What is freezer burn? How does it affect food quality? Find out more about freezer burn and some advice on how to prevent it.
You decided to cook the fresh red beef you bought last time for a tasty meal. As you opened up the freezer and took out the meat, you noticed that the once red beef looks a little brown. Also, the fruits you kept in the fridge in the hopes of keeping them fresh are shrouded in crystallized water. All of this is a result of freezer burn.
What is Freezer Burn?
Freezing is one of the easiest and practical means of preserving food. The low temperature prevents contamination and exposure to these contaminants, thereby increasing the shelf life of food. However, when the food is kept in storage at sub-zero temperature, freezer burn happens.
Freezer burn is one of the most common preservation mishaps in the kitchen. It happens even at restaurants where professionals are always present. It is the result of moisture loss in food. It could occur in meat, fruits, vegetables, and any food frozen for a very long time.
How does it Happen?
Take note that food contains water. When the food is frozen for a long time, the water solidifies covering the food in ice crystals. These crystals transfer to the food and the freezer. This process is called sublimation.
Sublimation is a similar process to evaporation, but it involves solid changing to gas instead of liquid. As the food undergoes the process of sublimation, it gradually loses water molecules, thereby leading to dehydration. The food dries, shrivels, and the surface layer becomes tougher when dehydrated. Moreover, the loss of water cause discoloration, changes in the texture, and flavor of food.
How Freezer Burn Affects Food?
Freezer burn has no negative impact on health, but it does significantly affects food quality. A freezer-burnt food is no longer appetizing. It has an unpleasant color, texture, and flavor; despite its appearance, these are safe to eat.
When food is freezer-burnt, it loses its taste and becomes rather bland. Moreover, some portions of the food look burnt given its brownish color and shriveling surface. Such food has no hope for becoming a good and tasty meal. As a result, they end up as waste.
How to Prevent Freezer Burn?
Any food is prone to freezer burn. However, foods with higher water content have the highest vulnerability to this problem. They quickly get freezer-burnt compared to food with low moisture or water content.
The best way to prevent freezer burn is to ensure proper storage. Never keep food in open containers. Keep the food sealed and protected from air exposure. You can do this by vacuum-sealing the food.
Vacuum sealing secures the food from moisture and air exposure. Likewise, it keeps the food fresh and supports longer preservation. Also, you can easily find a good vacuum sealer at any store. If you don’t have one, here is a guide to buying vacuum sealers with the best quality and affordable prices today.
Aside from keeping the food fresh and preventing freezer burn, vacuum sealing offers many benefits. Explore and discover how this food preservation practice helps you keep food quality.