Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are significantly vulnerable to temperature and relative humidity. Atmosphere conditions are important to extent products life and ensure high product quality.

Appropriate temperature in process and storage areas is crucial.

Inappropriate temperature can cause:

Early ripening and decay caused by high temperatures leading to product deterioration and short life

Chilling injury which is expressed by visible spots on surface, brown or decolorized flesh and alteration on taste is caused by exposure to low temperature even above the product freezing point

Relative humidity is another key factor. Fruits and vegetable consist mainly of water (almost 90%), for this reason they require high relative humidity 85-95%.

If relative humidity is not high water is extracted from the fruit leading to loss of weight, shrinkage and unpleasant view and finally damages the value of the product.

Ethylene sensitivity:

Produces that are ethylene sensitive may be ruined in the presence of ethylene or undergo unpleasant alterations in their physical characteristics. Some products suffer premature ripening (such as plants and cut flowers) or others turn yellow or brown (such as cucumber and celery). It is recommended never to store together ethylene sensitive products with products which produce ethylene.

Controlled atmosphere conditions:

Controlled atmosphere conditions aim to extend the product market life by lowering its respiration rate and eliminating CO2 and/or ethylene in case the product is sensitive to these substances.                                               

Control atmosphere applications include:

CO2 absorbers which absorb and reduce the concentration of CO2 in the storage rooms, very common in apples and pears long-time storage

Ethylene absorbers to reduce the ethylene concentration into the storage rooms, most appropriate for kiwifruit storage, apricots, cut flowers and horticultural products.

N2 generators, to increase the concentration of N2 and consequently reduce the concentration of O2 into the storage room leading to produce respiration rate depression.

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