Is it true that frozen fruits and vegetables are as healthy as fresh ones?

Fresh is better - we all think so, don't we? In fact, studies have not shown significant benefits of fresh vegetables and fruits over frozen

Not much difference between fresh and frozen peas

When you go shopping for juicy strawberries or fresh herbs, you don't look into the frozen food section. Frozen fruits and vegetables often don't look as appetizing when thawed, and you might even think that the freezing process robs them of their nutritional value to a greater or lesser extent. There is nothing better for you than everything fresh - right? On the other hand, frozen fruits and vegetables are often cheaper and available all year round. And fresh is a relative concept; fruits and vegetables can be on the road for a long time, stale in stores, or wait in your refrigerator for several weeks when you want to eat them. Are you getting any nutritional benefits from these foods?


Many tried to improve the freezing process before Clarence Birdseye invented the "quick freeze" technology in the early 1920s. He borrowed the idea from the Eskimos living in Alaska, who preserved the nutritional qualities of the fish by freezing it quickly, without forming large ice crystals that could damage the cell structure and spoil the taste of food. Fruits and vegetables contain from 70% to 90% water, after they are harvested, they quickly lose moisture, are exposed to microbes and lose their properties under the action of enzymes.

Newer methods are now in use, such as blanching vegetables before flash-freezing. No chemicals are used, and if you are worried that frozen fruits and vegetables are losing nutrients, remember that fresh ones also lose them. Green peas lose just over half of the vitamin C they contain in the first 24 to 48 hours after harvest. A study by Ali Bouzari and colleagues at the University of California that compared nutrients found in eight different fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables (corn, broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, strawberries and blueberries) found no significant differences between fresh and frozen samples.

There was more vitamin C in frozen corn, green beans and blueberries than in their fresh twins. Frozen broccoli was higher in riboflavin (vitamin B) than fresh broccoli, although peas were higher in riboflavin than in frozen ones.

The researchers were also interested in the levels of fiber and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron, and they did not find much difference between frozen and fresh samples of the same eight fruits and vegetables.

Adherents of frozen fruits and vegetables (and there are many of them in the food industry) argue that freezing also stops the process of decay. Frozen fruits and vegetables, if kept in a good freezer immediately after harvesting, will retain their minerals and vitamins to their full extent. The question of whether someone likes the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables more is more subjective. And, of course, frozen peas are much better than fresh peas when applied to the bumps on the head.