From kids to adults, fruits are liked equally by every age group. It is the reason why freezers never run out of frozen fruits.
Real crises occur when you thaw them, and some quantity is left unused. You may not want to throw them away and wait for their next ripening season.
This internal struggle might compel you to ask, can you refreeze frozen fruit?
You can refreeze frozen fruit for up to five months by following a few safety protocols. After thawing, never let the fruits sit in the open air for more than two hours. Transfer them immediately to the freezer. Use freezer-friendly bags/containers for long-lasting storage. Always defrost them in the fridge if you plan to refreeze the fruits.
Like many other food items, the fruit may encounter some changes after refreezing. If you perform it exactly as mentioned in detail below, you can yield your desired results.
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Is It Safe To Refreeze Frozen Fruit?
Refreezing your thawed fruits might come in handy and is a safe option. However, their quality and texture may not remain the same.
Fruits tend to have high water content. So, when the fruits freeze, the water inside them also turns into ice. These ice crystals make them very fragile. That is why when you thaw your fruit, it becomes mushy and soft.
Thus, once your fruits undergo defrosting, freezing them again will further alter their quality. However, if you are okay with eating soggy berries or grapes, you can refreeze your fruits.
They cause no harm to the health and are edible. But, make sure you are packing correctly, and the chance of air contamination is low. If you leave them in the open air for too long, bacteria start lurking inside, and they are no more suitable for refreezing.
If you plan on refreezing the frozen fruit, do it as soon as possible before any mold or bacteria takes hold.
You can proceed with the refreezing process only when you thaw fruit in the fridge. Other thawing techniques fail to support the twice freezing. Another option is to cook it before refreezing. It enables the fruit to freeze similarly to when it did for the first time.
The Best way to Refreeze Frozen Fruit
Although refreezing fruits will snatch away the crunchy bite and limit their future uses still, it is better than wasting your food. But, due to the juicy nature of fruits, they require extra careful handling before you let them freeze.
Here is a step-by-step guideline for refreezing your frozen fruits effectively.
1. Delicate fruits/ berries
- Firstly, take a handful of berries and place them in a freezer-safe bag. Avoid overstuffing the bag with them.
- It might result in the berries clumping with one another inside the freezer. Thus, only place the meal-size amount in individual bags.
- Next, transfer them to the coldest corner of the freezer to expose them to a consistent temperature.
- Do not pile up other items on these packages/containers. It could exert unnecessary pressure on the fruits, causing them to squish.
- Label the bags with the date of refreezing and allow them to store for up till the desired time.
2. Hard fruits
- In the case of cooked fruit, allow them to cool down before shifting to the freezer. Warm food is prone to freezer-burns and may spoil quickly.
- Once it cools, put the fruit in a Ziploc bag or a vacuum-sealed container. When you remove all the excess air, the chances of air contamination reduces.
- In the case of raw fruits, first spread them evenly on shallow trays and flash freeze them. It works well for both small and big fruit varieties.
- Once frozen, package them promptly and return them to the freezer.
- Lastly, label them as a reminder.
How Long Can Fruits Remain Refrozen?
The period of frozen fruits inside the freezer depends upon many factors. Hard fruits generally last longer than fragile fruits like raspberries and strawberries etc. It is due to the higher water content of the latter that makes them prone to spoil quicker.
Such fragile fruits are capable of remaining refrozen for a month or two. The longer you keep them in the freezer after thawing, the soggier and tasteless they become. Once you refreeze them, their usefulness gets quite limited.
As fruits are now mushier in texture, they are suitable for pies, smoothies, salads, etc. Thus, it is better to utilize them sooner when they are still fresh and intact.
Hard fruits like apples, apricots, and peaches stay a bit longer in the freezer. You can keep them for a maximum of up to 5-6 months. However, they must be refrozen correctly and in the correct packaging.
Thawing Fruits In A Refrigerator For Better Refreezing
If you do not like unwanted food wastage, refreezing is the savior for you. But before carrying on with the refreezing process, you should thaw your food in the fridge.
It is crucial as other thawing methods might not complement the constant freezing. Let’s suppose you defrost your fruits by leaving them on the countertop for some time. The harmful microbes will start multiplying inside food, as it is their ideal breeding ground.
Afterward, if you place them in the freezer, it will provide you no benefit. The food will spoil ultimately, and your hard work will go in vain.
To save yourself from such a situation, always thaw your fruit in a fridge if you want to refreeze. Inside the refrigerator, the fruits are at minimal contact with air, having a lesser chance of contamination. Hence, refrigerator thawing is the go-to option for you.
To wrap it up, refreezing has its list of advantages and disadvantages. It helps in extending the shelf-life of your fruits and prevents early spoilage. However, the cold air inside the freezer might mess with the texture to some extent.
A great way to prevent the constant cycle of freezing and thawing is to freeze your fruit in separate batches. It will save the time and effort that you put while refreezing them.
If you want to go ahead with refreezing your fruits, follow the detailed steps mentioned in this article. It will help in making your refreezing process easier and workable.