MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT THE FROZEN PRODUCTS
In recent years the consumption of frozen products is growing rapidly and this is why, frozen products serve the needs of the modern family, such as, providing restful enjoyable meal without costly preparation . Although most consumers believe that frozen products are substandard food, modern freezing methods achieve the maintenance of all properties (taste , color , aroma ) and the nutritive ingredients.
Have you ever wondered how many factors can affect the quality of fresh food ? For example, sunlight , heat or poor maintenance often deplete vitamins while also enhancing the growth of harmful microorganisms.
Compared to fresh food, frozen products are probably the best solution for the kitchen of the modern family.
The cooling process is the most ideal method to maintain a product for a long time without losing freshness, quality, flavor and nutrients.
How this happens: The products are frozen immediately after harvest, fishing or slaughter and transported in conditions of continuous cooling with refrigerated freezers in the stores. The nutrient losses that occur due to the metabolic process of frozen food during transport or trade in the warehouses of frozen food is tremendously reduced . Also frozen products contain no preservatives, which are largely in their original natural state .
Nutritional value : It has been approved that frozen products retain the same nutritional value, taste, color and aroma with fresh, under the condition that people avoid to refreeze them and keep the correct cooking conditions.
Freezing preserves the nutrients in the tissues of food and prevents rot , because microbial pathogens and non- pathogens are inactivated completely ( many die ) at -18⁰C.
Packaged foods are subjected to very strict quality controls than the fresh foods.
Frozen products, compare to the fresh products provide unlimited variety of products irrespective of the season.
Products on ice : the thin layer of ice-water on frozen products, is used in modern technology embedded in the surface of the foodstuff and acts as a shield , preventing the food to come into contact with oxygen, which progressively alters as dehydration . In this way , the ice allows the product to maintain unchanged all the qualitative characteristics and ensures long life.
FOOD STORAGE IN FREEZER HAS LIMITS!!!
Before buying frozen products you should be aware of the capabilities of your refrigerator and the shelf-life of the products you are buying (most of the times you can find it on the packaging).
A refrigerator that reaches temperature reaches the -6⁰C (* or ** in the refrigerator ), has the ability to store food up to two weeks.
A refrigerator that reaches temperatures up to -12⁰C (*** in the refrigerator ), can preserve food for several weeks or months.
A refrigerator that reaches temperatures up to -25⁰C (**** in the refrigerator ), can preserve food for many months.
Ways to Defrost Food Safely
Η απόψυξη ενός κατεψυγμένου προϊόντος χρειάζεται μεγάλη προσοχή.
Ποτέ μην ξαναψύχετε ένα προϊόν που έχετε προηγουμένως ξεπαγώσει. Άλλωστε αυτό επισημαίνεται και σε όλες τις συσκευασίες των κατεψυγμένων προϊόντων.
Οι πιο συνηθισμένοι τρόποι απόψυξης είναι:
Leave your frozen food out to thaw : The problem with this method is that the outer layer of the food can sit between the bacteria-breeding temperatures of 40°F and 140 °F for far too long to be safe.
- Cold Water Thawing: The upside to this approach is that it’s much faster than refrigerator thawing. The downside is that it requires a lot more attention on your behalf. Never use hot water, as that can cause the outer layer of the food to heat up to a temperature where harmful bacteria begins to multiply. You’ll need to change the water every 30 minutes to ensure that it stays sufficiently cold.
Once the food is thawed completely, you’ll need to cook it immediately. If you have a change in plans, you can safely refreeze the food once you’ve cooked it thoroughly.
- Refrigerator Thawing: This is certainly the easiest method for defrosting frozen food — just stick it in the fridge and wait until it’s thawed.
- In the oven : Great way for pre-cooked or semi- frozen products eg slopes. As for the microwave, it is recommended only for defrosting and not for cooking such foods .
Using Benmari : This method is ideal for frozen precooked products . With this way each product returns to its natural state gradually, thus keeping all the juices and components unchanged .