Refrigerated warehouses with controlled atmosphere for fruit storage
Storing food before marketing is very important. During storage the quality of food can deteriorate depending on the storage conditions, due to the action of external agents: air, water, heat, bacteria, pests.
The effects are very noticeable in the case of vegetables and fruits.
Food degradation can not be prevented, but it can be greatly slowed down by changing storage conditions: temperature, humidity, composition of the atmosphere in the warehouse.
Food storage under modified environmental conditions is known as controlled atmosphere storage. Storage in a controlled atmosphere can slow the loss of quality after harvesting. It is a well-known technique and an important alternative to chemical preservatives and pesticides.
It has great potential to reduce post-harvest losses and to maintain both nutritional and market values.
As in any application in the food area, the reason for using nitrogen is always the same: preventing food degradation. Nitrogen replaces the oxygen to which food is exposed and slows down the oxidation process.
Controlled atmosphere storage systems with Parker technology-Smartstock system
Reducing the oxygen content in a cold store slows down the process of degradation of stored food. Creating such an atmosphere is done by introducing high concentration nitrogen produced by a Parker nitrogen generator into the chamber.
Oxygen concentration, room temperature, humidity and RH are monitored and controlled by an automatic system. The system ensures the maintenance of the favorable atmosphere throughout the storage period.
Advantages Of SmartStock:
– Increase the shelf life of food (especially fruits and vegetables)
– Continuous monitoring of storage parameters
– Automatic control of the storage atmosphere
– The possibility of expanding the system with the growth of the warehouse
Controlled atmosphere systems maintain the organoleptic characteristics of the products and reduce losses due to pathogens. Fruits and vegetables stored in warehouses with controlled atmosphere can withstand several months without damage.
The Controlled Atmosphere systems offered by Frigother group SRL are able to meet any requirement of our customers. Their management is completely computerized, and integrated with the cooling system, allowing a total automation of the activity in the warehouse.
Controlled atmosphere cells have a number of particular characteristics that differentiate them from simple refrigerated cells. The design, construction and installation of controlled atmosphere cells requires a lot of attention and extensive experience in the field.
The joining of the panels must be absolutely tight, to guarantee complete sealing of the interior of the cell with controlled atmosphere, compared to the outside.
Doors used in cold stores must be adapted for use in a controlled atmosphere warehouse. They are equipped with 4 additional locking systems and glass for inspection.
CO2 absorption systems
Carbon dioxide absorption systems can be used either as independent units that can manage one or two cells, or as centralized units that can manage a larger group of cells.
The absorption systems use special filters with Activated carbon, and aim to keep the concentration of CO2 constant inside the cells, even under the conditions of a very low percentage of oxygen. The systems are managed by a computer and an automatic cell monitoring system. It consists of CO2 and O2 analyzers that continuously monitor the interior of the cells, automatically analyzing the air and maintaining its characteristics between preset values.
CO2 absorption systems are provided with pneumatic valves that do not require any intervention and maintenance. Optionally, a nitrogen regeneration system NRS (Nitrogen Regeneration System) can be added which improves conservation in conditions of minimal presence of Hyper Low Oxygen (HLO).
Ethylene absorption systems
The use of ethylene absorption systems allows to maintain a low level of ethylene in the refrigerated cells, eliminating the negative effects that it has during the conservation of fruits and legumelor.Cu using this system can absorb other harmful gases, such as hydrocarbons and sulfur dioxide.
This absorption system is mainly used in the preservation of fruits, vegetables and flowers (especially kiwi) and in general of all products that during the preservation produce small amounts of ethylene, but which are also sensitive to the presence of this gas.
Nitrogen generation systems
They produce nitrogen with purity from 95% to 99% using the technology of separating compressed atmospheric air by means of a screw compressor. The introduction of nitrogen is done very quickly so that carbon dioxide is not formed at the same time.
Nitrogen generators are used in sectors where “ecological” nitrogen is required, without combustion residues (CO2, CO, NOx, SO2, C2H2, etc.). They are available in fixed or mobile versions. The models proposed by us can also be used for the production of enriched oxygen, for maturation cells.
Computerized control systems
Managing all systems is a complex task that requires the presence of a multitude of sensors connected to a control panel. The entire system allows the sampling and storage of all conservation parameters, such as: percentages of CO2, O2, ethylene, humidity, pressure, but also provides automatic controls to the necessary equipment, to keep these parameters within the required limits.
Refrigerated storage systems with controlled atmosphere are mainly aimed at long-term storage of vegetables and fruits, storage carried out immediately after their harvest. Refrigerated storage with controlled atmosphere is carried out within the field of industrial and commercial cold, with the modification of storage conditions, controlling the temperature, humidity and composition of the atmosphere in the refrigerated warehouse (refrigerated warehouses, production areas, storage, packaging areas, airlock areas).
Controlled atmosphere storage of fruits is a method by which their quality is preserved by maintaining an optimal level of the ratio between oxygen concentration and carbon dioxide concentration, regulating ethylene concentrations, temperature and humidity.
The fruits breathe; they absorb oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, thus continuing their natural process of ripening and ripening. Long-term fruit storage involves slowing down these ripening and ripening processes, thus preserving the flavor and quality of the products. In fact, is baking delayed by changing the atmospheric conditions in the warehouse so as to reduce the breathing process?fruits and vegetables.
By changing the atmospheric conditions and reducing the temperature, the organoleptic characteristics of the products are maintained unaltered and the losses due to pathogens are reduced.
The quality and freshness of the fruits stored in controlled atmosphere warehouses are maintained without the use of chemicals, the products can be stored up to four times more than usual.
Controlled atmosphere warehouses have a number of characteristics that differentiate them from the usual cold stores:
– the joining of the panels must be absolutely watertight to guarantee complete sealing of the interior of the cell with controlled atmosphere compared to the outside.
– the access doors must be adapted for use in a warehouse with controlled atmosphere, being equipped with 4 additional closing systems and glass for inspection.
– specific technological equipment: atmosphere control station, nitrogen generator, CO2 scrubber, ethylene converter, humidity control station.