Do frozen foods contain any conservatives? If not, why do they have such a long shelf life?
No, they do not contain any conservatives. Their long shelf life is being achieved thanks to DEEP FREEZING, right after thermal processing, which is being kept during all stages of the food supply chain until your market basket. “Deep Freezing”, according to the Code of Alcohol and Foods, is the freezing process where the product passes, in the fastest possible time, to the crystallization zone, with a result the continuous conservation of its temperature, in every spot, at -18°C or less temperature. Essentially we are talking about immediate freezing of the product after thermal processing in order to prevent growth of microorganisms, and retarding the enzymatic activity, causing food spoilage. This production process of ALTERRA’s products makes them absolutely safe.
From the nutritional value aspect, do frozen vegetables fall short compared to the fresh vegetables?
No, there is no substantial loss of vitamin and minerals in deep-frozen vegetables because protein, vitamins and minerals are not affected by freezing. Also, as the time from harvest to deep freezing needed, in ALTERRA’s products, is less than 20 minutes, they are not inferior compared to the fresh vegetables!
Is defrosting required for frozen vegetables before cooking?
No, there is no need of defrosting. Frozen vegetables are cooked according to the cooking instructions mentioned on the packaging.
How do they preserve their color, taste and ingredients?
Both the nutritional value of frozen vegetables and their color are kept in excellent condition thanks to the special procedures used (blanching, freezing). As for the taste, freezing is a natural and gentle method for preservation, which not weakens taste, as long as vegetables are maintained properly, in order to keep the cold chain at all stages of the handling and distribution of frozen products.
A frozen product is left in the fridge, is it a problem?
If the temperature in the fridge is around 3 - 4 °C, then the product can be stored up to 24 hours. However then, there may be changes, which can affect the quality of the product (e.g. vitamins, texture) and food safety (e.g. development of microbiological load). So you have to follow the instructions on the packaging and the product has to be consumed within 24 hours from the time you take out of the freezer.
Can I deep freeze vegetables in my house?
The freezer in our house does not have the same power compared to an industrial one, that is able to freeze automatically and very quick the vegetable in whole, 'sealing' the nutritional and physical characteristics. Freezing in a household refrigerator is much slower and does not have the same result compared to an industrial quick deep freezing system.
Retention time in the freezer?
The retention time in the freezer of the frozen products is mentioned in the back side of the packaging.
• A refrigerator whose temperature can reach up to -6 °C has the ability to store frozen food up to two weeks.
• A household freezer whose temperature can reach up to -12 °C has the ability to store frozen food up for several weeks or months.
• A freezer whose temperature can reach up to -25 °C has the ability to preserve frozen food for many months.