Although retailers are warning that a no-deal Brexit could lead to temporary food shortages, with people already stockpiling with packet food, including tins of food, the government has said food supplies will be secure whether we leave the EU with or without a deal.
But when it comes to tinned foods, we tend to think tinned food is less nutritious than fresh or frozen, but according to diet experts that isn’t always the case.
Bridget Benelam, a Nutrition Scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation confirmed that although there wasn’t a lot of data about nutrients in canned food, versus frozen, some canned foods are nutritionally better than others. Tinned oily fish like salmon and beans and pulses, like lentils and chickpeas are a good source of fibre, they’re also low in fat.
The main nutrients that were lost in the canning process were some of the water-soluble vitamins which aren’t stored by the body that are vital for healthy skin, bones and the nervous system.
With tinned foods there may be losses of certain nutrients like vitamin C and thiamine, which can also be lost when cooking fresh food, but it depends on our diet overall whether this would have an impact. It’s important we get a good balance of food in our diets and not just rely on tinned foods.
Researchers have attempted to measure the loss, by comparing frozen, fresh and tinned fruit and vegetables. Their findings suggest that although frozen foods lose fewer nutrients initially when they are packaged, when you boil them, they can lose a similar amount to the canned version.
Also, freshly picked uncooked fruit and vegetables although they contain lots of nutrients once stored in the fridge they will begin to degrade over time.