Conclusion

Controlled atmosphere storage has withstood the test of time and has been proven to be effective for maintaining quality and extending the storage life of a number of horticultural crops. The rate of deterioration of fresh produce is often greatly retarded by CA storage. Each type of fruit or vegetable has its own specific requirement and tolerance for atmosphere modification. The optimum CA condition for each commodity is continually being revised and improved. Table 1 presents the most recent recommendations for 02 and C02 levels, the most suitable storage temperatures, feasible storage periods, and pertinent remarks for some commodities.

The maintenance of CA storage requires continual monitoring of the gases and temperature to prevent any deviation from the recommended conditions. Injuries induced by low 02 or high C02 often lead to tissue discoloration or off-flavor and loss of market value. Proper maturity, the internal condition of the fruit at harvest, and the speed at which storage atmospheres are established are some of the key factors affecting the success of CA storage.

It should be emphasized that proper CA storage should always be accompanied by good temperature control. CA storage is considered to be a supplement—not a substitute—for proper refrigeration and careful handling.

Table 1. Summary of Controlled-Atmosphere Storage Requirements for Fruits and Vegetables

Beneficial

Commodity concentration (%) Suitable temperature

Fruits of temperate zone

Apple (Malus domestica)

Fruits of temperate zone

Apple (Malus domestica)

Boskoop

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