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Process and Stages of Food Product Development

Frozen Foods Are Rising Above Their Bad Rap

Since the middle of the past century, frozen food has been a popular item on grocery lists due to the ease it offers. However, as reports regarding the health risks of processed meals have become more widely publicised, more individuals have decided to reject not only TV dinners, but all frozen foods. It's important to make health-conscious choices when it comes to diet, yet many individuals make these decisions based on misunderstandings about how frozen foods are created.



Preparation

When we think of factory-produced food, substandard ingredients being cooked with too many preservatives, sugar and sodium comes to mind. This isn't the case at all. In case of frozen fruits and vegetables, freshness is maximised by picking vegetables and fruits as soon as they're ripe and freezing them within hours of harvesting. Fruits are washed, while meats are defatted and placed in premeasured trays before being cooked. Meals are sent down conveyers and fed through tanks intended to cook food to safe temperatures throughout this procedure. Food freezing equipment is subjected to stringent sanitation requirements.

 

Flash Freezing

The meal is ready to be frozen after it has been prepared. Putting food in the freezer at home is not the same as freezing it at a factory. The water molecules in the meal are frozen in normal freezing settings, and the big crystals that form can influence the texture of the dish when warmed. That's why most manufacturers use flash-freezing, which swiftly freezes food at extremely low temperatures, resulting in fewer ice crystals and minimising food damage while keeping texture.

 

Is it Safe to Eat Frozen Foods?

When consumers think of frozen food, the phrase "processed" frequently comes to mind first. Despite the fact that the term has come to be associated with low-quality, unhealthy food, in the food industry, "processed" simply implies that the food has been altered in some manner during the preparation process. This might include everything from baking to freezing to canning. It does not imply any kind of risky behaviour.

Buyers are often concerned about the use of preservatives in processed foods since sodium benzoate, which can create the carcinogen benzene, may be present. Inflammation and ADHD are both possible side effects of sodium benzoate. The FDA, on the other hand, has determined that benzene at small doses—such as those found in food—is safe.

Although processed foods are absolutely safe to consume, this does not mean that they are always healthy. Because frozen foods are manufactured with more salt, fat, or sugar than fresh foods, they have a higher salt, fat, or sugar content. This, rather than the fact that the food is processed, is what causes consumers to shun frozen foods. However, doctors have pointed out that a number of poor lifestyle choices lead people to gain weight and face various cardiovascular diseases. Frozen food is alone cannot be blamed. It is always better to eat frozen fruits or veggies than eating no vegetables at all.

 

Pros Of Frozen Food:


More Nutrients Are Present: Frozen dinners are frequently flash-frozen, which means they are frozen fast at a lower temperature. This is significant because the food's cellular integrity is conserved, allowing all nutrients to be fully kept and stored.

Frozen foods sometimes contain more nutrients than their fresh equivalents that have travelled miles on a truck to your grocery store since fruits, vegetables, and other goods are gathered at their peak ripeness and flash-frozen within hours after harvesting.

People who ate frozen meals on a regular basis had greater daily intakes of critical nutrients like protein, fibre, and potassium, suggests a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

It Saves Time: In the modern hectic life, people are probably work for 8+ hours per day. The rest of the day is spent cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, attempting to get some exercise, grocery shopping, housekeeping and yard work, child care, and other activities that fuel passions. It is critical to be able to save time wherever possible. It will take less than 10 minutes to reheat a meal from the freezer.

It Is Cost Effective: Whole Foods, for example, sells 16 ounces of fresh strawberries for USD 4.99, whereas 16 ounces of frozen strawberries cost only USD 1.99. Furthermore, a lot of food worth a good amount of money can be saved because nothing goes bad when frozen, unlike fresh foods that go bad if not eaten on a weekly basis.

Waste Is Reduced: Purchasing frozen meals may reduce waste for the buyer, the supermarket, and the entire supply chain.

Portion Control: Because frozen meals are available in single-serving proportions, they can assist us in learning to portion control.


Cons Of Frozen Food:


Preservatives: To keep frozen foods fresh for longer, they are filled with sodium and chemical preservatives. These elements are hazardous to one's health.

Nutrient Loss: They're treated before being frozen, so some vitamins like B and C are lost.

Unappealing Odor: Freezing causes the loss of natural fragrances in some foods, leaving behind a strong, disagreeable odour.

Research Author: Paroma Bhattacharya

Paroma Bhattacharya has dabbled in the realm of content production for over half a decade and possesses extensive experience in penning down pieces related to healthcare, technology, banking, and a wide range of other industry verticals. Her articles focus primarily on balancing relevant data while never neglecting to make the material engaging. She believes in providing objective facts to help people make important business decisions.

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