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It’s time to thaw our attitude to frozen food

Over 30 per cent of Britons believe frozen food is inferior to fresh, and over 40 per cent say nothing would induce them to buy more of it, according to one study. Is it time to reconsider the ‘fresh is best’ mantra? Sue Quinn investigates

THE SANE VIEW

Frozen food has long had an image problem. Many home cooks sniff at freezer fare, dismissing it as poor quality, less nutritious than fresh, and somehow not good enough if you proudly prepare meals from scratch. But according to nutrition scientists it’s time for this frosty attitude to thaw.

The experts are not, of course, referring to the ever-expanding range of pre-prepared food vying for space in the freezer aisle, from bangers and burgers to pizzas and chips. But when it comes to frozen produce such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, scientists say these foods can be just as nutritious – more so, even – than fresh.

These days, food often has a long journey from field to fork. Apples, for example, can appear on the shelf a full 12 months after being picked, and some of the nutrients degrade during that time. State-of-the-art freezing and food transport methods allow produce to be snap-frozen moments after harvest. The more quickly this happens, the more the nutrients are preserved and the less the flavour and texture deteriorate.

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About delicious. Magazine

February’s chill needs warming delicious. cheer: you'll find it in month’s feature-packed issue: American pancakes 3-ways; definitive Sunday roasts (lamb & chicken); cooking with clams; recipes with citrus zing; the best TV chill-out snacks; 3-in-1 beef stew; wholesome baking with Jordan Bourke; Chetna Makan’s feelgood brunch; the power of pulses; lighter comfort food; queen of puddings; DIY English muffins; Som Saa's Thai curry and much, much more… What are you waiting for?