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Blog: The Importance of Control and Monitoring in the Cold Chain

What is The Cold Chain?

Milk can last for up to two weeks at 0°C but just a few hours at 30°C.

The Cold Chain is the name given to the refrigerated supply chain required for moving perishable goods – food and medical products primarily – from production or field to market and consumption. For food, this includes the processing, transportation, storage, and sale/display of products before they reach the end consumer.

The cold chain is the uninterrupted temperature controlled transport and storage system of perishable goods between producers and consumers. Only about 10% of perishable foods are refrigerated worldwide, yet refrigeration is the best technology, with no associated risks, to ensure food safety and prolong the shelf life of perishable food.

Without the cold chain, perishable goods can only be transported and sold as far as they can travel without spoiling or developing harmful bacteria.

 

Where is the Cold Chain important?

  • Harvesting
  • Processing
  • Transport
  • Storage
  • Distribution
  • Restaurants and Catering
  • Home Consumption

A fully end-to-end functional Cold Chain is necessary for the protection of quality and freshness of any kind of perishable food type. The Cold Chain can include processing plants and factories, refrigerated transportation (ocean, air, road, and rail) in specialised containers, cold storage and distribution facilities, retailers, restaurants, and other catering facilities, walk-in cold rooms, display cabinets and refrigerators for the end consumer.

 

Where do problems occur?

Problems can occur at any set point in the Cold Chain and for a variety of reasons. These can include but are not limited to handling errors, poor pre-cooling, bad loading practices, insufficient insulation, dysfunctional refrigeration equipment and even refrigeration doors being left open too long.

A break in the cold chain, even small, can significantly deteriorate the quality of a product or worse, render it unsellable. Unsellable products (wastage) is often factored in to the buying and selling processes of the companies involved in the cold chain. By reducing waste, companies can simultaneously reduce prices for end customers and increase profits.

To reduce waste organisations must ensure that rapid and consistent cooling, refrigeration and/or freezing for applicable products takes place at each stage of the chain.

 

RDM Product Features

RDM refrigeration products are built with the entire Cold Chain in mind and come with a host of features for reducing energy consumption whilst maintaining the effectiveness of the refrigeration equipment.

  • DMTouch

Energy monitoring and savings features available for the DMTouch (built in or via activation) include meter monitoring, pack optimisation, night blinds check, defrost warning, trim heater control, and more. The DMTouch is also ETL certified.

  • Pack Controllers

Our fully featured pack, super pack and transcritical CO2 controllers are high performance devices with an impressive array of inputs and outputs. In addition, the controllers come with built-in energy monitoring and saving features like heat reclaim, suction pressure optimisation, and inverter drive control as standard.

  • Case Controllers

Our Mercury refrigeration controllers offer high quality and reliable case control to satisfy the most demanding of case control applications. In addition, built-in energy saving features help to reduce running costs.

  • Sensors and temperature tracking

For standalone temperature logging where wired controls would be difficult, the Shuttle Temperature Logger (PR0455) is the ideal product. Battery powered, the Shuttle Logger can store more than 16,000 logs and comes with desktop software for the analysis of data.

For truly wireless integrated control, the RDM Wireless Mesh Sensor (PR0733) allows for temperature logging and auto connection to a wireless mesh network when it becomes available. Typical use cases might include a pallet of fresh produce, with the Wireless Mesh Sensor connecting to a store’s wireless mesh network once the pallet arrives in store.

 

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