canned produce preserves nutrients

While we love fresh fruits and vegetables, they aren’t always readily available. It’s hard to find fresh asparagus and strawberries after June, just as local tomatoes and sweet corn aren’t typically available before midsummer. That’s why we often turn to canned and frozen versions when our favorite ingredients aren’t an option.

However, many of us have probably heard the rumor that fresh produce always contains more nutrients than their preserved counterparts. Luckily, a recent study has officially disproved that theory. (Related: Preserving Produce: Storing and Freezing)

Though the fresh produce does contain more vitamins and nutrients when first picked, that nutritional value deteriorates over time. And depending on how far your food came from – especially during winter months when fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t readily available in the majority of the U.S. – you’ll typically find canned or frozen produce contain equal amounts or even more nutrients.

“Frozen vegetables are just as nutrient-rich as fresh,” registered dietitian Kim Galeaz explains. “They’ve been frozen and packed immediately after harvesting, and that means all the nutrients are retained.” (Related: How to Freeze Fresh Berries)

Canned fruits and vegetables can lose some nutritional value, according to the New York Times, but over all, the nutrients in canned produce remains relatively stable due to protection  from the deteriorating effects of oxygen. Researchers at the University of California-Davis recently published a report about this topic in The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, in which they stated: “Fresh fruits and vegetables usually lose nutrients more rapidly than canned or frozen products. Losses of nutrients during fresh storage may be more substantial than consumers realize.” They also noted that nutrition labels on fresh produce may be inaccurate, as a result of the nutrient loss. (Related: Home Canning and Pickling Basics)

See Also:  Time for Pie! And Other Thanksgiving Desserts

So, take advantage of summer’s bounty of fresh vegetables now, but rest assured that canned and frozen produce remain healthy, nutritious options, no matter the season.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I do not generally leave beind comments, but
    when I do it’s to express that your short article was actually incredible!

  2. While eating your canned fruit cocktail i found a large grape stem too bad i cant add a picture to this. Its a good thing i saw it before i put it in my mouth. Ive never seen anything like this and it makes me rethink whether i should buy this again. Either someone isnt doing their job or something is wrong with a machine to let this go through. I just thought i would let you know.. thank you for your time.

  3. Hi Fran,

    We at farmflavor.com are actually not at all connected to the Farm Flavor brand of packaged foods. We are a national food and farming website with recipes and articles connecting consumers with the farmers who grow their food. Farm Flavor branded products are manufactured by Wakefern Food Company. You can contact them here: http://www.wakefern.com/edi/contact_list.html

    Hope this helps,
    Jessy Yancey
    editor, Farm Flavor

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here