Pre-cooling is the first step in the temperature management of fruits and vegetables after harvest.

It refers to the rapid removal of field heat shortly after the harvest of a crop.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that pre-cooling is “amongst the most efficient quality enhancements available” and is regarded “as one of the most value-adding activities in the horticultural chain”.

Proper post-harvest cooling can:

  • Suppress enzymatic action and respiratory activity
  • Slow or inhibit water loss
  • Slow or inhibit the growth of decay-producing micro-organisms
  • Reduce the production of ethylene (a ripening gas naturally produced in produce)