Sometimes I am asked if differences in nutrition exist among fresh, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.

Let’s say you walked out to your garden, harvested your vegetables and went in your home and prepared them for dinner. Then you would have your peak nutrition.

However, we do not have that luxury during Midwestern winters.

Although some people may think that processing, such as canning or freezing, removes all the nutrition from fruits and vegetables, that is not the case.

According to University of California-Davis researchers, carbohydrates, fiber and minerals are similar whether the vegetable is purchased fresh or frozen. Frozen fruits and vegetables may, in fact, have more vitamins than fresh.

Fresh produce often is harvested at peak ripeness, then processed and packaged quickly. When you blanch fresh vegetables prior to freezing, you might see some nutrient losses but the losses are small.

Vitamin C and the B vitamins tend to be more “fragile” than vitamin A, for example.

What about canned? Canned vegetables, such as beans, are heated to higher temperatures but they last a long time on your shelf. Read the nutrition information on the canned goods. Those numbers are based on laboratory work.