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Tried and Tested: Can a fridge freezer keep your food fresher for longer?

In association with Hotpoint

Can a fridge freezer really minimise trips to your local supermarket? We challenged Zainab of @cookingwithzainab to test out Hotpoint’s Active Oxygen feature to reveal if your food can in-fact stay fresher for longer.

Keeping a well-stocked fridge is crucial to maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. All our meals, from to-go breakfasts to big family dinners revolve around it. As an active home-cook I spend several mins every day staring at the large magical box in my kitchen that keeps all my favourite things cold, so when AO asked me to test out the Hotpoint Active Oxygen Fridge Freezer, I was more than keen to oblige!

We eat with our eyes, I certainly do – seeing bright, colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables in my fridge motivates me to eat healthier and better. For me, happiness is seeing my fridge packed full of fruit and veg, but conversely, there is no worse feeling than finding that my precious produce has gone off before I’ve had the chance to eat it.

Hotpoint’s sleek black and stainless-steel fridge freezer matches the rest of my kitchen and has plenty of room, I’m happy so far. A dial at the front reads ‘Active Oxygen’ – sounds exciting, but what does it mean?

‘Active Oxygen’ essentially mimics the way nature produces fresh air! Who knew you could even do that? A special unit releases fresh o-zone particles every time you open the fridge, preventing bacteria growth by up to an impressive 90% and bad odours by 70% – so I can store my last slice of cream cake, next to my vintage cheddar without any fear of cheesy cake!

Active Oxygen keeps food as fresh as you bought it for up to 9 days – there are two things that excite me about this. Firstly, in the current climate, the last thing I want to do is go shopping frequently, so this is perfect.

Secondly, as a nation, we throw away millions of tonnes of food every year – we’ve all done it and I too am guilty of this. Just last week I chucked half a packet of some sad looking mushrooms, so I’m very much looking forward to being more efficient and minimising my food waste!

As mentioned above, a fridge full of colour brings me happiness. So, to welcome my new fridge freezer to its new home, I stocked up!

For my experiment though I’ll be focusing on two common items ubiquitous with British summer time: strawberries and cucumbers. In an ideal world, one average cucumber should last me all week long, if not more. I might eat a couple of slices one day, add it to my drinking water another day, most likely forget about it for a day or two.

Unfortunately, with my previous fridge freezer, after or around day four, my half-eaten cucumber would without fail, freeze. Have you ever eaten a defrosted cucumber? I really wouldn’t recommend it.

Similarly, berries are notoriously fragile. On my foodstagram you’ll see recipes for berry jams and compotes and that’s because after four to five days in my old fridge, they would get mushy. Fresh berries aren’t cheap and wasting them hurts my soul – time to stop!

Let’s talk a bit more about what’s on the inside, specifically the FreshZone+, the next stand-out feature. Essentially, the FreshZone+ is a set of drawers for all your fresh produce, meat and fish included. What’s unique about these drawers is that they keep your foods at the ideal storage temperature, a sliding panel at the top lets you adjust the level of humidity so you can ensure your veggies stay nice and crunchy. This is where my cucumber and strawberries are going for the next nine days.

So how did we get on? Brilliantly.

I wasn’t expecting the cucumbers or the strawberries to stay as fresh as they did. On day 9, I had to double check my calendar to make sure I hadn’t skipped days. There were a couple of ripening marks on the strawberries but besides that, nothing. As for my cucumber, zero frost in sight. I’m impressed!

Herbs like coriander, dill and parsley weren’t part of my experiment but I have to mention how well they’ve lasted in my new fridge compared to my old one – I wish I switched to the Active Oxygen life sooner!

Usually before making dinner most nights, I would stand in front of the fridge and look – what needs getting used up first? With the Hotpoint Active Oxygen Fridge Freezer in my life, It’s going to be a nice change of pace.

Changing large home appliances can seem so daunting, as an added bonus AO deliver, unpack and connect your new fridge while recycling your old one so all you have to worry about all that hassle.

Talking of cucumbers...

...Discover @cookingwithzainab’s delicious homemade tzatziki recipe created with the leftovers!

Read here