Refrigerator Uses Supercooling Phenomenon for Food Preservation

May 27, 2014
Masaya Sato, Nikkei Monozukuri
The new refrigerator
The new refrigerator
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The "Subfreezing Stocker" (drawer)
The "Subfreezing Stocker" (drawer)
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Mitsubishi Electric Corp announced two models of a refrigerator that preserves the freshness of food by using a supercooling phenomenon May 21, 2014.

The refrigerator, "WX Series," can preserves food at a temperature below the freezing point without freezing it by slowly cooling food and keeping the temperature between about -3 to 0°C (26.6 to 32°F). It is said that, in general, the flavors and nutrients of food deteriorate when the food is frozen. But the new product preserves food in the supercooled state, a state in which food is about to be frozen.

"The original flavors and nutrients of food can be preserved for up to seven days," Mitsubishi Electric said.

For the new product, Mitsubishi Electric formed the "Subfreezing Stocker" at the bottom of the refrigerating room in place of a chilled space. The temperature in the stocker is measured with a high-accuracy temperature sensor, and a dedicated air volume controller is finely adjusted. As a result, the temperature in the stocker is kept within a certain range (approximately -3 to 0°C) to maintain the supercooled state.

Moreover, Mitsubishi Electric employed a polyurethane insulating material whose thickness was reduced by using its urethane foaming technology and realized a capacity of 705L, which it claims is the industry's largest capacity in Japan. The company expects that the new product will create new demands of large-family households.

The WX Series comes in two models, "MR-WX71Y" (705L) and "MR-WX61Y" (605L), and two colors, "Crystal (P)" and "Crystal Brown (BR)." The expected retail price of the refrigerator is ¥420,000 (approx US$4,123). It will be released June 27, 2014.