Refrigeration is a convenient way to preserve foods (vegetables, fruits, condiments, spices, soups, culinary preparations, bread, pastries…), but there are few precautions to follow and some valuable tips to freeze food efficiently: let’s see what they are about.
The freezing processes consist of quickly reducing the temperature of a food, to -18°C (-27.8°F) with household appliances (refrigerators or freezers). These appliances are generally marked with four stars. The water contained in food is transformed into ice; this freezing temperature inhibits bacterial activity.
Our top tips to freeze food efficiently
Here is something everybody should know, have a look!
Avoid freezing dairy products and vegetables with high water content (tomato, cucumber, salads….) Freezing will affect the texture of food. Also do not freeze eggs. Freezing may lead to the development of micro-organisms.
Blanch the vegetables
Do it for a few minutes, and eventually place them under cold water which will cool them down quickly, and dry them before freezing. As for fruits, they will be preserved better if placed in sweet syrups.
Only the right packaging
The packaging may consist of plastic bags, cans, bottles. Make sure they are closed tight and of good quality. When putting the food in the container, make sure it is full to capacity and the air is out so that there will be no air inside the container and oxidation process will be limited. Liquids expand when frozen. Do not fill containers to the edge, otherwise they may “explode”.
Freeze food in small portions: this way you can thaw the quantities you need.
The right timing
Timing: you can store your frozen fish for 3 months approximately; frozen fruits and vegetables for 10 months (in the freezer). You should label and date the packages.
Dont’t refreeze food
When frozen food thaws, bacteria become active: they are particularly receptive to warmth. It is therefore necessary to cook thawed food quickly. Never refreeze thawed food unless it has been cooked or heated at high temperature in the meantime.
Watch out when you leave
When you go on holiday and leave your food in the freezer, power outage may lead to contamination. When you return, it may look normal in the freezer. Are you sure that it had not already been thawed and re-frozen? To find out if it had been (oppure solo: to find it out) , before leaving, put a thermometer with memory that displays the highest temperature in your period of absence.
Otherwise, simply leave an ice cube on a saucer. If, upon your return, the cube has turned into a frozen puddle, you will know that the temperature has exceeded 0°C. The risk of bacterial colonization of the food is high, so just discard the food and freeze something new.
These precautions can save you from serious illness.
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