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To prevent recently harvested fruits and vegetables from wilting, shrinking and losing flavor, hydrocooling is used for initial precooling. The boxed product is placed on a conveyor that pushes the boxes through a cooling tunnel. Large quantities of chilled water are sprayed directly onto the tops of the boxes. Water flows down through the product and is collected in a tank or sump underneath the tunnel. The refrigerated spray often is chlorinated. Sodium hypochloride may be added to destroy the rot spores on the skins of fruit and vegetables, which improves storage life and market quality.

Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 44, no. 9, September 2002