All about Freezing Products

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Freezing_cFreezing is a quick method of preserving food safely. The activities of micro-organisms are slowed down as food approaches freezing point, and they become dormant at 0°F (- 18°C). Home freezers are designed to bring the food down to this temperature, and to maintain the temperature for storage. Some home freezers can have their temperature reduced by a further 5° to 10°F for fast freezing. (Really deep freezing is only possible commercially; commercial frozen-food stores are usually maintained at - 20°F (- 29°C).

The advantages of home freezing and bulk buying are being appreciated by an increasing number of people at all social and economic levels, both by town and country dwellers. Not only does a home-freezing system save money through economic purchasing of seasonal or commercially frozen raw materials, but also time is saved in shopping and by using a system of batch cookery.

The home freezer serves a dual purpose. It combines the long term storage of bulk raw materials which have been frozen at home or commercially, and the short term storage of fresh foods and cooked dishes with a quick turnover.

Long term storage is effective for foods purchased at advantageous prices from bulk suppliers; for farm and garden produce, for gluts of seasonal food; and for special items such as tropical fruits or rich cream which can occasionally be found.

A quick turnover and short term storage is preferable for cooked foods; for leftovers; for basic items such as sauces; for regularly bought items such as bread which can be bought weekly or monthly; and for complete meals for entertaining or emergency use.

Freezing is an easy process if basic instructions are followed. These are not rigid rules but guide lines, showing how food can be kept well and retain flavour, colour and nutritive value. This book is based on a series of charts designed for quick reference when preserving both raw materials and cooked foods. Types of food suitable for freezing can be defined, but individual requirements must be assessed by experience and favourite recipes tested under freezing conditions. The basic recipes included here are those which have proved successful in freezer storage and in subsequent cooking and eating.

The refrigerator is an invaluable aid to successful freezing. The freezer will function better if food is chilled in the refrigerator before being placed in the cabinet for freezing. The ice-making compartment of the refrigerator can also supply reserves of ice for rapid chilling of blanched vegetables and cooked dishes. Large quantities of food may be temporarily stored in the refrigerator while the smaller recommended quantities are being frozen.

The refrigerator ice-making compartment can also be used for short term storage of ice cream and other frozen products. Frozen food should not be thawed quickly as rapid deterioration sets in, so the refrigerator is recommended for thawing almost all items. The housewife who can assess her daily needs can transfer items from freezer to refrigerator storage first thing in the morning ready for later serving and further cooking if necessary.

The star system

The star markings on frozen food compartments indicate the recommended storage times for individual packets of commercially frozen foods. These conform to British Standards Specification (No. 3739) and apply to the frozen food compartments of domestic refrigerators.

  • (one star) -6°C or 21°F stores bought frozen food for one week, and ice cream for one day.
  • (two star)-12°C or 10°F stores bought frozen food for one month, and ice cream for two weeks.
  • (three star) - 18°C or 0°F stores bought frozen food for three months, and ice cream for one month.

Three star frozen food compartments are normally capable of freezing down to 0°F within 24 hours small quantities of fresh or cooked food according to individual refrigerator manufacturers' instructions.

A true food freezer however is capable of always operating at 0°F (- 18°C) and is additionally capable of freezing unfrozen food to this temperature without any significant change in the temperature of the food already, being stored. It can also store food for many months or even a year rather than weeks.

Running costs

A freezer is not expensive to run. In average use, a 6 cubic foot freezer uses .3 kw per cubic foor per 24 hours; 12 cubic foot uses .25 kw per cubic foot per 24 hours; 18 cubic foot uses .20 kw per 24 hours. The approximate cost is 2d per cubic foot per week. The size of machine and its design, the frequency and length of time of opening, and the temperature of food to be frozen can affect running costs.

Insurance of contents

The contents of a freezer can be valuable, particularly if large quantities of meat or game are stored. Food stored in this way can be insured against loss at approximately Ј2 per Ј75 worth of food per annum.

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