Design and Experimental Study of Prototype Cold Storage for Various Vegetables Stored
Cold storage is a refrigerated warehouse where fruits and vegetables can be stored for a long period of time without any deterioration of the products stored. Optimum storage temperature and relative humidity are necessary to maximize shelf life and maintain the quality of the products stored. Although India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables but 59 MT of fruits and vegetables are wasted each year because of the inadequate Cold storage facility and refrigerated transport. Looking at the wastage of food in the local market it is found that some solution must be needed to avoid wastage as well as to maintain food quality and increase their storage life. To address the above problem a prototype cold storage of 1 m3 is fabricated. The components of cold storage i.e. Condenser, evaporator and compressor are designed and the refrigeration load is calculated. The compressor used is of 130 W and cooling capacity is of approximately 0.137TR. In order to maintain the relative humidity, 90–95% the fog humidity sensor is used which constantly senses the relative humidity in the cold room and electronically turns the fogger on or off to maintain the humidity level. The main Objective is to maintain the temperature and relative humidity set by National Horticulture Board Standards to enhance storage life of different Vegetables stored in prototype Cold storage. Vegetables like Spinach, Tomato, Coriander leaves are tested in the Prototype Cold storage The shelf life and moisture loss of these vegetables are checked and compared with the Vegetables kept outside the Cold storage. The results showed that the storage life of each vegetable can be increased by 50–60% when they are kept inside the prototype Cold storage.