In the past few years more and more systems have been installed at mushroom farms using vacuum cooling as a rapid cooling method for mushrooms. Having the correct cooling processes in place is important in the handling of any fresh produce but for mushrooms it can be even more critical. While consumer demand for nutritious and delicious mushrooms continues to grow, the popular fungi present particular challenges for growers because of their shorter shelf life compared to other produce. Once harvested, mushrooms are highly susceptible to bacteria growth. They can dehydrate and deteriorate rapidly unless quickly cooled and maintained at the correct storage temperature. Vacuum cooling offers here the best solution to growers allowing them to more efficiently cool mushrooms.
WeberCooling produces Vacuum Cooling Technology and knows the importance of proper temperature and moisture control, which play a key role after harvesting the mushrooms, ensuring adequate quality and longer shelf life.
The importance of pre-cooling
Precooling is a very important step in the post-harvest stage as mushrooms get intro stress after the cutting process. This results in transpiration and high respiration, resulting in loss of shelf-life, but at the same time in an increase in product temperature, especially when packed tightly. Mushrooms at 20˚C produce 600 % more heat energy compared to mushrooms at 2˚C! This is why it is critical to get them cooled quickly and correctly.
Overall it helps to reduce the loss in quality of produce once it has been harvested. Likewise, precooling increases the shelf-life of fresh produce. Higher quality and longer shelf-life means more profits to mushroom growers.
Comparison of pre-cooling methods
Vacuum cooling is one of the most efficient and fast cooling methods compared to other technologies, guaranteeing a fast lowering of the product’s temperature right after harvesting. The table below compares pre-cooling methods as applied to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vacuum coolers for Mushroom Farms
Smaller farms can work with smaller vacuum coolers; with a ONE pallet system, you can achieve highest cooling speeds of 12 – 15 minutes. With the Weber Compact ONE you will cool three to four loads per hour, or up to 32 pallets on an eight-hour working day! Available in different configurations, you will always find a system perfect for you.
With the Weber Compact TWO you will achieve cycle times of around 15 minutes. Including logistics, you will cool up to three loads per hour, or up to 48 pallets on a normal day! Also available in different configurations, you will always find the perfect fit.
“At our customers we have seen that with our systems they are cooling their mushrooms in less than 15 minutes to around 3C!!”
Click here for more information on the vacuum cooling systems from Weber Cooling.
Video’s on vacuum cooling of mushrooms: https://vimeo.com/168633903
Sylvia van Uden
Tel: +31 884 256 207