What is Freezer burn?
Let’s begin with, what exactly is Freezer Burn. The best way to describe freezer burn is Icy Fire. Freezer Burn is what happens when food loses moisture in the freezer. Freezer burn is basically a condition that occurs when food in the freezer is damaged by dehydration and oxidation. This occurs due to the cold air reaching the food.
How Freezer burn looks?
The best example that we can take to explain freezer burned food is icecream. The icy frost in the ice-cream or the icy frost on your chicken which was kept in the deep freezer is freezer burn. It looks like the below image.
How does food get freezer burned?
It’s like ICE AGE in the freezer. Every single thing is frozen there and aren’t freezers supposed to prevent our food from getting spoilt? And here they are, just like dragons burning all the food in there. But it isn’t literally a BURN. Freezers only stop things like bacterial growth and enzyme decay. But just as high temperatures can cause water to escape in the form of steam, low temperatures can make water disappear as well.
What happens to the food is, the water inside the food substance is drawn out into the air which eventually turns back into solid ice crystals on the food’s surface. Deposition takes place (conversion of gas to solid/ the reverse of sublimation). That’s why if a given food substance contains more moisture/water, the longer it takes to get freezer-burned. For example: Meat dries out pretty quickly, but soup takes a long, long time to lose its moisture. There’s another side effect which takes place as the water leaks out of your meat. It’s called discoloration where the meat is oxidized by the surrounding air hence resulting in change in color like a literal BURN. This gives a grayish-brown leathery spot on the meat.
Is It Safe to Eat freezer burned food?
Freezer burned food isn’t spoilt or inedible. It is just tasteless as it loses it’s juiciness. But this phenomenon is unavoidable, but it can be reduced. It is completely 100% safe to eat freezer burned food but don’t blame me if the taste isn’t of your liking but the food definitely loses it’s valuable nutrients too.
How to avoid or reduce freezer burn?
To prevent freezer burn, you have to reduce the food’s exposure to air. To do so, wrap large items like portions of meat and loaves of bread in a double layer of plastic wrap, wax paper, or aluminum foil, then store in a container or plastic freezer bag.That’s why people preserve things in Mason jars and use vacuum sealers as they keep the air out. If the water in the food doesn’t have contact with the dry air around it, it won’t be able to sublimate.
[Reference: Wikipedia, Curiosity]