Some questions about frozen food

We answer the most frequent questions about frozen food, freezing and the freezer, so that you can make the most of this wonderful tool modern technology has made available. Find in this section all you need to know about freezing and all the myths about freezing busted.

Once frozen food has defrosted why can you not freeze it again?

YOU CAN freeze it again but probably YOU SHOULD NOT do it. The advice is not freeze food again once defrosted but no one will point a gun to you to enforce this rule.

There are several reasons for this recommendation. First consider that food may loose quite a good deal of juice when defrosting. This lose is minimal when the process is very slow or done in a microwave at very low power – and, on the contrary, the food was flash frozen. The loss of quality might be substantial.

Then there is the matter of micro-organisms that may grow when the food is thawed and become a hazard when the food is defrosted a second time.

There are some kinds of food one can re-freeze – mind, only once – with no loss of quality. Freeze again pastry such as puff pastry or filo, and those slow cooking stews that taste even better re-heated that just cooked. I would not freeze again fish or meat thawed and not yet cooked.

Do commercially frozen products have additives?

They might. For instance, vegetables need to be blanched prior to freezing, and adding a little bicarbonate of soda helps to maintain their color. There are a number of additives approved for use with frozen food. The fact that additives are regulated means that they should be safe, and they are unless you are intolerant to a particular substance.

Is it true one should add very little salt or not season at all food before freezing?

No, it is not true. Freezing does not change the flavor once seasoning has been added. What might happen with some dishes that should be eaten warm is that flavors become too concentrated because the loss of liquid when defrosting or if they need to be re-heated for long. The way to prevent this problem is to freeze food when it is almost but not yet fully cooked aiming to finish the process once defrosted.

Freezing cheese?

Grated cheese is no problem at all, Freeze it in an airtight container and take a little when you need it, it will crumble nicely.

Pieces of cheese are another matter, all texture is lost once defrosted, not recommended for freezing. However, blue cheeses, farmer’s cheese, paneer and other types of fresh cheese, don’t lose much in the process, you can try freezing with those.

Why do eggs break when frozen in their shells?

Eggs are 85% water and, unlike any other substance, water expands when frozen, that’s why the egg shells crack. Eggs that have a little air inside and survive the procedure, however, if you want to freeze raw eggs without incidents, crack them first and place them in an appropriate container such as an egg-cup or a plain cup lined with freezer wrap.