Frozen versus not-quite-fresh

FrozenVersusNotQuiteFreshA unique study conducted by the University of Georgia and the Frozen Food Foundation and reported in Acres USA, compared the nutrient content of eight commonly purchased frozen fruits and vegetables with that of the same vegetables and fruits in the ‘fresh’ produce section. The study mimicked consumer purchasing and storage habits of blueberries, strawberries, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, green peas and spinach.

The researchers accounted for such variables as growing conditions, country of origin, and time in the supply chain. Composite samples were prepared from fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables purchased from six independent grocery stores.

Study results found that the nutritional value of most frozen fruits and vegetables were approximately equal to that of their fresh counterparts, with some of the frozen produce actually having a higher content of folates and vitamins A and C.

This was undoubtedly due to two factors. One, modern freezing methods are greatly improved, with the produce frozen very soon after harvesting.  Two, the longer timespan between harvesting and consumption, the greater the nutrient degradation in the ‘fresh’ produce.

The most nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, of course, are those that go from your garden, local farm or farmers market straight to the table raw or only lightly cooked.

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