Controlled Atmosphere Storage
Controlled atmosphere storage is a system for holding produce in an atmosphere that differs substantially from normal air in respect to CO2 and O2 levels. Controlled atmosphere storage refers to the constant monitoring and adjustment of the CO2 and O2 levels within gas tight stores or containers. The gas mixture will constantly change due to metabolic activity of the respiring fruits and vegetables in the store and leakage of gases through doors and walls. The gases are therefore measured periodically and adjusted to the predetermined level by the introduction of fresh air or nitrogen or passing the store atmosphere through a chemical to remove CO2. There are different types of controlled atmosphere storage depending mainly on the method or degree of control of the gases. Some researchers prefer to use the terms “static controlled atmosphere storage” and “flushed controlled atmosphere storage” to define the two most commonly used systems. “Static” is where the product generates the atmosphere and “flushed” is where the atmosphere is supplied from a flowing gas stream, which purges the store continuously. Systems may be designed which utilize flushing initially to reduce the O2 content then either injecting CO2 or allowing it to build up through respiration, and then maintenance of this atmosphere by ventilation and scrubbing.
Importance of Controlled Atmosphere
CA storage has been the subject of an enormous number of biochemical, physiological and technological studies, in spite of which it is still not known precisely why it works. The actual effects that varying the levels of O2 and CO2 in the atmosphere have on crops varies with such factors as:
a. The species of crop
b. The cultivars of crop
c. The concentration of the gases in the store
d. The crop temperature
e. The state of maturity of the crop at harvest
f. The degree of ripeness of the climacteric fruit
g. The growing conditions before harvest
h. The presence of ethylene in the store
Fruits and Vegetables Storage under CA
This is a procedure for storing fruits and vegetables, particularly apples, under an atmosphere that differs from air. Its aim is to increase the storage life of the foods. The most important dietary component of apples is dietary fibre, which is unlikely to be changed appreciably during CA storage. Significant nutritional changes in other fruits and vegetables would not be expected. For the uniform ripening of some fruits, most notably tomatoes and bananas, brief storage under a ‘ripening gas’ can be used. This can initiate ripening or speed up the process. Fruit produced for market in this way is unlikely to be significantly different in nutrient composition compared with fruit that has matured normally, although it may taste differently. Without CA storage many seasonal fruits would not be available throughout the year.
Many fruits and vegetables have a natural coating of wax, which is removed when these foods are cleaned before appearing on the supermarket shelf. To make them shiny
and attractive and promote their sale, some fruits and vegetables are artificially waxed. The waxes are dispersed in water and coated over the food to provide a thin film of wax, which gives a glossy appearance. Apples coated this way are likely to sell more readily. In addition to this cosmetic effect, the wax coating for a short time slows the loss of moisture, which causes weight loss and wilting. The nutritional advantage of waxing, if any, would be expected to be only very small. At present there is no reason to believe that the use of waxes approved for this purpose is hazardous to health.
The storability of fruits and vegetables is strictly related to their respiration rate, which is an expression of metabolic activity. Aerobic respiration requires O2, and results in CO2 and heat release. More than 95% of the energy released is lost as heat. The temperature decrease, in particular if helped by modification of the atmosphere leads to a reduction in respiration rate, and therefore to an increase in storage life in fruits with climacteric respiration. Selection of the most suitable atmosphere depends on cultivars, stage of maturity, environmental and cultivation parameters. No one atmosphere is best for all produce, specific recommendations and cautions must be determined from each crop over the range of storage temperature and periods.
There are many areas in dwellings that naturally provide, or can be adapted to provide, a variety of temperature and moisture conditions for storage. Assess your specific situation; if possible, use a thermometer to monitor temperatures in various areas of your building during the fall and winter to find locations that are convenient and most readily adaptable for food storage. Any spot that is sufficiently and evenly cool (32-60 o F) can be adapted for some type of food storage. The relative humidity of these locations will also affect what can be stored there. Basements are generally the most logical place to adapt.
Older homes are often less well-insulated, and have pantries, back halls, enclosed porches, sheds and bulkheads which are adaptable to storage. Homes heated with wood stoves often have a central area of radiant warmth and peripheral areas that are considerably cooler.
In areas with cold winters, vegetables requiring cool to cold, moist conditions can be stored in any of several types of outdoor storage areas. Earthen storages, from simple mounds to more elaborate root cellars, naturally provide cool, moist, dark and even conditions for a fairly long time. All outdoor storages have the disadvantage of sometimes being inaccessible, as well as being subject to damage by rodents and other vermin. To be successful, any outdoor storage must have thorough drainage Placing fruits and vegetables in storage, either in pits or in basement rooms, before cold weather starts in the fall is a frequent cause of early spoilage. One of the most difficult steps in successful storage is to keep the produce in prime condition from the time of optimum maturity until the night temperature is low enough to cool the storage area. The length of storage and retention of nutrients will be maximized if the produce can be stored under the proper conditions immediately after harvest. The following page contains a few examples of storage areas for fruits and vegetables.
Harvesting Apples at Optimum Maturity
For successful controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, harvest apples when they are physiologically mature but not ripe. Harvest each cultivar at the proper maturity to achieve maximum storage life and marketing season. Apples harvested too early are of poor colour and small size and have little flavour. They may fail to ripen or ripen abnormally, and the overall quality will be poor. Characteristics of immature apples that contribute to inadequate flavour development include high water loss, low sugar content, high acidity, low aroma volatile production and high starch content. Immature apples are also more likely to develop storage disorders such as superficial scald and bitter pit.
Harvesting apples too late can result in a short storage life. Such apples are too soft for long-term CA storage and are more susceptible to mechanical injury and disease infection. Over-mature apples may develop poor eating quality and off-flavours and are more susceptible to watercore and internal breakdown.
For these reasons, determining optimum apple maturity for harvest is essential for maximizing storage life and quality, while minimizing postharvest losses. Numerous methods have been suggested for determining harvest date, but no single test is completely satisfactory, and some are too unpredictable, complicated or expensive.
Days after full bloom for a given cultivar provides an approximate date of harvest maturity. Confirm the date using tests such as internal ethylene concentration (IEC), starch-iodine staining, flesh firmness and soluble solids content (sugars). In general, an IEC of 1 ppm is considered to be the ultimate threshold above which fruit ripening and flesh softening are initiated and progress rapidly.
Complete harvest for long-term storage before 20% of the apples have an IEC greater than 0.2 ppm. Using the starch-iodine test, apples destined for long-term storage should have 100% of the core tissue starch degraded (no stain) with greater than 60% of the flesh tissue still having starch present (stain). It is important to note that not all apples mature and ripen in the same manner each year. Often there will be a need to compromise between correct maturity and the required firmness and sugar levels for market.
Guidelines for Placing Apples into CA Storage
Segregate apples into lots at harvest by their storage potential. The following types of apples are not suitable for long-term storage because of their potential for internal breakdown (or developing bitter pit):
• large fruit from lightly cropped tree
• fruit from excessively vigorous trees
• fruit from young trees just coming into bearing
• fruit from heavily shaded interior parts of trees
• early-harvested fruit high in starch
• fruit with a low number of seeds
After harvest, cool the apples as rapidly as possible. Fruit off the tree mature much faster; with warmer temperatures, fruit begin to ripen sooner. Try to get the harvest from each day into the cooler by nightfall without straining the capacity of your cooling system to the detriment of apples already pre-cooled and in storage.
When using CA storage, the quicker the apples are cooled and the desired atmosphere is achieved, the longer the apples will store and be of good quality upon removal. The longer it takes to adjust the oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, the less effective the length of storage will be. The objective should be to cool the apples and achieve the desired atmosphere within 5 days of initial harvest.
CA storage will not improve fruit quality - place only the best fruit in CA storage. If over- or under-mature or poor-quality apples are put into CA, the result will be poor-quality apples upon removal. Successful CA storage begins with harvesting apples at the proper maturity, followed by rapid cooling and establishment of the CA, then proper maintenance of the desired temperature and atmosphere. In general, the standard CA recommendations range between 2.5%-3% O2 and 2.5%-4.5% CO2 at 0°C-3°C. Due to recent research using new storage technologies and strategies, cultivar-specific CA recommendations have been reviewed.
A major problem with long term storage of apples is the development of superficial scald on the fruit. This has been controlled by ethoxyquin or DPA and more recently by SmartFresh. SmartFresh has radically changed fruit storage, but it is not currently certified by the organic movement and consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about chemicals, such as DPA, on fruit, and are seeking a ‘no chemicals’ approach to production and distribution. In many developed markets, such as the United Kingdom and Europe, supermarkets are responding to this by dictating residue levels well below those officially allowable. As a result, apples in some of these markets are not allowed to be treated with DPA or to be waxed and there is a preference for fruit certified as organic. Even before the commercialisation of Smart Fresh in Europe and North America in the 1990s, there was strong consumer demand for DPA-free fruit.
Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers
Provide safe and nutritious food for you and your family by purchasing food within the food manufacturer’s freshness dates. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and fresh bakery products are dated with a “sell by date” to indicate how long the food can be displayed for sale. Also, the “sell by date” allows a reasonable amount of time after the purchase in which the product can be used. Consumers should always purchase food before the “sell by date” expires. Cereals, snack foods, frozen entrees, and dry packaged foods may be marked with a “best if used by date.” The products are not at their best quality after this date, but can still be used safely for a short period of time thereafter. Other foods, such as unbaked breads, are marked with an “expiration” or “use by date,” which means the product should not be consumed after that date. Do not purchase any food not used by that date. The freshness date is located on the food package and serves as an indicator of product quality.
Recommended Storage for Various Foods Breads, Cereals, Flour and Rice Bread should be stored in the original package at room temperature and used within 5 to 7 days. However, bread stored in the refrigerator will have a longer shelf-life due to delayed mold growth and may be firmer. Expect a 2- to 3-month shelf-life of bread stored in the freezer. Refrigerate cream style bakery goods containing eggs, cream cheese, whipped cream and/or custards no longer than 3 days. Cereals may be stored at room temperature in tightly closed containers to keep out moisture and insects. Whole wheat flour may be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to retard rancidity of the natural oils. Store raw white rice in tightly closed containers at room temperature and use within one year. Brown and wild rice stored at room temperature will have a shorter shelf-life (6 months) due to the oil becoming rancid. Shelf-life of raw white and brown rice may be extended by refrigeration. Cooked rice may be stored in the refrigerator for 6 to 7 days or in the freezer for 6 months.
The shelf-life of fluid milk stored in the refrigerator (<40°F) will range from 8 to 20 days depending upon the date of manufacture and storage conditions in the grocers’ shelf. Milk is a very nutritious and highly perishable food. Milk should never be left at room temperature and always capped or closed during refrigerator storage. Freezing milk is not recommended, since the thawed milk easily separates and is susceptible to development of off-flavors. Dry milk may be stored at cool temperatures (50°F to 60°F) in airtight containers for one year. Opened containers of dry milk, especially whole milk products, should be stored at cold temperatures to reduce off-flavors. Handle reconstituted milk like fluid milk and store at refrigeration temperatures if not immediately used. Canned evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk may be stored at room temperature for 12 to 23 months. Refrigerate opened canned milk and consume within 8 to 20 days. Natural and processed cheese should be kept tightly packaged in moisture-resistant wrappers and stored below 40°F. Surface mold growth on hard natural cheese may be removed with a clean knife and discarded. Rewrap cheese to prevent moisture loss. Presence of mold growth in processed cheese, semi-soft cheese, and cottage cheese is an indicator of spoilage and thus these foods should be discarded. Store commercial ice cream at temperatures below 0°F. Expected shelf-life of commercial ice cream is approximately 2 months before quality diminishes. Immediately return opened ice cream to the freezer to 4prevent loss of moisture and development of ice crystals. Store ice cream at constant freezer temperatures to slow growth of ice crystals.
India is the largest producer of fruits and second largest producer of vegetables in the world. In spite of that per capita availability of fruits and vegetables is quite low because of post harvest losses which account for about 25% to 30% of production. Besides, quality of a sizable quantity of produce also deteriorates by the time it reaches the consumer. Most of the problems relating to the marketing of fruits and vegetables can be traced to their perishability. Perishability is responsible for high marketing costs, market gluts, price fluctuations and other similar problems. At low temperature, perishability is considerably reduced and the shelf life is increased and thus the importance of cold storage or refrigeration. The first cold store in India was reported to have been established in Calcutta in 1892. However significant progress in the expansion of the cold storage industry in the country has been made only after independence. With a view to ensuring the observance of proper conditions in the cold stores and to providing for development of the industry in a scientific manner, the govt of India and the ministry of agriculture promulgated an order known as “Cold Storage Order, 1964” under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act,1955. The Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Govt of India is the Licensing Officer.A cold storage facility accessible to them will go a long way in removing the risk of distress sale to ensure better returns.
Foods and many other commodities can be preserved by storage at low temperature, which retards the activities of micro organisms. Micro organisms are the spoilage agents and consist of bacteria, yeasts and molds. Low temperature does not destroy those spoilage agents as does high temperature, but greatly reduces their activities, providing a practical way of preserving perishable foods in their natural state which otherwise is not possible through heating. The low temperature necessary for preservation depends on the storage time required often referred to as short or long term shortage and the type of product.
In general, there are three groups of products:
1. Foods that are alive at the time of storage, distribution and sale e.g. fruits and vegetables,
2. Foods that are no longer alive and have been processed in some form e.g. meat and fish products, and
3. Commodities that benefit from storage at controlled temperature e.g. beer, tobacco, khandsari, etc.
Living foods such as fruits and vegetables have some natural protection against the activities of micro organism. The best method of preserving these items is to keep the product alive and at the same time retard the natural enzyme activity which will retard the rate of ripening or maturity.
Cold Storage Plant – Automation
Cold storage plants are required for storage of food items, chemicals, medicines at a certain temperature. Cold storage plants are used for bulk storage of items for weeks & months. Cold storage plants are fitted with air conditioning plants to maintain the inside temperature of the cold storage plants as required to keep the items safe. Cold storage plants have temperature and humidity sensors. The temperature and humidity inside the cold storage plant is measured and sent to local display and data recording device. Data received from cold storage plant is reviewed daily to ascertain the quality of food items placed inside the cold storage plant. Thus cold storage plants help in keeping the food and medicine from deteriorating. Temperature inside the cold storage plant is maintained automatically with the help of logical controllers. These controllers can maintain required temperature at a local area of the cold storage plant by adjusting the flow of air conditioned air and humidity. Centralized monitoring and control of the cold storage plant can be done by installing wireless gsm/gprs RTUs. The temperature and humidity data from the cold storage plants is sent to the central control room through wireless data loggers. At server end the data received from the cold storage plant is accessed and stored for analysis and daily report generation. You can install Softbitonline wireless GSSM/GPRS RTUs for remote automation, monitoring & control of cold storage plants.
Automation should satisfy two major objectives: it should provide a more accurate control and reduce operating costs by minimizing the number of people employed in the plant. It also serves another function of paramount importance - safety.
Control may be more or less extensive depending on whether automation is partial or integral. Automation is now widespread and even in manually operated plants some automatic apparatus is installed for accurate and continuous monitoring of certain operations.
Control is always accurate as automatic equipment nowadays responds quickly to parameter deviations, operates continuously and follows closely any equipment manoeuvre. This accuracy is difficult to reach with manual control of the refrigerating operation. Sometimes skilled operators have the advantage over automatic operation as they are able to anticipate some operating situations, such as cooling down the chilling chambers or freezing tunnels before they are loaded and start running. Moreover, the reduction in operating costs may be small as the investment costs are usually much higher. The variety, complexity and costs are such that a very strict maintenance programme must be undertaken by highly skilled technical personnel with appropriate qualifications and experience. This increases maintenance costs and offsets the benefits of a reduction in unskilled personnel. However, the advantages totally justify the installation of automatic control.
As well as the refrigerating plant safety devices, the machine room must be provided with ammonia leak detectors so that the alarm systems are activated and the plant shut down in case of leakage. Extractor fans, water spray points and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are required in the event of ammonia leakage. These elements should be independent of the general electric mains and be readily accessible outside the machine room.
The automatic sequence of machine start-up should be established with these requirements in mind:
• the compressor must not run if the condenser cooling water pump or the condenser fans are not working;
• the refrigerant liquid pump will not work until the compressor and evaporator fan are running and the refrigerant fluid is circulating in any of the evaporators;
• when the refrigerant fluid is not circulating in the evaporators, the various elements of the refrigerating circuit should be stopped.
Cold chain management includes all of the means used to ensure a constant temperature (between +2°C and +8°C) for a product that is not heat stable (such as vaccines, serums, tests, etc.), from the time it is manufactured until the time it is used. It involves the equipment and people needed to keep vaccines at the correct temperature (between +2°C to +8°C) during transport and storage from the time they are manufactured up until they are administered.The cold chain must never be broken. Vaccines are sensitive to heat and extreme cold and must be kept at the correct temperature at all times.
Health workers at all levels are often responsible for maintaining the cold chain while vaccines are stored in the vaccine stores at the province and county levels, or while they are being transported to township and villages, and while they are being used during immunization sessions or rounds. More and more often it is becoming the logistician’s responsibility to manage the cold chain as a part of the supply chain.
The Logistics staff must be trained to both use and manage these materials. They must acquire knowledge about the cold chain, must develop thorough work techniques, specifically with respect to maintenance, and must be stable in order to ensure better follow-up. This includes having appropriate efficient logistics mechanisms to manage shipping, fuel, spare parts etc. Without training, the program will be seriously compromised and put at risk.
A network of refrigerators, cold stores, freezers and cold boxes organised and maintained so that vaccines are kept at the right temperature to remain potent during vaccine transportation, storage and distribution from factory to the point of use.
Cold chains are common in the food and pharmaceutical industries and also in some chemical shipments. One common temperature range for a cold chain in pharmaceutical industries is 2 to 8°C. but the specific temperature (and time at temperature) tolerances depend on the actual product being shipped. Unique to fresh produce cargoes, the cold chain requires to additionally maintain product specific environment parameters which include air quality levels (carbon dioxide, oxygen, humidity and others), which makes this the most complicated cold chain to operate.
This is important in the supply of vaccines to distant clinics in hot climates served by poorly developed transport networks. Disruption of a cold chain due to war may produce consequences similar to the smallpox outbreaks in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.
There have been numerous events where vaccines have been shipped to third world countries with little to no cold chain infrastructure (Sub-Sahara Africa) where the vaccines were inactivated due to excess exposure to heat. Patients that thought they were being immunized, in reality were put at greater risk due to the inactivated vaccines they received. Thus great attention is now being paid to the entire cold chain distribution process to ensure that simple diseases can eventually be eradicated from society.
Traditionally all historical stability data developed for vaccines was based on the temperature range of 2–8°C. With recent development of biological products by former vaccine developers, biologics has fallen into the same category of storage at 2–8°C due to the nature of the products and the lack of testing these products at wider storage conditions.
The cold chain distribution process is an extension of the good manufacturing practice (GMP) environment that all drugs and biological products are required to adhere to, enforced by the various health regulatory bodies. As such, the distribution process must be validated to ensure that there is no negative impact to the safety, efficacy or quality of the drug substance. The GMP environment requires that all processes that might impact the safety, efficacy or quality of the drug substance must be validated, including storage and distribution of the drug substance.
Cold chains need to be evaluated and controlled:
• Carriers and logistics providers can assist shippers. These providers have the technical ability to link with airlines for real time status, generate web-based export documentation and provide electronic tracking.
• The use of refrigerator trucks, refrigerator cars, reefer ships, reefer containers, and refrigerated warehouses is common.
• Shipment in insulated shipping containers or other specialised packaging.
• Temperature data loggers and RFID tags help monitor the temperature history of the truck, warehouse, etc. and the temperature history of the product being shipped. They also can help determine the remaining shelf life.
• Documentation is critical. Each step of the custody chain needs to follow established protocols and to maintain proper records. Customs delays occur due to inaccurate or incomplete customs paperwork, so basic guidelines for creating a commercial invoice should be followed to ensure the proper verbiage, number of copies, and other details.
Insulated shipping containers are a type of packaging used to ship temperature sensitive products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. They are used as part of a cold chain to help maintain product freshness and efficacy. The term can also refer to insulated intermodal containers or insulated swap bodies.
Insulated shipping containers are part of a comprehensive cold chain which controls and documents the temperature of a product through its entire distribution cycle. The containers may be used with a refrigerant or coolant such as:
• block or cube ice, slurry ice, etc.
• dry ice
• Gel or ice packs (often formulated for specific temperature ranges)
• Some products (such as frozen meat) have sufficient thermal mass to contribute to the temperature control
A digital Temperature data logger or a time temperature indicator is often enclosed to monitor the temperature inside the container for its entire shipment.
Labels and appropriate documentation (internal and external) are usually required.
Personnel throughout the cold chain need to be aware of the special handling and documentation required for some controlled shipments. With some regulated products, complete documentation is required.
The use of “off the shelf” insulated shipping containers does not necessarily guarantee proper performance. Several factors need to be considered:
• the sensitivity of the product to temperatures (high and low) and to time at temperatures
• the specific distribution system being used: the expected (and worst case) time and temperatures
• regulatory requirements
• the specific combination of packaging components and materials being used etc.
Specialists in design and testing of packaging for temperature sensitive products are often needed. These may be consultants, independent laboratories, universities, or reputable vendors.
1. An insulated shipping container for transferring a temperature sensitive product therein, the container comprising:
a substantially hollow insulated body having inner walls defining an internal air filled space and outer walls, at least a portion of the inner walls defining a payload cavity, the payload cavity having a shape configured to receive a payload box therein, wherein the payload box has a surface area and wherein the payload cavity is configured to receive at least one support configured and arranged to space the payload box from the inner walls of the insulated body, the at least one support being further configured to expose surface area on all sides of the payload box to the internal air filled space to facilitate heat transfer;
2. The insulated shipping container of claim 1, wherein the heat transfer element cavity is configured to receive a rigid or foam refrigerant.
3. The insulated shipping container of claim 1 further comprising a lid.
4. The insulated shipping container of claim 1 further comprising a closure for enclosing the insulated body.
5. A shipping system comprising:
a payload box, wherein the payload box has a surface area;
container supports configured to contact the payload box and space the payload box from sidewalls of an insulated container into which the payload box is packed, thereby exposing the surface area on all sides of the payload box to an air filled space in the insulated container to facilitate heat transfer The shipping system of claim 5, further comprising a lid.
7. The shipping system of claim 5, wherein the heat transfer element cavity is configured to receive a rigid or foam refrigerant.
8. The shipping system of claim 5, comprising a closure method.
A refrigerated container or reefer is an intermodal container (shipping container) used in intermodal freight transport that is refrigerated for the transportation of temperature sensitive cargo.
While a reefer will have an integral refrigeration unit, they rely on external power, from electrical power points at a land based site, a container ship or on quay. When being transported over the road on a trailer they can be powered from diesel powered generators (“gen sets”) which attach to the container whilst on road journeys. Refrigerated containers are capable of controlling temperature ranges between plus or minus 25 degrees Celsius.
Some reefers are equipped with a water cooling system, which can be used if the reefer is stored below deck on a vessel without adequate ventilation to remove the heat generated.
Water cooling systems are expensive, so modern vessels rely more on ventilation to remove heat from cargo holds, and the use of water cooling systems is declining.
The impact on society of reefer containers is vast, allowing consumers all over the world to enjoy fresh produce at any time of year and experience previously unavailable fresh produce from many other parts of the world.
Valuable, temperature-sensitive, or hazardous cargo often requires the utmost in system reliability. This type of reliability can only be achieved through the installation of a redundant refrigeration system.
A redundant refrigeration system consists of integrated primary and back-up refrigeration units. If the primary unit malfunctions, the secondary unit automatically starts. To provide reliable power to the refrigeration units, these containers are often fitted with one or morediesel generator sets.
Containers fitted with these systems may be required for transporting certain Dangerous Goods in order to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s regulations.
Special refrigerated containers, commonly called reefers, can control temperatures, allowing everything from meat, fruit, vegetables and dairy products, to chemicals and pharmaceuticals to travel across the world.
Cryogenics may sound like a science of the future but reefer containers get pretty close today. Special super-freeze reefers can keep goods frozen at temperatures as low as -60 degrees C. But other reefers can preserve goods at warmer temperatures if that is necessary. De-humidification systems are able to ensure optimal humidity inside reefer containers. Some reefers also allow the atmosphere in the container to be controlled so for example, bananas can be shipped between continents without turning brown. Even fresh flowers can remain fresh in reefer containers while they are travelling many miles over several days. It is because of reefer containers, that grocery stores are able to stock and sell all kinds of fresh produce all year round.
Reefer containers generally come in 20 foot and 40 foot lengths, with the same general dimensions as that of dry cargo containers of the same size. However, there is slightly less cargo space available inside the reefer container due to the space taken up by the refrigeration unit and ventilation equipment.
Refrigerated containers are great for catering support for events or functions, extra cold storage for the busy season and as temporary cold storage during renovations.
All refrigerated units are set and cooled to your required temperature and cleaned prior to being delivered.
Shipping Container Features
• All steel construction to enable stacking.
• Aluminum exterior walls
• Stainless steel interior panels
• Rust resistant paint on exterior for longer life
• Double locking system to prevent theft
• Safety doors and lights
• Single phase or 3 phase configured power
• Forklift pockets for easy handling
• Fully weatherproof.
One of the most important first steps in selecting appropriate packaging is to identify whether a passive or active shipping system is needed. We have come across situations where shippers selected a passive system they use for dry ice shipments and assumed adding cold packs to the insulated design would keep the 2-8c shipment cold. However, shippers take a great risk making this assumption especially if the packaging system has not been tested under these conditions. Companies should always use packaging that has been properly tested or qualified for maintaining the required temperature range.
Comparison of Passive and Active System
Both systems have their pros and cons and much depends on the specific needs of your cold chain shipment. This table may help you identify which system will be more appropriate for your cold chain:
The Cold-Chain Monitor
The cold-chain monitor is used to show exposure to temperatures above the safe range during transportation and storage. It has an indicator that responds to two different temperatures: the first part—marked ABC—responds to temperatures above +10°C; the second part—marked D—responds to temperatures above +34°C. The indicator (marked 2 in Figure 1) is mounted on a card.
Wireless Temperature monitors, indicators and recorders introduce accountability measures into the shipping and handling stages of the temperature sensitive cold chain. By providing prominent visual notification to shipping personnel of the presence of monitoring equipment, indicators and recorders encourage proper handling and transport of temperature sensitive products. In the event that a temperature excursion occurs, indicators and recorders give you the data needed to improve the integrity of the cold chain.
Temperature monitoring and measuring devices play a vital role in identifying temperature-related events, and empower you to take meaningful action to reduce the likelihood of product damage.
How to Use the Cold-Chain Monitor in Routine Forwarding of Vaccine Shipments
The storekeeper is responsible for entering information on the record form in the top half of the cold-chain monitor at each level of the cold chain.
• When a cold-chain monitor arrives with a vaccine shipment, the storekeeper fills in:
– the date the shipment arrives;
– the index (A, B, C or D) registered on the indicator (see box above);
– the location of the store.
• When a cold-chain monitor leaves a store with a vaccine shipment, the storekeeper fills in:
– the date the shipment leaves;
– the index (A, B, C or D) registered on the indicator.
The Vaccine Vial Monitor
The vaccine vial monitor (VVM) is a round disc of heat-sensitive material placed on a vaccine vial to register cumulative heat exposure. A direct relationship exists between rate of colour change and temperature: the lower the temperature, the slower the colour change; the higher the temperature, the faster the colour change.
The VVM shows the health worker if a specific vial of polio vaccine can be used. The combined effects of time and temperature cause the WM to change colour gradually and irreversibly. A VVM on one vial cannot be used to indicate whether the vaccine in another vial lacking a VVM is suitable for use.
A vaccine vial monitor (VVM) is a thermochromic label put on vials containing vaccines which gives a visual indication of whether the vaccine has been kept at a temperature which preserves its potency. The labels were designed in response to the problem of delivering vaccines to developing countries where the cold chain is difficult to preserve, and where formerly vaccines were being rendered inactive and administered ineffectively due to their having been denatured by exposure to ambient temperature.
The vaccine vial monitor consists of a heat sensitive square within a circle. If the monitor is exposed to heat it changes color with time and with increasing speed in hotter conditions. If the square becomes the same color as the circle or becomes darker than the circle, then the vaccine contained in the vial is damaged and the vial should be discarded.
Studies have shown that health workers without proper training sometimes do not understand what a VVM is or how it works. A 2007 study in urban areas of Valsad in India showed that vaccine administrators were unaware of the purpose of the monitors.
Proportion of Regional Vaccines Carrying VVMs
The proportion of vaccines, with VVMs was examined using the following assumptions:
• Vaccines in industrialized countries do not carry VVMs (although industrialized countries were generally not included in this study).
• Vaccines produced domestically do not carry VVMs (except in India and Indonesia).
• Vaccines procured directly from manufacturers do not carry VVMs unless information was available to indicate that this was included in the procurement specifications.
• Vaccines received through UNICEF procurement all carry VVMs. In some cases this latter assumption was refined as information became available that not all these vaccines carried VVMs.
A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities and towns and villages. They usually have loading docks to load and unload goods from trucks. Sometimes warehouses are designed for the loading and unloading of goods directly from railways, airports, or seaports. They often have cranes and forklifts for moving goods, which are usually placed on ISO standard pallets loaded into pallet racks. Stored goods can include any raw materials, packing materials, spare parts, components, or finished goods associated with agriculture, manufacturing and production.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a key part of the supply chain and primarily aims to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and process the associated transactions, including shipping, receiving, putaway and picking. The systems also direct and optimize stock putaway based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization. A WMS monitors the progress of products through the warehouse. It involves the physical warehouse infrastructure, tracking systems, and communication between product stations.
More precisely, warehouse management involves the receipt, storage and movement of goods, (normally finished goods), to intermediate storage locations or to a final customer. In the multi-echelon model for distribution, there may be multiple levels of warehouses. This includes a central warehouse, a regional warehouses (serviced by the central warehouse) and potentially retail warehouses (serviced by the regional warehouses).
Warehouse management systems often utilize automatic identification and data capture technology, such as barcode scanners, mobile computers, wireless LANs and potentiallyradio-frequency identification (RFID) to efficiently monitor the flow of products. Once data has been collected, there is either a batch synchronization with, or a real-time wireless transmission to a central database. The database can then provide useful reports about the status of goods in the warehouse.
Warehouse design and process design within the warehouse (e.g. wave picking) is also part of warehouse management. Warehouse management is an aspect of logistics andsupply chain management.
Warehouse allow transport optimization along the supply chain, and allow companies to work with an optimal inventory (economic order quantity) regarding service quality. For example, at the terminal point of a transport system it is necessary to stockpile produce until a full load can be transported. Warehouses can also be used to store the unloaded goods from the vessel.
In industries whose goods require a period of maturation between production and retail, such as viniculture and cheesemaking, warehouses can be used to store the goods in large quantities.
Cold storage preserves agricultural products. Refrigerated storage helps in eliminating sprouting, rotting and insect damage. Edible products are generally not stored for more than one year. Several perishable products require a storage temperature as low as -25 °C.
Cold storage helps stabilize market prices and evenly distribute goods both on demand basis and time basis. The farmers get the opportunity of producing cash crops to get remunerative prices. The consumers get the supply of perishable commodities with lower fluctuation of prices.
Ammonia and Freon compressors are commonly used in cold storage warehouses to maintain the temperature. Ammonia refrigerant is cheaper, easily available and has a high latent heat of evaporation but it is also highly toxic and can form an explosive mixture when mixed with oil containing high percentage of carbon. Insulation is also important, to reduce loss of cold and to keep different sections of the warehouse at different temperatures.
There are two main types of refrigeration system used in cold storage warehouses, a Vapour absorption system (VAS) and Vapour compression system (VCS). VAS, although comparatively costlier, is quite economical in operation and adequately compensates the higher initial investment.
The temperature necessary for preservation depends on the storage time required and the type of product. In general, there are three groups of products, foods that are alive (e.g. fruits and vegetables), foods that are no longer alive and have been processed in some form (e.g. meat and fish products), and commodities that benefit from storage at controlled temperature (e.g. beer, tobacco).
Location is a very critical aspect for the success of cold storage. It should be in close proximity of a growing area as well as a market, be easily accessible for heavy vehicles, and have uninterrupted power supply.
Cold Storage Warehouse Construction
The size and features as customized. Suitable to store up ( food, meat, fish, fruit,vegetables, flower and so on). The size and features as customized. Suitable to store up (food, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, flower and so on). Factory could produce the size and features as customized. Suitable to store up (food, fish, fruit,vegetables, flower and so on).
Temperature is during -40 to 10 degree . According to different country, government could not offer 24hours power, We will match generating system .Make sure cold room run well in 24hours. Voltage is 110 /220 / 380 V .
1. Cold storage’s major component selects the well-known brands, which ensure the machine with reasonable configuration, steady movement, good insulation function, and low power consumption.
2. The electrical control section of the cold room is fully automatically controlled by computer, LCD inner temperature of the cold room, available machine time, defrost time,time of fan delay, alarming indicate and various technology parameter. It is easy and convenient to operate.
There are many choices for warehouse management systems (WMS) in the world of industrial software today, yet most were not developed specifically to meet the needs of cold storage providers. Working in harsh environments, public refrigerated warehouses must have special functionality to deal with the range of inventory housed, often in multi-locations with differing temperatures.
Warehouse management systems developed for dry storage often cannot meet these needs. Cold storage warehouse operators should consider not only the type of inventory handled but also future potential client needs, regulatory requirements and other factors when evaluating warehouse management systems. For example, when handling meat, fish or produce, it is often necessary that a WMS has the ability to handle variable or “catch” weight effectively. This is not always common to warehouse management systems developed for dry storage.
Nabard Warehousing Scheme
GOI Approved Nabard Warehousing Scheme
While presenting the Budget for the year 2013-14, the Hon’ble Union Finance Minister announced that a sum of 5000 crore will be made available to NABARD to finance construction of warehouses, godowns, silos and cold storage units designed to store agricultural produce, both in the public and the private sectors. This window will also finance, through the State Governments, construction of godowns by Panchayats to enable farmers to store their produce.
RBI vide their Letter No. RPCD. CO. Plan/51/04.09.58/2013-14 dated 01 July 2013 advised allocation of 5000 crore under separate fund called Warehouse Infrastructure Fund (WIF). RBI has further advised that the fund will be utilized for financing construction of warehouse infrastructure to store agriculture and allied produce both in the public and private sector.
This allocation of 5000 crore is proposed to be utilized by implementing/ operationalising a scheme viz. NABARD Warehousing Scheme 2013- 14. The salient features of the proposed scheme are indicated in the following paragraphs:-
1. Mode of Financial Support
NABARD will provide direct financial support for public and private sector by sourcing funds from WIF.
2. Eligible Institutions/Entities
The following institutions/ entities would be eligible for assistance:
o State Governments- by way of loans (on the lines of RIDF)
o Agencies Owned/Sponsored by State- by way of loans (on the lines of RIDF)
o Panchayati Raj Institutions- by way of loans through respective State Governments (on the lines of RIDF)
o Agencies owned/ sponsored by Government of India, Cooperatives & federations of cooperatives, individual entrepreneurs, corporates/ companies, etc.
Financial support from NABARD would be provided for the projects involving creation of storage infrastructure for agricultural produce, including:
o Cold storage/other cold chain activities like controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, reefer vans, bulk coolers, individually quick frozen (IQF) units, chilling/ freezing infrastructure, etc.
o Modernization/renovation/repairs of the existing storage infrastructure
4. Priority Segments
Funds under this allocation would be utilized for meeting the growing demand for storage capacity for agricultural commodities from the following segments:
o Food grain procurement agencies like FCI (including under PEG Scheme), Central Warehousing Corporation, State Government Departments/ Agencies, SWCs, etc.
o Panchayats, PACS and other Co-operative Societies (including modernization/ renovation/ repairs of the existing warehouses) for enabling farmers to store their produce and avail concessional post harvest loans
o State Civil Supplies Departments/ Corporations from for Public Distribution System (PDS) and supply of essential commodities
o Private sector entities for storing food grains as well as other agricultural commodities, like pulses, oilseeds, cotton, spices & condiments and perishables, like fruits & vegetables, dairy/ poultry/ meat/ fish products
o Special focus to be given to projects in Eastern & North Eastern States and food grain deficit States.