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Storing potatoes and onions using Restrain System

Ten years ago in England, a vision was created: storage without chemicals for potatoes and onions. A group of dedicated growers spent over 6 years learning, testing and perfecting new storage techniques with ethylene gas. Since 2003, the experience and patented storage methods of Restrain Company Ltd remains unrivaled.

Back in 1999 at Greenvale AP, initial tests: bananas together with potatoes in sealed bags showed very good anti sprouting results. The idea was born. Bananas respire a natural ethylene gas. In ripening rooms for maturing tropical fruit ethylene gas is used on bananas, kiwis, kakis, etc.

The Restrain technology uses this same natural ethylene gas for anti sprouting control with onions and potatoes during the storage. Greenvale AP, England’s largest fresh potato packer, aided by ICA Equipment & Instruments, developed a unique
patented Chemical-free anti sprouting system, called Restrain. Today, over 130,000 tonnes of potatoes and 40,000 tonnes of onions are stored using The Restrain System.


During the storage of potatoes it is important to maintain, from the beginning until the end of the storage season, a specific low concentration of ethylene gas in your cold store. It does not matter if you store bulk, in big bags, in wooden bins or in jute bags, the ethylene gas will spread through the whole crop.

The natural ethylene gas suppresses the cell elongation. This we call anti sprout control. No chemicals will be added, just a natural blockage of growth due to the ethylene concentration in your store. The Restrain Generator ® is factory preset to maintain the required level of ethylene concentration. The ethylene gas is produced from pure ethanol (alcohol) inside the Restrain Generator ® using a heated catalyst.


The whole concept of anti sprouting onions is based on maintaining, during storage of your onions, certain levels of natural ethylene gas. The Restrain Generator produces natural ethylene gas during the whole storage period in your cold store. The process is the Restrain Generator converting ethanol (C 2 H 5 OH ) with a catalyst into ethylene gas (C 2 H 4 ) and water (H 2 O) as a by product. Can it work in my store? Yes, in general we can say that our customers do not need to adjust their cold stores.

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