Top 5 cooling methods for fruit and vegetables

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Top 5 Cooling methods for fruit and Veg

Cooling methods for fruit and vegetables : Around 6.26 million tonne of fruit and vegetables are grown in Australia in each year, roughly 20% of that is for export equating to $2.6 billion dollars to the economy. A CSIRO study found that Australia loses at least an estimate 18-22% of its fruit and vegetable biomass during the production and processing/packing stages also known as ‘post-harvest’. Cooling fruits and vegetables during these crucial stages is paramount to reducing this waste.

The storage life of fresh fruit and vegetables differs with each type, variety and pre-harvest conditions. Regulation of storage life can be managed by monitoring and controlling key factors during post-harvest management. Suitable control of temperature and relative humidity is vital to maximising storage life and quality of each produce.

Temperature is the single main influence in postharvest quality of vegetables. The temperature of produce drives water loss, changes in metabolic activity, loss of flavour, texture and nutrients and the development of rots.

Temperature effects are often divided into three main classes:

  • Low temperature effects
  • Mid-range temperature effects
  • High temperature damage

Each has its own affect on quality such as freezing damage, chilling injury, rots and mould, flavour changes, colour changes, softening, wilting and dehydration. Quality is very much in the eye of the beholder. Different members within a given supply chain will all have different ideas of what constitutes good quality.

Respiration and transpiration are the most important postharvest processes affecting storage life and quality of vegetables.

Postharvest life can be prolonged and quality can be maintained by reducing the rate of respiration and transpiration.

Pre-cooling and storage at low temperatures slow down the physiological and biochemical processes associated with deterioration and decay. Low temperatures also reduce water loss through transpiration and delay the growth of micro-organisms which cause rot. An increase in the temperature of 10°C can increase the rate of deterioration and decay by two to three times.

Here are the Top 5 cooling methods for fruit and vegetables to optimise storage life for fresh produce, along with their relative advantages and disadvantages:

 

room cooling

hydro cooling

ice

forced air cooling

vacuum cooling

 

OTHER PRE-COOLING TIPS:

  • Do not load pre-cooling facility beyond its optimum capacity.
  • When stacking produce, allow adequate air-circulation to ensure all vegetables can be evenly cooled.
  • Use proper receptacles (such as vented boxes and baskets for forced-air cooling, and waxed cartons or Styrofoam boxes for hydro-cooling).
  • Transfer vegetables out from the pre-cooling facility immediately after pre-cooling, to avoid overcooling or dehydration of the vegetables.
  • Use potable water for precoolers to minimise any food safety concerns.
  • Separate ethylene-sensitive vegetables from ethylene producing ones.
  • If a chiller is used for precooling, keep it closed at all times to minimise temperature and relative humidity fluctuations.

For all pre-cooling and post-harvest needs speak to the team at Heuch Fresh.

1300 001 952

info@heuchfresh.com.au

 

Sources:
www.postharvest.net.au
https://www.agriculture.gov.au/
https://www.csiro.au/

 

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Ecotop impresses with new ‘world class’ ripening technology.

Arcella Bananas Company has signed a 2 year agreement to use Montagues state-of-the-art Ecotop Ripening facilities in Rocklea QLD.

Arcella has gained access to Montague’s produce and packing facility in Brisbane to ripen its bananas after the companies signed an initial two-year lease.

Ecotop ripening

Montagues new ripening facilities

Montague opened their new produce facility at the Brisbane Markets in Rocklea, Queensland in April 2019. The 5,578m2 purpose-built facility is a fully automated, temperature-controlled environment, complete with a cold storage space monitored 24/7, and ripening rooms equipped with the latest European tarp-less technology. The specialised equipment introduced in the facility ensures the reduction of ethylene and airborne pathogens which offers control over the banana ripening process, a feature that captured the attention of Arcella Bananas Company, according to Dom Arcella.

“We are delighted to team-up with Montague to utilise their world-class facilities and access this new technology to ripen our Arcella Bananas. We think consumers will be very pleased by the outstanding quality and flavour of the fruit ripened in Rocklea,” Arcella said.

Ecotop Ripening Australia offers a ‘best-in-class’ fruit ripening system for the controlled and uniform ripening of exotic fruits such as bananas, avocados, mangos, papayas, kiwis and more.

The Ecotop system has been in operation internationally for over 15 years with over over a thousand rooms, in multiple countries, for various fruits and varying business topographies successfully commissioned.

“Our feedback is that they have been impressed with our system, ease of operation and functionality. They are experiencing an improvement with the look, taste and extended freshness of the Ecotop ripened fruit.” says Ecotop director Paul Brady

Clients such as Chiquita, Dole and many more have adopted the Ecotop system worldwide due to its superior ripening quality, low cost operation and unique multi-functional room operation.

“Supporting local growers and businesses like Arcella Bananas is of great importance to us here at Montague,” said Hamish Montague, General Manager of Montague Queensland. “We will continue to innovate in fresh produce industries, delivering excellent produce for our consumers while striving to be energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly,” he concluded.

For more information contact:

Heuch Fresh
1300001952
info@heuchfresh.com.au

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Jet Pre-Cooling : The Latest Technology

Heuch Fresh have announced the introduction of a new portable Jet Pre-Cooling systems – the MPU (Mobile Pre-Cooling Unit). The MPU is a forced air-cooling unit that provides greater air flow and shorter precooling times than a typical post-harvest cooling system. The sleek new and improved design is European engineered by international leader BG Door and built to Australian standards.

Mobile Pre-Cooling Unit

The latest technology in jet pre-cooling the Mobile Pre-Cooling Unit (MPU)

 

Many Australian growers grow too comfortable with the Jet Pre-Cooling systems they have used for many years but will often overlook factors such as optimal cooling times for their produce. With the addition of an MPU growers can see a reduction in their cooling times by up to 75%.

How Pre-Cooling delivers:

By quick pre-cooling your fruits and vegetables both respiration & transpiration can be reduced by quickly removing field heat. Pre-cooling is the rapid removal of field heat from fruits and vegetables as soon as possible after harvesting.

Drastic increase in quality preservation and maximal shelf life, storage/ travel time

• Added value for customers thanks to higher and more consistent quality

• Less waste, reject and claims; saving money, maximising your reputation

• Lower overall energy costs

“It is well known in the industry how essential Jet Pre-cooling is as a postharvest process. The faster you pre-cool, the more time, energy and money you will save” says Steve Oakley, Heuch Fresh managing director “Faster precooling results in produce with a longer shelf life and greater return on investment”

From a technical perspective, the MPU’s powerful 4 kW fan boats an impressive 1210 RPM that has a capacity of 32,000 m³/H, meaning you can cool more product at an impressively faster rate. In addition to this airflow, the MPU also offers plenty of mobility, the unit can be easily moved from one location to another. The unit arrives on site, preassembled and ready for use, you can simple plug the MPU in and you are ready to start cooling. The MPU is also suitable for heating, thawing and drying making it even more versatile for the Australian growers and distribution centres.

Heuch Fresh supply Australia with a range of custom designed pre-cooling solutions as well as supplying the MPU for purchase or rental options.

PCL

The MPU control box. Allowing you to adjust fan speed, set a timer, regulate temperature and much more.

 

For information:
Nick Hanley
Business Development Manager
Heuch Fresh
info@heuchfresh.com.au
www.heuchfresh.com.au
1300 001 952

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