Harvesting at night, when products are the coolest, is common for sweet corn and
is gaining in use for cantaloupe. Products reach their lowest temperature near
daybreak. Night harvest may reduce the time and costs of cooling products, may
result in better and more uniform cooling, and helps maintain product quality.
Fluorescent lights attached to mobile packing units have permitted successful
night harvesting of cantaloupe in California.
Hydrocooling is used before grading, sizing, and packing of beans, cantaloupe, sweet corn, and okra. Sorting of defective products is done both before and after cooling. Hydrocooling cycles are rarely long enough during hot weather. The need to maintain a continuous, adequate supply of cantaloupes to the packers often results in the melons being incompletely cooled. This can be remedied if, after packing and palletizing, enough time is allowed in the cold room to cool the product to recommended temperatures before loading for transport to markets.
Package icing and liquid-icing are used to a limited extent for cooling cantaloupe and routinely as a supplement to hydrocooling for sweet corn.