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IQF vegetables are sometimes placed in the category of processed foods. This misconception was born due to the fact that not all the people know how the process of IQF freezing takes place and what does it actually mean. The truth is that IQF vegetables are one of the healthiest foods on the market.

Vegetables – IQF or fresh?

IQF vegetables are so healthy because they have the same amount and quality of nutrients as freshly ripped vegetables. What a lot of people don’t actually know is that, the moment the vegetable is picked, its nutritional value starts to decrease. The number of nutrients in a fresh vegetable depends on how quickly it is consumed after harvesting.

The IQF vegetables stop this process of losing nutrients by freezing them shortly after harvesting, when they fully ripen, allowing them to keep high levels of nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When frozen, the nutrients get “stuck” in the vegetable, and when you defrost them, they look the same and have the same nutritional value as when they were harvested.

Fresh vegetables are not always the healthiest or the most nutritious option. When you buy fresh vegetables, you actually buy products that were harvested some time ago and even traveled thousands of miles by boat or by truck to reach your supermarket. Usually, vegetables that are meant to be sold fresh, are harvested before they reach their maximum nutritional potential and are artificially ripped on the way to the supermarket.

Scientists, after several studies, concluded that fresh vegetables have a lower nutritional value than IQF vegetables. From broccoli to peas, IQF vegetables seem to contain more antioxidants, proving that the freezing process damaging the nutrients is just a misconception.

IQF vegetables don’t contain additives and are safe from contamination

IQF freezing is a process that keeps the qualities of the food untouched, therefore no additives are added to IQF vegetables. Most of the frozen products don’t even contain added salt or sugar, and this can be verified by checking the list of ingredients on the package which only contain the vegetable itself.

But how does the IQF freezing process actually preserve the nutrients? Why are IQF vegetables so healthy after all? The trick is in the freezing process itself and how it affects the vegetables at a molecular level.

As most people may probably know, most vegetables contain over 90% water. The support structure and texture of the vegetable is determined by the cell walls and they contain this high volume of water and other substances. Basically, freezing vegetables means freezing the water contained in the cells walls.

The freezing process, when properly done in an IQF tunnel freezer like Octofrost IQF, is an excellent method of preservation that prevents the high quantity of nutrients to be lost.