monitoring the cold chain environment

Monitoring the Cold Chain Environment of Fresh Meat and Produce

Fresh meat and food products are always required to arrive on our supermarket store shelves fresh and with a reasonable shelf life still intact. This is quite a challenge and has historically proven to be very challenging. 

As one observer indicated ‘’While in past centuries, food preservation was one of the major challenges, today it is a given that we eat fresh food every day and everywhere – in restaurants, at home and even in aeroplanes and remote locations. The series of actions and processes in a multi-step supply chain using specialised equipment to keep an unbroken cool chain is today commonly known as the “cold chain” (or cool chain).’’

This requires specific Logistics and the constant monitoring and management of fresh food products to ensure that we receive fresh produce, even when transported some distance or stored for a while. 

Cold Chain Management is a unique combination of science, process and technology to ensure the effectiveness of temperature monitoring solutions in the cold chain environment, bridging the gap between industry, technology and the consumer.

The Science of Cold Chain Management

One definition of the science of Cold Chain management is ‘’Understanding the chemical and biological processes driving the degradation of perishable products. While pharmaceutical products are well protected in primary packages and only sensitive to temperature (We have written about this in a previous article which can be viewed on our blog page), foodstuff is much more sensitive to all types of external influences.’’ These additional influences can be the impact of bacteria, gases, temperature and humidity on degradation.

The process of Cold Chain Management

Cold Chain Management and monitoring take skill and knowhow and a process needs to be followed to ensure that the manufacture, storage, transport and monitoring of temperature-sensitive products are all successfully achieved along the entire supply chain. Thus, a process often referred to as ‘Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)’ needs to be carried out which includes:

  1. a) Packing and monitoring – Ensuring the right equipment is used for packaging and monitoring prior to transportation.
  2. b) Logistics – This involves transporting the products in time and correctly, ensuring there is no exposure to extreme conditions. 
  3. c) Release – There is a specific release process which needs to be executed at the final destination.

 

The Technology behind Cold Chain Management

Cold chain management and monitoring require cutting-edge technology that utilises different physical principles to monitor and document the maintenance of defined temperature conditions along the supply chain.

These would include Phase Change Materials (PCM), compressor heating and cooling, electronic temperature measurements, insulation and vacuum insulation, wireless data transmission and database and business process management software.

The Cold Watch Cold chain solution

Fully comprehending the science, flawlessly executing the process and utilising state-of-the-art technology Cold Watch Real Time Monitoring provide management solutions to all stakeholders in the cold chain process to minimise meat and food product wastage with accurate real-time data, provided by tracking products on a global scale. 

Talk to us about your specific cold chain requirements and ensure that monitoring the Cold Chain environment of your Fresh Meat and Produce is a seamless and successful exercise – every time!