For many, the word fresh is a simple term that requires no explanation. It’s the complete opposite of stale or rotten. It means newly harvested food or produce that has not undergone significant degradation. It’s what consumers prefer as it is close to how food taken from nature should be.
Fresh has a different meaning in the food and beverage industry, though. Government regulators and industry standards consider something as fresh if it did not undergo preservation, cooking, treatment, or other state-altering preparations). Technically, the term does not take into account the quality of food and beverage products. It’s a mere designation as to whether or not produce is in its natural form. This is something the owners of https://www.kiril-mischeff.com/ admit, but they say produce businesses need to have a renewed mindset. The quality of fresh products should align with what most people tend to think whenever they hear the word fresh.
Which is fresh, which is not?
Fresh food products are unprocessed fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and other farmed or hunted products sold in the markets. They are those that are not cooked, dried, or treated with preservatives. Regardless of their quality and condition, they are classified as fresh if they retain virtually all of their natural appearance.
As such, a mullet that is about to rot is classified as fresh, but salted eggs are not. Wilted bags of celery or basil are considered fresh products, but crisp pickled radish or carrots are not. In other words, the technical definition of freshness in the food industry only takes into account the lack of preservation methods. Fresh foods are classified as such because they are expected to be sold in their unadulterated state. They are not likely to last for a long time.
Bottled natural lemon, lime, or orange juices don’t qualify as fresh products because they have been processed. More often than not, they contain other ingredients such as sugar to make them last for a long time. Meanwhile, stores are allowed to sell mouldy fruits and vegetables in their fresh produce section.
Is fresh always better?
It’s ideal to consume fresh produce all of the time. However, being fresh does not always mean it is better. As mentioned, unpreserved products deteriorate over time, as they are exposed to the elements. Pests and microbial infestations cut their shelf life down. They can also develop defects, even if they appear fresh on the outside.
There’s nothing wrong with preserved products such as canned vegetables, dried meat, and frozen fruits. It’s a matter of need and preference for the consumers. Those who want to stock up food supplies can only hoard a limited amount of fresh produce because of the short shelf life. There are conveniences in canning, bottling, drying, smoking, curing, or treating fresh products. These preservation processes don’t only extend their useful life; they also improve the flavor and palatability.