Humidity

Maintenance of proper humidity around the commodity is necessary during precooling and storage. Fruits and vegetables transpire and lose water during precooling, storage, and transit. They will wilt or shrivel if humidity is too low. Humidity is generally expressed as percent relative humidity (% RH), the ratio of water vapor pressure in the air to saturation vapor pressure at a certain temperature (11). As temperature increases, the capacity of air to hold water increases. For most vegetables, a relative humidity of 98100% are recommended to prevent wilting. Water may be sprinkled on the floor of a storage room or misted in the air if it is necessary to increase the relative humidity around a commodity. Other practices to ensure adequate humidity include using good room insulation, preventing air leaks, and providing sufficient cooling surface to keep the difference between refrigerant surface temperature and commodity temperature as small as possible.

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