Frequent Questions about Precooling

Do you have questions about Western Precooling or our precooling processes? If so, simply check the list of frequently asked questions below. If your question isn't answered here, contact us for more information.

Q:   Why does produce need to be precooled?
A:   Fresh Produce (or any perishable item) continues to breathe or respirate after it has been harvested. As it respirates, it breaks down. Fresh produce is precooled to reduce the temperature of the produce, slowing the respiration rate and product degradation. Simply put, proper temperature management through the distribution chain allows consumers to buy the freshest possible produce anywhere.

Q:   What does precooling mean?
A:   Precooling is a means of rapidly reducing the temperature of fresh produce items. For example, 12, 24 or even 36 pallets of lettuce (that is 1,152 cartons of lettuce) can be precooled to 34° from 80° in roughly 25 minutes.

Q:   How is produce "cooled"?
A:    We usually think that something has been cooled by bringing the "cool" to the product. Actually, the reverse is true. To cool produce, we remove the heat from it by putting something colder next to it. This can be cold water, cold air, ice or even ammonia (inside a self-contained operating system). We utilize the best equipment for each type of produce. For example, vacuum tubes are used for iceberg lettuce, HydroVacTM tubes for celery, romaine and other mixed lettuces, pressure cooling for strawberries, cantaloupe and cauliflower, a hydrocooler for peaches, nectarines and plums, and a liquid ice injector for broccoli.

Q:   How can I get more information about Western Precooling?
A:    If you would like more information about our services or equipment, please contact us by filling out this short form. We'd love to hear from you!