Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage is an old traditional technology that has been applied in rural areas all over the globe, both in temperate and tropical climates. Huge CA-storage facilities for e.g. apples, are the modern sophisticated versions of earth covered heaps.
Modern CA equipment consists of a gastight housing, furthermore of units to control the gas composition and the humidity of the atmosphere as well as the room temperature/temperature of the storage facility. In primitive storage facilities mainly the CO2 level of the atmosphere is elevated e.g. by burning combustible materials. In more sophisticated facilities the ethylene produced by stored fruits is absorbed, the O2 level (~2%) and the temperature (~2°C) are lowered and the CO2 level (~2,5%) is elevated. Average storage time extension is about 6 months.
Suited for CA-storage are especially climacteric fruits e.g. apples, avocado, cherry, kiwi, nectarines, peaches etc. Also non climacteric produce e.g. artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage may benefit from CA-storage conditions because their respiration rates i.e. metabolic processes are lowered/slowing down and elevated CO2 levels are unfavorable for bacterial growth.