P1000618 Frozen Food Week


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How Fresh Is ‘Fresh’ And How Cool Is Chilled?

People often think that frozen food is inferior to fresh or chilled. Nothing could be further from the truth! Buy it in top condition with frozen.


The fact that products are frozen at their peak of quality means that almost all their freshness is locked in at the point of freezing. And – unlike many chilled products – frozen foods have no preservatives added to them. Freezing is basically a completely natural process so frozen foods are actually closer to our expectations of natural foods than chilled!

There are three great benefits to buying frozen…

  • Freezing stops the growth of harmful microbes and pathogens which cause food poisoning and spoilage.
  • Frozen ready meals give you a wider menu choice and greater consistency of quality and presentation.
  • And some pre-prepared frozen products actually perform better than fresh as freezing and cooking from frozen ensures the integrity of the product. For example, with chicken Kiev, frozen is the only easy way to keep the filling in the product!

Frozen meat

Frozen meat has been fast frozen to below -18°C.

It is preserved at its peak condition and freshness then stored and distributed frozen. Apart from stopping bacterial growth, this process also slows down the complex chemical changes that cause deterioration in meat. So freezing preserves the meat in good condition and retains its ‘wholesomeness’ and quality for longer periods – up to a year compared with three to five days for chilled. When you thaw it, the quality of the meat should be just as tasty as its fresh counterpart – if not more so!

Frozen fish

Fish is frozen soon after being caught.

Whether they come from farms or the sea, all frozen fish products have usually been frozen four hours after harvest. Even fresh fish which is sold to a frozen packer will be frozen within a day of arriving with the processor. On the other hand, unless you live next door to a fishing harbour, “fresh” fish can easily be in transit for up to 14 days before reaching you. So you can see how frozen fish can actually be the fresher, more natural choice!

Frozen fish and seafood offers consistent high quality, year round availability, price stability and a hugely extended shelf life – normally 18 months in a commercial freezer. In fact, using frozen fish and seafood can be up to 25% cheaper than fresh.

Frozen fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are frozen immediately after harvest.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are harvested, transported, stored and then transported to their point of sale. It’s quite usual for products to be up to 14 days old before they reach the consumer, meaning that valuable nutrients are lost.

Freezing lets you choose from the pick of fruit and vegetables from around the world, all with that ‘just picked’ taste experience.

Frozen Desserts

Freezer keeps short shelf life dessert extremely fresh.

Desserts are normally manufactured with short shelf life ingredients. Freezing keeps these fresh for maximum quality when defrosted. Frozen desserts are very convenient because they can be eaten quite soon after coming out of the freezer and allow caterers to offer more variety to their customers.

Some of our best loved desserts are now more usually associated with frozen than fresh such as profiteroles, gateaux and cheesecakes.

Frozen Bread & Pastries

Freezer requires no preservatives.

Frozen bread and pastries often contains fewer additives than fresh alternatives as the freezing process acts as a natural preservative. Bread and pastries baked from frozen stay soft and fresh all day.

So, all round it’s clear that the chilled products we find in supermarkets are not necessarily “fresh”… We just don’t know how long that product has been sitting there!

There’s also the preservative issue. For any chilled foods to stop deteriorating, preservatives must have been added. All preservatives are types of chemicals and although not harmful to the food product, they may alter the quality, changing the flavour, texture and freshness from its original state.

To sum up…If you’re concerned about the freshness of your food, and about how many preservatives you may be feeding your family, you need to be aware of the difference between frozen and chilled.

A great way to be certain that you and your family are getting the fresh food you deserve is to buy frozen. After all, you can be sure it’s fresh if it’s frozen!!



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