Folates (B vitamins) are essential for the proper function of many bodily processes. Although a rich natural source are vegetables, the literature lacks data on the effect of the pre-treatment and freezing technologies used in vegetable processing and frozen storage time on the folate content in these materials. Moreover, since folates are very unstable nutrients, the amount available in processed and stored foods can be significantly lower than in raw products. In tested vegetables (green beans, yellow beans, peas, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach), one folate form was identified, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-CH3-H4folate). It was observed that pre-treatment and freezing technology significantly (p < 0.05) decreased 5-CH3-H4folate content only in vegetables with the largest degree of fragmentation (cut and briquetted spinach) and the smallest size (peas). In all analyzed samples, the 5-CH3-H4folate content decreased with the time of frozen storage. In frozen cauliflower, the 5-CH3-H4folate loss exceeded 95 % compared to the fresh product just after the third month of frozen storage. Meanwhile, in green and yellow beans, significant 5-CH3-H4folate losses (at the level of 75 % and 95 %, respectively) were observed no earlier than after the 9th month of frozen storage.
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This work was supported by the Polish Committee for Scientific Research, Grant No 1288/B/P01/2010/38
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Czarnowska, M., Gujska, E. Effect of Freezing Technology and Storage Conditions on Folate Content in Selected Vegetables. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 67, 401–406 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-012-0312-2