    Scientific enquiry (KS1 and 2 Sc1.2) Changing materials (KS2 SC3.2)Investigations into familiar changes (SCN 2-15a)How materials change (KS2 Strand 4: change over time)