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Frozen foods: why consume them, when to avoid them and how to store them

Frozen foods

All the tips to consume frozen foods safely: how to best preserve them, the advantages and the false myths.

Since their release on the market, that is, since 1930, frozen foods have been the subject of controversy : are they good or is it better to avoid them? Are they more profitable or risky? The sure thing is their comfort , they allow you to prepare a meal when you don’t have time or want to put yourself in the kitchen. In a few moments and in a simple way you can taste elaborate dishes without leaving home.

Numerous studies and debates have followed over the years around this type of food, we try to clarify the topic.

Difference between frozen and frozen foods

Frozen foods
Frozen foods

First of all, we must make a proper specification regarding the difference between freezing and freezing .

In the first case the process is industrial and the food undergoes a very rapid cooling which causes the creation of small crystals of water and without any modification in the biological structure. Thus all the nutritional properties remain intact . In some cases the internal bacteria are also killed so the product is of high quality in microbiological, nutritional and organoleptic terms.

Freezing , on the other hand, is carried out at home . That is, when the consumer buys fresh food and then puts it in his freezer. In this case, the cooling of the product is slower with a consequent dispersion of the nutritional qualities.

Frozen foods: advantages and disadvantages

Pizzas, vegetables, chips, minestrone, croquettes and much more, frozen foods are a salvation in the kitchen. In fact, almost 50% of Italians use it at least once a week.

We can dispel the myth that the frozen product is less healthy than the fresh one. Because, in reality, there are no substantial nutritional differences . Another false myth is the presence of preservatives: they are not present in frozen foods as they are prohibited by law .

Frozen foods therefore have the enormous advantage of facilitating rapid preparation of the dishes. They are safe because they retain the characteristics and fragrance of fresh food, in fact sometimes they are even more intact. That said, it is still recommended to consume fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. In addition there is a wide choice of frozen foods, you can find everything at very competitive prices . They can be found everywhere and can also be ordered online with home delivery.

The disadvantage is to pay attention to the cold chain . Never stop it otherwise the food will be damaged . Once frozen, some fish lose most of their nutritional properties, including salmon and mackerel, for example. Furthermore, once defrosted, the food should be consumed in a short time.

The rules for treating frozen foods

To clear up any doubts, we list a series of useful tips for your frozen foods:

• The temperature of the food must remain around -18 ° C.

Do not refreeze foods once they have reached room temperature. Otherwise you can defrost them in the microwave or cook, only then you can put them back in the freezer.

• Any product that comes out of the freezer must thaw in the refrigerator enclosed in its packaging.

• When purchasing a frozen product, make sure that the packaging is intact , has not expired, is crushed and does not have frost. Also carry it home with cooled cooler bags.

Do not continuously open the freezer . The warmer air that enters inside favors the formation of frost which prevents the regular flow of cold.

• Fresh pasta can be kept frozen for up to 3 months . It is always best to divide it into portions and put the date on a label. Also, when you have to consume it, do not thaw it but throw it directly into the boiling water for cooking.

Glass is the best material for storing frozen food.

• Not all foods are suitable for freezing. The higher the water and fat content (e.g. cream or butter) the less predisposed to this procedure. Sausages and seasoned cheeses can be stored in the freezer but the aroma and consistency is reduced .

• Some foods rich in water, such as vegetables , once defrosted lose their consistency and deteriorate in appearance.

• It is indifferent to freeze cooked or raw foods . But if raw, they must be well cleaned and washed.

• Do not freeze fruit , tomatoes and lettuces.

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