There have always been opposing views in whether food is better frozen or fresh. This debate occurs in both commercial and home kitchens. After we did a bit of research, we have found the answers to all your Frozen vs Fresh queries, and you are going to be pleased!
The biggest positive for freezing food is that it can sustain for much longer. It travels better, and it maintains nutritional value for longer. Ironically, one of the negatives for fresh food is in the travel time it is likely to lose nutritional value at a much faster rate in comparison to its frozen counterpart. If the food has been frozen properly at source, it will maintain all nutritional value and actually be better to plate up when it gets to its destination.
It must be said, particular types of produce should not be frozen. Freezing can have a strange impact on some of the cell structures. In addition to this, a chef should try to avoid thawing and refreezing foods too many times. This is because it can give it a very mushy texture and spoil.
Which foods freeze better?
With regards to the foods that freeze better – fattier meat and fish are better than lean, as the lean can come out extremely dry after thawing. It also depends at what stage the food has been frozen, which is something that the chef should have an active interest in when sourcing their ingredients. This is because the nutritional value deteriorates quickly. As an example, frozen fish sourced from a Norwegian fish company will likely be best as it has become industry standard in Norway to fillet and freeze the fish on the ship immediately after catching at sea, retaining its nutritional value.
Another attribute that the chef must keep an eye on is the added nutritional content. They must avoid anything that has had extra salt or sugar added to it, as this will have a detrimental impact on the nutrients, the texture and the flavour.
With regards to any prepared frozen foods that have been crushed, chopped, mashed and other forms of tampering, this is to be avoided as it loses it’s nutritional value in the process. This is something that should be done after the ingredients have been properly defrosted, which varies for different food groups.
All in all, considering the rate and scale of consumption in a commercial kitchen, it is difficult to strike a balance of the correct amount ordered vs the amount that is consumed or has gone to waste. Therefore, due to the perishable nature of food, if the chef studies the origin and procurement process properly, frozen is a more attractive option. It also tends to be cheaper than fresh, when bought on a larger scale.
Our, and your, suppliers are able to enter the in-depth details of how they source their ingredients in the Caternet system, and it is something that we take very seriously. If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch.