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The Inventor of Frozen Food: This is The Man Behind the Dishes

Frozen food is a real enrichment for many people. But only a few know the inventor behind the dishes. In this article, we introduce you to the man to whom we owe frozen pizza, vegetables, and ready meals.

The inventor of frozen food: the dishes go back to this man

It is well known that travel educates. Sometimes this results in ingenious inventions.

  • We owe the frozen food to the American Clarence Birdseye. The biologist got the idea when he traveled to the Canadian Antarctic between 1912 and 1915. He was there on behalf of the US authorities.
  • Birdseye was sent to Antarctica to study aboriginal life. He went fishing with the Inuit in the Canadian province of Labrador and noticed that the fish he caught froze immediately after catching them, as the temperature in the area is around minus 40 degrees. However, when defrosted, the fish later tasted like it was freshly caught.
  • The first frozen food was then on March 6, 1930, in a supermarket in Springfield, Massachusetts.
  • Actually, it is surprising that food was not deep-frozen earlier. It has long been known that cold prevents the growth and multiplication of bacteria and thus makes food last longer. There were also fridges back then.
  • Before Clarence Birdseye invented frozen food, attempts were made to freeze food. the only problem was that it was too slow. The ice machines of that time, which were invented in 1874, worked with ammonia.
  • Due to the slow freezing, large crystals formed on the food. This spoiled not only the texture but also the taste of the food.
  • Birdseye developed another, an effective and industrially usable method to freeze food quickly – based on his experiences with the Inuit. The frozen food was placed between two metal plates through which a coolant flows. The plates attach themselves firmly to the food, so it is frozen quickly.
  • Frozen foods can be kept much longer than just in the refrigerator. It is important that the freezer is at the right temperature.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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