by Bioconservacion November 11th, 2015 0 comments
Ethylene removal in supermarket storage chambers
Pilot test at Walmart Chile 
The project was carried out by Agrisale in LTS-Walmart Chile, who advised, inspected and monitored the results, with the aim of establishing levels of ethylene in a supermarket’s storage chambers, and assessing its impact on fruit and vegetable ripening, and comparing the benefits of implementing ethylene-removal systems in this environment.
The general objectives of the Pilot Plan are to: 
  • Work in storage chambers (one dry-environment chamber of 8-12°C and one humid-environment chamber of 2-4°C) with the aim of reducing levels of ethylene within them.
  • Decrease the effects of ripening and the process of deterioration or lack of freshness in fruit and vegetables preserved in these storage chambers.
  • Assess any loss or damage caused by deterioration of the fruit and vegetables attributed to the effect of the ethylene.
  • Evaluate BIOCONSERVACION’s technology for removing ethylene using granulated Bi-On in Ethyclean ETH 1500 machines. 
Ethylene is produced naturally by fruit and vegetables and is responsible for regulating the processes associated with ripening and biological ageing. Once it is emitted in the form of gas, it builds up in the air of the storage chambers. It has a self-catalytic effect - that is, the greater the build-up of ethylene, the faster the ripening process and increased levels of ethylene emitted.
Two ETH 1500 machines (each suitable for flows of 1500m3) were installed in each of the chambers, each with a capacity of around 3000m3. The machines were programmed to be ON for 2 hours and then OFF for 2 hours.
To perform the test, it was recommended that the fruit and vegetables be grouped according to their sensitivity to ethylene in both the chambers (dry and humid environments).

Dry environment chamberHumid environment chamber
Banana G2Canning peaches
Barraganate bananasBulk plums
Express bananasLettuce on trays 2 units Dole
AubergineBulk cucumber
AvocadoGreen apple

Measurements were taken every 14 days and the parameters measured were as follows: 
  • Assessment of parameters relating to dehydration, decay and over-ripening.
  • Measurement of levels of ethylene in chambers with and without ethylene control.
  • Evaluation of the Percentage decrease produced among the different species.
  • Advantages and benefits of using ETH 1500 machines and Bi-On granules to remove Ethylene.
  • Financial and quality assessment between the different treatments.
Reduction due to dehydration, decay and over-ripening within the humid-environment chamber (2-4ºC)
 Chamber without ethylene controlChamber with ethylene control
Curly endive80%20%
Reduction due to dehydration, decay and over-ripening within the dry-environment chamber (8-12ºC)
 Chamber without ethylene control
In place for 3 days
Chamber with ethylene control
In place for 3 days
Reduction due to dehydration, decay and over-ripening within the dry-environment chamber (8-12ºC)
 Chamber without ethylene control
In place for 3-8 days
Chamber with ethylene control
In place for 3-8 days
Summary and Conclusions

Ethylene levels both in the dry-environment chamber (8-12°C) and the humid-environment chamber (2-4°C) were substantially lower in the chambers where ethylene was controlled.

The dry-environment chamber shows slightly higher ethylene levels, as higher temperatures stimulate more active metabolism.

Ethylene levels in the dry-environment chamber 

Ethylene levels in the humid-environment chamber

The analysis of the results shows that both fruit and vegetables in the chambers where ethylene was controlled have longer lifespans and a delay in deterioration.
The level of decay and reduction in the preservation chambers is reduced by about 20% if ethylene is controlled.
Levels of decay in fruit and vegetables