Is it time we changed our ideas about frozen fruit drinks and frozen food?

 

A study completed by the University of Chester last year showed some surprising results. In two out of three cases, frozen fruit and vegetables were found to contain more vitamin C and antioxidants than fresh versions.

This finding, which contradicts the popular mantra ‘fresh is better than frozen’ was backed up by another study conducted by the team from Leatherhead Food Research.

While both research teams agreed that ‘fresh-picked’ is always the best option, they also concluded that frozen drinks and food can be of better quality than much ‘fresh’ food on offer in greengrocers and supermarkets, because the ‘fresh’ items can spend long periods of time in supply chains before they end up in stores.

Dr Rachel Burch of the Leatherhead team commented: “We must disregard the mistaken opinion that ‘fresh’ food is always better for us than frozen food. These results demonstrate that frozen food can be nutritionally comparable to ‘fresh’ produce.

The Director General of the British Frozen Food Association Brian Young said: “Fast and highly organised methods of harvest-to-freeze’ have evolved with the express purpose of minimising nutrient losses.”

Conclusions from the University of Chester study included these points:

  • fresh and frozen carrot samples had similar levels of polyphenols
  • frozen brussel sprouts samples were higher in vitamin C than the fresh samples
  • lutein tended to be higher in frozen samples than fresh (broccoli, carrots, bussel sprouts, spinach) with the greatest difference seen in carrots