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22 September 2022

INDUSTRIAL LERIDANA DEL FRÍO SL (ILERFRED), a company dedicated to the design, execution and maintenance of refrigeration and controlled atmosphere installations.

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Pre-cooling is a key operation to extend the conservation and shelf life of perishable products. Rapid pre-cooling reduces the metabolic activity of fruits and vegetables. Pre-cooling reduces the temperature of the product in a fast and efficient way, in order to reduce the loss of quality (appearance, texture, aroma, taste, nutritional value), slowing down respiration and reducing ethylene production, delaying product ripening. It prevents fruits and vegetables from developing physiological disorders, helping to reduce the growth of microorganisms.

Water cooling is the fastest pre-cooling technique, where the temperature is lowered by 20ºC in relatively short time cycles (about 15-20 minutes). There are two types of hydrocooling:

- Static hydrocooling consists of a cabin where the product is introduced in pallets or boxes to be showered with cold water (cooling capacity between 500-2500 kg/h).

- Dynamic hydrocooling is the most versatile solution. It consists of a continuous cooling tunnel (cooling capacity >2,500 kg/h).

The forced air tunnel cooling can be mobile or fixed. The mobile canvas system can perform the cooling, taking advantage of the evaporators installed in the same chamber. The fixed canvas system allows the volume to be cooled to be larger, since it is optimized based on the volume of the chamber to be precooled.

All pre-cooling systems bring energy savings to the plant by reducing the time required for cooling and improving plant performance. The choice of the ideal pre-cooling system will be determined by the product to be treated. Some products are more susceptible to be dehydrated and others to develop physiopathologies due to the impact of water. 

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