Why Frozen Fruits and Vegetables are Better than Fresh during the Off Season
It has been long known that frozen fruits and vegetables are not as good as fresh foods. This is simply not true. Undoubtedly fresh local seasonal fruits and vegetables, if ecological, are a better option compared to their frozen variants. But when we talk about exotic foods or foods that are not available during their off season, the story changes completely.
One of the main reasons for this is long transportation which means that foods lose a good portion of their nutritional substances before even making it to the shelves. Also, different additives are often added to these foods to prolong their fresh appearance and prevent their contamination with different diseases and pests. These additives naturally do not have a beneficial effect on the nutrient quality of these foods.
The quality of frozen foods depends on several factors. The first one is the quality of the food prior to freezing. If this is a fresh local fruit or vegetable and the freezing process is fast, the chance of cellular structure damage and consequently the loss of nutritional substances is extremely small. Frozen foods can therefore be nutritionally even richer than fresh, as they are usually frozen immediately after they are harvested. As consumers we notice that fresh fruit and vegetables in stores are often displayed for quite some time before they are sold, and with time, their nutritional value decreases.
It is important to mention at this point that domestic freezers are not suitable for freezing foods, but only for the storage of already frozen foods. To preserve nutritional substances and vitamins, the freezing process needs to be fast, and this can only be achieved with special freezing techniques, e.g. nitrogen freezing or a shock freezing chamber.
Apart from the correct freezing process, it is also important that foods are transferred as quickly as possible from the store to the domestic freezer – it is best to put them in the shopping cart just prior to completing the purchase.