Finnish vegetable grower Päivi ja Kalle Vuorenmaa have recently upgraded their cooling system, and is now using vacuum cooling. According to Kalle Vuorenmaa, the process is a lot faster than their previous cooling system: “Our company has a broccoli farm, which produces broccoli, kale, broccolini, and grain. Before having the Vacuum Cooling system that we got from Weber Cooling, the issue was that it took such a long time for the vegetables to cool down; sometimes it would take a full night to get the product cool enough. With the new cooler that we have installed, the quality of the product can be secured better by getting the temperature as low as 4-5 degrees within 30 minutes.”

Vuorenmaa is satisfied with the support from Weber Cooling, as they naturally made a few small mistakes while getting used to the new system. “Our new cooling system clarifies the functions, guarantees the faster cooling of vegetables and better preservability. The support for this system has been good and fast. We have found some information online and someone has always answered fast and easily to all of our questions. The machine has worked very well, so we haven't needed much support as of yet.”

According to Sylva van Uden, sales manager for Weber Cooling, vacuum cooling offers many benefits: “Vacuum cooling is the most common method for cooling leafy and compact vegetables. It cools fast, uniform, and to the core; it reduces the cooling space and energy costs, while simultaneously preserving quality and maximizing both shelf and storage life.”

“Once harvested, all fresh produce will endure stress, resulting in respiration, or one could say breathing, as well as transpiration, which is sweating. Both are mainly triggered by temperature. By quick pre-cooling, both respiration and transpiration can be reduced by 75% or more, resulting in quality preservation and an increase in shelf and storage life, which in turn reduces rejection and waste. Pre-cooling preserves the produce's quality and increases profits. In this respect, vacuum cooling is a rapid pre-cooling technology,” van Uden explains.

“By continuously reducing the pressure inside the vacuum room, you force a fraction of the product’s own moisture to evaporate, at decreasing temperatures. This evaporation costs energy, which is taken from the produce in the form of a rapid temperature reduction; so your product cools down! Fast, in- and outside, to the core, losing around 1% for each 6-7C temperature drop. This means in an average cycle, growers will lose between 2 and 3%, not more.”

With vacuum cooling, it is possible to cool delicate vegetables within ten to twenty minutes. Van Uden states: “Vacuum Cooling is the fastest and most efficient pre-cooling method that exists. A wide range of fresh vegetables, as well as herbs, can profit from vacuum cooling. Leafy vegetables and herbs are the easiest and fastest to cool, but delicate vegetables and mushrooms can also cool fast. More compact vegetables like broccoli will take more time and might benefit from additional water spray. Vacuum cooling is perfect for most vegetables and herbs as experienced by Päivi ja Kalle Vuorenmaa in Finland.”

For more information:
Kalle Vuorenmaa Päivi ja
Kalle Vuorenmaa
Tel: +358 50 5216642

Sylvia van Uden
Weber Cooling
Tel: +31 884 256 207