Mushrooms are one of the most perishable of all fruits and vegetable. They have a very high rate of metabolism and will destroy themselves in a relatively short time. The
structure of the mushroom makes it vulnerable to spoilage. It has a thin tender skin that is easily broken. The flesh of a mushroom is relatively soft, allowing it to be easily crushed and bruised. The high moisture content makes it conducive to excessive drying. Immediately after being harvested, the mushrooms are transported to a pre-cooler in order to reduce the pulp temperature from a pre-harvested, 68 degrees to 35 degrees as quickly as possible. Various methods, types of
containers and packages are used for the distribution of fresh mushrooms to the consumer. In an attempt to extend the life of the product, producers must harvest quickly; transport to pre-cooling immediately after harvest; lower the pulp temperature to near freezing; pack and ship as soon as possible.