You are here:Home > Flash Frozen vs. Fresh

Flash Frozen vs. Fresh


Flash freezing fish seals in nutrients so it is often fresher than 'fresh' fish!
Fish and seafood begins to decline in quality immediately after being caught, so flash freezing fish as soon as possible retains quality and seals in freshness. When fish is flash frozen at sea while still on board the boat it could not be fresher! Often fish is flash frozen in port hours prior to docking! How often is your 'fresh' fish this fresh?
Flash frozen fish is as good as fresh fish, and indeed sometimes better!
This can be so as long as the fish has been flash frozen quickly and soon after being caught. When fish is flash frozen in this way it is sometimes even frozen while still at sea on the fish trawlers. The fish is flash frozen fresh within hours of being caught. When was the last time you had a 'fresh' fish that was this fresh? Flash freezing reduces fish to -40°C to perfectly preserve it. This process ensures that the ice crystals formed within the flesh are extremely small which reduces water absorption and destruction of the fish cells. When water freezes it expands and this is what can cause the damage – however the more quickly the crystals are made the smaller they are and the better the fish quality.
Blind tasting shows that frozen fish is often preferred to fresh fish!
If the fish is flash frozen in this way it is virtually impossible to tell it apart from a fresh fish that was caught only hours before it was put on your plate – but how often do we experience fish that fresh? Even fish from a market can have spent days in transit and storage. So, flash frozen in many cases can be better than so called ‘fresh’ – ‘Fresh’ fish takes about a week, sometimes more, in transport before it gets to our shop shelves. All this time the fish is ‘on ice’ and, in terms of preservation, this is very different to fish being quickly flash frozen. Fish sitting on ice still degrades whereas flash freezing fish stops the degrading process entirely. If fresh fish is kept on ice from the time it is caught it has a shorter shelf life. Often by the time it reaches us in a shop it can be in your fridge for a couple of only days before it goes off!
Freezing fish allows us to eat seasonal fish all year!
Thanks to flash freezing technology we enjoy fish regardless of season at great prices – offering nutrition for all the family.
Much of the fish we eat is frozen within hours of being plucked from the sea
This ensures complete freshness when it reaches the shops. ‘Fresh' fish is not always as fresh as we would like it to be and can take days on ice before it reached the shops. The frozen fish we all enjoy in the shops are sourced from many ports around our coast.

How fresh is fresh?
See below how quickly fish is flash frozen compared to how long fresh fish can take to reach the shops and eventually your plate.  

Flash frozen-at-sea fish:  Flash frozen-at-sea fish are caught at their peak of quality and flash frozen within 4 hours giving the freshest and tastiest seafood!

Boat caught

Flash frozen within 4 hours of catch

Farmed fish and seafood: Farmed fish and seafood such as salmon can be flash frozen within 4 hours of harvest.

Farm raised and harvested

Often flash frozen within 4 hours of harvest

Fresh fish and seafood caught and landed at main ports and sold flash frozen though normal distribution chain: Fresh fish, which is caught and sold to a frozen packer, will be flash frozen within a day of arriving with the processor thereby ensuring it is flash frozen at fresh market quality, and ready for you to enjoy!

Boat caught, and landed at market

Sold at market and transported to processor on the same day

Processed and flash frozen within 8 hours giving you optimum quality

Fresh fish caught in local waters and sold in a local market or direct from a boat to the consumer: This is the freshest fish but volume is very low and you need to live near a local harbor to buy.

Boat caught, normally from a day boat

Sold fresh to you within 2 days of catch

Fresh fish caught and landed at main ports and sold through normal distribution chain: This is perceived as being fresh fish but it can spend a long time within the food chain before it is sold fresh to you, the consumer, especially with modern chill techniques.

Boat caught, allowing sailing to fishing grounds of 3 days, fishing for 3-7 days and 3 days sailing to return to port

Fish can be 10 days old by the time it reaches harbor

Sold at market, processed and distributed to consumer within 4 days

Then sold as fresh to consumer up to 14 days (2 weeks old) from catch, but can be longer depending on packaging and shelf life

Chilled fish: Chilled fish is often frozen fish, which has been defrosted and is then distributed through the chilled food chain.

Follows the same chain as fresh and frozen fish

Predominantly frozen fish sold on the defrost

Sold chilled to consumer


 'You can be sure it's fresh - it's flash frozen'
 Far from being inferior to 'fresh' food, flash frozen food is often fresher than 'fresh' - and offers other advantages too.
 Consumers are more and more demanding and so ready meals are becoming better all the time.
  •  Flash frozen food contains no preservatives. It is a natural form of preservation.
  •  Flash frozen fruit and vegetables are nutritionally more reliable than fresh.
  •  Flash Freezing prevents sensitive vitamins and nutrients from being lost during transportation from farm to shop. 
  •  Flash frozen food ensures that even the most exotic dishes are available on demand. 
  •  Flash freezing allows you to choose from a vast selection of otherwise seasonal ingredients all year round. 
  •  Flash frozen food also helps reduce food waste as you use only what you need - which means it's good for your pocket and good for the environment.

Buying Frozen Chicken, Meat and Poultry
Although meat and some poultry improve with age and hanging, flash freezing meat and poultry offers you many benefits.
  • Flash freezing is a natural process, which does not require the use of preservatives. This means that your flash frozen chicken or flash frozen meat needs no additives
  • Flash frozen chicken, flash frozen meat and flash poultry is quick frozen to maintain freshness, tenderness and flavor.
  • Many flash frozen meat and poultry products are pre-prepared, and flash frozen which allow your kitchen to run hassle free!
  • Most flash frozen meat and poultry can be cooked from frozen which reduces waste and saves time!
  • Flash frozen meat and poultry has a hugely extended shelf life.
  • Ensuring healthy meals, freezing stops the growth of harmful microbes and pathogens, which cause food poisoning.
  • The majority of flash frozen meat and poultry is individually quick frozen which means reduced waste because you can use as much or as little as you want - especially true for diced and minced products.