Freezing Fruit


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Selecting High-Quality Fruit:

Select fruits for freezing that are ripe (or have started to ripen), have good color and are free from cuts, scars and mold. They should feel firm in texture (not hard), be free of soft spots and have a sweet odor. Plan to process fruit as soon as possible after harvesting. Purchasing fruit is least expensive when it's in season. Buying in bulk from farmers markets or road-side fruit stands is usually a much better value than buying from a supermarket. Organic fruits are more likely to be free of pesticides and will not be coated with wax.


Preparing for Freezing:

Wash fruit thoroughly; peel, core and cut it as quickly as possible to avoid discoloration and maintain freshness. Some fruits may be frozen whole and others may be cut up or pureed. Many fruits, such as apples, apricots, bananas, peaches and pears, will discolor when exposed to air or during the freezing process. To avoid this, they can be pretreated with an antioxidant. Make your own using 3,000 mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to 1 gallon of water. Fruits can be dipped in this solution during preparation, or 1/4 teaspoon can be added as they are packed into containers for freezing. Commercially prepared antioxidants like Fruit-Fresh or Ever-Fresh can also be used.

Best Freezing Method(s):

  • Unsweetened Dry Pack: Place fruit in a single layer on cookie sheets (pretreated with an antioxidant if necessary) and place them in the freezer. Once firm, transfer fruit to suitable containers, label and freeze.

  • Sweetened Dry Pack: Sugar packs prevents fruit from darkening and work well on juicy fruits like peaches and strawberries. Stir the fruit and sugar together until the fruit flesh is coated and the sugar has dissolved. Plan on 1/2 to 2/3 cup of sugar to each quart of fruit for freezing. Transfer to suitable containers. Seal, label and freeze.

  • Syrup Pack: Although sugar isn't necessary for preserving fruits, freezing them in a sugar syrup helps to maintain good color and texture. Honey or maple syrup can be substituted for sugar, and sweetened or unsweetened juice can be substituted for the syrup and plain water. It usually takes 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of cold syrup or liquid for each pint of fruit; 1 to 1 1/2 cups syrup or liquid for each quart. Add fruit to suitable containers. Cover in syrup. Seal, label and freeze.

Preparing Syrup:

Syrup TypeWaterSugar*Honey/Maple Syrup
Light4 Cups2 cups-
3 Cups-1 Cup
Medium4 Cups3 Cups-
2 Cups-2 Cups
Heavy4 Cups4 1/2 Cups-

* Do not use honey as a substitute for sugar on fruits given to children under 1 year of age. Honey can contain botulism spores that cannot be destroyed by the intestinal tracts of infants. Syrups need to be brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar (use stovetop or microwave). To keep syrup warm for processing, pour it into the carafe of a coffee maker (not into water well) and turn the burner on, or hold it in an oven set on warm.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing fruit includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy-duty aluminum foil or aluminum containers.


Maximum Storage Time:

Most fruits will keep 9 to 12 months at 0ºF.


Fruits can be thawed at room temperature, in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Leave them in the container while thawing. Frozen fruit needed for cooking and baking may be added without thawing.

Tips & Shortcuts:

Fruits that freeze well using the unsweetened "tray" method include apples, berries, cherries, currants, figs, grapefruit, grapes, melon, persimmons, plumbs, or other fruits you don't want frozen together in a mass.

Photo of Assorted Fruits

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July 7, 20060 found this helpful

Freezing is an easy way to preserve foods. It preserves food by stopping the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. Correctly frozen foods maintain excellent color, flavor, texture, and food value. Frozen berries and fruits are delicious as snacks or in other dishes.


Contents include:

  • Plans for the project
  • Words to know
  • Equipment you will need
  • Facts about quality frozen foods
  • Facts about packing food in containers
  • Labeling and freezing
  • How much fruit to freeze
  • Fruit yields
  • Selecting fruits and berries
  • Mississippi-grown varieties of fruits suitable for freezing
  • Steps in freezing fruits
  • Apples
  • Peaches, packed in syrup
  • Strawberries, packed in sugar
  • How does your preserved food score
  • Using frozen fruits and berries
  • Frozen fruit treats
  • The foods you eat
  • 4-H Project Record For Freezing Berries and Fruits
  • Find the Fruits and Berries

This article is available in PDF format. Click here to download it.

Published by: Mississippi State University

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