Freezing is a fantastic option to prolong the shelf life of perishable food items such as fruits, which would be rotten within a couple of days if stored at room temperatures.
But freezing does not ensure it will remain protected from rotting! Although freezing can prolong the life of fruits by a few months instead of short shelf life of fruit in your fridge, there are some aspects you should remember before consuming the fruits.
Can frozen fruits go bad? Yes, frozen fruit stored in a way that is not properly stored can also turn bad. It is crucial to check for evidence of spoilage and rot before eating or thawing frozen fruit. But, properly stored frozen fruits can be safe to consume until 12 months in ideal conditions.
Find out more about frozen fruits, how to store them, and the best way to ensure they're completely safe to consume!
Why Freeze Fruit?
The debate over fresh and frozen food is a fairly new one that has split people between choosing which or both.
The good news is that the freezing of fruits is safe and an excellent method to not only prolong the shelf-life of food items but also preserve their nutritional value throughout their entire life.
The market for frozen food is massive and crowded with choices.
Companies try to compete with the quality of the fruit they produce and the quality of their freezing processes, but at their core, every company employs the same method to flash freeze fruits to extend their lifespan.
The issue of spoilage usually comes down to the method that consumers conserve the fruit after they return to their homes from the store.
Fruits that are frozen are extremely convenient because they come pre-cut, so you can simply thaw them before eating them without having to go through the hassle of finding them during specific seasons or manually processing them at home.
Simply open the pack, take a portion, and put the remainder within the freezer!
However, how safe are these fruit over time? Do they have the potential to go bad?
The simple answer is: Yes, any food item is likely to be rotten. Even if it's not bad in the usual sense in which it develops mould, it can lose flavour because of the process of oxidation.
However, there are methods that you can extend both the shelf-life and the quality of frozen fruit to ensure that it remains fresh and firm every time you use it.
Storing Frozen Fruit
The issue of freezing fruit becoming rotten is due to two aspects: storage conditions as well as the nature of the fruit.
In the majority of cases, every kind of fruit is stored and frozen in the same method. This means that every fruit will have an identical shelf-life.
But, the storage time is dependent on the method you use to preserve the fruit!
For instance, packing items that have not been opened and kept in the right conditions could easily be kept for up to 12 months and continue to taste exactly identical. However, you might have to be more attentive when dealing with open packs.
After the packaging is opened and the fruit is exposed to the air, the fruit will begin to turn brown or otherwise, they'll begin to deteriorate! Naturally, you will not notice it immediately, but the fruit begins showing signs of loss over time.
This is contingent on the following aspects:
- The open packs are susceptible to temperature variations. Closing and opening the door to the freezer, power failures, or problems with the freezer can spoil the fruit quicker than those kept frozen.
- Fruit refrozen or frozen has thawed is more likely to spoil than fruit that is consistently frozen.
- Unsuitable storage temperatures or anything higher than 0degF may alter the quality of fruits in the course.
To prolong the longevity of the frozen fruits it is essential to ensure that they are frozen in the correct conditions.
Most of the time, you will find that the "right conditions" are printed on the back of each package, and you can follow these steps to make the most of the taste of the fruit.
In general, you should store the fruit in a freezer but not let it defrost for the entire storage period. This will prolong the life of the fruit for as long as 12 months!
However, there are additional things to be aware of too.
As we mentioned earlier frozen fruit can spoil in various ways. One way occurs when the food develops frozen burn.
Freezer burn doesn't impact the safety of the food items, but it reduces the flavour of the food and can damage its texture. This occurs when air enters the fruit, and it begins to turn brown while being frozen.
A freezer burn can cause patches of accumulation of ice over the affected area. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the fruit is bad, but as it will not taste as good and taste as good, it's better to throw away any damaged fruits rather than salvage the damaged ones.
How To Prevent Freezer Burn
Freezer burn is easily prevented by wrapping or sealing the package or shifting the frozen fruit into airtight containers.
It is vital to keep in mind that freeze burn only affects fruits that are exposed to air. So when you purchase a bag of frozen fruits from the store and then put them straight into the freezer, they are not likely to suffer from freeze burn.
But, if you let the frozen items defrost, they could be affected by the extra water.
Be aware that freezer burn can draw away moisture from food, so the best method to avoid this is to freeze the fruits and wrapped. This is crucial when it comes to opened packages of frozen fruit.
Simply transfer them to an airtight container, and place them on the side of the freezer away from the entrance. Be sure to keep an eye on the expiry date as well!
Fruit frozen in the freezer can be used up until the expiry date if stored correctly. However, the longer they are frozen, the more likely they lose their flavour and texture.
Checking For Rot On Frozen Fruit
If frozen fruit isn't stored as directed it may begin to degrade as with other fruits.
In addition to the freezing burns, they may also exhibit evidence of spoilage, for instance:
Fruit that has been improperly frozen or fruits that have been frozen and thawed repeatedly can gradually develop mould.
Don't forget that freezing temperatures won't destroy the spores or mould, they just stop the growth. The mould stays inactive and begins to expand as normal when the frozen fruit is thawed!
The most obvious sign that fruit is spoiled occurs when the fruit begins to smell after they have thawed. This is a distinct sign of spoilage, and you could detect an aroma from the fruit, even if they're frozen.
Remember that frozen fruits may not be a strong smell, but once they have thawed, you'll know the difference between whether they're edible or not!
Slime Or Textural/Color Changes
A slimy film is an evident sign of rot. If the fruit is covered in an obvious layer of slime, is excessively soft, and is become dark or brown, it's an appropriate time to get rid of it!
The frozen fruit is usually large and doesn't experience any significant colour or textural changes until they begin to turn bad.
Frequently Asked Questions
The convenience of frozen fruit is immense and is an excellent option to sample different varieties of fruits at any time all year long!
Once you've figured out how to store your frozen fruits and look at the signs indicating spoilage, here are some related concerns!
Can you eat frozen fruits past the end date?
Fruit frozen can last beyond its expiry date when properly stored during storage time.
But, be aware of any evidence of spoilage before eating the fruit. Always defrost and inspect the fruit before adding them to your dish or consuming them as is.
Can the effects of freezer burn be removed?
The accumulated Ice can be removed by applying clean water to the fruit, but even so, you aren't able to save the fruit from any textural or flavour variations.
When the food has a sufficient freeze burn and is damaged, it can be irreparably damaged.
The washing method effectively separates the white mould from the freezer burn that may appear.
Remember, freezer burn can be washed off with ease using water. However, mould can remain in the food even after it has been adequately cleaned.