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TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: TransFRESH's Tectrol Controlled Atmosphere Gives Shippers Options

TransFRESH Corporation was formed by Whirlpool Corporation in 1966 to provide its Controlled Atmosphere (CA) technology called Tectrol® Atmosphere — in transportation vehicle applications. The Tectrol system is based on modifying the atmosphere (including temperature) around perishable fruits and vegetables so they remain fresh longer. This technology allows the shipment of perishables on vessels that previously were not fast enough to get the products to their destination before spoilage occurred.

The system is incorporated into 20-ft. and 40-ft. containers for shipping purposes. A shoebox-sized electronic controller monitors, controls and records 0 2 and C02 levels, as well as other critical data concerning the atmosphere in a TransFRESH CA container.

The controller is housed in a security enclosure in an environmentally-sealed modified reefer fan access panel. The electronic controller is programmed by TransFRESH technicians to maintain the exact Tectrol atmosphere specified for the commodity inside the container.

Common to all Tectrol Atmosphere containers, two port plug assemblies are built into opposing ends of the container sidewalls. The plugs are temporarily removed during servicing for each load to allow the initial atmosphere to be ejected.

The C 0 2 Scrubber Box is an auxiliary system, operated by the electronic controller, used to control the C 0 2 level in the container. The scrubber is connected to the controller by a cable. When the atmosphere reaches a certain level, a fan is activated to push the atmosphere through a hydrated lime filter bed, scrubbing the excess C 0 2 out of the atmosphere.

The company claims the benefits of its technology include: • Maintaining the product's weight by lowering the amount of water evaporated • Reducing decay by inhibiting the ability of organisms to attack a fruit or vegetable • Reducing discoloration or oxidation of bruised, cut or damaged areas • Reducing rejections, claims, price adjustments and distribution disruptions • Reducing tied up dock space and time lost in inspections and negotiating problems • Providing consistent arrival quality, improving the possibility of repeat purchases.

For more information on TransFRESH Circle 138 on Reader Service Card

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