Blog de SVPlants
11 Feb 2015
Advantages of vacuum cooling in the post-harvest treatment of aromatic herbs, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and celery

Once the different types of vegetable plants – aromatic herbs, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and celery – have been harvested, an ever-accelerating race leading totheir senescence and death begins.

To prevent the deterioration in quality of harvested vegetable plants and post-harvest losses, more and more companies are choosing to invest in vacuum cooling. This system extends the product’s shelf life, which is particularly important when reaching the destination involves several days of transit.

Installing a vacuum cooling system is not a very complicated task, although it’s true the initial investment may be high. However, this investment can be recovered in a relatively short time.

Temperature

This is the single most important factor that affects the post-harvest quality of aromatic herbs, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and celery. Cooling reduces the physiological and metabolic activity of these vegetable plants as well as their transpiration rate. For this reason, keeping the temperature low from the moment of harvesting to reaching the final destination is VITAL.

Pre-cooling is essential 

Pre-cooling is a process that quickly removes heat from the product, prolonging its shelf life and desirable appearance, that is, as long as it has been harvested in favourable conditions.

Pre-cooling is essential for floral products that have high transpiration rates and release a lot of heat, such as aromatic herbs, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and celery. Experience has taught us that this procedure benefits all plant species.

A long shelf and storage life.

The fresh appearance of these products accounts for almost two-thirds of the decision to buy.

Pre-cooled vegetables

Aromatic herbs, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and celery that have been properly pre-cooled reap the following benefits:

  • Decreases respiration rates.
  • Reduces the growth of pathogenic microorganisms such as botrytis cinerea.
  • Decreases plant transpiration, preventing loss from dehydration.
  • Reduces ethylene release and increases tolerance to it, thus delaying plant maturity.
  • Reduces mechanical damage.
  • Reduces the shelf life lost during transit and distribution.

Importance of timing

To fully reap the aforementioned benefits, pre-cooling should be carried out as soon as possible after cutting. When this is done at the point of destination, the procedure can only recover the remaining shelf life following the significant loss during transit.

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