Cold storage today forms an essential part of the food industry. Governments worldwide have made regulatory bodies at the federal, state, and local levels, making guidelines differentiating the types of cold storage required for different food. FSSAI is the authority in India that lays guidelines for the food industry. Whether HoReCa or the food packaging and processing industry, all have to follow these guidelines strictly. Failure to abide by these guidelines can lead to a monetary penalty or even closure of the business.
Food ingredients, especially those used in the restaurant industry, are perishable and this is what makes cold storage in India inevitable. Different types of food items need different types of refrigeration at different temperatures. If proper care and precaution are not taken during the refrigeration, food items can go stale. Any lapse in maintaining cold storage SOPs can lead to food poisoning. This can negatively affect the community’s health and the brand of the food business.
Other than hygiene factors, cold storage is also vital in maintaining the freshness of the food. Refrigeration of the food also increases the longevity of the ingredients and helps prevent wastage. The Color, Texture, and flavor of the food can be maintained when food is refrigerated at the correct temperature. A food business uses cold storage depending on the size of the unit, the number of items on the menu, and the scale of operations.
Below mentioned are some of the Cold storage options available in India:-
When we say cold storage, different food products need separate refrigeration. If the level of cooling is lesser than the prerequisite, then the food may go stale. Also, if the refrigeration is higher than prescribed, the food may lose its appetizing features.
Freezing extends the storage life of the products and prevents wastage. The quality of food remains intact and helps the brands maintain its standard. Cold storage helps regulate the storage and reduces the distribution cost, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction. Based on the utility, cold storage can be classified as below.
Bulk cold storage in India:-
This type of cold storage is competitive, eco-friendly, and sustainable. Bulk cold storage is used to store seasonal products like tomatoes, apples, and different peppers. Seasonal cold storage uses insulated tanks and ice accumulated in them to generate energy to maintain a specific temperature. Commodities are cooled by extracting the chilled water in summer. In this way, the chiller running time decreases, and energy consumption reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Multipurpose cold storage in India:-
Multipurpose cold storage has multifunctional, dynamic, and sophisticated functioning. These come in various capacities and volumes and are mostly used for animal-based food like chicken and lamb. They have an inbuilt capacity to maintain a certain temperature so that products stored are well protected. Since products stored are highly perishable, they are usually located close to consumption centers.
Small Cold stores:-
These cold storages have a pre-cooling facility and are mostly used for fruits that are meant to be exported. Based on the pre-cooling cost, efficiency, and the product they intend to store, a client can opt for mechanical refrigeration, electric-based or passive evaporative cooling. These cold storage in India are usually used to store grapes and are mostly used in Maharashtra and now growing in popularity in Andhra, Gujarat, and Karnataka.
Frozen Food stores:-
Food ingredients are usually preserved in a frozen cold store at -18C, which sets an excellent food safety standard. These facilities have inbuilt processing and freezing stations. It is vital to note that food should not undergo any structural or chemical changes as it is long preserved in the Frozen state. The biggest plus points of this method are the minimal effect on food quality compared to other methods like thermal or drying. Every product has a unique storage temperature, mostly between 0 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mini units / walk-in Cold storage:-
These types of cold storage are located in malls, hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets. Walk-in cold storage can be used for multiple fields, wherever low-temperature storage is required.
Cold stores / Controlled atmospheres:-
Vegetables and certain food types are stored in controlled atmosphere storage to increase their shelf life after harvesting. These types of stores are the backbone of cold storage in India and have made the availability of seasonal fruits throughout the year possible. Cold stores are capital expensive and high maintenance and are mostly used for fruits that need long-term storage, like apples, kiwi, and pears.
Cold stores reduce the water loss of the food product and thereby delaying the decaying process of the food. A large quantity of food can be stored by this method of storage.
Cold storage has become a necessary factor in today’s food and beverage industry. As a food entrepreneur, it becomes difficult sometimes to know what type of cold storage will be suitable for you. Well, worry no more; supply chain and fulfillment service partners like SupplyNote, with its PAN India cold and dry storage and inter-city dry and clod movement, are there to help. To book a demo, click on the link.