Most people know that freezing is an excellent means of preserving many foods but there is a lot of information that you need to be aware of in order to eat frozen food safely.

How long can we keep frozen fruits for?
This depends upon the type of food and the storage temperature. Most foods obey the rule 'the colder the better'. Domestic freezers have a star rating indicating the temperature they are designed to operate at:
On the packaging of frozen fruits there is a guide stating how long the food can be stored using freezer. Frozen fruits are best stored at -18°C  for 12 months. Storage in temperature above -18°C will cut the storage period to 6 months. Stored in refrigerator the frozen fruits should be used within 24 hours.

Does that mean that frozen fruits stored for longer are dangerous?
No. Bacteria, some of which cause food poisoning, cannot grow at freezer temperatures so the storage life reflects the length of time the product is likely to remain in good condition. Eventually, even well-frozen food will deteriorate and become unpalatable whilst still remaining safe to eat.

Is it better to freeze fresh fruits at home or buy commercially frozen products?
Commercially frozen products will retain their eating and nutritional qualities better than home frozen products. There are several reasons for this:

  • Commercial freezers blow cold air over fruits so they freeze more rapidly than is possible in a domestic freezer. domestic freezers are designed to store frozen food, rather than freeze fresh produce.
  • Generally this results in less damage to the structure of the fruits, leading to reduced amounts of water and nutrients being lost on thawing.
  • Vitamin content is often higher because the fruits are harvested at the proper stage of ripeness so that a good texture and flavor may be preserved.

Is thawing before cooking necessary?
Always follow the manufacturers cooking guidelines. Frozen fruits could be used as they are or thawed,  depending of recipe.
Can thawed fruits be frozen again?
You should never refreeze any food that has been thawed. Thawed fruits should be used within 24 hours.

What do producers do to ensure your frozen foods are of high quality?
The frozen fruts of Petra are carefully selected fruits that are of similar quality to those which are sold fresh. The  varieties are selected that freeze well.  
This whole process of harvesting and freezing is complete within a few hours. The fruits are then frozen very rapidly in a freezing tunnel before being packaged. The package helps protect the fruits from dehydration during storage.
Long term storage of seasonal products is done in cold stores operating at -20°C and colder to ensure that the product retains its quality. Care is taken in the distribution chain to ensure that changes are kept to a minimum, as main   responsibility of Petra being passed on from producer to distributor to retailer.  The temperature history is monitored and recorded to ensure that the baton has not been dropped.
On quality control system we have got the Balkan biocert certificates. We control the pesticide from the growing base. We have our own advanced lab for testing the pesticide residue and microbial result to assure the best quality products and the consumers' health.

What can consumers do?
Choose only firm packages.  To ensure the quality of frozen fruits, pick them up as the last item while shopping, take them home in an insulated bag and store in a freezing compartment immediately.
If you wish to use only a portion of a package, be sure to return the remaining portion to the freezer before it has thawed.

What can frozen fruits be used for?
It is up to your imagination. But here are some ideas:

1. Put some of your favorite fruits when preparing tea. This will create a delicious aroma and taste of the tea.

2. You can add frozen fruit to plain yogurt and make a fruit one.

3. They can be used for decoration of ice cream  and a great variety of  confectionery.

4. Or you can simply sugar them or decorate with cream – this will be the ideal desert for your family, friends or guests.

5. Blueberries, for example, which are small and sturdy, are great right from the freezer. They can be baked frozen in muffins and crisps without needing to be thawed and drained first. Raspberries, on the other hand, are so delicate that by the time they’re thawed, they’re pretty much mush, so it’s best to puree them in a dessert sauce or smoothie.