Frozen food can be less energy-intensive than chilled food

Frozen food can be less energy-intensive than chilled food, says a UK report.

Based on research by Refrigeration Developments and Testing, in Bristol, the Carbon Emissions from Chilled and Frozen Cold Chains report calculated the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from a Sunday roast meal for four people comprising of chicken, peas, carrots and roast potatoes.

Judith Evans, lead researcher of the study and fellow of the Institute of Refrigeration, said: “This report goes some way to debunking the commonly held assumption that producing, storing and consuming frozen food is more energy-intensive than chilled products. A thorough and rigorous review of the scientific evidence found, within the boundaries considered, frozen to be less CO2 intensive – especially when considering carbon dioxide produced from waste”.

Having calculated all emissions, from slaughter to consumption, the study found that the chilled meal was equivalent to 6.546kg compared to 6.239kg for the frozen meal.

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