December 24, 2023

Controlled Atmosphere Storage Technology

Controlled atmosphere storage emerges as a highly successful innovation in the fruit and vegetable sector of the 20th century. This technology focuses on adjusting oxygen (O2) levels and elevating carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to the ambient air. It may also include the removal of ethylene and the introduction of carbon monoxide. The core of controlled atmosphere storage involves continuous monitoring and precise adjustment of these gases within the storage container to meet predetermined levels.

Excessive levels of CO2 or insufficient O2 can lead to irreversible damage to fruits or vegetables, with the manifestations of damage varying across products and depending on the intensity of the impact.

The primary use of controlled atmosphere storage has been in slowing down the ripening process of apples and pears. The widespread adoption of mechanized handling, utilizing bulk bins and pallets, coupled with advancements in technology for maintaining precise conditions of temperature, humidity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ethylene, has resulted in a significant global expansion of controlled atmosphere storage since the mid-20th century.

Another application of controlled atmosphere storage is evident in grain storage. Fundamental techniques involve drying the grain to below 12% moisture content before sealing it in a structure or silo. Drying is achieved using aeration fans as the grain enters a controlled atmosphere enclosure. Throughout the storage period, aeration and fans are deployed to control temperature and humidity.
Controlled Atmosphere Storage Technology

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