While Americans struggle to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets, a recent study reveals one simple solution—frozen.
The Frozen Food Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering scientific research, public awareness and education regarding the nutritional value of frozen foods, partnered with the University of California-Davis (UC Davis), Davis, Calif., to evaluate the nutrient content of eight commonly-purchased frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables—blueberries, strawberries, carrots, corn, broccoli, green beans, green peas and spinach.
The study used methodologies designed to eliminate discrepancies in the harvesting, handling and storage of fruits and vegetables. Like produce found in farmers' markets, the fruits and vegetables used in the study were locally grown, harvested and stored by the UC Davis research team. Each fruit and vegetable was analyzed under the following conditions—frozen (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after 10 and 90 days of storage in a freezer) and fresh-stored (analyzed within 24 hours of harvest and after three and 10 days of storage in a refrigerator).
Study results revealed that the nutritional value of frozen fruits and vegetables are generally equal to—and in some cases better than—their fresh counterparts.
Another fast-emerging segment within the frozen fruit and vegetable market is the freezing techniques used to freeze perishable products without compromising their nutritional value or textures, this according to “Frozen Food Market (Vegetables & Fruits, Potatoes, Ready-to-eat Meals, Meat, Fish/Seafood and Soups) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013-2019,” conducted and produced by Transparency Market Research, Albany, N.Y.
Here’s a breakdown of new developments in frozen fruits and vegetables:
Premium side dishes. Alexia Foods, Eagle, Idaho, introduced Alexia Premium Seasoned Vegetables, made with the finest all-natural ingredients and seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices. They come in French Herb Green Beans, Parmesan Peas, Southern Sweet Potato Blend and Italian Herb Corn with Sundried Tomatoes.
Fruit blends. Wyman’s of Maine, Milbridge, Maine, released a team of fresh frozen dark sweet and red tart cherries, Nantucket cranberries and a strawberry, blueberry, cherry and kale blend.
Inventure Foods, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., advanced the frozen fruit category with Rader Farms Fruit PLUS Vitamins, what is said to be the first-ever fortified whole frozen fruit product. Using proprietary technology and topical nutrients sourced from whole fruits and vegetables, Fruit PLUS Vitamins builds on naturally-occurring vitamins found in whole strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, and boosts the nutrition level with five additional vitamins, including B1, B6, D, E and K. The line comes in Strawberries & Blueberries and Mixed Berry Blend (strawberries, blueberries and blackberries).
To learn more about these and other new retail fruits and vegetables, go here.