Frozen food has received a further boost to its health credentials after a report found frozen comparable to fresh food in providing key nutrients to primary school children.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University found there was no significant difference between fresh and frozen food for 37 key nutrients tested in primary school meals. In many cases, significant deterioration of fresh food in the supply chain resulted in lower nutritional value than its frozen equivalents.

The report concluded that frozen food was as effective in providing appropriate nutrition for primary school children as fresh.

It also cited other advantages of using frozen food on a catering scale – such as its contribution towards reduction in food waste, availability, convenience and improved price stability.

“We are not surprised by these results,” said Charlotte Harden, researcher at the Centre for Food Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University and author of the report.

“They correlate with findings of similar recently published reports that demonstrate frozen can be nutritionally comparable to ‘fresh’ produce. We must disregard the mistaken opinion that ‘fresh’ food is always better for us than frozen food.”