Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage
Precise regulation of O2, CO2 and N2 concentrations.
What is Controlled Atmosphere Storage?
A controlled atmosphere is an agricultural storage method in which the concentrations of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, as well as the temperature and humidity of a storage room are regulated. Both dry commodities and fresh fruit and vegetables can be stored in controlled atmospheres.
Controlled Atmosphere Storage is effective because the low temperatures involved in freezing food kill and prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms and help to reduce nutrient loss. Drying foods can also achieve bacterial growth inhibition by removing moisture from the food which in turn slows down the enzyme activity.
As well as the freezing or drying process maximizing the quality of the produce, the relative ratios of different atmospheric gases and humidity is also crucial during the storage of preserved foods. For dried products such as flour or cereals, storage of the food in specific, controlled mixture of gases, can extend shelf life by up to three times by inhibiting chemical reactions that lead to degradation and spoilage.
How are Gas Sensors used within Controlled Atmosphere Storage?
For frozen and dried food storage, real-time gas monitoring and logging can help prevent unnecessary wastage while keeping produce in its optimal conditions. To achieve this requires gas detectors capable of constant, online analysis and with rapid response times and good accuracy.
High carbon dioxide and reduced oxygen levels can be beneficial for killing invasive insect species of microorganisms that would otherwise grow on and spoil the food as it was stored. High nitrogen concentrations can be used as a humidity control for keeping dried foods as it can help preserve food quality while extending food lifetimes.
By using gas mixtures to replace insecticides and the addition of preservatives such as nitrites to meats, modified atmospheric package, and controlled atmosphere storage offer a versatile and effective way to preserve foods without the need to add additional chemicals or processing stages.
Have a read of our related blog articles to find out more…
Which Edinburgh Sensors products are suitable for Controlled Atmosphere Storage?
At Edinburgh Sensors, we offer several easy-to-use gas monitoring solutions for controlled atmosphere storage, which are presented below.
To find out how we can help you with your gas monitoring solutions for your frozen and dried food storage, simply contact us. We would be delighted to assist you with a bespoke solution to meet your requirements.