Fresh n juicy

a low-cost cooling chamber that increases the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables has been developed by Susanta K Roy and his team at the Division of Fruits and Horticulture Technology at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi ( Science Reporter , Vol 34, No 6).

Even though India is the largest producer of fruits in the world and the second largest of vegetables - second only to China - 20 to 40 per cent of the produce is lost due lack of proper storage facilities. One reason is that farmers in rural India, do not have access to refrigeration .

This small zero-energy cool chamber that can be built anywhere near farms using locally available materials. The low-cost cool chamber works on the same principle which keeps water in earthen pots cool. According to this principle, when dry air comes in contact with or is blown across a wet surface, water evaporates and produces a cooling effect.To achieve this effect, the cool chamber has a wet, porous bed from where air passes through causing cooling by evaporation of water.

The cool chamber is a double-walled chamber of bricks, sand and bamboo which are kept wet. The evaporative cooling effect reduces the temperature inside the chamber by as much as 18