Unveiling the History of Frozen Food


We’re taking a step back in time to discover the history behind frozen food. Read the full story.

Unveiling the History of Frozen Food

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  • 2 years ago

We’re taking a step back in time to discover the history behind frozen food. Read the full story.

Frozen food aisles continue to pop up all around our supermarket chains.

The story goes back to the 1920’s, as reported by Wired.com, when Clarence Birdseye, became the brainchild of the new food innovation, now a global trend.

Snowballing from its initial introduction, the company is now believed to be worth in the region of $240 billion, amounting to approximately in the region of €204 billion euros.

Many advances in the 1920’s allowed the idea to continue to flourish, eventually gaining recognition on an international stage.

‘Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man’, by Mark Kurlansky recalls the movement as a success that has ‘changed our civilisation. He created an industry by modernising the process of food preservation and in so doing nationalised and then internationalised food distribution.’

Birdseye started to pave paths and learn his trade; the art of preserving food in all its glory from salting, drying and freezing throughout various positions he found himself filling the shoes of. He started to learn about the craft of Meat, Fish and Vegetables freezing methods.

A well-insulated inexpensive container that was of better standard compared to those already placed on the market at the time was developed, allowing fish to be transported for long distances to several markets.

The quality just wasn’t up to scratch, as spoilage took dominance.

In 1862, a historic moment in the Food Industry is landmarked, as the first patent for freezing fish was granted, reveals Wired.com

In 1862, many caught on to the concept of frozen food, but the poor quality resulted in a poor uptake from consumers.

Not afraid to submerge himself in the wowing world of entrepreneurship, one of several hundred ideas was developed as the ‘General Seafood Corporation’, his first frozen food company.

Hollowed metal plates ammonia-based refrigerant that kept the metal between –20 and –50 degrees Fahrenheit takes pride as his first invention.

The plates were changed to belts, in order to responde to high levels of demand. More food could be produced in larger quantities and at more a more rapid rate.

Packaging was next on the card, with a major focus placed on preservation and moisture retention.

Following periods of intensive Research and Development, the enterprise snowballed with a whopping 1.6 million pounds of seafood frozen in the year1927.

Not stopping just there, Capacity freezing and storing other food items took priority next.

World War II allowed the initiative to gain ground, as many foods were rationed during this period.

Within a ten-year timespan, the economic value was believed to have the soar to a value of 50 billion dollars within the American borders, hitting up to 300 billion dollars, internationally.

Supermarkets emerged onto the scene in the 1940 and 1950’s assisting with the economic flourish and development of the industry.

Michael Ruhlman reflects on the full history in his best-seller. Get your hands on a copy here.

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