Innovation is essential in the Cold Chain
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The main concern when transporting frozen or simply refrigerated items is temperature. Maintaining it is vital to preserving these items' quality and required temperature since the beginning: from the production site, all through transportation, its final destination, and the final consumer.
Let say, for example, ice cream or what we are currently experiencing, the transportation of vaccine and its preservation before a vaccination campaign. It is about maintaining the desired temperature when transporting, not cooling these items on the delivery route. When the temperature is lower than needed, spoil the product. That is why we need to count on a Cold Chain as a tool to meet our goals.
Following the Cold Chain steps help companies to maintain food or medicines refrigeration efficiently because there are highly perishable items. Therefore, we must secure the Cold Chain under the same thermal conditions that the product had when leaving the facilities. We have to focus on all the elements and activities necessary to guarantee quality and safety.
When we count on an efficient Cold Chain, we guarantee it remains intact during the production, storage, transportation, and sale processes, meeting the consumer’s needs, confident any product received has been kept in a safe temperature range. Consequently, no microorganisms grew or items spoiled due to a change of temperature. If we do not maintain these thermal conditions, decay, uncontrolled maturing, or microorganisms’ appearance could endanger public health.
In addition, an adequate storage temperature will preserve both medicine or food organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. When it comes to guaranteeing food safety, all shareholders, from producers to distributors’ responsible for maintaining the Cold Chain and paying particular attention to maintaining it.
Furthermore, In addition to vehicles, the facilities must also be at the temperature required by the product: zones for the frozen product, zone for a refrigerated product, zone for the development that should not preferably exceed 8 degrees Celsius or its equivalent.
It means that the organising system encompassed each refrigeration or freezing process necessary for perishable or frozen items to be carried on properly to reach the consumer safely. This collaborative work would be useless without the final consumer’s collaboration, last but not least, as an indispensable element of the chain, who must also maintain it. During all these steps, you need:
· Warehouses and vehicles must comply with the refrigeration and freezing temperatures required by product type or group.
· It will be necessary to establish the temperature, storage and classification characteristics, according to global standards,
· To know how different items are classified, the time they consider perishable, and the expiration date recommended for transportation.
· It will be necessary to have specialised trucks and vehicles adaptable to the product required temperatures.
We must consider a fundamental principle in the Cold Change items, and it is that the formation of ice crystals due to the freezing of water contained in food can deteriorate them.
That process is inversely proportional to the freezing rate: the higher the freezing rate (deep freezing), the smaller crystals are formed. However, if the Cold Chain brakes and there is a thawing, even partial, and a subsequent freezing, the appearance of larger crystals will cause the cell walls damaging, altering the texture and physical-chemical properties of the product.
Finally, the most advanced temperature management systems include automated surveillance in real-time transport by GPS to centralise temperature levels in the cold equipment at the points of sale.
Summing up: personnel must also have adequate training to control, monitor, and record all data related to temperature control and know the application protocol in case of breakage of the Cold Chain.
Is your company trained to cope with the breakage of the Cold Chain?