Frozen foods: everything you need to know
What should you know about frozen foods? The freezing of food is a way of preservation that allows to slow down the decomposition of these. Important, stops its deterioration, but does not correct it. Another point to consider is knowing what method is used for freezing, as it directly affects the quality and texture of food.
Faster freezing generates smaller ice crystals and maintains cell structure. So, frozen foods correctly, They are an option that we can incorporate into our purchase and our kitchen. Let's see a more detailed analysis.
What disadvantages involves slow freezing?
Whether the product has frozen slowly or has suffered temperature fluctuations during storage, the crystals that are formed are larger because they extract water bound to the proteins of these foods.
This water is not recoverable in the defrosting process, so that the texture of the food and its nutritional value is altered. This water that is lost can carry with it water-soluble nutrients, such as some vitamins.
Foods may have certain alterations when frozen slowly. In many cases, in addition to changing its texture, its nutritional value is also altered.
Do they change the nutritional properties of frozen foods?
Do not. The industrially frozen vegetables retain the nutritional properties of fresh vegetables, since they are processed quickly after collection, at their optimal time.
Indeed, The most problematic nutrients, vitamins, are lost by heat. In addition, minerals are spoiled in part by cutting and subsequent washing of food, and also in boiling water.
That is, the food micronutrients will remain intact, as long as let's freeze before cooking. Nutrient losses from handling, cooking and processing prior to freezing, these are no longer recovered.
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So can I freeze any food?
You can freeze almost everything. However, sometimes, the textures, the smells and some flavors are altered so much, that it is not recommended. For example:
- Meats can be kept for 3 to 12 months, no more.
- The cold cuts and sausage between 1 and 2 months.
- Blue fish less than 3 months.
- The bread, between 3 and 6 months.
- Soups, approximately 60 days.
- Butter, yes, yes, butter also freezes, between 3 and 6 months maximum.
We must not stop thinking that this process is also a great advantage to organize our weekly meals and, thus, to be able to have a healthy and balanced diet within the busy schedules that we follow some days.
A good menu organization and a little while a week in the kitchen can solve the maintenance of a disorderly diet, thanks to frozen foods.
Almost all foods can be frozen. However, we must bear in mind that many change too much in terms of texture and flavor.
4 basic rules about frozen foods
- First: Never freeze a food that has already been thawed. The repetition of the process will harm the qualities of the food.
- Second: use appropriate containers that keep the product isolated, since "An airtight container is essential to protect food from dehydration, oxidation and odor transmission". airtight glass containers are the best choice.
- Third: the fact that there are drawings on the outside of the drawers can be very useful; divisions help separate food so that there is no cross contamination while frozen. Use them, it will be much easier to also identify the food inside an orderly freezer. Another good option to identify your frozen products is to use labels.
- Quarter: Follow your freezer's instructions and make sure that during the process the temperature is at least -20 ° C constant.
- Fifth: If you freeze a cooked dish, remember to defrost it little by little, moving it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before it was consumed.
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Freezing is a good method of food preservation, as it prevents them from deteriorating early. But nevertheless, we must keep in mind that can cause changes in texture and flavor. Whenever we freeze before cooking, foods maintain their properties. However, some rules must be applied to make freezing safe.