What is the freshness zone in the refrigerator: types, disadvantages and advantages, tips.
Fans of healthy eating have less confidence in the modern food industry, preferring to consume classic products fresh. The issue of maximum long-term storage, without loss of nutritional and taste qualities, comes to the fore. Traditional refrigerators and freezers cannot provide this, but modern technologies come to the rescue. Let’s try to figure out what the freshness zone in the refrigerator is for, and how to use it correctly.
Many people wonder how to keep the freshness of fruits, for this they have invented a freshness zone in the refrigerator..
Who and when invented the freshness zone
At the end of the last century, nutritionists established that the best temperature for storing food, which has become the goal, is the range from 0 to +1 degrees Celsius. This is the golden mean between shelf life and preservation of useful properties. The structure of the product is not destroyed by ice crystals, unlike freezing. Microorganisms develop much more slowly, leading to spoilage – as at a temperature of + 5-8 degrees, which is usual for refrigerating chambers..
In 1996 Liebherr created a freshness zone in refrigerators.
Liebherr engineers were the first to introduce an innovative technology called Biofresh in 1996. The novelty was positioned as an ideal solution for people who care about their health. After the success in the market, other manufacturers also began to develop and offer their solutions. Today in the line of each well-known brand there are models of refrigerators with a fresh zone.
Every modern refrigerator has a fresh zone.
Features of the freshness zone
Depending on the brand and model of the refrigerator, the zero zone in it may have the following distinctive characteristics:
- Superfast cooling – the function will be useful for sensitive products that change their gastronomic qualities literally during the day. For example, freshly picked raspberries.
- Ionization of the air and antibacterial coating of the walls have a positive effect on the freshness of the food. The likelihood of the development of pathogenic bacteria at near-zero temperature is already small, but additional safety net will not be superfluous.
- Duration of autonomous temperature support during power outages. Some models are able to maintain the desired temperature level for up to a day, provided that the chamber door will not open.
- Some models have automatic power consumption control. Special sensors detect when there is nothing in the compartment drawers, and during this time the compartment becomes a normal refrigerator compartment, consuming less energy.
The presence of its own cooling system, independent of the other chambers, is of great importance. This significantly increases the efficiency and reliability of the entire refrigerator..
In refrigerators of different models, the zero zone may differ.
Disadvantages and Benefits
The negative aspects of having a freshness compartment are subjective or individual. Their presence increases the cost of the refrigerator and potential repairs and also increases energy consumption. Many people purchase equipment and do not think about whether they really need the offered fashion options. In large families, perishable food does not last long. As in the kitchens of active people, who mostly eat semi-finished products that do not require special storage conditions. For these consumer groups, the fresh zone will be a waste of money..
The biggest disadvantage of the zero zone is the high price.
In some models of refrigerators, it is possible to store only a specific type of food, most often vegetables and fruits. Delicacies will spoil even faster than in a classic refrigerator. This is due to the humidification characteristics of the air. But this fact can be attributed to the minuses only conditionally – the presence of specialized compartments depends on the status of the model..
The main advantage is the ability to preserve food for a relatively long period, while not destroying their structure by freezing. In some cases, it can serve as an energy-saving alternative to the freezer.
Thanks to the fresh zone, products can be stored for quite a long time without freezing them..
Purpose of the freshness zone
The zone of freshness has become a sacred cow for supporters of a rational diet. Zero temperature allows you to keep greens, vegetables, fruits, berries and many other products fresh for a longer period than can be done in the main chamber. At the same time, all important vitamins and other microelements remain intact. The storage period of milk significantly increases – low temperature slows down the development of lactic acid bacteria.
Even if a person is not concerned with healthy eating, such a compartment can be useful. When cooking meat dishes, extra minced meat or meat is often left, which you have to freeze again. From such procedures, not only protein compounds and useful substances of meat suffer, but also taste changes, not for the better. The presence of a fresh zone will allow you to keep the leftovers for at least a week – this is quite enough until the next food preparation.
After freezing, some types of vegetables and seafood almost completely lose their taste and nutritional qualities, therefore, they can only be stored chilled. If there are such foods in the diet, the zero zone becomes an everyday necessity..
Zero zone allows you to store fruits and vegetables without losing vitamins and microelements.
Where is the freshness zone
In most cases, the fresh zone is a dedicated compartment with drawers, which are equipped with thermal insulation. Buyers often have a question, what is a zero chamber in a refrigerator – a freshness compartment, physically isolated from two other chambers (refrigerator and freezer). It has its own cooling system and door. This allows you to most effectively withstand the temperature regime, which is inevitably violated in the immediate vicinity of the frequently opened main chamber..
Zero zone is separated from other chambers and equipped with its own door.
The location depends on the design features of the model. In standard two-compartment refrigerators – in the main compartment, closer to the freezer. In a three-compartment design – in the middle, between the refrigerator and freezer compartments. The compartment itself can be divided into several parts according to the intended purpose – there are sections specifically for meat, vegetables or dairy drinks. Some brands have models with the ability to change the purpose of cameras, you can make at least the entire refrigerator a zero zone. The price of such devices is appropriate.
In some refrigerators, the zero zone is divided.
How the freshness zone works
The principle of operation depends on the price segment and manufacturer.
- In models of the budget class, cooling occurs in a passive way – from contact with the wall of the freezer and sealing (partial or complete), to minimize heating from the main chamber. This is not the most efficient way, the temperature of the sectional sections is characterized by a high error. But this allows you to significantly reduce the cost, and hence the final retail price of the goods..
- In the middle price class, it is a semi-active system – chilled air flows from the freezer through a special hose until the thermostat stops supplying. A plus can be called high efficiency, but since the cooling element does not flow evenly, products located close to the duct can freeze. The location of the contents of the camera must be monitored, and this is inconvenient. The specialists of the Russian “Biryusa” introduced a multi-stream air supply system into their equipment, partially solving the problem.
- In the premium segment, the cooling system of the freshness zone is completely autonomous, equipped with auxiliary sensors and humidity regulation in the chamber. For continuous circulation of cold air, ventilation devices with a low noise level are built in. Complex units significantly increase the cost of the refrigerator, but this pays off with better performance.
Depending on the price, the zero zone can be cooled in different ways.
In each case, it is possible to artificially maintain a certain level of humidity in the chamber, but this option is used only in expensive models.
What can be called the freshness zone
Renowned refrigerator manufacturers are constantly introducing new developments into their equipment and improving existing ones. To avoid industrial theft, representatives of most brands patent technologies, and the freshness zone in their devices has a unique name:
- Siemens and Bosch – VitaFresh, a hint of the maximum preservation of vitamins;
- Samsung – Chilled Room and Fresh Room, CoolSelect Zone;
- Indesit – FlexCool;
- Electrolux – Natural Fresh;
- LG and AEG – Opti-Fresh Zone;
- Gorenje – Zero’N’Fresh.
Different brands may call the zero zone differently..
The Lipetsk company Stinol, well-known in Russia and the CIS countries, was in the shadows for some time for economic reasons, but in recent years it began to work in close cooperation with the Swedes from Indesit and again entered the market, presenting a series of equipment with a freshness zone and a Total No cooling system. Frost,
Types of freshness zones
For the longest possible storage of different categories of products, not only temperature is important, but also the moisture content in the air. According to this criterion, freshness zones can be divided into two types – dry and wet..
Zero zone can be equipped with one or more doors.
If the refrigerator has only one “zero” compartment, it is dry by default, with a humidity of about 50%. This microclimate is suitable for storing all types of meat, fish and seafood – even without packaging, they will remain fresh for about a week. Sausage products can be stored even longer, and the presence of preservatives is not a determining factor here. And cheeses, depending on the variety, can lie in the chamber for months without losing their taste..
Even without containers, meat and seafood can be stored in the fresh zone.
Humidified air (90-95%) in the freshness zone is required for storing berries, fruits, fresh herbs and other products with a high natural water content. In dry conditions, they quickly begin to dry out, lose their attractiveness and taste. A greenish tomato in such a compartment can be safely left for a month – it will not only ripen, but also retain a fresh look. Apples, cucumbers, pears, carrots – will last for several months, and a temperature close to zero will not allow carrots to germinate.
In many expensive models of refrigerators, both types of zones are present, or manual regulation of the humidity level is provided. The latter option is less preferable, since it involves the simultaneous storage of only one type of food..
Defrosting in zero zones is carried out in two ways: wet and dry.
Rules for storing food in the freshness zone
Everything that can be stored in the freshness zone of the refrigerator, be it vegetables or meat, has its own characteristics and requirements for the microclimate.
- Meat and fish are kept in dry air. If the chamber is with high humidity, then vacuum packaging is needed. Shelf life is a week, for a long period of time it will need to be frozen.
- Berries, herbs, vegetables and fruits need humidified air, in which plant foods can be stored for months, but only if ethylene-sensitive foods (apples, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes) are stored separately from bananas, pears and tomatoes that emit ethylene gas. Otherwise, the shelf life of products from the first part of the list will be significantly reduced..
- The shelf life of eggs is increased to 45 days if they were completely fresh at the time of placement in the zero zone.
- Fermented milk products are stored sealed, cheese needs dry air.
- Bread may not spoil for a week if wrapped in a paper bag.
Rinse parsley, lettuce and green onions in running water before storing. Then dry with napkins and place in regular food containers so that the herbs lie freely in them, not squeezed. In this form, even after a month, it will retain its appearance without a hint of yellowness..
To prevent odors of different products from being distributed in the zero zone, it is advised to store them in special containers..
Any complex technique requires careful handling. Before starting operation, it is necessary to study the instructions and carry out regular maintenance according to the recommendations – this will significantly increase the service life of the refrigerator..
It is advised to clean the zero zone 1-2 times a month..
If an unpleasant smell appears in the freshness zone, and it is not possible to establish the cause, and cleaning does not remove it, it is enough to put a handful of activated carbon in the chamber, the smell will disappear in a day.
If frost or a thin crust of ice is seen on the products, do not be alarmed, this is a feature of the model. Freezing will not go deep, and the quality and shelf life will not be affected in any way.