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Effective pre-cooling important when the weather’s hot

The climate is changing and Weber Cooling is changing with it. “The spring and summer of 2018 were extremely warm, and many growers were faced with the challenge to still supply good (cooled) products,” says Hans Juursema of Weber Cooling. According to him, effective pre-cooling, or the quickly cooling of fruit and vegetables immediately after harvesting, is now more important than ever. “For the quality of the harvested products, but also to limit the thermal load in the cooling cells.”

Besides forced air cooling and water cooling, vacuum cooling is a technique that’s required more and more. Hans says this technique offers considerable benefits particularly for leafy vegetables, herbs and mushrooms, but also for more compact crops such as broccoli. “This is because the vegetables are uniformly cooled from the inside out. Vacuum is like a reverse microwave, and can cool vegetables to a core temperature of 2 to 5 degrees Celsius, often within 15 to 25 minutes.”

Cooling more consciously and faster
For (vacuum) cooling, a cooling technique is necessary that often uses coolant damaging to the environment. Completely environmentally friendly solutions are available, but these are often expensive for vacuum cooling. From 2019, Weber Cooling will be completely dedicated to ‘Hydronic Cooling,’ which uses up to 70 per cent less coolant compared to conventional cooling techniques, and which also requires a smaller cooling capacity. “Thanks to a buffer technique, this results in a 20 per cent faster cooling cycle as well.”

The high purchasing price is often an obstacle. Weber Cooling is striving to make vacuum cooling available to anyone, and thanks to a standardisation, they can build an affordable machine. “For example, a standard ‘Hydronic Powered’ system for four Euro pallets or three Standard pallets is available from 75,000 euro. Besides, we’re also working on an expansion of our assortment of used and fixed machines, complemented with a range of rental vacuum coolers.”

More information:

Weber Cooling
Hans Juursema 

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