2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Trailer "Blast Cools" Mushrooms
"The total cost ran around $32,000 but they told me they could pay for it in a couple of good weekends gathering and processing wild mushrooms," says Nathan of Western Innovation Technological Solutions.
The trailer opens from the rear with a drop down ramp door for easy access. Interior surfaces are washable fiberglass panels that meet USDA specifications. The trailer is divided, with the rear 14 ft. devoted to preparation and drying. The front 8 ft. of the trailer is a walk-in blast cooler designed to quickly freeze the mushrooms and hold them at that temperature.
"I used all off-the-shelf components, so any refrigeration technician can repair it if needed," says Nathan. "It's not a wimpy system. I dropped it to 0 degrees F during testing. With a few changes in valves and other components, it could drop the temperature to 20 degrees below zero."
The dryer and the cooling system use 220-volt electric power. He says a less powerful cooler could be built using 110-volt, or the entire unit could be powered by propane.
"There would be a lot of different options for a smaller trailer," he notes. "If someone just wanted a trailer to take food to market, it wouldn't have to be so big or cost so much. Cooling food down is one thing. Keeping it cool is something else and doesn't take as much power."
It was the first food-processing trailer built by Western Innovation Technological Solutions. He also builds fire protection trailers with a 525-gal. water tank, high-pressure water pump, foaming kit and 200 ft. of fire hose.
"We're also building portable units that include a water pump with a foaming kit," he says. "The fire protection trailers vary in price from $20,000 to $24,000."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Western Innovation Technological Solutions, P.O. Box 1210, Flora Vista, New Mexico 87415
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