What’s the difference between fresh versus frozen fruits and vegetables? In this article we share how our frozen ‘ulu compares to fresh products, using science to explain three key differences in harvesting, processing and storage.
Local Farmers Pick at Peak Ripeness
Fresh produce often must be picked before optimal maturity to allow for some ripening during transportation and shelving, meaning that the immature fruit or vegetable has had less time on the plant to develop the vitamins that our bodies need. HUC farmers harvest their ‘ulu at peak ripeness, bringing the best and highest quality breadfruit to our processing facilities.
Steaming + Freezing Locks in Nutrients
Before freezing our breadfruit, we parcook the fruit by steaming it. Steaming deactivates the enzymes in ‘ulu which would otherwise digest important antioxidants and nutrients as the fresh fruit ages. Low storage temperature further slows down the breakdown of nutrients in food, and that is why we quickly freeze our ‘ulu after steaming to lock in nutrients.
Convenient Storage + Less Waste
When you notice your fresh vegetables go limp or slimy in the fridge, you are actually seeing a breakdown and loss of nutrients. A two-year study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that frozen fruits and vegetables contained higher levels of nutrients than fruits and vegetables stored in the refrigerator more often than the other way around. The time flexibility of frozen HUC ‘ulu also leads to less household food waste, meaning less food goes to the landfill so our communities can be more sustainable.
Frozen fruits and vegetables can help us get essential nutrients with better harvesting and processing practices as well as more convenient storage possibilities. With freezing, we can enjoy locally-grown ‘ulu all year long, creating our favorite vitamin- and mineral-packed recipes even before most breadfruit trees start flowering for the season.
A.A Kader (1996). “Maturity, Ripening, and Quality Relationships of Fruit-Vegetables.” Acta
Li et. al (2017). “Nutrient analyses of fresh, fresh-stored, and frozen fruits and vegetables.”
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.
Zhang et. al (2019). “Effects of pretreatments on quality attributes of long-term deep frozen
storage of vegetables: a review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.