Are Fresh Vegetables And Fruits Healthier Than Frozen Ones?
One of the healthiest foods are fresh fruits and vegetables. They have a chock full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that improve health. However, it is not possible to get fresh produce every time and frozen varieties seem to be a convenient alternative. Does the nutritional value differ? Let us have a sneak-peek!
Fresh Vs Frozen Veggies And Fruits
Fresh fruits and veggies
Most of the fresh fruits and veggies are picked just before they begin to ripen. This gives them time to ripen fully while they get transported. It also provides them with lesser amount of time to develop the full range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Apples and pears can be stored for about 12 months before they are sold. While getting transported, fresh produce is stored in chilled and controlled environment. It is even treated with chemicals to prevent it from getting spoiled. On reaching supermarkets, they stay on display for 1 to 3 days before purchase. After they are bought they reside in the houses of people for about a week.
Fruits and veggies that are meant to be frozen are usually picked when they are at the peak of ripeness. They are the most nutritious things at that time. After being harvested, the veggies are usually washed, cut, blanched, frozen and packed within a few hours time.
Fruits are not blanched as their texture can get affected. They are either treated with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or sugar in order to prevent spoilage. Generally, no chemicals are added to the fruits and veggies prior to freezing.
Loss of vitamins due to processing of frozen produce
Generally, freezing of fruits and veggies helps in retaining their nutrient content. However, certain nutrients start breaking down when the frozen produce is stored for more than one year.
The process of blanching also results in loss of certain nutrients. Blanching produce leads to the maximum loss of nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin C (water soluble). It kills the harmful bacteria and at the same time prevents the loss of colour, flavour and texture of the produce. However, blanching is not done to frozen fruits.
The loss of nutrients varies depending on the kind of vegetable and the time period for which it was blanched. There is an average loss of 50%. Research says that the antioxidant content of the produce is not lost.
During storage there is a decline in the nutrients of both fresh and frozen produce. Some vitamins and nutrients start declining after they are harvested. Thus, eating fresh fruits and veggies just after they are picked is the best.
Which is better- Fresh Vs Frozen Veggies And Fruits?
In general, scientific evidence suggests that freezing fruits and veggies can preserve their nutrient value. It is also said that the nutritional content of both fresh and frozen fruits and veggies is similar.
Frozen foods are said to contain more amount of vitamin C comparatively.
The bottom line
The best quality fruits and veggies are the ones picked up from your own garden. But that cannot happen always 😛 So, at the supermarket you can try frozen produce that is equal to or in certain cases more nutritious than fresh ones available there.
Hope you liked this post ‘Fresh vs frozen veggies and fruits’!
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