The key to maintaining a food's quality is speedy freezing. The faster the food is frozen, the smaller the ice crystals that are formed in and around its cells. These tiny crystals do not cause as much tearing as the larger ones formed by slow freezing. The food's texture therefore will suffer less damage. Another related benefit is that the food - particularly meat - will not lose as much of its juices during thawing because its cell walls remain relatively intact.
Most commercial food processors quick-freeze their products by methods such as immersion in a cold solution or exposure to frigid air blasts. The process is, of course, faster than any possible in a home freezer. Yet there are steps that can be followed to ensure that an individual home unit freezes food as quickly as possible. Avoid overloading your freezer, because crowding prevents cold air from circulating properly. When possible, add only a few room-temperature items at a time to a partially filled freezer because a large volume of unfrozen food will appreciably raise the freezer's temperature and capability, and some of the food already in the freezer is likely to partially thaw and then refreeze, forming larger ice crystals in the process.
** Asian Recipes **