By Sara Israfilbayova
Every time when passing by sections with frozen fruits and vegetables at markets many of us unwillingly wonder whether they are harmful. "Have they preserved at least some vitamins?" we ask ourselves.
People are sometimes suspicious about frozen vegetables and fruits. While part of consumers consider frozen vegetables and fruits to be the main source of vitamins in the winter, others regard them useless semi-finished products. Where is the truth?
It is yet controversial whether frozen fruits and vegetables are as healthy and nutritious as fresh fruits and vegetables or harmful.
There are studies showing that frozen foods not only keep up with the fresh in nutrition, but in some cases surpass them. Critics of the product, whilst, argue that the frozen and even the packaged product do not inspire confidence. Everyone decides for himself, but let get through some facts.
It is summer now, and when we are able to buy a really fresh product, we should take this opportunity. Frozen foods are out of the question, while there are "live" apples, cherries, cucumbers, etc. But what should we do in winter? We can buy fruits and veggies grown in greenhouses, but also we can buy frozen ones. Which one to choose in winter? Critics and defenders of frozen fruits agree that the products produced and frozen in summer are more useful than "artificial" winter fruits and vegetables.
It has been long known that there is no better preservative than cold. It is able to maintain the best qualities of the product. But you can freeze it in different ways. What are the ways to freeze and which way is better?
The classic technique of freezing is freezing at a temperature of -30-40 ° C with the help of low-temperature liquid or cold air. In this case, the water contained in the cells does not turn into large ice crystals that destroy the cell membranes. As a result, the products remain intact.
There is also a more modern technique - cryogenic freezing at a temperature below -60 ° C. Such product is practically does not yield to fresh by its nutritional value. But even the consumer knows that it is important for the product to unfreeze during transportation. The re-frozen product does not differ in appearance from the original, but its vitamin value, utility is completely different. How to be? Some manufacturers put special paper indicators on the package. Juice changes paper’s color and thus warn about defrosting.
Scientists from the University of Georgia checked popular herbal products for vitamin saturation. On the one hand, there were fresh fruits that ripped right from the garden and were stored for several days in a refrigerator, on the other-frozen ones.
For two years, scientists analyzed the concentration of vitamin C, provitamin A and folic acid in the samples. Among the fruits and veggies were frozen and fresh broccoli, cauliflower, corn, green beans, green peas, spinach, blueberries and strawberries. Fresh samples were kept in the refrigerator for five days.
As a result, the authors of the project were convinced that the volume of nutrient content of frozen and fresh vegetables and fruits do not differ from each other.
Besides, scientists awarded the palm of the health utility to frozen products. The fact is that with prolonged storage in the refrigerator, fresh fruits, vegetables and berries lose many useful properties, but this does not happen with frozen ones.
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