Ethylene is a ripening hormone which is triggered at maturity in climacteric fruits. The use of ethylene for ripening is a common practice in pack houses and commercial ripening chambers. While ethylene is undoubtedly useful for ripening of many fruits it has also proved to be harmful for many fruits, vegetables and flowers. The damage often depends on the concentration of ethylene among other factors.
The effect of ethylene is cumulative; higher than permissible concentrations of ethylene causes premature aging and rotting of fruits and vegetables. Decay/ wilting ( fresh flowers and buds), scald (apples), bitterness (carrots); etc are some common fallouts of ethylene.
Refrigeration and humidity control slows decay but is not enough to halt the production of ethylene gas. Even small amount of ethylene gas during shipping and storage in cold store room and refrigerator is is enough to hasten the process of decay of fresh produce. This makes ethylene control absolutely necessary in the cold chain.
Control of Ethylene gas after plucking extend the life cycle of the fruit/vegetable. Ethylene control enables warehouse owners not only to preserve freshness and and reduce spoilage but also allows them to meet increasing demands for non-seasonal fruits and vegetables.
It is a good practice to store ethylene producing items (apples,bananas, melons, pears, peaches and tomatoes) separately from ethylene - sensitive ones (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, leafy greens, etc. Ventilating the storage area also serves the purpose.)
The general practice adopted by warehouses of introducing nitrogen and sulphur gas artificially to make the fruit go into the sleep mode ie stop generating ethylene. However this leaves behind traces of nitrogen and sulphur which is could be a health hazard.
The best viable alternative is Gas Phase Filtration which enables ethylene removal. In the first stage dust and particulate contaminants generated or present in the cold store or room where fruit and vegetables are kept, are absorbed by the pre-filter. The second stage and by far the most important- consists of the removal of gaseous contaminants like ethylene through adsorption and chemisorptions through media made of activated carbon and ammonia. Compared to others, Bry-Air's EcoScrub consists of 3 layers of the chemical media , each made of activated carbon and alumina impregnated with propriety chemicals. Activated alumina is the most advanced media. It allows greater surface area for absorption. This natural tendency of activated aluminia combined with the advantage of structured design (3 layer media) gives EcoScrub limitless gaseous contamination removal capacity.
Honeycomb matrix technology is yet another innovative and extended process of Gas Phase Filtration used to eliminate odor and corrosive gases. Unlike the extruded honeycomb matrix with limited 'chemical' carrying capacity, this technology is the first ever such solution in the world which uses the 'in-situ' synthesized macro porous Honeycomb Matrix to remove Air borne contamination like formaldehyde, Hydrogen Sulphide, Sulphur Dioxide, Bromine and Oxides of Nitrogen & Chlorine, other lower molecular weight gaseous compounds and VOC's. Bry-Air's new Gas Phase Filtration System comprises of macro porous desiccant based honeycomb matrix which is impregnated with oxidizing agents, alkaline solutions and is also made bactericidal by treating the same with antibacterial agents.