Friday, November 16, 2007

frozen foods

I'm still on my quest of consuming the food in my freezer. So far I've made:
1) A Strawberry Smoothie (Frozen Strawberries)
2) Natto (just defrosted it and ate it with rice)
3) Edamame (Green Soybeans)
4) Kalua Pig and Laulau (Hawaiian version of pulled pork, will explain later)
5) Shrimp Stir-fry

This is a picture of my Dole frozen strawberries that have been in my freezer for the past six months. See all that ice crystal formation?
When you have an ancient freezer, freezer burn is likely to occur. This is due to the fluctuating temperature of the freezer, which means the temperature of the food also fluctuates . Moisture migration occurs and the water from inside the strawberries move to the surface. (This is a really simple explanation).
They are still edible, but have lost a decent amount of quality. So what exactly is going on? Strawberries (and most fruits and vegetables) contain a large amount of water. When water freezes, it expands about 9% in volume. If the food item is slowly frozen the water in the product slowly freezes. The expansion of the water ruptures the cell walls of the strawberries and the water leaks out of the cells and combines with the water from other cells. They combine and form large ice crystals.
To combat these ice crystals from forming, companies quickly flash freeze products to minimize the size of the ice crystal formation within the cells.

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