Israel: new pre-cooling system for cherries

Mobile pre-cooling system can help preserve fruit quality straight after harvest
The Institute of Agricultural Engineering in Israel and Egoz, a company based at Kibbutz Gezer, designed a mobile cooling chamber that cools cherries in the orchard, directly after harvest.
Cherries are very sensitive to temperature and humidity conditions after they have been picked, and the harvesting season in the Golan Heights in Israel runs from April to July, a period characterized by high temperatures (approx. 28°C and low relative humidity, 35%).
Before the system was brought in, the cherries waited in plastic crates for quite long periods sometimes, before being pre-cooled by a hydro-cooler for and hour and then refrigerated at 5°C.
The mobile cooling chamber can be towed by a farm vehicle. A “moist mattress” using cold water and suction fans is situated at the front.
The use of relative humidity and temperature sensors helps in maintaining temperatures of 18-19°C and humidity levels of up to 85-90%.