Pre-cooling systems for small-scale producers

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Purpose of review: To identify pre-cooling systems and cooling methods that are suitable for smaller scale horticultural producers

Findings: A range of pre-cooling systems are available for small-scale horticultural producers and their suitability is described, in terms of availability, ease of use, capital cost, energy requirements. Expected benefits of using pre-cooling are also discussed.

Limitations: Many of the mobile pre-cooling systems currently available on the market have been developed by commercial companies and most have not been scientifically evaluated in comparison to known stationary systems such as a cold wall. There is relatively little published information about the suitability of small-scale hydro-cooling, evaporative cooling and mobile forced-air cooling systems, especially regarding the range of crops and environments found in developing countries.

Directions for further research: Future research needs include identification and characterization of lower cost pre-cooling methods and continued efforts to improve their cooling efficiency and reduce their energy use. Efforts to standardize and test management practices that conserve energy should be undertaken in order to further improve financial benefits.

Authors: 
Lisa Kitinoja
Authors: 
James F Thompson
Publisher: 
Stewart Postharvest Review
Year: 
2010