Controlled Atmosphere; the alternative for sprout inhibitors in onion storage?

In the past few years, more and more essential sprout inhibitors have disappeared. Besides the fact that many sprout inhibitors are banned, few to no new sprout inhibitors have been registered in the past few years.

For many onion growers, this is a great concern because the use of sprout inhibitors such as Maleic Hydrazide and Chlorpropham will also be on the prohibited list. This forces many growers to find a suitable alternative in the short term to prevent the quality of the onion from deteriorating.

Growing interest in (CA) Controlled atmosphere storage for onions
Van Amerongen CA Technology is a Dutch company that specializes in (CA) or well known as Controlled Atmosphere and has already built up a lot of knowledge and experience in the field of CA within the fruit industry. Due to the latest developments regarding the banning of various sprout inhibitors, interest in CA from the onion industry has increased.

So tells Niels Remmelink from Van Amerongen CA Technology that more and more requests have been received recently from onion growers out from the Netherlands, Germany and India who would like to know how (CA) Controlled Atmosphere can contribute to better storage of their onions and inhibiting germination. 

The use of CA in onion storage is nothing new. He explains that research has been done several times in the past on how this technique can best be applied to onions and what its effects are. The technique is currently also being applied in practice on several types of onions by various growers in England. It has thus been proven that CA can have a very positive effect on inhibiting germination and contribute to better onion storage.

How does it work?
Onion respiration can be reduced by decreasing the O2 percentage during storage, increasing the amount of CO2, controlling the (RH) relative humidity, and dynamically adjusting the temperature based on how the onions react.

Due to the sophisticated storage condition within the cell, sprouting at the onion is prevented and the loss of quality is minimized. This allows the onion to be stored for a longer time, which contributes to a better continuity for the grower. 

However, it is difficult to determine the ideal conditions for an onion because this depends very much on the type of onion, country and region where the onion comes from. Niels Remmelink explains that it is very important for Van Amerongen to come into more contact with onion growers in order to determine the ideal storage conditions for the onion more quickly and to come up with the solution in the short term.

For more information:
Niels Remmelink
Van Amerongen CA Technology
Tel: +31 6 512 788 84 
Email: NRemmelink@van-amerongen.com 
www.van-amerongen.com/en/onion-storage 


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