Cold storage is the most effective space for bulk handling perishable goods, especially fruits and vegetables, between production and marketing. It is used to preserve such commodities in a fresh state by controlling various gases, maintaining adequate temperature and humidity within the storage system. Cold storage has applications in the food industry and various other sectors like pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical fields. In a world enveloped by globalization, the consumption of different products and goods has seen a sharp rise. There are many advantages to the cold storage of goods, and some are extrapolated in detail below.
1. Prolonging Shelf-life of Fruits and Vegetables
Cold storage, as the name implies, is the procedure where perishable goods are stored under lower temperatures than average, and it is done so in several ways. There is warehouse refrigeration, controlled atmosphere storage where various gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen are regulated through precision devices and specific instruments to maintain the post-harvest produce as fresh as possible. Controlled atmosphere storage is done by lowering oxygen levels that help reduce respiration among fruits and vegetables and increasing carbon dioxide. Humidity plays an important role, and most refrigeration systems have settings to maintain adequate temperature controls. Seasonal fruits that can only be produced in a certain number of months can last longer, thanks to cold storage technology.
2. Temperature Control
Cold storage facilities give the customer a lot of options when it comes to preferences. Cold storage offers easily accessible temperature controls that can be used for different kinds of products like fruits, vegetables, medicines, etc. Cold storage refrigeration systems can be customized and fitted with temperature controls that can be monitored and changed remotely. As per a customer’s product requirement, temperature controls can be adjusted accordingly.
One of the most significant advantages of bulk cold storage is that it saves a lot of money to the customer. For the food industry, the primary concerns are about cost-effectiveness and longevity of the product. Since cold stores keep spoilage of produce to a minimum amount, they save a lot of money. There have been many recent developments in cold storage technology, and one of them is gas-controlled storage which keeps the pressure as low as 0.8 bar, which saves a lot of energy.
4. Transportation of Products
Portable cold storage units are a huge advantage for all the industries that need their products to be kept and transported at low temperatures. Poultry, dairy products, frozen foodstuffs, et cetera have to be transported from the storage facilities to the distribution and retail shops, and that cannot be done in ordinary temperatures. Even a slight temperature change can cause such products to get spoiled and become unmarketable. These portable cold storage units are also used to transport highly reactive chemicals that would otherwise be impossible to transport. Safe transportation of such substances would not have been possible without this technology.
5. Frees Up Space
Managing wholesale products can be an overwhelming challenge, but it is even more so with perishable goods that are temperature sensitive. It is challenging to keep perishable goods at retail stores since it takes up a lot of space within a store. Adding refrigeration systems at retail or other smaller areas takes up much more ground, which isn’t affordable in the long run. Hence, cold storage warehouses are a one-stop solution for keeping all the bulk food products before going to retail stores. Storing all those goods in one place helps consolidate the inventory and makes it more feasible to keep track of sales and purchases. It is also easier to regulate temperature and atmosphere in cold storage than to do so in retail stores.
6. Storage for Chemicals
In the chemical industry, many substances are prone to volatile reactions and need to be stored at a consistent temperature. In many chemical reactions, solvents are used and can be reserved only when condensed at a low temperature. Other advantages include the possibility of keeping certain compounds like explosives and natural rubber for long periods at a low temperature. Such compounds might decompose or evaporate at room temperature otherwise.
Cold storage has been a boon to the food industry and has allowed surplus food to be utilized post-harvest in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. The food industry and many other fields have benefitted from the large-scale refrigeration technology and granted access to benefits across countries. Raw produce, processed foods, and meat are just a few examples of food available throughout the year due to cold storage.
The process has allowed easy access and offered a plethora of food choices that have made it profitable to stakeholders in the production, marketing, and distribution of crops and agriculture business. People’s lives have been saved due to organ transplantation developments and the application of cold storage in medicine. The cold chain industry in India is an up-and-coming sector and is projected to grow at the rate of 9% annually. Developing an efficient supply chain that includes a cold storage system can save upto 300 billion in a year and prevent tonnes of wastage of organic food products.