Precoolers that are “perfect for grapes”
Jet-Ready Precoolers, designed and manufactured by Global Cooling Inc., are ”perfect for precooling and recooling grapes” according to company founder and president Jim Still.
“Small diameter and fairly expensive fresh produce especially grapes,” he explained, “can deteriorate very quickly if the cold chain breaks down or is delayed. At some times, the retail price of grapes can move from $1 a pound to $2 a pound within a week. It is really profitable to postharvest-handle grapes in a way that can ensure an extra week or more of shelf life.”
Using Jet-Ready Precoolers to quickly pull-down the grapes from field temperature to ideal cold storage temperature is easy, and inexpensive, Still explained. “Amortized cost of precooling a 2,000 pound pallet of fresh fruit is less than $10 per pallet, or one-half-cent per pound.”
As the company noted, grapes are small in diameter and very sensitive to cold chain mis-handling. If a trailer load arrives at a distribution center too-hot, it is very beneficial to recool that fruit as fast as possible to avoid rejections, claims, and credits, it said.
“Our Jet-Ready Precoolers also do a great job of rec
ooling imported grapes after fumigation,” continued Still. “And a lot of those pallets have cross-stacked cartons, which impede easy air flow, and the grapes are in Ziploc baggies inside plastic bags with sulfur dioxide pads within them, making for a very challenging airflow requirement. Our Jet Precoolers do well with these too.”
“A Jet-Ready delivers about 35,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of airflow,” Still continued, “and because grape pallets weigh about 2,000 pounds, when precooling 10 pallets the fruit is getting about one-and-one-half cfm per pound. That is a lot of airflow, enough to precool fully from field temperature in about three hours, provided that the packhouse has enough refrigeration capacity to keep pace.”
“Our Jet Precoolers are made in America, right here in Philadelphia at the Philly Navy Yard business park,” Still concluded. “All our components are the best that money can buy, and our portables are amazingly powerful. Time after time, we outperform bunker wall systems and farm-built box fans.”