All food products are extremely sensitive to temperature, humidity and even the kind of gases they are exposed to. With the rise if temperature the activity of the decomposing bacteria within the food increases manifold, causing a fast decay and decomposition of the food.
In cold storage, the temperature is maintained significantly low, slowing down or in cases making the decomposing bacteria inactive. A very high temperature can even kill the bacteria, like water is boiled to kill all the living organisms that reside in it. The cold chamber is similar to using a refrigerator at home. Keeping the food in the refrigerator prolongs the life of the food by preventing the microbial activity but a refrigerator only maintains low temperature and is not as specialized as a cold chamber.
The availability of oxygen is another factor that catalyzes the process of food ageing. Like human beings, the micro-organisms residing in food products also need oxygen for their aerobic respiration. The lack of oxygen causes them to become inactive or even die. In most cold chambers, the amount of oxygen circulating in the room is precisely controlled. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the produce stored, even a different and specialized mixed of gases is maintained in the chamber strictly. This helps in slowing down the rate of growth of the food decaying bacteria and eventually helps in retaining the freshness of the food for longer.
Technically advanced cold chambers also lay much emphasis of the RH factor or humidity. Water content within the storage facility plays a very important role in food preservation. Just like oxygen, the decomposing microbes need water for their survival. They need water to digest their food and even transport it within their cellular structure. Lack of water or even humidity causes them to die. Hence increasing the shelf life of the stored food product.
With the advent of technology cold chambers are now very advanced. Each chamber is technically monitored to control temperature, humidity and even gases present in the chamber. Under the controlled conditions, the fruits and vegetables respire less, microbial activity slows down to negligible and the shelf life of the produce increases.