Vacuum cooling or how to ensure that food reaches your table with the quality and freshness from the field
27 December 2021
Before reaching the consumer, one of the most important processes that food goes through is in the conservation systems, which must ensure that the product is kept in optimal and safe conditions.
Within this area, one of the most innovative systems is the ‘vacuum cooling’ refrigeration system, which, thanks to its capacity and power, preserves the product’s properties and extends its shelf life. It also ensures that produce can be stored efficiently with and extended shelf life, especially those with a high water content, such as fruit, vegetables and greens.
Specifically, the term ‘vacuum cooling’ refers to cooling by vacuum technology. In this industrial refrigeration system, the machines that carry out the process performs a quick and homogeneous cooling of the product, allowing to reduce time. As a whole, the process is carried out by means of temperature regulation and optimisation mechanisms, as well as condensation and floating evaporation valves.
Due to its profitability and efficiency, one of the sectors that makes most use of vacuum cooling is the fruit and vegetable sector, with the aim of ensuring that food reaches the consumer with the same quality and freshness as when it is harvested from the field. Always in the constant search for innovation, Agromediterránea applies this system in its processes to guarantee that the products are preserved with the highest quality.
Among others, the most significant benefits of ‘vacuum cooling’ are:
- It allows food to be stored for a longer period of time, without losing its quality.
- The refrigeration chamber does not lose cooling capacity with packaging, allowing packaged products to be stored in it.
- Maintains more constant temperatures than other systems.
- Increased shelf life.
- Saves employees effort and time in storing the product.
- Reduces refrigeration costs and ensures maximum food quality.
What is it like?
A vacuum cooling system unit is made up of different elements, among which the process chamber, into which the food to be treated is introduced, stands out. This equipment is made of a special steel plate, highly resistant to corrosion, and suitably reinforced in order to prevent the inertia of the pressure generated by the vacuum unit. The internal part of the chamber has an additional epoxy resin protection.
Meanwhile, a coil placed on the wall absorbs and condenses all the steam coming from the food.
The importance of a good cooling system
A good refrigeration system is essential to prevent food poisoning. The humidity, temperature or lighting in which food is kept are factors to be taken into account to avoid the appearance of micro-organisms. Inadequate refrigeration can also affect the taste, colour or texture of food.
In this sense, vacuum cooling guarantees more constant temperatures than other systems, safeguarding the quality of the product so that it reaches the end consumer’s table in optimal conditions.