That frozen chicken is less nutritious than fresh meat is something of an old wife’s story. But this subject has been widely debated in the last few years. To find out if the reality behind this argument is there, we have written this article to address the question which answers the question, is frozen or fresh chicken healthier?
Not every frozen chicken is the same
Although it is true that frozen chicken may lose some of its nutrients when frozen and packaged, this nutritional loss is extremely negligible. Some people say they buy fresh chicken and then freeze it at home so it can last longer while maintaining its high nutritional value.
Home-frozen chicken can, however, be less nutritious than chicken frozen by poultry suppliers – home-freezers are designed only to hold frozen foods cold and not to freeze food. During the relatively long time it takes for the fresh chicken meat to freeze, ice crystals form between the meat fibers and push the nutritious juices out.
The nutritious juices, on the other hand, are kept in frozen chicken meat that is flash-frozen by suppliers of poultry; that is, frozen quickly at extremely low temperatures because the ice crystals have no time to form.
Similar nutritional rating
In fact, the nutritional value difference between fresh chicken and properly frozen chicken is negligible. Chicken, whether frozen or fresh, is generally a healthier substitute for red meats such as pork or beef, since they contain less saturated fat.
Chicken is also a rich source of nutrients such as protein and iron, vitamins A, B, and K and niacin as well as minerals such as selenium, all of which play important roles in the normal functioning of your cells and in the maintenance of your immune system. It is also important that we better understand the actual differences between the frozen and fresh chicken.
The idea that fresh chicken meat is safer than frozen chicken meat can also derive from the widespread and inaccurate misconception that frozen meat is processed meat, usually filled with unhealthily high sodium levels and other preservatives.
Frozen chicken does not require any preservatives, however, because its low temperatures prevent the growth of microorganisms that cause decay, although in some cases commercially frozen chicken can be injected with a saline solution with high salt content.
For these cases, testing the ingredient and nutrition labeling or doing some basic research on the poultry or fresh chicken supplier before purchasing their products from the supermarkets is often a good idea.
The difference between fresh and frozen chicken
Given that chicken is the most readily available and widely consumed meat, it is also important that we understand better the actual differences between frozen and fresh chicken.
The principal distinction between fresh and frozen chicken is their life in storage. Fresh chicken should be stored in the fridge no more than 2 days before consumption, although frozen chicken will last in your freezer for several months.
Fresh chicken can also be preserved for longer if frozen at home, but this may result in the chicken meat losing a large amount of its nutrients, as described above.
So, if you plan to consume the chicken the day you purchased it, the fresh chicken may be more convenient as you don’t need to take time to thaw it. When you don’t know when to eat it or don’t plan on regular visits to the store, the better alternative is to buy frozen chicken.
Another distinction between fresh and frozen chicken when cooked maybe its texture. The variation in texture, however, actually derives from how the frozen chicken meat is thawed because if thawed too soon, the chicken meat cannot reabsorb the moisture from the melting ice crystals as easily and will become stronger and drier when cooked.
Letting frozen chicken thaw slowly in your fridge will allow the meat to reabsorb the moisture from the melting ice crystals, retaining its flavor when cooked.
Where to buy Chickens in Akwa Ibom State
Since chicken is the only meat that has no negative health conditions, you can always use it to prepare any local and continental dishes of your choice. In Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, you can buy chickens from sofreshchikens.
Uyo, The Akwa Ibom State capital:
Number 215 Udo Umana Street opposite Akpan Andem Market, Uyo
Oron, Akwa Ibom State:
Number 27 Market Square by Aba Street, Oron, Akwa Ibom State
The safe handling practices listed above are not the only ones, if you know more, you can feel free to share with us in the comment box.