Cold Chain management in meat and seafood has seen an extreme growth in the last few years. The complexity of the global meat supply chain is not new to our knowledge. Long distribution chains associated with transportation of the product from one country to another can make the solutions for such products difficult and inevitably create early spoilage of meat and seafood and important reduction in shelf life products.
So how can we improve the quality of meat and seafood products? The answer is cold chain management! Temperature abuses and variations can greatly affect product quality during distribution and at the end of shelf life, making cold chain solutions very important for the success in delivering products freshness and safely. Whether it is implementing a cold chain packaging system or setting up a real-time monitoring of time-temperature profiles both methods will require insightful recommendations from subject matter experts and cold chain professionals.
The vulnerability of meat and seafood products became very notable in our modern time. Raw food products are likely to sustain the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and bacteria, hence the importance of keeping products at temperatures that won’t result in health risk. During the distribution cycle, cold chain management can present heavy challenges to food manufacturing companies and may cause spoilage before the expiry date, leading to food waste and economic losses.
It is well known that keeping fresh products, such as meat, is necessary to delay bacterial growth. Without an implemented cold chain solution, conditions are favorable for bacterial growth on fresh meat and seafood products which is usually influenced by the temperature, pH, water activity, nutrient availability, storage conditions and challenges with other micro bacteria present on the meat.
In order to overcome food distribution problems, temperature indicators are used for collecting temperature data along the food supply chain. Implementing strict temperature monitoring and using the formulation of Critical Control Point (CCP) criteria throughout the entire distribution process with conceived temperature controlled charts can greatly help in improving the quality of food and it’s shelf life. IoT (Internet of Things) monitoring systems are becoming more trendy in our era, it is a powerful tool for developing information and communication technology. Sensors, wireless sensor networks, smart devices like mobile phones, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags are all great data loggers for tracking food temperature profiles and are powerful tools in controlling and preventing food quality. New web-based software technologies are growing in trend and are being used for advanced data analysis, identification of trends, real-time alarm functions and automated data capture with developed online services.
Meat and seafood cold chain management is of utmost importance for the maintenance of quality and safety for end user consumption. Cold chain applications and control of temperature is essential in providing assurance that perishable products are of high quality and risk-free. The earlier temperature control starts, the better quality and safety the raw materials will be. Implementing a cold chain management system will benefit in analyzing and controlling an entire distribution chain from supplier plants, 3PL (Third Party Logistics), outbound delivery fleet and in-store cold storage.
Key Benefits of implementing a cold chain management system:
Elimination of food risks and health hazards
Improvement in food quality
Reduced temperature abuses during the distribution cycle
Increase shelf life products
Improvement of cold chain efficiency