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5 Benefits and Myths of eating frozen food

Nowadays, with all the research carried out and the culture that we have reached, do we really know the benefits and myths of eating frozen foods?  We are conscious of adding and consuming fruits and vegetables in our daily diet

But…

¿What happens if we don´t have time to go to the supermarket, to cut and wash fruits as much as we need or we would like to? Or simply, we just want to consume the fruit that we bought at the end of the week? 

This is when the frozen food takes action!  There is nothing better than having fruits and vegetables ready to eat every day, along the year,  without the uneasiness that they may ripe or be damaged.

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We have heard many times chefs, neighbords, family, friends and people telling us the importance and need of consuming  fresh fruits and vegetables.  And,  that frozen products are less healthy, less nutritious and of lower quality than fresh ones.  

And not to mention the taste.  Definitively, “it is not comparable”.

But I propose something to you...

Why not give a chance to what food authorities always recommend?

All freezing process performed technically and in adecuated times and ways can preserve the nutritional and organoleptic properties of products.

Here, we´re gonna read about the benefits of consuming frozen fruit.

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Time in peeling, cutting and storage.

One of the main benefits of frozen fruit is, certainly, the time savings they provide.

We live in a world where each minute counts. A technologic society and busy days leads us to being tired later, so it´s a hassle to cut and peel fruits when we get home.

As a matter of fact, a lot of people prefer adopting a non healthy diet just because  its easier.

It´s simple!

It´s easier to open a cookie package than  dirtying the kitchen and take time peeling a fruit than will be damaged if you don´t eat it in a few days. 

Although, peeling may seem easy, a lot of people are not willing to do it every day.

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Durability

Another important fact for the handling of frozen goods is its durability.  

On average, a peeled fruit in a refrigerator can last in good condition for 3 days.   After this, it passes its optimal ripening point and therefore tends to degrade and loose its nutritional properties. 

While a fruit is inside its shell, its life span is extended.  But in order to consume it,  it´s necessary to peel it and therefore to accelerate its degradation.  

On average, a frozen product has a shelf life of 2 years as long as its cold chain is kept constant so that it does not have oxidation and decomposition processes.

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Always Avalaible

Unlike a fresh product which can be seasonal or may vary its production over the year, frozen products can be stored for longer due to their long shelf.   

Benefits of frozen fruits are extensive, but undoubtedly,  having the fruit ready in the freezer to eat at any moment is ideal.

This allows that, if an inventory or a good organization is made by a company, the fruit will be available in that presentation throughout the year.

This allows the price to remain constant and to not have fluctuations during the seasons, which is the common behaviour with fresh products.

It’s just a matter to know when will the prices and offer will be at their best to make the purchases at good prices and maintain it through the times of the seasons where the prices go up again.

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Innocuousness Guaranteed

Innocuousness is such a common word in the food industry and, although many of us aren´t familiar with it, it refers to how clean, sanitized and safe it is to eat the food. 

Clearly, how harmless or clean a product is, can vary according to the places where a food is processed.  And that is why its important to know where to shop.

A fresh fruit being surrounded by its peel, it is not 100% guarateed that its interior is in an optimal state nor in its optimal ripeness.

How many times has it happened to us that we buy several avocados and half of them come out black or damaged. This is because many fruits are very delicate in oxidation and its ripening, and it is only necessary 1 day longer for the fruit to start losing its nutritious properties.

It is important to guarantee its cleanliness

A frozen product, processed in a technical and efficient way, can ensure an absolute innocuousness that a fresh product can not. If it is handled under basic rules of cleaning, desinfection and food manipulation, it is almost guaranteed that the food is innocuous.

There is nothing better than having the inside of the fruit already cut and visible, where you can check if everything is indeed at its optimal moment of ripeness or if 100% is suitable for consumption without wasting anything.

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A Solution Against Food Waste

We find ourselves in a world that year after year is being worn down by the waste and non-degrading materials that people throw into the environment, contaminating the habitat of species, crops, seas and rivers.

The benefits and myths of eating frozen foods are often widespread but do not always reflect reality.

This problem has become a focus in the last few years and each person is starting to become aware of the problem and do their bit. From people at home, to supermarkets, to governments.

However, this problem related to plastic waste and other contaminating materials, is not the only serious problem we have.

In a world of limited resources, the wasting of food can be considered a bigger or more serious problem than waste.

Why?

When we talk about food waste, the benefits of frozen fruit take strength from being able to provide a solution for this.

We are currently producing a large amount of food that, if it were properly managed and handled, would be enough to feed the world’s population. 

However, on average, 50% of all types of produced food are wasted or discarded due to ripening or mishandling.

All these waste foods, when degraded, emit greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere increasing global warming.

Not to mention all the resources that are used to cultivate food crops and that are wasted in the end on food that is not being consumed.

Fresh products have excellent properties due to their flavor, texture and other aspects, but their biggest disadvantage is that once cultivated, the clock to be eaten starts in an accelerated way and some of them do not achieve to be consumed.

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Some FAO data on waste.

  • FAO estimates that almost 1/3 of the food produced worldwide for human consumption each year – approximately 1.3 billion tons – is wasted.
  • Food and waste losses in monetary terms reach $680 billion in industrialized countries and $310 billion in developing countries.
  • Industrialized and developing countries wastes a similar amount of food – 670 and 630 million tons respectively.
  • Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest percentage of waste for all types of food.
  • The overall amount of waste per year is 30% for cereals, 40-50% for root crops, fruits and vegetables; 20% for seeds, meat and dairy; plus 35% for fish.
  • Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the total production of sub-Saharan African countries (230 million tons).
  • Per capita consumer waste is between 95-115kg per year in Europe and North America, while consumers in Africa, South and Southeast Asia each throw away between 6-11kg per year.


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Coronavirus and Waste

Today more than ever we are appreciating the value of food and groceries with long lines at supermarkets, convenience stores and food retailers. This is because without eating and drinking water, we are unable to live.

The coronavirus and the pandemic have made us realize how social and economic slowdown can affect us and can change the world, and how this can lead to more food waste because there are not enough supply chains to sell food.

We can talk about the fact that the third of the food that is wasted worldwide will increase because of this problem, and it is urgent that people be able to manage in a better way what they have at home and also how they should do their shopping.

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Myths about the benefits of eating frozen food.

In addition to the benefits and myths of eating frozen food, we must be very clear if most of the problems known for years about frozen products are true, because many of them are myths.

Some myths about frozen fruits and vegetables are:

    • They aren’t fresh:  Frozen fruits, because they do not have the peel, there should be more carefulness in their handling than any fresh fruit to guarantee their innocuousness for which, in their vast majority, they are processed in their optimal freshness point..
    • Are non-natural:  Frozen fruits and vegetables do not need chemicals or preservatives to extend their shelf life. The freezing itself reduces the reproduction of bacteria and therefore the decomposition of the food extending its useful life up to at least 2 years if its cold chain is maintained.
    • They have a higher cost:  Being a 100% usable product, the cost may seem higher than buying fresh products but it is not. A clear example could be a pineapple where its pulp or fruit itself is only 50% of the total weight for the peel and crown, so when peeling it the cost becomes double.
    • They lose nutritional properties: As they are frozen at the optimal moment of ripeness, the nutrients are conserved during their useful life as their decomposition is almost completely interrupted.
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A solution for this problem.

In addition to these common myths, the biggest problem a frozen food can have is the loss of texture, taste and smell when it is defrosted. This happens basically because the process creates large crystals that break down the fiber and tissues of fruits and vegetables.

That´s why frozen food usually has a certain amount of rejection.

For years, solutions have been searched for around the world against this problem that avoids frozen food to be boosted to the maximum, and people are right to prefer fresh ones.

However, solutions have been found for this.

The Fresh Quality Freeze (FQF) is a system that has been developed so that fruits and vegetables can be frozen and at the same time behave like fresh products.

What does this mean? 

Because the fiber of the product is not broken when defrosted, can be consumed as fresh food (a similarity in 90-95% to fresh).

This system avoids the breakage of the tissues due to the formation of so small crystals that allows fruits and vegetables to maintain their fresh properties, thus eliminating the problems of a fresh product and the abovementioned of the frozen ones.