Cris-P Produce Co. has added a new cold storage room onto its Nogales, Ariz., facility, just for tomatoes.


The new 60-by-80-foot space is equipped with AiroCide PPT sanitation technology that is already proving effective on tomatoes, said Steve LeFevre, sales manager. Depending on the results, the company may equip more rooms with the technology.


“We do quite a bit of organic and conventional tomatoes through there,” LeFevre said. “Because tomatoes have such a high ethylene production, we decided it was a good one to try AiroCide.”


LeFevre said the company installed two AiroCide units in the ceiling of the room, which is racked two-high. So far, the units seem to be serving their purpose, which is to pull ethylene and bacteria out of the air, allowing for slower ripening and adding shelf life to produce.


 “When you’ve got a whole room of tomatoes, it doesn’t take time for it to start to turn,” LeFevre said in early June.  “We’re already seeing a difference. I just got finished up there today, and there was no tomato smell.”


The next likely candidate for AiroCide-equipped storage is mangoes next season. The Nogales facility has three cold storage rooms.


Cris-P also ships cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and hard squash.


AiroCide PPT is manufactured and distributed by KES Science and Technology Inc., Atlanta.