Frozen Vegetable Definition

Frozen vegetables, as one kind of frozen food, are fresh vegetables like tomatoes, green beans, cucumber and etc. processed at as low a temperature as is possible with fast freezing speed for storage and transportation. This kind of vegetable processing is able to quickly transform moisture in vegetables into regular and tiny ice crystals, evenly spreading in the cells. Thus, vegetable structures cannot be destroyed, and meanwhile, biochemical processing in vegetables cannot go on, avoiding developing mold and bacteria.
Most frozen vegetables have been cooked before packing, and even some flavor like salt have been added to the frozen vegetable. So cooking frozen vegetable is easy and simple, and there is little difference between dish taste & color of frozen vegetable and that of fresh vegetable.
The frozen vegetable is not the single vegetable, and generally, several vegetables are mixed. The mixed vegetable can provide high nutrition value and comprehensive vitamins.

frozen vegetable

Global Increasing Consumption of Frozen Vegetables

Now frozen food production grows rapidly, whose sales have accounted for about half of total food sales in developed countries. Frozen food has gradually displaced the monopoly of canned food. It occupies the main share in import-export vegetable products. The increasing consumption of frozen vegetables is driven by many factors:
♦ Expanding middle class & rising disposable incomes and urbanization acceleration in developing countries all over the world.
♦ The continuous advent of innovative products and packaging increases the demand for frozen vegetables in recent years.
♦ Compared with other food preservation methods, the new technology-quick freezing applied in frozen vegetable processing can better keep food color, flavor, nutrition and superior freshness of frozen products, which have successfully attracted investors’ and consumers’ attention.
♦ The trend towards at-home juicing and smoothies preparation is also the major factor, as customers show their favor for healthy and fast-to-prepare meals.
♦ The rising demand for healthy convenience foods among consumers further promotes the production of convenient vegetable-based products, including meals and side dishes, which are also affordable and healthy.

Global Market for Frozen Vegetables Processing

The global market for frozen vegetables is in growing demand during last few years and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.54% from 2016 to 2027.

frozen vegetable market

1. E.U. market

E.U. is the largest market for frozen fruit and vegetable in the world, representing nearly 50% of total world imports.
Germany, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom are large importing and consuming countries. Belgium is the largest producing, exporting and re-exporting country of frozen vegetables in Europe. France, the UK, and Germany are the leading importers of Spanish frozen vegetables in the European Union. In recent years, Spanish frozen vegetable industry keeps growing with an 8% rise in production and a turnover of 690 million Euros in 2016. It is turned out that Spanish frozen vegetable has increased its production by 50% in the last ten years, from 457,768 tonnes in 2006 to 686,468 tonnes in 2016. Germany is the third largest frozen vegetable market in Western Europe and the fifth importer of frozen vegetables in the world. Imported frozen vegetables are generally used for domestic consumption. And Italy is also a significant importer, especially from non-European countries.

2. North America Market

North America is the large manufacturer of food processing. The market growth will be driven by the US, which is the largest global manufacturer of food processing.
The United States accounts for the main share of frozen fruits and vegetables in the global market. The frozen market in the U.S. will continue to grow, which is expected to reach USD 72.98 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc… In the past years, export demand for U.S. Frozen vegetables has gradually increased. Japan is the largest market for U.S. Frozen vegetables exporting. Other important markets are Canada, Mexico, South Korea and so on.

3. APAC market

APAC is the largest and fastest growing regional segment of the fruit and vegetable processing market, driven by fast-growing economies such as India, China, and Indonesia.
In 2014, the Asia-pacific region is the largest frozen vegetable processing market in the world. Furthermore, Asia-pacific frozen vegetable market will continue to enlarge. Due to economic development in India and China and people growing demand for healthy food, the frozen vegetable market will fast grow. The Asia Pacific and Latin America are the fastest growing regional markets for frozen fruits and vegetables with CAGR ranging between 4 percent and 5.5 percent for the period 2007-2015.

Global Frozen Vegetable Processing 

With huge frozen vegetable consumption market, frozen vegetable processing is increasingly growing all over the world. Under the global competition, frozen vegetable processing has become a strict processing procedure with the application of new freezing technology. Due to different characters, different vegetables should have their specific processing steps for better quality. Here is a detailed vegetable freezing processing introduction for you.
frozen vegetable processing

1. Choosing suitable vegetables, washing, peeling or cutting

Here is the list of vegetables suitable for freezing and preparation before processing.

Preparatory work prior to freezing
Wash and cut off any spears and woody parts. Cut into the half.
Beans lima
Shell, wash
Wash and remove ends. Leave whole or slice into 11/2-inch lengths.
Wash, Trim tops leaving 1/2 inch of stem.
Broad beans
Shell and wash.
Split into pieces about 11/2 inches across.
Brussel sprouts
Trim and remove outer leaves.
Strip the outer leaves off and wash the rest. Cut into thin strips or shred.
Scrub and chop any large carrots into smaller pieces.
The same method as broccoli.
Wash the tender stalks and cut into one-inch pieces.
Chop in food processor and peeling depends on your demand.
Wash, peel and slice.
Wash mushrooms.
Peel, chop or cut into rings.
Remove tops, wash, peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes or slices.
Shell and wash
Wash, remove seeds and slice into strips.
Clean potatoes.
Pumpkin and squash
Wash, cut into small pieces and remove seeds.
Sweet corn
Clean, remove all the silk. Cut off the top of the cob and wash again.
Wash and remove stems, cut into halves, quarters or leave alone.
Wash, peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Wash and cut into halves or leave alone.

2. Color protection 

Some vegetables like potatoes, apples are generally browning after removing their peels. These vegetables should soak into the water to prevent the browning at once after peeling.

3. Blanching

Blanching is the process of heating up a vegetable but not exactly cooking it. This is necessary for frozen vegetables because it eliminates enzymes and bacteria that could cause problems for consumers.
Vegetables suitable for blanching: vegetables containing enough cellulose like green beans, celery, mushroom and etc..
Vegetables not suitable for blanching: green pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, etc..
Blanching temperature: 90-100℃
Blanching time: 1-5min
The proportion of vegetables and water: 1:3
Reduce water temperature to 10-12℃

4. Cooling

Cool vegetables at once after blanching or vegetables will change color. What’s more, bacteria will grow to reduce product quality if not cool vegetables in time. The right cooling method is to soak blanched vegetables into cool water. The lower water temperature, the better cooling effect. After cooling, drain vegetables.

food freezing curve5. Quick-freezing

The vegetable temperature should rapidly cool down to below minus 15℃ in one hour and be in long-term storage at around minus 18℃.

6. Packing

Packing helps to facilitate transport, sale, and eating, and prevents vegetable from pollution to ensure product sanitation.

Tips for Recognizing Good Quality Frozen Vegetables 

To validate the frozen products whether good or not, you need to know several basic quality demands for frozen vegetables.
♦ Reasonably uniform color, characteristic of the type of vegetable and variety
♦ Clean, sound and free from foreign matter
♦ Vegetables not attached to each other
♦ Without pests and damage caused by them
♦ Without vegetable juice loss during food defrosting

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