Frozen Foods: Everything You Need To Know

Freezing foods helps keep them longer, but can have negative implications for the organoleptic qualities of foods.
Frozen foods: everything you need to know

What should you know about frozen foods? Freezing food is a preservation method that slows down its decomposition, allowing it to be stored longer. Attention, it slows down its degradation, but does not stop it completely.

Rapid freezing generates smaller ice crystals and keeps the cell structure intact. If frozen in the correct way, foods become a valid alternative to be included in our menu. Let’s find out some more details.

What are the disadvantages of slow freezing?

In the event that the product has been frozen slowly or has been exposed to changes in temperature during storage, the ice crystals that will form on it will be larger. This is what was stated in an article published in 2016.

We are talking about water that cannot be recovered in the defrosting process, which therefore leads to an alteration of the composition of the food and a loss in terms of nutritional value. Furthermore, the lost liquid risks carrying other water-soluble nutrients with it, such as some vitamins.

Bags of frozen foods in the freezer.
If frozen slowly, the products can undergo alterations. In many cases, in addition to changing textures, there is a risk of varying their nutritional value.

Does freezing food alter its nutritional values?

No. The industrially ultra- frozen vegetables maintain the nutritional properties of fresh vegetables, provided they are frozen immediately after harvesting, in their optimal state.

In fact, vitamins are lost due to heat, not due to low temperatures. Nutrients in general can be partially dispersed by cutting and washing vegetables, as well as in the water used to boil them.

If we freeze before cooking, the micronutrients of the food always remain intact. Nutrient loss from handling, cooking or pre-freezing processes is irrecoverable.

Can any food be frozen?

Almost anything can be frozen. In some cases, however, the texture, smells and some flavors are so altered that it is not worthwhile to resort to this method. For example:

  • Meat can stay in the freezer for between 3 and 12 months, no longer.
  • Cold foods and sausages between 1 and 2 months.
  • Blue fish less than 3 months old.
  • Bread between 3 and 6 months.
  • The soups about 60 days.
  • Butter between 3 and 6 months at the most.

We cannot fail to underline how this process implies a huge advantage also in terms of organizing weekly meals, helping us to organize a healthy and balanced diet in the busy daily routine.

Girl in front of the open fridge thinks about what to eat.
Almost all foods can be frozen. However, keep in mind that some can change a lot in terms of texture and flavor.

4 basic rules of frozen foods

Here are some tips that can come in handy for every day:

  • Never freeze a product that has already been thawed. Repeating the process would damage the quality of the food.
  • Use suitable containers to keep the product isolated; remember that an airtight package is essential to protect food from dehydration, oxidation and the transmission of odors. Airtight glass containers are the best option.
  • The drawings on the freezer drawers are useful for properly separating food and avoiding cross-contamination. Use them, it is much easier to find frozen foods in a tidy freezer. Another great method of identifying frozen products is the use of labels.
  • Follow the instructions of the freezer and make sure that during the freezing process the temperature is always constant at at least -20 ° C.
  • If you freeze a cooked dish, remember to thaw it slowly, moving it from the freezer to the fridge the night before eating. Defrosting food at room temperature increases the risk of contamination, as reported in the study published in the journal Food Research International .

Why consume frozen foods

Freezing is a good method of preserving food that allows them to last longer. However, take into account that it may alter the texture or flavor of some foods.

By freezing foods before cooking them, we will favor the preservation of nutritional properties. To freeze safely, however, be sure to follow the rules above.

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