ASHRAE and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) established definitions for five refrigeration keywords: cooling, refrigeration, chilling, freezing and cold chain. The definitions are the result of more than a year of discussions and were established to clarify the meaning of basic terminology.

To avoid confusion, the official definitions are:

  • Cooling – removal of heat, usually resulting in a lower temperature or phase change; lowering temperature.
  • Refrigeration – cooling of a space, substance or system to lower or maintain its temperature below the ambient one (removed heat is rejected at a higher temperature); artificial cooling.
  • Chilling – cooling of a substance without freezing it.
  • Freezing – solidification phase change of a liquid or the liquid content of a substance, usually due to cooling.
  • Cold chain – series of actions and equipment applied to maintain a product within a specified low temperature range from harvest/production to consumption.

IIR has called on all national and regional organizations and associations to adopt and disseminate the new definitions.