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What are the Uses of Reefers?

The Nature and Uses of Reefers


While the English language has the largest vocabulary by far, it is also notorious for possessing many words that can have more than one meaning. A classic example of this literary confusion can be seen in the various interpretations shared by the word “reefers”. For example, a yachtsman may associate the word with someone engaged in reefing a sail to reduce the surface area exposed to the wind. In 1931, Time Magazine was the first to publicly use the same word to describe home-rolled cigarettes made from ground and dried dagga leaves. In other circles, however, it is a term that describes a refrigerated truck body or container used to transport or store fresh foods and various other temperature-sensitive materials.


Of course, one can keep things cool by stacking them in ice, but reefers offer a more precise means to maintain the optimal temperature ranges required for specific tasks. For example, to retain their quality, frozen goods need to be transported at a temperature of between -18°C and -25°C, whereas 0°C to -2°C is the range usually recommended for the safe transport of fresh meats and fish. By contrast, fruit and vegetables just need to be kept reasonably cool and should be just fine at around 5°C.


Upon arrival at their destination, food, beverages, and other perishable goods will often need storing in the static type of reefers better known as cold rooms. Some, such as those in the nation’s hypermarkets, can be extremely large, while many of those located in the country’s innumerable corner shops can be comparatively tiny. In each case, however, it is the ability of a cold room to maintain its internal temperature within the specified range that is critical and not its capacity.


That said, companies with the appropriate skills and experience can design and build cold and freezer rooms to meet both the specified capacity and performance requirements of the end-user. These walk-in reefers are also available in standard sizes and are suitable for either indoor or outdoor use. When transporting perishables by sea, the journeys can often be lengthy, so precise temperature control can be vital for preventing spoilage and the loss of valuable cargo. For such purposes, exporters can rent or purchase special refrigerated shipping containers.


Refrigeration facilities are equally essential for transporting heat-sensitive pharmaceuticals, while Dutch growers net around 6 billion Euros annually from the export of cut flowers in reefers. Closer to home, Absolute Containers is a Centurion-based company and local industry leader in the manufacture and sale of cold rooms, freezer rooms, insulated truck bodies, cellular containers and even mortuary cabinets.