How an ice cream locker store keeps food fresh

Written by By Nicci Gerrard, CNN London Written by Nicci Gerrard, CNN Atif Adilu is turning to a cocktail of frozen liquid nitrogen to keep Nigeria’s food fresh for months. Adilu is the founder…

How an ice cream locker store keeps food fresh

Written by By Nicci Gerrard, CNN London Written by Nicci Gerrard, CNN

Atif Adilu is turning to a cocktail of frozen liquid nitrogen to keep Nigeria’s food fresh for months.

Adilu is the founder of Coolhub Ltd, which manages cold rooms for clients ranging from football clubs to the Nigerian government to food companies. “Our clients face a conundrum — they need their products to be safe for consumers but they need them to be tasty,” he said.

Launched in 2013, Coolhub runs three refrigerated areas — two in Nigeria and one in the US.

1 / 10 “We looked at the term ‘cool storage’ and decided that it fit perfectly the concept of cold rooms. We could take a cold store cube, store it at minus-4 and then transport it to air conditioned locations where it can cool down even further.” – Atif Adilu, Coolhub Ltd Founder, says cold storage has changed forever. The trend’s roots go back in the past, he says, to caves and cold stores, which were often more humid than air-conditioned warehouses. That could damage products and can’t be reproduced in new storage facilities. “We look at preserving products using freeze-drying, chilling and fresh cooling to give longevity,” Adilu said. “We’ve created cold storage in a modern and more regulated manner.” Pictured above is the control room for the baru, the refrigerator for ice cream, which has storage wings which form the centre of the room to allow it to “breathe” through the ceiling. Credit: Courtesy Coolhub Ltd

Each zone of the building boasts a space for products ranging from citrus fruits to sugar. “We can also store up to seven-kilogrammes of durum wheat for a customer who doesn’t have farms,” said Adilu.

Adilu is passionate about Nigeria’s farming industry and expanding its economy. To that end, Coolhub is developing some of its facilities using locally sourced foods and creating networking events to introduce farming brands to potential clients.

“The goal is not to store product for a single use,” said Adilu. “But to ensure sustainability and independence for farmers in a nation with an abundant supply of agricultural produce.”

Part of Coolhub’s infrastructure means they also deal with logistics, such as securing insurance.

“We’ve become experts at sourcing insurance to ensure food safety,” said Adilu. “There are regulatory changes in different countries. There’s a drop in commodities in the food chain. What happens in countries like Russia is that the inspector becomes the last man standing.”

Adilu is passionate about Nigeria’s farming industry and expanding its economy. To that end, Coolhub is developing some of its facilities using locally sourced foods and creating networking events to introduce farming brands to potential clients. Credit: Courtesy Coolhub Ltd

Chang Triktur and his team are now working to bring technology to that end, starting with meat.

“Meat is a very sensitive area in terms of the regulations of how animals are reared,” he said. “Finlandia’s process is controlled by the ministry for agriculture and veterinary services, but we want to maintain oversight in that area.

“There is no need for us to have to go to Finlandia and license every thing the farmer does.”

A traditional slaughterhouse in India. Credit: Noel Celis/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

A relatively recent arrival to this line of work is the Federation of Agricultural Chambers of Commerce in South Korea, led by Joo Jinbong.

Celis, who has been researching the local business of meat freezing since the early 90s, spoke to Adilu about Coolhub’s potential to grow.

“People sometimes think they might need access to a freezer during their vacation in the summer time,” he said. “But it’s much more important than that. Those a store a high percentage of foodstuffs have advanced technology used to improve the quality of food from working long hours. Not that too many people have freezing units in their kitchens.”

Leave a Comment