When I used to work for a grocer a senior employee told me that the broccoli suppliers tried not to freeze or pack the broccoli in too much ice to prevent it from freezing. He said that this was because freezing broccoli leads to it drying out after the ice melts away.

Is this an urban myth? Is there anything to this statement?

  • 1
    You should know that we take questions very literally here. The process of freezing will not dry the broccoli out by itself, and it is possible to freeze broccoli with almost no quality loss, so the answer to your question as stated is "no", and this is what you got from SAJ's answer. But improper freezing and storage can lead to all kinds of quality loss, including drying, to broccoli. So the answer of the question, the way it is formulated, doesn't mean that you can stick a piece of broccoli into the freezer and expect it to be in good shape after you take it out and cook it.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 28, 2013 at 8:04

1 Answer 1


According to Cargo Handbook (emphasis added):

Broccoli is not sensitive to chilling temperatures and should be stored as cold as possible without freezing. When freezing injured, thawed buds will be very dark and translucent, and can later turn brown or may serve as sites for development of bacterial decay.

Note that they are describing how to store and ship broccoli which is intended to be consumed fresh.

To freeze broccoli for preservation, it is blanched first.

  • Thank you for replying, SAJ14SAJ. Your reply is interesting. In particular I am looking to find out if the process of chilling or freezing broccoli causes the broccoli to dry out. Does it lose its water content due to the process?
    – Matthew
    Dec 28, 2013 at 3:25
  • 1
    Not directly, but the damage from freezing can break the cell walls, leading to weepiness, greater likelihood or speed of decay, and other quality deterioration. Chilling without freezing is important to reduce the respiration rate of broccoli which is being stored or shipped to preserve the quality for longer. Crossing from chilling into freezing is huge change; they are not similar.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Dec 28, 2013 at 3:33
  • This! Ice crystals tear cell walls to shreds as they melt. They all your precious broccoli juice drippy drips out of the wounds.
    – Preston
    Dec 28, 2013 at 5:05

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