Freezing fruit is considered as the most effective method for preserving within a long period of time.
Proper freezing the fruit does not affect the color, the flavor, and the nutrient of the fruit.
The consumer can still get the best quality and nutrient from it.
This preserving method reduces the growth of microorganisms which cause the fruit to spoil quickly.
To maintain the preservation, the fruit should be frozen in the refrigerator in -18°C or below.
Unlike other food preserving methods, freezing the fruit requires simple steps and shortest time.
Freezing as a mean of fruit preservation method has been known worldwide.
The rapid population growth triggers increasing demand of fruit in almost all parts of the world.
Therefore, fruit production should be developed in terms of the quantity, quality, and transportation.
The increasing demands require increasing the quantity of fruit production as well.
Even the fruit demands are still high during off-season. Therefore, the fruit should be produced as many as possible and stored over a long period of time.
Considering the practicality, freezing the fruit is feasible for worldwide commercialization. It does not require a long time and high cost for the process.
In addition, frozen fruit can be transported to far countries without being decayed.
The quality and the nutrition are well-maintained too.
The method to freeze fruit has been developed throughout the history. The first attempt of food freezing was initiated by the Chinese in the early of 1.000 B.C.
They developed ice cellars as storage. It functioned as refrigerator.
The technology of refrigerator was discovered by the Egyptians and Indians.
They found that the evaporation through the pores of clay vessel’s walls produced ice crystals in the water inside the vessels.
In 1930, Clarence Birdseye and his American company started to develop practical food freezing process.
When he was still a young engineer in Labrador in 1912, he was interested to make a freezer to store his catch after fishing to keep it fresh.
Learning from this simple preservation attempt, he finally produced several frozen foods such as vegetables, meats, peas, fruits, and fish fillets in 1930.
Why does frozen fruit become popular?
There is a speculation in the society that frozen fruit contains fewer nutrients than that of fresh fruit.
In fact, frozen fruit and fresh fruit have the same nutrient amount. In some cases, frozen fruit may contain more nutrition.
Unlike fresh fruit, frozen fruit is picked in its ripeness peak. In addition, the preservation keeps the amount of nutrient in frozen fruit.
Otherwise, fresh fruit is highly exposed to light and heat during the transportation and storage.
As a result, the amount of water-soluble vitamin like vitamin B and C are degraded.
Fruit which is frozen can be stored within a long period of time without losing the flavor and color.
The enzymes which cause the fruit to lose its flavor and color is deactivated during the freezing.
The fruit can also be preserved effectively because the microorganisms are eliminated to prevent spoilage.
Frozen fruit becomes popular because it can be used to make several kinds of food and beverage.
It can be made as pies, sherbets, ice creams, jams and salads.
Frozen fruit degradation
Freezing the fruit increases the amount of water in the fruit. The excessive amount of water in the fruit cell forms ice crystal inside it. When it is thawed, the fruit loses its’ texture.
It becomes softer than the original texture before freezing. Long period of storage in the refrigerator also cause the fruit to lose its’ moisture.
When the moisture reduces, the brownish spots will appear in the fruit and make the fruit dry.
Before the fruit is frozen, it is blanched. In blanching process, the fruit is dipped into hot boiling water between 75 and 95 °C.
Blanching process usually lasts for 1 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fruit.
In this process, water-soluble vitamins like vitamin B and vitamin C degrade rapidly.
Vitamin C is reduced into 10% during the process. The amount of vitamin B loss is higher, 20-60%.
Possible effects of thawing Frozen Fruit
Both blanching and thawing process may bring effects to the fruit.
The blanching process does not kill all the bacteria. Some of them still survive and remain living in it.
As soon as it is thawed, the bacteria may grow again during the thawing.
Thawing the fruit can cause more texture loss. Freezing the fruit changes the water in fruit cell become ice crystal.
When it is thawed, the ice crystal melt, causing the water expands. The water stretches the wall of the cell.
Therefore, the fruit texture becomes softer and porous.
Ideal Thawing Frozen Fruit Process
It is much better to eat frozen fruit before it is fully thawed. We can still keep the texture and the bacteria infection.
Ideal thawing process can be done by thawing it in the refrigerator, cold water, or microwave.
Thawing in the refrigerator takes longest time. It spends 24 hours for every 5 ponds of food to thaw. If you want to thaw fruit in cold water, you need to control the water temperature less than 21°C.
This thawing frozen fruit method requires lesser time because it only takes 2 hours.
Thawing in cold water also requires you to keep it free from more bacteria infection.
You should put the fruit in a leak-proof plastic bag. If you are going to eat the fruit as soon as it is thawed, you can use the microwave. Make sure you do not overheat the fruit.
One thing to remember during fruit thawing is take the fruit as you need.
Restoring leftover fruit in the fridge will cause structure-damaged, more quality loss, and severe bacteria infection.