Our ancestors developed different ways to keep food from spoiling in order to preserve their food for a long period of time. This was usually so that food they’ve harvested or caught during one season can last during winter seasons where food is scarce. While our ancestors used methods such as smoking, pickling, and drying food, freezing is the modern food preservation method.
How People Are Using Freezers Nowadays
Freezers have become a common appliance in almost every household in developed countries. Many people store large amounts of food frozen, and even have freezer alarms to make sure that the food doesn’t thaw due to a power outage or other malfunctions. Large corporations dealing with foodstuffs also use freezing as a method to preserve and store massive amounts of food.
TV Dinners – The Beginning Of Widespread Use Of Freezers
Before the 1950s, freezers were still considered a luxury item and were not used by the average household. They were mostly used by large corporations because the older machines were much larger and used more energy to run. Once freezers became common, TV dinners were introduced. Needless to say they were highly successful and can be considered a cultural phenomenon.
Flash Freezing: The Latest Freezing Technology
If you’ve ever tried to freeze your own berries or even a steak, you might have noticed when you thaw them out that they will inevitably have freeze burn, or that they are completely changed from their original state. Berries clump together in the freezer and thaw out to become a mushy mess. Steaks lose a lot of their flavor when they are frozen using a home freezer.
However, commercially frozen berries and steaks can be thawed and are seemingly unharmed by the freezing process. Buying a frozen steak from a boutique butcher is often considered buying a more “fresh” steak than buying from your local butcher. The same goes for fish. Why is it so? Apparently, modern commercial freezers use a process known as flash freezing wherein the food is subject to extremely low temperatures in the beginning of the freezing process. This gives ice crystals less time to form within the food and thus less damage to the food (freezer burn) will occur. Common household freezers only get as cold as 0°F (-18°C), which is much lower than the temperature needed for flash freezing. Modern commercial freezing methods subject food to a temperature of -320°F (-196°C) which almost instantaneously turns the food into a solid mass.
Modern freezing methods have come a long way since the invention of the freezer, enabling the preservation of food at its freshest state. This has enabled transport of foodstuff over large distances without ever worrying about changing the texture of the food. It also gives people the option of buying foods out of season, such a s berries, and buying high quality meat and fish without worrying that it was laying around on the counter of the butcher or fishmonger. There is no reason to avoid buying flash frozen products, because the process does not destroy the food.