Frozen food can be even more nutritious than supposedly fresh produce in a supermarket, a new study has found. Most of the fruit and veg found in the freezer, things like peas, are frozen very soon after harvest, so preserving the levels of vitamins and minerals. However, the long delays in getting fresh food from the field to the store often leads to a reduction in the level of beneficial compounds. In some cases fruit and vegetables sold as fresh will have been held in warehouses for months on end.
Prepared meal delivery services are getting more popular each day, catering to individuals who do not have the time or aspiration to make all their meals from home. Several meal-delivery websites want to lift eating-in to a higher level by delivering high-quality prepared dishes to your doorstep. Whether ordered to celebrate a holiday or as a gift, the food is billed as being as good as what's served in a fine restaurant.
This is made possible with blast freezing the meals which is a rapid form of freezing which minimises the damage and preserves food at a high quality. During the process of freezing, all the water molecules turn into crystals, the faster the freezing the smaller the crystals and after defrosting, there will be no loss of liquid, firmness or flavour. The freezers are high capacity rapid air freezers with an air temperature of -35 ° C which quickly blast freeze the meals down to -18 ° C and guarantees a high quality, better tasting product.
Blast freezers come in a variety of configurations, from single-load freezers that freeze batches of products, to "continuous" freezers such as tunnel freezers that continuously freeze product as it moves through the freezer on a conveyor belt.
The New Zealand Cold Storage industry identified blast freezing as the most energy intensive operation in the frozen food storage industry, consuming 8.1 GWh of electricity in New Zealand in 2005.
The primary goal in blast freezing is fast freeze times. Fast freeze times are important for a number of reasons – the most obvious being production efficiency – getting the most production out of the least amount of production space is important in every industry. However, the most compelling motivation is the economics of quality. High quality food products can be pushed into high price markets, but low quality products are left to the low price markets – plain and simple. Blast freezing is an effort on the part of frozen food producers to preserve as much of the quality as was present in the raw product as possible in order to position their products before the type of customers that are willing to pay the most for the very best quality.
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