The success of ensuring quality and integrity of food products greatly depends on cold chain technology. Business and industries involved in food production need to follow high stands to improve food safety and reduce foodborne illnesses. According to the Food Safety Magazine, ensuring protection involves protecting food from accidental food contamination and saving products from intentional contamination.
One way to keep the product integrity throughout the transport process is to provide a temperature-controlled environment. For the most part, perishable products need to be frozen. This is because microorganisms grow rapidly at warmer temperatures, while colder temperatures reduce risk of foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Keeping Shipment Frozen
The use of dry ice is common in keeping shipment frozen for an extended period of time. WestCoastCarriers.net, including refrigeration and flatbed trucking companies note that dry ice sublimates from solid to gas when it comes contact with air. This is commonly used in shipping pharmaceuticals and keeping food and other perishables fresh. It can keep foods from spoiling, and can replace the cooling power of a freezer or refrigerator.
Other products that can provide temperature-controlled environment include gel packs, liquid nitrogen, quilts, and eutectic plates. There is also the reefer, which can be a van, truck, or a typical ISO container. Reefers are insulated and specifically designed to allow an independent plant to deliver temperature controlled air circulation.
Requirements for Packaging
Proper packaging is also highly important to keep perishables fresh until they are delivered. This is to protect products from extreme environmental conditions such as excessive humidity or temperature on the way to destination. The International Association for Food Protection lists appropriate packing of products and transportation unit as one of the preventive controls for food transportation safety hazards.
Apart from maintaining the temperature integrity, it is also important to implement strict hygiene measures. The use of ozone generator is ideal to prevent fungi or molds, as well as enough ventilation to avoid build-up of odors. Proper hygiene, along with cold chain technology, can go a long way in promoting food safety transport.