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Refrigeration solutions for food security

Refrigeration solutions for food security

With the world’s population increasing exponentially, food security is increasingly under the spotlight.

Raising agricultural production levels is subject to land availability, and in any case would be a longer-term solution. Right now the easiest option is to find ways of reducing the 40% post-harvest losses experienced in many countries.

Strengthening the cold chain and providing efficient refrigeration systems would go a long way to alleviating these losses. “Africa’s refrigeration needs form the key focus of the Refrigeration and Airconditioning (RAC) Africa 2014 exhibition, which provides a massive networking platform for manufacturers, suppliers and buyers to connect with potential partners and explore new African markets,” says John Thomson of Exhibition Management Services (EMS,) organisers of RAC Africa.

A number of leading refrigeration companies aim to drastically drop temperatures in Africa at this year’s RAC Africa Expo, a component of the four-in-one Cape Industries Showcase (CIS.) Local refrigeration and airconditioning specialist STS-RefAir is a first-time exhibitor at RAC, and recently became the sole distributor of Snowkey ice machines made by Fujian Snowman in Japan. “It was our contact at Fujian Snowman who told us about the RAC show, which made us decide to exhibit this year,” says Jackie Strydom, financial and marketing manager at STS-Ref Air.

“We will be displaying the full range of Snowkey machines, which include tube ice and flake ice  machines; the latter units are ideal for fisheries, food processing, concrete cooling, artificial snowfields, medical applications and fresh food preservation.” The Snowkey tube ice machines filter salts and impurities from water during the harvest cycle, which are discharged as waste when fresh water fills the reservoir for the next cycle. Tube ice units are intended for human consumption, hospitality sector applications, supermarkets and convenience stores and logistic fresh preservation.

“We’re attending the Refrigeration and Airconditioning Africa expo to showcase our distributorship of these new Snowkey products to our target industries, as well as our existing product range of cold and freezer rooms, blast freezers and air conditioning systems. Control humidity First-time exhibitor UltimateAir Solutions specialises in the installation of humidity enhancement equipment in storage and processing spaces. The company will showcase its Optiguide humidity control systems and also launch its innovative fruit ripening systems at this year’s RAC show.

The Optiguide fruit ripening systemproduces a very stable, high-dry humidity of 95%. “The Optiguide equipment produces a uniform ‘dry fog’ to provide reliable, cost-effective, low energy humidity control,” says managing director Johann Murray. “Typical applications for an increased percentage of relative humidity include barrel storage areas in wineries and distilleries to lower evaporative loss; cold storage of fresh produce to lower weight loss and maintain freshness; ripening bananas and citrus to limit weight loss at ripening temperatures; dust and explosion control in industrial processing areas and comfort airconditioning in offices and public areas,” explains Murray. “We want to create awareness of our specialised relative humidity control technology and equipment for the refrigeration and airconditioning industry and we will provide practical demonstrations on the Optiguide humidity control system at the RAC show in July.”

The company recently completed its 40th installation at the KWV Winery’s Cathedral Cellar. Chilling out the green way The German Development Agency (GIZ) will present its Transport Refrigeration Project at the RAC expo aimed at improving development of the transport refrigeration sector in South Africa using innovative, energy efficient technologies. The project is related to a bigger roof programme called Proklima which addresses the economic and environmental issues of cooling technologies. “The Proklima programme promotes ozone and climate-friendly refrigeration, airconditioning and insulation technologies in emerging countries,” says GIZ advisor Michael Schuster. “It also facilitates green technology transfer for industry partners through training, qualifications and pilot projects.”

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