Cool chamber is simple structure made out of bricks and sand and closed with thatched coconut leaves and gunny cloth or even with grass. It is a double wall brick structure. The space between two walls is filled with sand. This structures, is required to be watered in the morning and in the evening every day. In this structure the relative humidity remains more than 95% and the temperature is reduced by 6 to 10 0C than the ambient temperature. It has been reported that the cool chambers retard the ripening process and thus, increases the shelf life of both fruits and vegetables. The fruit and vegetables in the cool chamber remain turgid showing almost no symptoms of shriveling. This structure is also called as “Zero energy cool chamber” and can be built at the farm as well as at the market place.
Advantages of Cold Chamber:
1. Ripening produce in the cool chamber is uniform and fruits are much firmer compared with those ripened under ambient conditions.
Shelf life of firm ripe mangoes, be could be increased to 8 and 10 days, respectively in cool chamber compared with four days outside in both the fruits.
In case of Grape fruits and Orange could be increased to 60-90 days compared with 8-15 days in ambient conditions.
2. The growers can avoid the clutches of the middle man and need to have to make any distress sale by keeping the produce in cool chamber.
3. The cool chambers do not require any energy and would to a long way in solving the handling problems of fresh fruits.