Processing of Frozen Vegetables

Most fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are picked before they are ripe. This allows them time to fully ripen during transportation. Some fruits like fresh apples and fresh pears, can be stored for up to 12 months under controlled conditions before being sold. Fresh market produce like fresh vegetables and fruits are generally stored in a chilled, controlled atmosphere and treated with chemicals to prevent spoiling.

Freezing helps retain the nutrient content of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. When frozen produce is stored for more than a year, some nutrients begin to break down.During the blanching process, certain nutrients are also lost. Ii is a fact that the greatest loss of nutrients occurs at this time.

Prior to freezing, blanching takes place and it involves placing the produce in boiling water for a short time, usually a few minutes. This is the normal way that consumers do when they buy the market produce. The fresh vegetables will go through this process before they are cooked.

It generally prevents the loss of flavor, color and texture, but this kills any harmful bacteria. There is the loss of water-soluble nutrients, such as B-vitamins and vitamin C.

However, this doesnt apply to frozen fruits, which dont undergo blanching. The fresh fruits are just put in the fridge to retain its freshness.

Generally, the nutrient loss range from 10–80%, with averages around 50%. It depends on the type of fresh vegetable and length of blanching.One study found that blanching also reduced water-soluble antioxidant activity in peas by 30%, and in spinach by 50%. Nonetheless, levels remained constant during storage at −4° F, or −20° C.

Some research also suggests that despite the loss of water-soluble vitamins, frozen produce may retain its antioxidant activity.It is now evident that blanching will make nutrient levels remain the same but there will be a loss of antioxidants, B-vitamins and vitamin C.

The consumers have their own choices, to buy those fresh vegetables handpicked fresh from the farm or those which have been frozen to stay fresh in the process of transporting them from a different country to the designated location. Whatever their choice, it is still a must to eat these fresh vegetables and fresh fruits for a healthy diet.