Leftover salads: good or bad idea for your health

Bag salads have the advantage of saving time in the kitchen. But are they good for your health? Or at least, are they as nutritionally interesting as fresh salads? Answers with Anthony Fardet, food engineer.

A fresh green salad is sometimes a chore for people with busy schedules. You need to clean them, drain them, cut them. So, bagged salads act as a godsend for skipping all those steps. But are they good for your health?

Salads on top, why?

According to a study conducted by the Nielsen firm for the Union of Ready-to-Use Vegetable Products Manufacturers, no less than 274 million bagged salads were sold in 2018. This represents an increase of 1.4% compared to the previous year. This type of product was born in the 80s. This period marks the beginning comfort conscious consumption. In this context, gardeners in the west of France decided to offer salads packed in sachets and ready to eat. For them, it is also a way to eliminate those that are too small or with defects. In 1983, the first conservation and viability tests were carried out. In the same year, a Manchego hortelano created his company to develop ready-to-use fresh vegetables. This is the starting point for growing success among consumers.

No additives, no chemicals

As for their manufacture, you must know that they are classified, cut, pre-washed, so on soaked in an antiseptic bath compound of chlorine products. Once dried we put them in plastic. They are then kept fresh at temperatures between 1 and 4 degrees. At the nutritional level, a question arises: are they good for health? First of all, you should know that these are not ultra-processed products, but little processed.

“It is important to emphasize this because it means that these are not products to which we have added additives or other chemical substances that can be harmful to our health. says Anthony Fardet. Then, there are no specific scientific studies carried out on these products, but with regard to the chlorinated disinfectants used for their cleaning, their rate does not present any risk, since the residues that remain are in smaller quantities than in the ‘a tap glass. water”.

But a loss of vitamins

About vitamins, “There is some loss in bagged salad compared to a fresh salad,” continues the specialist. Except for vitamin C, for which the content is substantially the same in both types of salad (but even lower in bagged salad). Another notable difference, the fresh salad will enrich our intestinal microbiota, that is, our good bacteria that contribute to good health.

In any case, the use of their salads does not pose any health risks. But it is clear that in terms of nutritional value, a fresh green salad will be preferable.

Thanks to Anthony Fardet, food engineer and Doctor in human nutrition.

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