Carrier Transicold has released a new container atmosphere control system that removes ethylene from containers to extend the time produce will remain fresh during shipment.

By removing ethylene, the XtendFRESH system slows the ripening process of produce, Carrier Transicold said. The system also monitors and manages oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) inside the container to maintain optimum levels.

“The XtendFRESH system will expand opportunities for the global trade of perishable commodities,” said David Appel, president. “It will enable Carrier Transicold’s shipping line customers to help exporters extend their reach into new markets.”

O2 and CO2 levels can be independently set at levels that produce optimum results for a given commodity, the company said.

“By helping prevent premature ripening, the XtendFRESH system will aid in maintaining optimum quality of delivered produce, which can also result in less spoilage per shipment,” said Kartik Kumar, director, marketing & strategic planning, global container refrigeration.

By slowing ripening, XtendFRESH significantly lengthens the amount of time produce can spend in refrigerated transit – by more than double in some cases, Carrier Transicold said. For example, bananas can be shipped for up to eight weeks rather than four, and beans for up to four weeks rather 10 days.

“The XtendFRESH system will give the shipping industry a new, more economical way to implement container atmosphere control and, in turn, grow market opportunities,” Kumar added.

The innovative XtendFRESH system has a patented self-regenerating activated carbon scrubber assembly that removes ethylene and CO2 created by the ripening processes occurring inside the container. As O2 is consumed by ripening produce, automated, on-demand fresh-air ventilation helps maintain the optimum O2 level for the specific cargo inside. No other product integral to the container actively manages CO2 and O2 and removes ethylene. 

Modular by design, the XtendFRESH system can be easily added to existing Carrier container refrigeration units equipped with the Micro-Link 3 (ML3) controller. Key components include the scrubber assembly, a ventilation panel with integral blower, control software and sensors for monitoring O2 and CO2. Adding a humidity sensor provides additional atmosphere control, enabling humidity to be reduced to as low as 50%, as needed for cargo protection.