Foods for your freezer must have proper packaging materials to protect their flavor, color, moisture content and nutritive value from the dry climate of the freezer. Containers should be airtight and leak-proof so moisture is not lost. Those ice crystals that evaporate from the surface of a product become freezer burn.
There are two types of packaging materials for home use: rigid containers and flexible bags or wrappings. Rigid containers can either be made of plastic or glass. If using glass jars, choose wide-mouth dual purpose jars made for freezing and canning. These jars can withstand extreme temperatures and are suitable for products with some liquid. Covers for rigid containers should fit tightly. If they do not, reinforce the seal with freezer tape which is especially designed to stick at freezing temperatures.
Flexible freezer bags and moisture-vapor resistant wrapping materials such as plastic freezer wrap, freezer paper and heavy weight aluminum foil are suitable for dry packed products with little or no liquid. When using plastic freezer bags, press to remove as much air as possible before closing.
Additional information can be found at Missouri Families or the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Contributor: Damaris Karanja, MA, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Louis County, University of Missouri Extension, Karanjad@missouri.edu