BENTON HARBOR — New refrigerators from the KitchenAid brand of Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp. use several high-tech advancements to help extend the storage life of both fresh and frozen ingredients.

These latest models join a collection of freestanding side-by-side models available with its Preserva Food Care System, designed to control the humidity, ethylene gas and odors that can rob foods of their freshness.

The Preserva Food Care System offered in the new French door models was engineered to control the storage life of refrigerated and frozen foods by addressing three key issues that are essential for food preservation: humidity, ethylene and odors.   Sequential dual evaporators provide independent cooling to help prevent refrigerator air from mixing with freezer air. This allows for the higher humidity needed to maintain fresh ingredients in the refrigerator while keeping humidity out of the freezer compartment to minimize freezer burn.

In addition, separate evaporators prevent any strong refrigerator odors caused by foods like onions or fish from seeping into the freezer.

To tackle ethylene, a gas that can hasten the ripening of fruits and vegetables, the new models offer two interchangeable humidity-controlled crispers with a FreshFlow Produce Preserver in one of the crispers. The ethylene-absorbing FreshFlow Produce Preserver helps delay over-ripening by up to 25 percent in commonly purchased produce.

In addition, the crispers are humidity-controlled automatically based on the amount and types of foods being stored. A one-piece mesh layer on the front edge of the crisper automatically adjusts for humidity depending on the amount of moisture it absorbs, eliminating the need to manually adjust a  slider or electronic control.

Certain fruits and vegetables like apples and avocados produce ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process, while others like broccoli, leeks and spinach are sensitive to ethylene.

To reduce common food odors, a FreshFlow Air Filter uses activated carbon that is 15 times more powerful than baking soda. A Temperature-Controlled Pantry Drawer allows for different foods to be stored at the optimal temperatures and has four settings: Fresh Meat (32 degrees Fahrenheit), Party (36° F), Deli (39° F), and Wine (41° F).  The drawer can also be customized between 32 and 41° F to accommodate a range of foods.

Additional premium features found on the French door models include a Slide-Away SpillClean Shelf that enables the front half of the shelf to slide underneath the back half to accommodate bottles and tall carafes. Convenient, removable door bins are dishwasher safe and easily transportable to the counter or table when preparing or serving food. ClearVue LED Theater Lighting in both the refrigerator and freezer feature 11 LED lights that gradually ramp up to provide a clear view and reduce shadows.

A Luminesse Interior Design features die-cast aluminum and stainless steel accents on shelves, storage bins and crispers that reflect the LED lights.

In the freezer, a three-tier freezer drawer system provides easy access and organization for frozen foods with a SatinGlide Max System for smooth movement, even when shelves are fully loaded. An In-Door Pizza Storage feature at the front of the freezer easily accommodates packaged foods while an adjustable bin located at the bottom of the freezer, ideal for storing frozen treats like ice cream,  can be moved left or right depending on storage space needs.

All Preserva Refrigerators are Energy Star, with most in the collection exceeding Energy Star efficiency standards by 10 percent.

The new KitchenAid freestanding French door standard-depth models are available in monochromatic stainless steel, white and black at suggested retail prices ranging from $2,799 to $2,999.

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