Cold storage is the one widely practiced method for bulk handling of the perishables between production and marketing processing.
It is one of the methods of reserving perishable commodities in fresh and whole some state for a longer period by controlling temperature and humidity with in the storage system. Maintaining adequately low temperature is critical, as otherwise it will cause chilling injury to the produce. Also, relative humidity of the storeroom should be kept as high as 80-90% for most of the perishables, below (or) above which his detrimental effect on the keeping quality of the produce.
* Most fruits and vegetables have a very limited life after harvest if held at normal harvesting temperatures.
*Postharvest cooling rapidly removes field heat, allowing longer storage periods.
Proper postharvest cooling can:-
• Reduce respiratory activity and degradation by enzymes.
• Reduce internal water loss and wilting.
• Slow or inhibit the growth of decay-producing microorganisms.
• Reduce the production of the natural ripening agent, ethylene. In addition to helping maintain quality, postharvest cooling also provides marketing flexibility by allowing the grower to sell produce at the most appropriate time.
Having cooling and storage facilities makes it unnecessary to market the produce immediately after harvest. This can be an advantage to growers who supply restaurants and grocery stores or to small growers who want to assemble truckload lots for shipment.
Postharvest cooling is essential to delivering produce of the highest possible quality to the consumer Cold storage can be combined with storage in an environment with added of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, etc. according to the nature of product to be preserved. The cold storage of dried/dehydrated vegetables in order to maintain vitamin C, storage temperature can be varied with storage time and can be at 0°-10°C for a storage time of more than one year, with a relative humidity of 80-95 %. The cold storage of perishables has advanced noticeably in recent years, leading to better maintenance of organoleptic qualities, reduced spoilage, and longer shelf lives. These advances have resulted from joint action by physiologists to determine the requirements of fruit and vegetables, and by refrigerating specialists to design and run refrigerating machines accordingly.