Fresh produce is amazing and so tasty but often the fruit and veg we see in the supermarket has travelled quite a distance to reach your local store. Transit & storage may deplete nutritive value. After fruit & veg has been picked it continues to go through the process of respiration. Respiration breaks down nutrients within the fruit or veg and can cause a reduction in certain nutrients, flavour and colour. Due to longer transport times of fruit and veg to reach the consumer and longer storage times on supermarket shelves and in our fridges, the levels of vitamins and minerals can be lower in some fresh produce. Studies have actually shown that some fresh produce can lose a high proportion of Vitamin C from the moment there are picked.
Freezing doesn’t significantly decrease nutritional value of fruit and vegetables. YAY! Plus it may actually increase the availability of some water soluble vitamins. YAY YAY! Fresh fruit and veg produce enzymes called chymotrypsin & trypsin when they have been harvested. These can cause loss of texture, flavour etc. BUT when these foods are frozen it stops activation of these enzymes, preserving the food. Most fruit and veg will be blanched before freezing which involves placing them in hot water for a very short period of time and then tossing them into cold water. Studies show blanching has no major effect on overall nutritional composition.
So, if you’re are struggling to keep fruit and veg fresh or you just want to easily up your intake of fruit and veg, choosing frozen options won’t be a bad choice. The best thing to do is to buy locally produced fresh produce (and only buy as much as you need) where possible and combine with the frozen stuff. No excuses for not hitting your 5 a day now eh?!