There are a wide range of industries that utilise cold storage in some sense or another. A lot of our service industries, for example, are fuelled by goods and products that tend to have a very limited shelf life. Typically this is because the product in question is organic, and will decay over time.
Certain enzymes used in medicines, likewise, need to be kept chilled to stop them denaturising. Consequently finding ways to keep these goods fresh for prolonged periods, without having to resort to artificial preservatives, is a key challenge of a lot of businesses today. Fortunately cold rooms and fridges are one of the key ways that challenge is met.
Types of Cold Storage
There are several different types of cold storage used by a number of industries depending on the sorts of the services they deal with. Among the most commonly encountered by people on the street are restaurants and food outlets, as well as supermarket chains and grocery shops. Depending on their size and the sorts of customers they regularly receive, such businesses may have anything from a few repurposed domestic fridges to entire cold rooms and blast freezers dedicated to storing several tonnes of foodstuffs for prolonged periods.
Usually only large and expensive restaurants will have dedicated cold rooms for meats, dairy products and produce. Smaller restaurants and cafes tend to make do with box freezers and fridges. Chain restaurants may have a single cold room for all their goods, while supermarkets have entire warehouses as well as on-site storage facilities.
Textiles also have cold rooms, especially if they deal with organic materials such as fur, leather, or wool. These substances may rot under certain conditions, even if treated, so keeping them in dry, cool places is essential for preserving the integrity of the material. Dry cleaners in particular also make use of cold storage to help keep clothes fresh while they're being cleaned or awaiting pick up.
Other industries that make frequent use of cold storage include florists. Once cut, flowers quickly wilt and die, even if provided with water. Placing them within cold rooms and chilled storage helps slow down the rate of decomposition, prolonging the flowers’ shelf life by a few more days at least. This is not only useful for increasing the chances of flowers being sold, but also a good way to keep ordered flowers to one side for longer.
Finally, pharmaceuticals also make use of cold storage. Certain chemicals become inert – a process called denaturisation – if improperly stored, making them useless to the customer. Cold storage, therefore, keeps them vital for longer periods of time.