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Hydrocooling-, another way of preserving your harvest

January From 2019

The rapid cooling system using cold showers or Hydrocooling is becoming increasingly widespread as a conservation method in the fruit and vegetable sector. Its growing popularity arises from the fact that it is one of the most effective ways to quickly eliminate heat from food, thus guaranteeing the quality of the products during the preservation, transport and marketing processes.

The most important advantage offered byHydrocoolingis thecooling speed becauseit offers stock chambers or picking areas the opportunity of a lower thermal load. The other great advantage is that this system isvery useful for large-scale production, as large quantities of product can be cooled in a single day. This is because the average time of a cold-water shower is 15 min, with a water temperature of up to 0.5 ºC.

This system is especially interesting for the refrigeration of cherries, stone fruit, asparagus, etc ... that is, for those fruits and vegetables whose optimum storage temperature is between 0.5ºC - 4ºC.

What does it involve?

The system is based on a water chiller, which cools the water to around 0ºC. This water is subsequently applied on top of the product, reducing any fungi that may have remained in the product and achieving a rapid drop in its temperature.

The process of placing the food in the hydrocooler can be done continuously or sporadically. In continuous systems, the products are loaded on pallets placed at the entrance of the tunnel and moved through it on a mechanical conveyor belt. When the pallet with the fruit leaves at the end of the tunnel, it is already at the optimum storage temperature (between 0.5ºC and 4ºC). In batch systems the loading is done manually.