Field node attached to a storage room, to which a temperature, pressure sensor and air quality sensor are attached and entered inside the storage room.

LS-master module containing the pneumatics, the measurement chamber for gas analysis and the PLC controller for dynamic controlled atmosphere storage of fresh fruit.

Schematic overview of the demo setup

RQ-based DCA storage

BelOrta Borgloon, Belgium
BFV Sint Truiden, Belgium
Coöperatie Hoogstraten, Hoogstraten, Belgium

Food Category:
Fruits & Vegetables

Fruit storage

Main Chain Link:

Reduction of losses by better shelf life and saving of 20% of energy in the storage

In this demo, an Optiflux add-on hardware unit and accompanying software was installed on an existing installation of 28 rooms for Ultra Low Oxygen (ULO) storage of pome fruit, enabling them to perform dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage. With DCA storage, the oxygen (O2) level in the storage rooms is dynamically optimized based on real-time measurements of the low oxygen stress response of the fruit. To detect low O2 stress, Optiflux uses measurements of the respiratory quotient i.e., the ratio of the carbon dioxide (CO2) production rate and the O2 consumption rate of the fruit.

Based RQ measurements, the O2 level in de room is gradually decreased, until low O2 stress detection by RQ exceeding a preset threshold value. Subsequently, the O2 level is slightly increased until relief of the low O2 stress. As such, the fruit is stored at the lowest O2 level possible, ensuring maximal quality retention without inducing storage disorders or off flavors.  Moreover, by decreasing the O2 level in the storage rooms, the respiratory heat production of the fruit is reduced, resulting in less cooling actions. As a result, depending on the cooling system and rooms, energy savings of 10%-20% can be achieved.


Niels Bessemans

Saving energy using RQ-based dynamic controlled atmosphere storage of blueberry fruit; B. Verlinden, N. Bessemans, P. Verboven, B. Nicolai