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Posted: Sunday 12th July 2009

 

A Brief History of Frozen Food


We are now members of the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) and support their quest to promote and protect the frozen food industry in the UK. Heres a brief history of Forzen Food...

Frozen food has been around since 3,000BC, when the ancient Chinese started using ice cellars to preserve food through the cold winter months and beyond. The Romans also used to store provisions in compressed snow in insulated cellars. So, at least in principle, frozen food has been with us for a long time!

The modern frozen food industry, however, only dates back to the early 20th century when Clarence Birdseye - fur trading in Labrador, Canada in 1917 - observed how local inhabitants preserved fresh fish and meat by letting it freeze rapidly in the cold Arctic temperatures. He also discovered fish left over from a previous expedition that had been preserved by the intense cold. The locals had discovered that freezing made it possible to preserve products at the very peak of quality, while at the same time locking in all their freshness and taste.

Birdseye brought the idea back to the United States where he spent years perfecting the process we now know as quick freezing. Quick freezing is a technique where each individual food item or small groups of produce is rapidly frozen at extremely cold temperatures in order to obtain small ice crystals so that the food cells are not damaged. The rest, as they say, is history...

Click here for more information on the history of frozen food




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