Crushed and Liquid Ice Cooling

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In a competitive market, produce buyers demand the highest quality products. For many fresh fruits and vegetables, rapid and thorough cooling immediately after harvest is essential to preserving quality.

Ice has been used since early times to remove heat rapidly from food and to extend its shelf life. It is the preferred cooling method for many types of extremely perishable produce items. Ice not only removes heat rapidly when first applied to produce but, unlike other cooling methods, continues to absorb heat as it melts. Crushed and liquid ice cooling methods can be used effectively by growers with both small and large operations.

This publication is intended to help growers, packers, and shippers of fresh produce make informed decisions concerning the application of crushed and liquid ice cooling. Included are discussions of icemaking equipment and ways to purchase ice, types of produce that may be suitably iced, various produce-icing methods, how to calculate the amount of ice required to cool a given amount of produce, and the economic considerations of cooling with ice.

M. D. Boyette
E. A. Estes
NC Cooperative Extension