Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, professor and postharvest physiologist with N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute, coordinated the effort to develop a mobile refrigerated unit – the “Pack ‘N Cool” – that agricultural producers can use as a model for constructing their own units. The unit combines the mobility of a cargo trailer with the refrigeration capabilities of a commercial cooler in a more cost-efficient package.
The Pack ‘N Cool model was designed to keep fresh produce at ideal temperatures during transport to and from farmers markets or as it’s harvested in farm fields. Many fruits and vegetables should be stored at 32 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize quality, extend shelf life and minimize food safety risks. The Pack ‘N Cool model cost around $3,400 to construct (which included a new cargo trailer priced around $1,500), but costs will vary based on brands, quantities and parts that may already be available. Customization is encouraged to meet individual needs.
|Pack ‘N Cool Resources
*These resources are housed on the Plants for Human Health Institute website.
|Full News Story|
|Construction Summary with Photos|
|Construction Manual & Budget Summary (PDF)|
|Detailed Budget for Model Unit (PDF)|