Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit: Which Is More Nutritious?

Lauren Platero
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    The frozen fruit vs fresh fruit debate is ongoing within the restaurant industry. The use of fresh and frozen fruit in various dishes is either for nutrition or flavor. In some cases, it’s for both. But which option is the best, and what should fresh and frozen fruit wholesalers be prioritizing in their procurement strategies? 

    This article should serve as a valuable resource for wholesale business executives and restaurant leaders. But even if you’re simply researching the differences between frozen vs fresh fruit for your own personal lifestyle, we’re about to answer some popular questions! Now, let’s get started.

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    The Nutritional Quality of Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit 

    Is frozen fruit as healthy as fresh fruit? That’s a question that many foodies and restaurant leaders debate quite regularly. But here’s the thing—fruit is fruit, so unless you add other ingredients or chemicals to it, the nutritional value shouldn’t drastically differ. So where does the debate stem from?

    Wholesale frozen fruit suppliers freeze their products when the fruit becomes ripe. As a result, fruit is preserved once it reaches its optimal color, flavor, and nutritional value. Then, keeping it frozen “locks in” nutrients and vitamins. 

    Meanwhile, fresh fruits are susceptible to spoiling at a significantly quicker pace. Fruit can harbor bacteria and fungal spores when left out in the open. Then, it’s only a matter of time before the fruit becomes unsafe to consume. Even if you keep fresh fruit in the refrigerator, temperatures above freezing are not enough to preserve these perishables for extended periods of time. 

    So, it’s not necessarily a matter of which is more nutritious. Instead, the frozen fruit vs fresh fruit debate is more about which category stays nutritious for longer timeframes. Ensure that you package and store both types of fruit accordingly, and you’ll have equally as nutritious food on your hands. But we’ll talk more about that later.

    The Flavors and Aromas of Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit 

    While the nutritional value of frozen fruit vs fresh fruit is pretty much the same, there are many differences in their flavors and scents. Let’s break down the unique characteristics of frozen fruit first.

    The best frozen fruit on the market should already be ripe. However, the flavor profiles of frozen fruit might not be as robust as you'd like. In fact, humans actually have microscopic proteins inside their taste buds that help detect flavors. It just so happens that these proteins function at a higher capacity in warm temperatures. So while something like a ripe strawberry may burst with flavor, blending frozen ones into a smoothie may result in lighter flavor notes. 

    A similar concept is present when it comes to the way in which frozen fruit smells. Molecules in food that carry its aroma travel away from the food at a quicker rate in warmer temperatures. This process is thanks to an increased amount of energy from the heat. So what happens when temperatures drop? There is less energy that allows the food molecules to move, which decreases the scent projection. It’s worth noting that the same rule applies to wholesale frozen vegetables, too. 

    On the other hand, you’ll find that fresh fruit is significantly more flavorful and aromatic. So what does this mean for frozen and fresh produce wholesalers? 

    Sourcing, processing, and distributing both types of fruit will expand your customer base. Whether you sell white or private label frozen fruit products, frozen fruit vs fresh fruit shouldn’t even be that much of a debate. There are benefits of selling and using both, so don’t limit your reach. 

    For instance, a frozen yogurt business might strictly invest in frozen fruit to create their recipes. The same idea also applies to smoothie shops and cafes. Meanwhile, a pastry chef might find more uses for fresh fruit. The average consumer could sway in either direction depending on their diet. And let’s not forget about the many food trends that seem to be emerging left and right. With countless variables on the table, offering the scent and flavor profile of all types of fruit is essential.

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    Packaging Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit 

    Frozen fruit requires heavy-duty plastic bags when in storage and transportation. Temperature control is a major factor in keeping frozen fruit products safe and of high-quality. If frozen fruit is stored in thin or flimsy packaging, it would be at risk of rips and punctures. 

    In the event of accidentally tearing a bag of frozen fruit while in production or in transit, the supplier must discard it. Like with any other food or beverage, businesses cannot place such items on their shelves or in recipes for obvious health and safety reasons. From food spoilage to contamination, produce distributors and customers are fortunate for such protocols. If they weren't, businesses would be at risk of fines, lawsuits, and so on. 

    On the other hand, wholesalers and consumers can use bags, plastic containers, or crates to store fresh fruit. Just think about any kind of fresh fruit you might find in the grocery store. How are those types of produce on display? How do customers bring it from the retailer to their home? These are the kinds of questions you must consider when packaging fresh fruit. 

    Fresh fruit can withstand room temperature environments. Plus, fresh fruit is easily washable, which is highly recommended. It’s also important to point out that by selling fresh fruit in display cases as opposed to individual bags, you’re allowing the consumers to select exact quantities. This is a major selling point for any retailer’s produce department, too. 

    Storing Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit

    In order to safely process, transport, and store frozen fruit, you need to keep the product’s environment at freezing temperatures. This means that wholesale frozen fruit companies must be familiar with cold chain logistics. In simple terms, cold chain logistics comprise the steps a supplier must take to move temperature-sensitive products through the supply chain. 

    Protected by freezer bags, frozen fruit must be kept in freezers. If the distributor doesn’t select a shipping provider that has freezers on their trucks, they must be stored in sturdy boxes containing ice packs. If you’ve ever purchased a meal subscription plan, you’re probably already familiar with how distributors must store frozen fruit while in transit. 

    Once the frozen fruit reaches its destination, it must go right into a freezer. Maintaining cold enough temperatures will ensure the integrity and safety of the product. From there, it’ll be ready to sell to the public. 

    If you sell or purchase all types of produce, you’ll know that fresh fruit doesn’t require as many protocols. Sure, you can’t let fresh fruit sit inside scorching hot trucks in the middle of summer. However, as long as you keep the fruit in fairly cool to room temperature conditions, it should be safe. If anything, it might become riper before reaching its recipient. 

    When storing fresh fruit, ventilation is also key. Fresh fruit holds onto a substantial amount of moisture. If that moisture builds up too much, the speed at which the fruit spoils will increase exponentially. By allowing a decent amount of airflow around the fruit, you’ll slow down the decay process by a long shot.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit

    The debate between frozen fruit vs fresh fruit is constantly resurfacing in the food and beverage space. If you’d like a brief overview of the differences between them, check out the FAQ section below. Read on!

    Is Frozen Fruit as Healthy as Fresh Fruit?

    Yes, frozen fruit is as healthy as fresh fruit when they’re at optimal ripeness. So, you might be wondering why there’s a frozen fruit vs fresh fruit debate. This concept is due to how quickly fresh fruit can spoil. It’s also a concern due to there being some frozen fruit brands that add sugar to their products. Either way, by the time fresh fruit expires, frozen fruit that was harvested on the same day will still be in perfect condition tucked away in a freezer. And, it’ll remain edible and delicious for several months after that, too. 

    Is It Better to Buy Fresh or Frozen Fruit?

    Whether it is better to buy fresh or frozen fruit depends on what you need it for. If you’re buying ingredients to make nutritious smoothies or jams, frozen fruit will be your best option. But if you want to add fruit on top of yogurt in the morning or to pies, fresh fruit is a must. 

    Is It Okay to Eat Frozen Fruit Every Day?

    Yes, it’s okay to eat frozen fruit every day as long as the brand you choose doesn’t add refined sugar. But if it doesn’t, consuming frozen fruit is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

    What Are the Advantages of Frozen Fruit?

    Some of the best advantages of frozen fruit as opposed to fresh fruit include:

    • It has a significantly longer shelf life
    • Mold and bacteria are less likely to grow
    • It’s a good replacement for ice in smoothies
    • Freezing fruit preserves its nutritional value

    Is Frozen Fruit Better for You?

    Unless there are added sugars, frozen fruit is just as good for you as fresh fruit. However, fresh fruit undergoes its decomposition process much sooner than its frozen alternatives. As a result, you’re more likely to consume more nutrients from a frozen fruit supplier than a fresh option that’s been harvested a long time ago.

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    Frozen Fruit vs Fresh Fruit: Which Will You Choose?

    Whether you need to buy or distribute fresh and frozen fruit, BlueCart can manage all your ordering processes. From accurately tracking inventory to supplying products to the masses, our order management system puts numerous tasks on autopilot. Operating an eatery, grocery store, or wholesale business has never been easier. Book a demo with us today to learn all about our platform!

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