There is this old belief that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is better for the body than eating them frozen or cooked. However, a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia revealed that frozen fruits and vegetables are as healthy as fresh ones.
The Hurdles Of The Frozen Produce Industry
This is good news as more and more people are buying foods that are frozen due to convenience. Food companies, to increase the shelf-life of their products, opt for different types of preservation techniques including flash freezing. This technique quickly freezes food so that they retain their flavor and freshness longer.
Although flash freezing allows food manufacturers to provide different types of frozen foods to customers, the idea of consuming frozen foods has a bad rap. Many consumers believe that eating frozen foods are less healthy because they are more “processed.” In fact, a report released by the survey company, Packaged Facts, revealed that while 75% of American household consume frozen fruits and vegetables, the sales have remained identical to the 2012 sales.
While the industry of frozen produce has not shown much growth over the last few years, there has been a surge in sales of fresh fruits and vegetables. The report shows that this industry has earned over $62 billion within the last four years indicating that it has a yearly growth of 3.8%.
Frozen vs. Fresh: Fruits and Vegetables
To dispel the belief that fresh fruits and vegetables are way better than frozen foods, the researchers from the University of Georgia worked with the Frozen Food Foundation. The study analyzed the nutritional value of frozen foods and compared it with those of fresh produce. They inspected food like frozen blueberries, corn, strawberries, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and green peas.
So what did the study find out? Researchers revealed that frozen foods contain the same, if not greater, amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate than most fresh fruits and vegetables. Researchers found the results staggering and believe that frozen fruits and vegetables are better at nutrient retention than their fresh counterparts.
One of the reasons why frozen fruits and vegetables are healthier is that they are matured properly before freezing. When fruits and vegetables are harvested, they start to lose nutrients. But since frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen shortly after being harvested, they are allowed to fully ripen and retain high amounts of vitamins and minerals that are locked within their frozen cells.
Contrary to popular belief, freezing fruits and vegetables does not destroy the natural nutrients found in food. So the next time you go shopping for fruits and vegetables, make sure that you think about frozen ones too.
Inspired by www.fooddive.com