STS Refrigeration Ltd

Hydro Cooling: effective method of cooling cherries to enhance self life

With the current expansion in growing cherries in the UK, the demand for top quality fruit requires some special attention in order to reach the supermarket shelves in pristine condition.

Simply putting a pallet of cherries into a chill store will take several hours to reduce the temperature sufficiently to pack them. The warm fruit is respiring heavily and this makes the cooling time very slow and, still creating heat, the poor airflow in the static pallet means the heat wouldn’t dissipate quickly.

The Hydro Cooler has a cooling capacity of up to 18 pallets per hour

The use of Plenum “forced air” cooling does work but still takes quite a time (around 2 hours) for each pallet to cool down.

Hydro Cooling, which has been jointly designed between STS, grower and associate supplier, is effective and efficient and removes the field heat faster by bathing the pallets in a flow of ice cold water spayed down by gravity.

The added benefit is that the fruit is washed with clean potable water which is treated with chlorine dioxide (this is what water companies use in tap water for purification). The water treatment doesn’t introduce any taint that some other chlorination process do.

The process is quite simple, a large quantity of cold water is used to drizzle down onto the moving pallets of cherries, and the particle water droplets are of such size that no physical damage should occur to the fruit.

Water is cooled down with the use of a “Baudelot” type falling film evaporator set up with sufficient falling film plates sized for the number of pallets with around 300 kg of cherries for cooling.

Generally the speed of the stainless steel, chain driven conveyor (that drives the pallets through the water shower) is adjustable. This is to suit the type of cherries being cooled. Various tests which were carried out by a specialist grower have assisted in getting the exact requirements for the construction of the Hydro Cooler.

For further information or a consultation on Hydro Cooling, please come and speak to us on Stand 252.

For more information
International Controlled Atmosphere Ltd
Paul Kennett
T: 01892 831 700

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