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Freezing Rick Sloan FCS Agent What will we learn? Principles of Freezing Freezers Packaging Materials Freezing Foods Shelf-life of Frozen Foods Emergencies Home Food Preservation 2 Principles of Freezing Home Food Preservation 3 Principles of Freezing Does not sterilize food.

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Rick Sloan

FCS Agent

what will we learn
What will we learn?

Principles of Freezing


Packaging Materials

Freezing Foods

Shelf-life of Frozen Foods


Home Food Preservation


principles of freezing

Principles of Freezing

Home Food Preservation


principles of freezing4
Principles of Freezing
  • Does not sterilize food.
  • Extreme cold (0oF or colder):
    • stops growth of microorganisms and
    • Slows chemical changes, such as enzymatic reactions.

Home Food Preservation


advantages of freezing
Advantages of Freezing

Many foods can be frozen.

Natural color, flavor, and nutritive value retained.

Texture usually better than other methods of food preservation.

Foods can be frozen in less time than they can be dried or canned.

Home Food Preservation


advantages of freezing6
Advantages of Freezing

Simple procedures.

Adds convenience to food preparation.

Proportions can be adapted to needs unlike other home preservation methods.

Kitchen remains cool and comfortable.

Home Food Preservation


disadvantages of freezing
Disadvantages of Freezing

Texture of some foods is undesirable because of freezing process.

Initial investment and cost of maintaining freezer is high.

Storage space limited by capacity of freezer.

Home Food Preservation


how freezing affects food
How Freezing Affects Food

Chemical changes

Enzymes in vegetables

Enzymes in fruit


Texture Changes

Expansion of food

Ice crystals

Home Food Preservation




Home Food Preservation


freezer selection
Freezer Selection





Defrosting features

Available floor area

Amount of freezer space needed

Home Food Preservation


freezer selection11
Freezer Selection

What size?

General Rule

Allow 6 cubic feet of freezer space per person (3 cubic feet per person might be adequate if other methods of food preservation are used).

Standard Freezer

Capacity -- 35 pounds of frozen food per cubic foot or usable space.

Home Food Preservation


types of freezers
Types of Freezers


6 to 22 cubic feet


Uses small floor space

Easy to load and unload

Home Food Preservation


types of freezers13
Types of Freezers


6 to32 cubic feet

Takes more floor space

More economical to buy and to operate than upright

Loses less air when opened

Home Food Preservation


types of freezers14
Types of Freezers

Refrigerator - Freezer Combination

2 to 6 cubic feet

Be sure can set temperature at 0ºF or colder

Freezer can be above, below, or beside refrigerator area

Other features

Self defrosting or manual defrost

Receptacle clips - prevent accidental disconnecting

Door locks and drains for defrosting

Home Food Preservation


location and placement of freezer
Location and Placement of Freezer

Place in convenient, cool, dry, well-ventilated area.

Do not place by stove, range, water heater or in the sun.

Do not push flush against wall. Leave space for air circulation and cleaning.

Be sure freezer is level.

Home Food Preservation


packaging materials

Packaging Materials

Home Food Preservation


packaging materials17
Packaging Materials

Moisture-vapor resistant

Durable and leak-proof

Not become brittle and crack at low temperatures.

Resistant to oil, grease, or water

Protects foods from absorption of off-flavors or odors

Easy to seal and mark

Home Food Preservation


types of packaging materials
Types of Packaging Materials

Rigid Containers

Plastic freezer containers

Freezer boxes with liners

Coffee canisters

Wide mouth canning/freezing jars

Good for liquids, soft, juicy, or liquid-packed foods

May be reusable

Hold their shape and can be stored upright

Home Food Preservation


types of packaging materials19
Types of Packaging Materials

Non-Rigid Containers


Wrappings - cellophane, heavy-duty aluminum foil, polyethylene, laminated paper

Good for firm, non-juicy foods

Home Food Preservation


freezing foods

Freezing Foods

Home Food Preservation


general freezing instructions
General Freezing Instructions


Freezing does not improve quality.

Choose the highest quality available.

Freeze promptly.

Remember some foods do not freeze well.


Work under sanitary conditions.

Follow recommended procedures.

Home Food Preservation


packing foods to be frozen
Packing Foods to be Frozen

Cool food before freezing.

Ice bath

Pack in serving size quantities.

Usually up to 1 quart

Pack foods tightly.

Allow for some headspace.

Vegetables like broccoli and asparagus, bony pieces of meat, tray packed foods, and breads, do not need any headspace.

Home Food Preservation


packing foods to be frozen23
Packing Foods to be Frozen

Press all air from bagged foods, seal bags by twisting and then folding over loose edge (gooseneck). Secure with string, twist-tie or rubber band.

Use tight lid on rigid containers and keep sealing edge clean. Use freezer tape on loose fitting covers.

Home Food Preservation


washing fruits and vegetables
Washing Fruits and Vegetables

Wash fruits and vegetables in warm water before freezer.

The only exception to this rule is that blueberries should not be washed before freezing.

Home Food Preservation



Name of product

Added ingredients

Form of food: halves, whole, or ground

Packing date

Number of servings or amount

Home Food Preservation



Freeze foods at <0ºF (set freezer at -10ºF at least 24 hours before freezing foods).

Freeze foods immediately.

Do not overload freezer with unfrozen food. Freeze amount that will freeze in 24 hours -- 2 to 3 pounds of food per cubic foot.

Pack already frozen foods together so they do not thaw.

Home Food Preservation



Place unfrozen foods in contact with surfaces and in coldest parts of freezer.

Leave space so air can circulate.

When food is frozen, organize freezer into types of food.

Arrange frozen foods so that the foods frozen longer can be used first.

Keep a current frozen foods inventory.

Check freezer temperature periodically.

Home Food Preservation


sweetened packs for fruit
Sweetened Packs for Fruit

Syrup Pack

Better texture

Not needed for safety

Fruits should be covered with syrup

Place crumpled water-resistant paper in top of container

Home Food Preservation


sweetened packs for fruit29
Sweetened Packs for Fruit

Sugar Pack

Soft sliced fruits (strawberries, peaches, etc.) make on syrup when mixed with the right proportion of sugar.

Layer fruit and sugar.

Allow it to stand for 15 minutes.

Home Food Preservation


unsweetened packs for fruit
Unsweetened Packs for Fruit

Dry Pack

Good for small whole fruits such as berries that do not need sugar.

Simply pack into containers and freeze.

Can freeze on a tray first, so pour easily.

Pectin Syrup

Good for strawberries and peaches.

Mix 1 pkg. powdered pectin and 1 cup water. Bring to boil, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool, and add 1-3/4 cups more water.

Home Food Preservation


unsweetened packs for fruit31
Unsweetened Packs for Fruit

Water or Unsweetened Juice Packs

Texture will be mushier.

Color poorer.

Freezes harder, takes longer to thaw.

Home Food Preservation


packs for purees or juices
Packs for Purees or Juices

Pack as is, with or without sugar.

Add ascorbic acid if light-colored.

Home Food Preservation


artificial sweeteners
Artificial Sweeteners

Can be used in the pectin syrup, juice, or water packs.

Or could be added just before serving

Do not help with color retention or texture, like sugar does.

Use amounts on product labels.

Home Food Preservation


preventing fruit darkening
Preventing Fruit Darkening

The following work well:

1 teaspoon (3000 mg) ascorbic acid to one gallon of water

Commercial ascorbic acid mixture

Heating the fruit

The following do not work as well:

Citric acid solution

Lemon juice

Sugar syrup

Salt/vinegar solution

Home Food Preservation


preventing discoloration during freezing
Preventing Discoloration during Freezing

Ascorbic Acid

Is the most economical.

Use powdered or tablet form.

1/2 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid = 1500 mg

Crush tablets well.

Use amount specified for each fruit.

In syrup or liquid packs, add powder to liquid.

Home Food Preservation


preventing discoloration during freezing36
Preventing Discoloration during Freezing

In sugar or dry packs, dissolve 2 to 3 tablespoons in cold water and sprinkle over fruit.

For crushed fruit, purees or juices, mix with fruit about 1/8 teaspoon per quart.

Ascorbic Acid Mixtures

Follow package directions

Home Food Preservation


preventing discoloration during freezing37
Preventing Discoloration during Freezing

Citric Acid or Lemon Juice

Not as effective

May mask flavors


Best for fruits that will be cooked before use

Follow directions in freezing publications

Home Food Preservation


freezing vegetables
Freezing Vegetables

Select young, tender, high-quality vegetables.

Sort for size and ripeness.

Wash and drain before removing skins or shells.

Wash small lots at a time, lifting out of water. Do not soak.

Work in small quantities, preparing per instructions.

Home Food Preservation


preventing flavor and color changes in vegetables
Preventing Flavor and Color Changes in Vegetables

Water blanching

Use 1 gallon water per pound of vegetables.

Place vegetables in blanching basket.

Lower into vigorously boiling water.

Cover and begin timing.

Home Food Preservation


blanching vegetables
Blanching Vegetables

Steam Blanching

Use kettle with tight lid and basket.

Put 1 to 2 inches of boiling water in the bottom of pan.

Vegetables should be in a single layer in basket.

Start timing when covered.

Takes 1-1/2 times longer than water blanching.

Home Food Preservation


blanching vegetables41
Blanching Vegetables

Microwave Blanching (not recommended)

Enzymes might not be inactivated.

Does not save time or energy.

Use specific directions and blanch small quantities at a time.

After blanching, cool immediately in cold water.

Change water frequently.

Home Food Preservation


types of pack for vegetables
Types of Pack for Vegetables

Dry Pack

Pack after blanched, cooled, and drained.

Pack quickly, excluding air.

Home Food Preservation


types of pack for vegetables43
Types of Pack for Vegetables

Tray Pack

After draining, spread in a single layer on a shallow pan.

Freeze firm.

After first hour, check often.

Pack quickly, excluding air.

Home Food Preservation


freezing meats and poultry
Freezing Meats and Poultry

Keep meat or poultry and everything they touch as clean as possible.

Keep cold until frozen.

Never stuff poultry before freezing.

Store-bought meats must be over-wrapped.

Freeze meats and poultry using the drugstore or butcher wrap (drugstore wrap preferred except for irregular meat cuts).

Home Food Preservation


freezing fish
Freezing Fish

Pre-treat as directed to control rancidity, flavor changes or loss of liquid.

Package using one of the following:

Lemon-gelatin glaze

Ice glaze


Home Food Preservation


lemon gelatin glaze
Lemon-gelatin Glaze

Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1-3/4 cups water.

Dissolve 1 packet unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup of this mixture.

Heat remaining mixture to boiling and add dissolved gelatin.

Cool, dip fish, wrap and freeze.

Home Food Preservation


freezing prepared foods
Freezing Prepared Foods

Many can be frozen.

Follow directions in a credible freezer publication.

Home Food Preservation


foods that do not freeze well
Foods that Do Not Freeze Well

Cabbage, celery, cress, cucumbers, endive, lettuce, parsley, radishes

White potatoes

Cooked macaroni, spaghetti, rice

Egg whites


Icings made from egg whites

Cream or custard filling

Milk sauces

Sour cream


Mayonnaise or salad dressing


Fruit jelly

Fried foods

Home Food Preservation


thawing foods for serving
Thawing Foods for Serving


Best if served with ice crystals present.


In refrigerator -- 6 to 8 hours per pound of fruit in syrup

At room temperature -- 1 to 2 hours per pound

At room temperature in cool water -- 1/2 to 1 hour per pound

In microwave oven - follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Home Food Preservation


thawing foods for serving50
Thawing Foods for Serving

Dry sugar packs thaw faster than syrup packs.

Unsweetened packs thaw the slowest.

When used in recipes, allow for added sugar and more juice.

Home Food Preservation


thawing foods for serving51
Thawing Foods for Serving


Cook without thawing except partially thaw corn-on-the-cob and leafy greens.

Home Food Preservation


thawing foods for serving52
Thawing Foods for Serving

Meat, Poultry, and Fish

Can be cooked when thawed or frozen (might 1-1/2 times longer if cooked frozen).


In refrigerator

In microwave oven (follow manufacturer’s directions)

In cold water (keep water cold)

Home Food Preservation


shelf life of frozen foods

Shelf-Life of Frozen Foods

Home Food Preservation


vegetable storage
Vegetable Storage









Length of Storage

1 year

5 months

2 months

1 month

2 weeks

1 week

3 days

Home Food Preservation




Home Food Preservation


freezer emergencies
Freezer Emergencies

If power will be off, set freezer controls to 10ºF to -20ºF immediately.

Do not open door.

Foods stay frozen longer if freezer is full, well-insulated, and in cool area.

Full freezer -- keeps 2 to 4 days

Half full freezer -- 24 hours

Home Food Preservation


freezer emergencies57
Freezer Emergencies

If power interruption will be longer than 1 to 2 days, use dry ice:

50 lbs -- keeps full 20 cubic foot freezer below freezing for 3 to 4 days

50 lbs -- keeps half-full freezer for 2 to 3 days

Keep dry ice on boards or heavy cardboard on top of food.

Do not touch dry ice.

Do not open freezer.

Ventilate room.

Home Food Preservation


refreezing thawed foods
Refreezing Thawed Foods

Texture will not be as good.

General rule:

Refreeze if freezer temperature is 40ºF or colder or if ice crystals are still present.

Home Food Preservation


best advice for freezing
Best Advice for Freezing

Freeze foods quickly.

Set freezer temperature at -10ºF 24 hours before freezing foods.

Spread packages out until frozen, then stack.

Hold at 0ºF or colder for best quality.

Home Food Preservation