Development of a Controlled-Ventilation Box for Modified-Atmosphere Storage of Fresh Produce

Keshri, Nandita; Truppel, Ingo; Linke, Manfred; Geyer, Martin; Weltzien, Cornelia; Mahajan, Pramod

FG Agromechatronik

Adjusting beneficial gas concentrations in real time in response to changing storage conditions is important for fresh produce, especially throughout the supply chain when temperature abuse occurs frequently. In this study, a controlled-ventilated box for bulk transportation of fresh produce was demonstrated and tested under variable temperatures. The presented system comprised a rigid container with a miniature blower installed in the opening of its wall for facilitating the gas exchange and an additional wall opening with a metal tube protruding into the inner container’s space. The in-package atmosphere was formed by the balance between the respiratory activity of the produce and the influx of fresh air through the wall openings, regulated by switching the blower ON or OFF. The mass transfer coefficient for metal tubes of different dimensions was measured under modified atmosphere featuring 15% CO2 and 5% O2 at 10 °C. The addition of an air blower increased the mass transfer coefficient by at least 100 times. A further storage trial with cherries was successfully performed at 10 °C and 20 °C. The demonstrated trial featured some significant inputs to increase the knowledge about better storage of fresh produce throughout the supply chain and storage.