What causes freezer burn and why does it make food taste so horrible?

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What causes freezer burn and why does it make food taste so horrible?

In: Chemistry
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Slow freezing (especially refreezing) allows the ice crystals to grow. In fish, as an example, the ice grows quickly within the cells and punctures them, causing a breakdown. That “white burn” you see on freezer-burnt food are those ice crystals.

Flash-freezing is done to avoid this problem.

Freezer burn that you find from items too long in the freezer is caused by two things: sublimation and enzymatic activity. First, the enzyme activity present in foods like meat is slowed considerably in frozen foods, but it still continues. Meats left long enough in the freezer will suffer quality issues from this. The other and more common problem is sublimation, where the water as ice in the food changes directly to vapor and then back to ice (outside the food) again. This dries out the food and makes it yucky. Sublimation can be largely prevented by eliminating an air space between the food and its container (vacuum sealing or similar).