Precooling Glossary

Glossary of precooling industry terms

an image of a glossary in a textbookThere are a lot of terms that are somewhat unique to the produce precooling industry, and some that are unique to the MACS Cooler. Here are some of these terms with a brief definition.

air
The medium used for cooling product (removing heat) in the forced-air cooling method.
air-flow
The volume of air that is moved, usually as part of the forced-air cooling method.
automated
automation
Any task, that would otherwise require manual action, that is done through programming of machinery. MACS Coolers are loaded with automation and offer huge labor savings because of it.
blast cooling
blast chilling
Same as forced-air cooling.
cold chain
cold-chain
The part of the supply chain that includes reducing the product temperature and keeping it cold through delivery.
cool
noun; A relatively low temperature.
noun; The goal temperature of the product.
verb; Used interchangeably with precool.
slang; stylish, popular, hip. “Our new MACS Cooler is so cool. It’s as fast as 6 of our old cooling tunnels.”
Pallets on cooling tunnel (with tarp)

“tarped” cooling tunnel

cooling tunnel
The traditional method for forced-air cooling produce. A 2-module MACS Cooler does the work of about 6 of these.
energy-efficient
energy efficient
A MACS Cooler uses less electricity than conventional forced-air cooling methods. This is accomplished by using VFDs for fan control, automation, and faster cooling times. This means facilities will typically qualify for energy rebates when a MACS Cooler is installed.
forced-air cooling
forced air cooling
force-air cooling
force air cooling
The precooling method that utilizes pressure differential to cause air-flow across product. As the cool air passes the product, it removes the product heat. This is the method used by the MACS Cooler.
hydro cooling
hydro-cooling
Precooling method where product is showered or submerged in cold water (ice water or slurry) to remove heat. Effective for cooling several produce varieties down to temperatures above 32°F (0°C).
MACS Cooler
Pronounced [max /maks]. The fastest, easiest, most sophisticated automated forced-air precooling system available. Request a quote to see if a MACS Cooler fits your precooling solution needs.
MAX Cooler
MAC Cooler
MAC’s Cooler
These are some of the ways that MACS Cooler can be misspelled thanks to the English language and homophones. The official spelling is MACS Cooler, pronounced [max /maks].
pallet
A structure, usually of wood or plastic, that is several inches tall and several feet long and wide. Used to hold produce and product for easy transport by forklift. The MACS Cooler requires all loads be stacked on pallets.
post-harvest
post harvest
The time between produce harvest and consumption. Some of the stages of post-harvest are packaging, precooling, sales and shipping. MACS Coolers deal with the precooling stage of post-harvest.
precool
prechill
pre-cool
pre-chill
pre cool
pre chill
The act of removing heat from product (typically fresh produce) post-harvest and pre-shipping to increase shelf-life and slow deterioration.
product code
A set of cooling parameters assigned to a product/packaging type. Entered by a MACS Cooler operator just before a load is inserted to associate important values to that load. These values include fan speeds, quarter cool time, temperature setpoints and suction pressure setpoints, among others.
quarter cool time
A 2-module (standard) MACS Cooler has 4 precooling zones. Product spends 1/4 of it’s total cooling time in each zone actively cooling.
recool
recooling
re-cool
To cool again. This can be necessary because the first precooling process was insufficient or because of warming during the transport process. In any case, you can use MACS Coolers to recool product.
room cooling
Precooling method where product is cooled by placing it in a cold room and removing heat by natural convection. The MACS Cooler has many advantages over room cooling, such as lower space requirements and higher efficiency.
seals
Inflatable cushions inside the MACS Cooler that press against the product to create an air pressure differential, similar in function to a tarp on a cooling tunnel. MACS Cooler seals operate automatically in cooling mode.
shelf life
shelf-life
How long the product (typically fresh produce) will last before becoming unsellable. Precooling increases shelf life by slowing the decay process that begins the moment the crop is harvested.
tarped tunnel
tarped-tunnel
see: cooling tunnel
MACS Cooler PAC Closeup technology
The various components and methods by which precooling is accomplished on a MACS Cooler. PLC/PAC, touch screen, automation, reversing air, inflatable seals, logging and reporting are all technologies a MACS Precooler utilizes.
vacuum cooling
Precooling method that utilizes a vacuum to lower the boiling point of water that resides in the product itself. The moisture contained within evaporates and cools the product. MACS Coolers are a great replacement for vacuum coolers.

This glossary of terms is provided as a general guide to basic terminology in the produce precooling industry. We do not claim it to be authoritative on the subject.