World Food Safety Day 2021: The world today is sprinting at a fast pace to keep up with the ever-running clock. Whether one is a homemaker or a working professional, it is a big challenge to adapt to a regular food routine while managing daily work. In India, most people have cooks to assist them in preparing their daily meals and might face challenges due to the current scenario. However, while enduring the second wave of Covid-19, it’s become even more necessary and challenging for people to manage their work lives, health, and responsibilities. As a result, one tends to skip meals while grappling with their daily work and home tasks. However, while many people view frozen food as a convenient means for food consumption, some are still worried about the health aspects of such products.

Mr Haresh Karamchandani (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, HyFun Foods) shares below a few myths associated with frozen foods along with the reality of such products:

Myth 1: Frozen food is highly processed 

Although fresh food is always a healthy option available one can go for frozen foods and vegetables which are frozen by using without preservatives at the right temperature. For example,  exotic vegetables and seasonal foods can be used in off-seasons by using the right freezing techniques. However, packaged foods/snacks cannot be considered healthy as they have preservatives and fats.

Myth 2: Is fresh food healthier than frozen food? 

This actually depends on the kind of foods that we are using. For example, if we freeze fresh fruits and vegetables, it can be without preservatives and shelf life is increased with freezing, but On the other hand, packaged/canned foods will have preservatives.

 Myth 3: Frozen foods contain preservatives 

Most people do not freeze their food well, and, as a result, the food loses its nutritious value. However, one can keep frozen food for a longer duration when stored in a good quality refrigerator at zero degrees or even lower and in the right utensils.

Myth 4: Frozen food cannot be stored for too long  

The culture of consuming safe food has compelled many producers to be extra careful during the processing of their products. As a result, companies today are more transparent in terms of informing the consumers of what they are consuming. This includes the details of the processing, nutrients, allergen declaration, and other important guidelines. So buyers are now more aware of what they are consuming and can decide on the frozen products they want to purchase. This also depends on one's Knowledge about reading the nutrition labels and facts in the right way.

Conclusion 

Frozen foods are gaining prominence and witnessing a steady growth due to these positive aspects during the second wave of the pandemic. It is crucial to ensure one’s health and keep a close watch on what we eat in times like these. However,  nothing can beat the nutrition availability of fresh foods But the right selection of frozen foods can be used as an alternative for providing the right nutrition.

(The article has been reviewed by Ms Deepti Khatuja, Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Fortis Memorial Research Institute)