Jet-Ready Precoolers, designed and manufactured by Global Cooling Inc., are ”perfect for precooling and recooling berries and cherries,” according to company founder and president Jim Still.
“Small diameter and fairly expensive fresh produce especially berries,” he explained, “can deteriorate very quickly if the cold chain breaks down or is delayed. At certain times, the retail price of blueberries is almost fifteen dollars a pound. A container-load or trailer-load of blueberries is then worth over $400,000!"
A Jet-Ready Precooler can pay for itself in a day or two, according to Still, if it allows the grower or packer to ship their fruit to further-away markets where they can earn an extra dollar or two a pound. “Or to hold onto product for a few days until the local price moves in the proper direction,” he added.
Cherries too, are small diameter and very sensitive to cold chain mis-handling.
“A Jet-Ready delivers about 35,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of airflow,” Still continued, “and because berry pallets only weigh about 1,000 pounds, when precooling 10 pallets of berries the fruit is getting about three-and-half cfm per pound. That is an awful lot of airflow, enough to precool fully from field temperature in about an hour, provided that the packhouse has enough refrigeration capacity to keep pace.”
According to the company, Jet-Ready Precooler users have reported reductions of up to two thirds compared with previous cooling times.
Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, WA, has converted all cherry precooling to Still's Jet units, and claim they have gained an average of 5 days extra shelf life by so doing.
“Our Jet Precoolers are made in America, right here in Philadelphia at the Philly Navy Yard business park,” said Jim J. Still, Global's Vice President. “All our components are the best that money can buy, and our portables are amazingly powerful. Time after time, we outperform bunker wall systems and farm-built box fans.”