Vacuum cooled compost

  • Shasta B.V. is located in Venray, The Netherlands. The company, owned by Teun Kampen (Champ Fungi), cools back Agaricus compost through vacuum cooling, making them ready for container transport by sea over long distances without loss of quality. A full report on the company can be found in Mushroom Business no 60.

    Cooled fase III compost blocks in the cooled truck, ready to be shipped.
    Big bale press. For the European market the compost is pressed into bales of 1 by 1.10 metres weighing 1200 kg. These bales are unsuitable for overseas destinations due to their size. After being cooled to 0 degrees, the bales do not have to be transported in a cooled container.
    Shasta OwnerTeun Kampen (l) and sales director Dirk Warmerdam in front of the vacuum chambers.
    In the vacuum chambers the pallets holding the compost blocks are cooled from, say, 22 degrees to 0 degrees Celsius in one hour. There is a loss involved of about 1.2 % water, slightly more than with CO2 cooling, but this can be easily compensated, and, according to Shasta, in all other respects the product stays exactly the same.
    The pallets are then moved by forklifts into the vacuum coolers, made in China.
    The pallet machine.
    The blocks are then palletised per forty, and loaded 1400 per container, which converts to 30 tons of compost per container.
    Compost is transported to the blocking machine, where the material is pressed into blocks of 20-22 kg for overseas transport.
    In the main hall of the company, fase III compost is unloaded from trucks on belts (note the Christiaens ánd MushComp equipment).
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