Having the correct cold storage process in place for fresh produce can have massive effects on the quality of the food.
Due to the technical advancement in cold storage, fruit and vegetables are now readily available to the consumer all year round and for every season at the supermarket. The time-frame of how long fruit and vegetables will remain fresh highly depends on the circumstances the produce is stored in. Without cold storage, fresh produce will only stay fresh for more than a few days. Temperature control is a method widely used by controlling the temperature and humidity within a cold storage system.
The primary objectives for the cold storage process are to maintain palatability of food and increase the storage life. Fruit and vegetables have an ‘optimum’ temperature at which they should be stored. This is because different produce can react differently in varied temperatures and create different gases. The gases that are produced can in some cases speed up the ripening process, which in affect can cause produce spoilage. The cold storage process slows down the ripening, keeping the produce fresh for a longer period.
Perishable food should be stored at or below 5 °C, or at or above 60 °C to prevent growth of harmful bacteria. Maintaining Vitamin C within fresh produce heavily relies upon the storage process. Therefore, it is critical that the temperature is properly maintained as the produce will be affected if it’s stored at too high or too low a temperature.
The following research shows the chemical impact on produce:
- The Menusano research showed that certain small fruits like raspberries, strawberries, cherries, sour cherries and red currants stored at 4°C, exhibited mild enhancement of antioxidant activity in comparison with those stored at 25°C.
- The research also reported that the antioxidant activity and total phenolic content in potatoes are altered due to cold storage.
- The research also reported cold storage temperature can also affect juice content, fruit firmness, weight loss, reduction of pulp content, decrease of soluble nutrients rate, pH, changes in the pigmentation like internal browning, bleaching, skin/peel darkening, changes in texture, increased rates of electrolyte leakage, failure to ripen and other quality issues.
Whilst most refrigeration systems are reliable to maintain a constant temperature, there are certain things that cannot be so easily controlled such as, the number of times the door is opened or the movement within the storage room. This ingression of high temperature ambient air into refrigerated spaces can be protected through use of interlocks, strip curtains, air curtains, door arrangements. Additionally, monitoring the humidity control and internal temperature periodically will help with any refrigeration issues and prevent bacteria growth and essentially food value. This can be managed by having a monitoring system in place to help control the temperature. Having a control system in place could mean less downtime which can effectively means being more efficient.
We understand that consistency and reliability within the food industry is essential for cold storage. Failure of a cold storage system could affect quality of the produce or complete spoilage. With over 50 years’ experience in refrigeration and cold storage solutions, we have the expertise to suit your requirements. Regardless of the size of your project we guarantee full technical support and installation to the highest of standards.
Equipment can unexpectedly breakdown, to avoid this inconvenience we offer planned maintenance to control problems before they may happen. Having an agreed maintenance plan in place will save a business both time and money and work towards preventing emergency or reactive call-outs.
If you would like to discuss a project or after-care package with us, then contact us on 02920 861627 or email@example.com