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Nutritional Information on Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Nutritional Information on Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Many people still have doubts about frozen fruits and vegetables because they believe they lack important nutrients, making them no healthier than fast food. Fortunately for us, this couldn’t be more untrue, and I’ll explain why.

Let me start by saying that food preservation is nothing new for us. According to historical evidence, ice cellars were widely utilized in Chinese households to store food as early as 1,000 BC. Perishable items were typically stored in these kinds of buildings during the summer. A large hole was covered with straw and filled with ice in the early spring. Afterwards, the cellar was sealed up after being piled high with meat, fish, liquor, and other things.

Then refrigeration appeared, swiftly becoming one of the most ground-breaking inventions of the 20th century. Also, it reduced the cost and increased accessibility of eating healthily. Flash freezing made it possible to produce frozen veggies of a fundamentally different quality while essentially keeping their flavor and traits. This form of storage makes it easier to preserve commodities and move them over long distances since it prevents the great majority of critical chemicals from being destroyed.

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Let me now explain why frozen vegetables are not inferior to their fresh counterparts and, in some situations, are even superior.

1. Ripeness of products

Fresh vegetables are sometimes cut before they are ripe and ready since shipping from the source to the point of sale can take days or even weeks. As a result, they must ripen while being transported (and often they fail at it). When they are at their greatest ripeness, or when they are at their most nutrient-rich, vegetables that will be flash frozen are selected. Although it may seem odd, the fundamental advantage of frozen vegetables is their superior quality. You know, some of the seemingly fresh veggies sold at supermarkets are actually quite old.

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When a product is 100% ripe, or when the amount of vital nutrients present is at its highest, freezing is done.

This is one instance. An intriguing study was undertaken by active Austrian Consumer Society members. They discovered that the vitamin content in some domestically produced frozen goods was higher than in some imported goods by comparing the nutritional values of fresh and frozen veggies brought in from Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Israel! This is not unheard of, mostly because seasonal produce from nearby areas typically has more nutrients (vitamins, minerals) than fresh goods offered in supermarkets during the winter.

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2. Fewer (or no) preservatives

Foods that are frozen don’t need additional preservatives. They are processed at a specific temperature as soon as they are collected, maintaining their ideal form and appearance.

In the meantime, fresh fruits, vegetables, and berries travel from 3 to 30 days to other countries and continents, and frequently transporters are forced to treat them with specific chemical chemicals (!) that inhibit disagreeable tastes and odors, and occasionally even mold and rot.

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3. Low risk of infection

Comparing frozen meals to fresh foods, which are typically not washed at all, shows that frozen foods have considerably lower levels of the germs that cause food illness. Also, they are handled by a number of people before being packaged.

In this situation, the produce’s cracks and scratches should be a huge cause for worry since they serve as a natural habitat for germs that can thrive there even after complete cleaning!

Keep in mind that even brief freezing for 24 hours doesn’t entirely eliminate the risk of poisoning; it merely slows down the growth of bacteria.

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4. Storage

According to nutritionist Bruce Whiteville, “Fresh foods are only superior than their frozen counterparts if you personally pick them directly off the trees. Sadly, only a few few people nowadays can afford to eat fruits, vegetables, and berries that they raise on their own property. This is sad since before fresh veggies reach our tables, they frequently lose up to 50% of their beneficial qualities. In this way, green peas, for instance, lose 77% of their useful qualities when they are stored on the shelves, but they can retain up to 94% of all vitamins if they are frozen.

The level of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables typically indicates how fresh they are. This crucial vitamin is also extremely delicate; only a few days of storage can drastically lower the amount of vitamin C in food. After just two days of storage, spinach loses 75% of its initial vitamin C, while asparagus and broccoli lose up to 80%. Fresh fruits and vegetables lose some of their nutritional value shortly after they are picked from the garden, according to registered dietitian and nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker. “Frequently, their nutritional worth has been reduced by half by the time they reach our plates.”

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Frozen foods, meantime, are very convenient to store and use. Berries, fruits, and vegetables all often retain their flavor better in the freezer. On the other side, freezing typically prevents you from losing a lot of your hard-earned money to goods that spoil too soon. It was discovered that the vegetables harvested from the fields and greenhouses lost at least half of their nutritious value while being kept, transported, and displayed on shelves. Fruits and vegetables are frozen quickly after they are harvested at the same time. And during this time, fruits and vegetables have the highest nutrient content. And these nutrients are virtually entirely retained with the aid of freezing.

5. Contains vitamins

Undoubtedly, the amount of important vitamins decreases, but this decline is not serious. Vitamin C is the vitamin that is most susceptible to temperature changes. It is common knowledge that vitamin C loses between 15% and 20% of its characteristics when flash frozen (at -30°C or -22°F). Fruits and vegetables lose up to 50% of their vitamin C when canned or preserved; if they are dried, they can lose up to 70%. In fact, vitamin C is particularly susceptible to a sudden shift in temperature (this applies to various types of cabbage, sweet pepper, green peas, etc.). Although in smaller amounts, the quantity of other vitamins is likewise decreased in frozen fruits and vegetables.

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Many studies have found that the highest loss of vitamins C and B occurs during freezing rather than storage of frozen goods, including washing, high-temperature heating, etc.

Foods should be frozen within three days of harvest, according to research by Dr. Barbara Klein of the University of Illinois (USA). If products are frozen within this time frame at a temperature between -27°C and -40°C (-16.6°F and -40°F), they will lose only about 30% of all of their vitamins; the majority of which will break free during slicing, dicing, and chopping.

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6. Content of phytonutrients

For blueberries and blackberries, freezing has an unanticipated effect that has unintentionally been found. It goes without saying that the high concentration of potent antioxidants in these products is what makes them so well-known.

In addition, it was discovered that when frozen, these berries develop ice crystals inside of them, destroying their fetal tissue and increasing our access to healthy antioxidants. Hence, in this instance, freezing actually improves the nutritional value and health of these two berries.

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In conclusion

Do not undervalue frozen fruits and veggies! They are equivalent to their fresh alternatives and are healthy! As well as making sure your food is fully defrosted, get a thermal bag to transport it safely.

Avoid buying frozen items from tiny retailers since they may not have the required equipment for freezing and storing them. One last piece of advice: purchase huge packages. This is both handy and cost-effective.

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