Deterioration of fruits and vegetables during storage depends largely on temperature. One way to slow down this change and to increase the length of time fruits and vegetables can be stored, is by lowering the temperature to the right level. If the temperature is to low the products will be damaged and as soon as the product leaves the cold storage, deterioration starts again and at a faster rate.
Cold Storage conditions
All fruits and vegetables have a "critical temperature" below which unwanted and unalterable reactions or chill damage take place. The storage temperature always has to be above this critical temperature. Even 0.5° C below the critical temperature can result in an alteration to the fruit or veg. These alterations lead to the development of a variety of chilling damage symptoms, such as surface pitting, discoloration, internal breakdown, failure to ripen, loss of flavor, and decay. The table below shows the critical temperatures for various fruits and vegetables.
Transpiration rates (water loss from produce) are determined by the moisture content of the air, which is usually expressed as relative humidity. At high relative humidity, produce maintains salable weight, appearance, nutritional quality, and flavor, while wilting, softening and juiciness are reduced.
For most products, a high but not saturated, relative humidity is required, eg 85-95%. The table above shows specific relative humidities for fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and veg that require different storage conditions will need three different storage conditions.
• Cold Storage (temperatures 0°-2°C)
• Cool Storage (temperatures 4°-7°C)
• Warmer Storage (temperatures 13°-16°C)
Controlling and monitoring temperature and relative humidity will maintain optimum conditions for maximum storage life, and to minimise damage from chilling and/or to high temperatures and water loss.
Frozen foods have outstanding quality and nutritive value. some frozen vegetables, such as green peas and sweet corn, may be superior in flavor to fresh products. Various freezing techniques are commonly used in the preservation of vegetables and fruits. Following the freezing operation, frozen products are maintained in frozen storage, which is also an important step in the quality retention of frozen food products.
• Air Blast Freezers
The Air Blast Freezer is one of the oldest and commonly used freezing equipment due to its temperature stability and versatility for several product types. Air is used as the freezing medium in the freezing design. Air freezing is the cheapest way of freezing and has the added advantage of a constant temperature during frozen storage. Freezing is accomplished by placing the food in freezing rooms called sharp freezers. Freezing time in sharp freezers is largely dependent on the temperature of the freezing chamber and the type, initial temperature, and size of the product.
Our Cold Storage Solutions
Dawsongroup | TCS Ireland has a long-standing presence in a wide variety of industries. With our experience within these sectors, we provide the utmost customer care. Our units and bespoke builds will fit your exact needs to increase both your productivity and efficiencies. We pride ourselves on how we have supported the industries and will continue developing with the sectors into the future.
Our team carries out extensive calculations as well as product trials so that you receive exactly what you need.
Through asset rental, you are able to reach demand without major capital being spent.
We’re proud to offer the best cold storage solutions for businesses throughout Ireland.
Want to find out more about the commercial, bulk fruits, and veg cold storage and freezing? See our fruits and veg cold storage page or get in touch with us on 045 448 819
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