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It's a mystery!

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Joined: 09 Jan 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: It's a mystery! Reply with quote

Because I am new to the site, I'm not sure if this question has ever been
asked before. If so, please forgive me. If you could provide the necessary link it would be very much appreciated.

Having had parents who lived through two world wars and a great depression, I am very conscientious about not wasting food. As a consequence, I will refrigerate or freeze leftovers and such to reheat (in the oven or the microwave) for a subsequent meal. What I have noticed over the years is that there is a definite characteristic "refrigerator or freezer taste" to certain foods, most especially mashed potatoes that have been refrigerated and cooked poultry (chicken and turkey) that has been refrigerated or frozen and thawed.

I generally limit the refrigerated storage of such foods to no more than a
few days to a week at most and frozen storage to no more than three months and I am very careful to ensure that the storage wrap/containers are properly sealed. I also have a container of baking soda in my fridge that I change periodically. In addition, I have checked the temperature of both my fridge and freezer to be sure that they are maintaining their respective temperature within the proper ranges. The taste is difficult to describe (stale? sharp? bitter? - not to be confused with the taste resulting from cross-contamination with other foods and/or the taste resulting from "freezer burn"/dehydration). I have also noted the same off-putting flavour in poultry dishes that have been prepared and refrigerated/frozen and given to me by family and friends.

My knowledge of cooking chemistry is very limited. My own opinion is that the resulting "refrigerator/freezer taste" as I have desribed it is the result of some mysterious enzyme reaction in the poultry meat and/or potatoes. I would appreciate an explanation from the editor(s) and the opinion(s) of any of your readers who are knowledgeable in this area. Thanks for your time.
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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1188
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hhmm, seems like you're doing all the "usual and customary" actions to prevent food from picking up odd smells - so yup, could be a bit o a mystery.

first, perhaps you are more 'sensitive' to smells that most - who knows...?

second, considering the range of products mentioned, might be unlikely to find a single person expert in the chemical reactions of how things 'age' - vegetables to meats to sauces to fats to . . . . nice theory, but even if the nth-detail chemical interactions were known, what are you going to do about it? espeically if you're already using 'best practice' . . .

all that said, a few off-the-wall observations:

I personally dislike freezing meats - I think it changes the taste & texture

cooking beef with zero salt - especially browning ground beef for something like chili - smells like dog food

things do pick up off flavor odors from the fridge - and plastic type containers / wraps may not be exceptionally effective in preventing that (the odors transmit through the plastic....well wrapped / sealed regardless)

two common materials are exceptional gas / odor barriers:
glass and metal.

glass, easy to envision - sealing can be tricky.
metal - think aluminum foil - but think _no_ tears / holes and a _good_ seam.
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Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. How long were the leftovers exposed before refrigerating or freezing?

2. Were the leftovers still warm when they were refrigerated or frozen?

3. How much air/space in your containers?

4. What sort of containers and packaging do you use?

5. What's the temperature of your fridge?
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Joined: 04 May 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:13 pm    Post subject: Weird Reply with quote

Yeah thats really weird...
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