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In the early years of frozen food, a whole host of complaints poured in about things like cardboard texture, funny color, and no taste. Some people also worried about lost nutrients and bacterial contamination during processing and storage.
Then ARS scientists began the Time-Temperature Tolerance Project. Building their own freezing facilities inside their lab, scientists experimented with every step in the process, from selection of the variety grown to harvesting, handling, blanching, freezing, packaging, storing, and transporting products to market.
What these scientists learned helped immeasurably to ensure the survival and growth of the U.S. frozen food industry.
In time, they devised nine principles for freezing vegetables. Producers still follow these cardinal rules today.
Photo by Scott Bauer.
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