Frozen fruits can often save us money, time and wasting fruit that we bought but sadly has gone bad. But more often that not we are unaware of whether frozen fruits can be consumed as they are.
No, it is not. The important factor here is to find the balance between eating frozen fruits and staying healthy. You can consume a variety of fresh and frozen fruits. That will give you the best of both worlds.
In this article, I am going to talk about whether or not we can eat frozen fruits as they are, what we need to know and the best practises for eating frozen fruits.
Can You Eat Frozen Fruit Out Of The Bag?
Freezing is an important means of preserving fruits and helping them last longer. The invention of the freezer changed the way we made and ate our food. Because of the freezer, preserving our foods has become easier and faster. We have been able to reduce the wastage of food.
We can keep fruits always in season and help them retain their nutritional value, among other benefits.
However, contrary to popular beliefs, freezing does not kill viruses or bacteria. There have been several reports of food poisoning that resulted from feeding on frozen fruits. The FDA recalled a frozen blackberry product and a blended berry product because they contained parts of the hepatitis A virus.
That begs the question,
- Is it safe to eat frozen fruits?
- Can we eat frozen fruits from the bag?
- Or should we refrain from feeding on them?
In this article, you will learn the advantages of frozen fruits, the dangers of eating frozen fruits, and tips for making your frozen fruits safer for you. Read along as we go right into it!
Benefits of Eating Frozen Fruits
Freezing has proven to be an effective means of preserving fruits and keeping them from spoilage. Some of the benefits of frozen fruits are:
- Increased Nutrient Content
Many people have the misconception that frozen fruits are not as nutritious as fresh fruits. But this has been proven to be untrue. Freezing can help keep an increased level of nutrients like vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants for longer periods. Studies have shown that frozen fruits have more antioxidants and Vitamin C than fresh fruits kept in the fridge for three days.
Freezing makes your fruit available to you all year long. You can purchase the fruits in bulk when they are in season, freeze them, and then consume them throughout the year.
Freezing also makes fruits more affordable. It reduces food wastage and is cheaper than fresh fruits.
Disadvantages of Eating Frozen Fruits
Even though there are many benefits of eating frozen fruits, there are a few disadvantages to eating them. Some of them are as follows:
- The cooking method can affect the nutrient level
Many frozen fruits need some cooking before you consume them. But some common cooking methods like boiling can reduce the level of some nutrients like vitamin C.
If you want to retain the nutrient even after cooking, you can lightly steam, stir-fry, or saute them instead of boiling.
- Freezing Can Change Texture and Taste of Fruits
Freezing affects the water content of fruits. Hence, it can change the taste and texture of fruits slightly as well.
- Possible Infestation
A big downside of eating frozen fruit is the possibility of infection. Recently, two recalls of frozen berries were announced by the FDA. The fruits involved were frozen blackberries and blended berries, and they were discovered to have parts of the hepatitis A virus.
However, there was no recorded outbreak of the hepatitis A virus. From 1997 to 2016, frozen berries have led to three hepatitis A outbreaks and one norovirus outbreak in the United States. About 550 people became sick, and 53 people were hospitalized.
Fortunately, there were no reported deaths. The case was worse in Europe, where frozen berries led to a hepatitis A outbreak within 2013 and 2014 and infected more than 1, 500 people.
- You Cannot Freeze Every Fruit
Even though freezing can be a great option for preserving fruits, you need to note that it is not the only option for preserving fruits. Some fruits do not freeze well, and it is because of their high water content. So if you depend on frozen fruits, you may miss some fruit options.
Tips for Handling and Consuming Frozen Fruits
These are some tips for handling and consuming frozen fruits. They will help you to prevent infection and other issues that come with frozen fruits.
- Check the internal temperature of frozen foods with a digital probe thermometer to ensure that they reach the recommended internal temperature.
- Ensure that your freezer is packed and do not open the freezer door except when needed. It is to ensure less airflow and constant temperature.
- Abide with the cooking instruction of all frozen fruit and ensure that you cook frozen fruits that have been associated with some foodborne illness outbreak and recalls.
- You can take extra precaution by microwaving frozen fruits, stirring, and checking if the temperature eclipses 200 degrees before you use them in recipes or refreezing, particularly if you use the ingredients in foods you serve to the elderly, very young, pregnant women or people with underlying health issues.