Controlled Atmosphere Store ....

Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage is used to extend the storage life of seasonal perishable produce when refrigeration alone is not sufficient. This technique can be used for many fruits and vegetables and, historically, has been the principle storage method for the world’s apple crop.

Every horticulture produce breathes, consuming oxygen, not only during growing period, but also after harvesting. The main products of respiration are heat and carbon dioxide, apart from smaller quantities of some organic compounds. The higher the respiratory activity, the higher is the ageing and, therefore, lower or reduced storabilityhigher is the ageing and, therefore, lower or reduced storabilitylower or reduced storabilityhigher is the ageing and, therefore, lower or reduced storability


For a long time refrigeration was the only method used in storage of produce until it was discovered that if oxygen level was reduced, the fruit metabolism or breathing was reduced. This discovery resulted in development of CA or “controlled atmosphere” technology in the 1950’s

CA storage is a completely natural process that changes the ratio of the constituent gases in the normal atmosphere in such a way that the respiration activity of the produce being stored is reduced to a minimum. The resultant reduction of metabolism in turn reduces production of ethylene Thus enhancing the shelf life of the produce. Retention of ‘freshness’ results in preservation of vitamins and nutrients.

Each type of horticulture produce requires different conditions. Apart from type of produce, the conditions also depend on factors such as climates, weather, soil conditions, growing conditions and time of picking.

A CA store is constructed to be gas tight, so it can retain the low oxygen atmosphere needed for the long term storage of many fruits. Ethylene scrubbers are also used to keep ethylene concentration at a low level.

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