After every blueberry picking season comes the cleaning, then the eating of the berries! My berries almost always get put into the freezer as soon as they are picked and cleaned. My family and I continuously use and eat the berries until they are gone but something I have started to wonder is do frozen berries go bad? I would think no because my family and I always kept the berries in the freezer for however long we needed. When doing some research online I saw some people say they stay good for 6 months, 8 months, 1 year… So what is true?!
I found an interesting website that talked about the shelf life of berries and how long they are “good” frozen.
” For a long term option, blueberries can be frozen. Spread the berries on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer for about 2 hours then transfer them into a freezer safe bag or airtight container. To defrost, place them into a bowl for about an hour and then use them for baking since they will be soft. Although freezing is an indefinite form of storage, frozen fruit tends to form ice crystals rapidly due to the high water content of fruit. Fruit frozen too long will eventually have more ice crystals than fruit as the blueberries dry out and shrink. ”
The website stated that frozen berries are good for up to 6-8 months. They got their research from credible sources and even though this is good information to know, I’m not sure if I would throw my berries out after 6 months!
Eat By Date. 2012. How Long Do Blueberries Last? Available online: Berry dates. Accessed on 28 September, 2016.
Berries definitely have an optimum shelf life whether they are in the refrigerator, freezer or processed into jams, jellies, etc. The life quoted is most often the optimum where nutrient levels are at their peak. So many factors influence shelf life- temperature, oxygen levels, processing method, light, storage, container type, that it is hard to be exact in predicting how long is the best. Berries will remain edible after their optimum date, but nutrient levels, antioxidants, etc. will decline.