Simply stated, frozen food is food that has undergone freezing and is kept frozen and preserved until used. The freezing process slows down decomposition by turning excess moisture into ice and inhibiting bacterial growth. Freezing is a common practice throughout households and the food industry. Freezing tends to be slower at home, while the food industry tends to use quick processes such as flash freezing. Despite such advances in freezing technology, people tend to misconstrue the nature of frozen foods.
Naturally, the most popular benefit of freezing food is convenience. Frozen foods are quick and easy. Simply pop one in the microwave or throw them in a wok to stir-fry and you’re minutes away from a full meal. They offer a lot of flexibility and a great backup system so you aren’t stuck ordering pizza because you either don’t feel like cooking an entire dinner or just don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen chopping, sauteing, and washing tons of dishes.
Thanks to the same freezing technology that ensures freshness, frozen foods may be more nutrient-rich than fresh products. In a 2013 study conducted by the University of Georgia, researchers compared private-label frozen foods with their fresh counterparts. The foods were nutritionally similar on day one of the study; however, by day five of the study, the fresh produce lost vitamin content, especially key nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and folate. Fresh produce is subject to oxidation. This ripens food and causes it to degrade; whereas, frozen food is protected from oxidation while kept frozen (which is why proper temperatures during transport is so important).
Frozen food may actually be fresher than fresh. How could that be true? Freezing foods, for the most part, prevents spoilage when food is frozen during peak ripeness. Produce uses a process called flash-freezing, which is freezing foods at very low temperatures with cold, circulating air, keeping ice crystals small. This prevents loss of moisture during the defrosting period. This freeze takes place a few hours post-harvest to deliver maximum freshness. Freezing food properly can help it stay nutritious and delicious for up to 18 months!
As previously mentioned, frozen food is generally a lot less expensive than eating out or even grabbing some take-out or drive-thru fare. It also helps cut down the grocery bill when trying to eat healthily which is perceived as being more expensive than eating processed foods. Today’s frozen food offers something for every palate Because freezing is a great way to increase the lifespan of your food, it can also help reduce unnecessary food waste. Have you ever been tempted by the cost savings of a bag of perfectly ripe avocados? Then you’re familiar with the struggle of trying to consume six avocados in a span of 24 hours. Rather than wilding-out on guacamole, dice them up, and throw the chunks into a freezer-friendly container. You can use them later for a smoothie booster. You’ll reduce your household food waste by prepping what you need for the next couple of days, then freezing the rest.
• Freezing enables you to choose from the pick of vegetables all around the world with that ‘just picked’ taste experience in season or out of season.
• Frozen vegetables require no preparation, and you can use as much or as little as you want eliminating waste.
• Fast, convenient and available all year, frozen vegetables can be steamed, stir fried, or micro-waved to be ready in minutes.
• Frozen vegetables are a great way to get your ‘5 A DAY’.
• Freezing vegetables locks in vitamins at the point of harvest
• Freezing fish allows us to eat seasonal fish all year. Thanks to freezing technology we enjoy fish regardless of season at great prices – offering healthy nutrition for all the family.
• Frozen fish is often fresher than ‘fresh’ fish. ‘Fresh’ fish can take a week to reach the shops!
• Frozen fish and seafood can be 25% cheaper than fresh – great value for money! What’s more, its hugely extended shelf life offers year round price stability and product availability.
• Eco scientists claim that buying frozen is good for the environment. Fresh exotic fish can be flown in daily from afar but frozen fish keeps for long periods in the freezer. This reduces your shopping trips and flights for seasonal deliveries.
• Fish is recommended as part of nutritionally balanced diets. Freezing allows year-round availability of fish and stops microbiological activity; including pathogens which cause food poisoning – keeping the family healthy!
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