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The Importance of Pre-Cooling in Transporting Perishable Goods

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Importance of cargo pre-cooling:

Before you load perishable cargoes, please turn on your transport refrigeration unit first for pre-cooling, which will make the cargoes more safe and fresh.

In the realm of transporting perishable goods, pre-cooling stands as a crucial practice. By activating your transport refrigeration unit before loading perishable cargo, you’re taking a significant step toward ensuring the safety and freshness of your goods throughout the cold chain journey.

Preserving Product Quality:

Once fruits, vegetables, and other perishable agricultural products are harvested, their nutritional content, color, taste, and texture begin to deteriorate. These attributes are essential markers of product quality, highly valued by consumers. Shielding these products from detrimental environmental factors like solar radiation post-harvest is crucial. Initiating pre-cooling and cooling procedures after harvest is essential to expel field heat, mitigate respiration, and thereby sustain product quality and extend storage lifespans.

Averting Energy Waste:

The primary role of cold storage and refrigerated transportation equipment is temperature maintenance or gradual reduction. When uncooled perishable items are directly placed into cold storage or transported, several issues emerge. This practice amplifies energy consumption of transport refrigeration units, as these units vary in energy efficiency across different applications. Additionally, the slow cooling process can cause irreversible harm to items requiring temperatures below freezing. Uncooled products can also compromise the storage environment for other items. Rapid pre-cooling is imperative to achieve the required temperature swiftly and prevent these issues.

Enhancing Energy Efficiency:

The concept of pre-cooling post-harvest pertains to the rapid reduction of freshly harvested agricultural products’ core temperature to levels suited for refrigerated transport and low-temperature storage. This isn’t limited to products alone; even the refrigerated truck’s compartment requires pre-cooling before transporting. This approach spans cooling and freezing applications based on cooling treatment temperatures. Cooling maintains temperatures near freezing points without actually freezing products, while freezing involves reducing temperatures below freezing points. Optimal choice depends on product attributes and storage needs, with frozen products generally enjoying extended shelf lives.

Key Functions of Pre-Cooling:

(1)Swiftly lowering the temperature of fruits and vegetables minimizes respiration and consumption, preserving freshness and minimizing decay.

(2)Pre-cooled items require less cold air in refrigerated trucks or storage, preventing temperature fluctuations.

(3)Enhanced resistance to cold-related damage in future storage reduces physiological diseases.

(4)Pre-cooling prevents rapid water evaporation from fruits when loaded into a cold storage compartment, preserving their quality and reducing water loss.

(5)Averts excess humidity condensation in cold storage or compartments, enhancing the storage environment.

Case Study – The Perils of Insufficient Pre-Cooling:

Illustrating the importance of proper pre-cooling, a disturbing incident involving broccoli is unveiled. A trailer transporting broccoli arrived at a distribution center, where workers retrieving temperature data suddenly lost consciousness. Initial suspicions pointed toward pesticide contamination, but subsequent investigations revealed high breathing rates of broccoli due to elevated ambient temperatures. This led to increased carbon dioxide concentrations, causing worker unconsciousness. Inadequate pre-cooling lay at the heart of this issue.

Pre-cooling is far more than a mere procedural step; it’s a cornerstone of the cold chain. By recognizing its significance, we safeguard the quality, safety, and longevity of perishable goods, Kingclima ensuring that consumers receive products that are truly “newly harvested” in quality. Pre-cooling isn’t just a practice; it’s a pledge to delivering excellence in perishable transport.

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