Optimizing Flat Design for Forced-air Cooling of Blueberries Packaged in Plastic Clamshells

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  • 1 Nova Agri Associates Ltd., Port Williams, N.S. B0P 1T0, Canada.
  • 2 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre, 32 Main St., Kentville, N.S., B4N 1J5, Canada.

Forced-air cooling rates of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) packaged in 6-oz (177-mL) or 1-pt (473-mL) clamshell containers were affected by positions of vent holes in corrugated flats. Most rapid cooling occurred in flats with vents across the top of the flat. Additional vents aligned in front of clamshells resulted in more rapid and uniform cooling than vents placed between clamshells. Vent holes in the bottom of flats had no effect on cooling rates. Clamshells cooled more slowly in the front of the pallet where cold air entered than in the back of the pallet where cold air exited. Fruit in 6-oz clamshells cooled faster than fruit in 1-pt clamshells.

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