Frozen Fruits And Vegetables Are Equally Nutritious As The Fresh Produce, A New Study Says

First Posted: Mar 23, 2017 04:50 AM EDT

A new study compared the nutrient value of commonly purchased frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables that include strawberries, blueberries, cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, green beans and spinach. The researchers discovered that the nutritional value of these frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables are generally equal.

The findings of the two-year study were printed in Elsevier's Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. The study was led by researchers from the University of Georgia (UGA) in collaboration with the Frozen Food Foundation.

In the study, the researchers examined the concentrations of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), trans-ϐ-carotene (provitamin A) and folate in the said fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. They used the standardized analytical methods including a quality control plan for each nutrient.

The results showed that there were no differences in vitamin contents in a comparison between nutrients in the fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. The scientists also found that the amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate of some of these frozen fruits and vegetables were greater than the fresh-stored produce.

UGA Professor Dr. Ronald Pegg, the lead author of the study, said that their research indicates that frozen fruits and vegetables are nutritionally equal to and could be better at times than the fresh-stored counterparts. He further said that frozen fruits and vegetables contain much vitamin A than the fresh-stored fruits and vegetables.

Meanwhile, the Foundation President Alison Bodor said that frozen fruits and vegetables are picked and frozen at their peak ripeness. This preserves the nutrient value at the freezing point. The study indicates the nutritional benefits of freezing, frozen food and beverages as well as preventing food waste.

Another study, which was led by researchers from Leatherhead Food Research and the University of Chester, also indicates that frozen produce could be just as nutrient-rich or even superior to fresh. The researchers discovered more nutrients in the frozen produce, and the frozen fruits and veggies have greater antioxidants including anthocyanins, polyphenols, beta-carotene and lutein, according to ABC News.

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