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John O | October 2017

Article explores industry developments in cold chains for shipping


A recent article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS) highlighted the importance of cold chains, which are the series of packaging, shipping, and distribution steps that are required of industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to retail to foodstuffs to ensure the products are in quality conditions for consumers.

 


 Components in a KoolTemp Insulated Container from Cold Chain Technologies.
(Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc.)

 

Cold chains are pivotal in some industries to not only ensure reliability of the product, but the safety of the consumer using it. For instance, the pharmaceutical industry needs to ensure thermal maintenance of its products throughout transport, sometimes over long distances, for the medicine to be effective on patients.

 

The article explained, “Cold maintenance preserves the optimal shelf lives of produce, seafood, frozen food, pharmaceuticals, and other products that must be kept constantly chilled or frozen to maintain their quality.”

 

It added, “About 70% of all food consumed in the United States is handled by cold chains. Without proper cooling or freezing, most of this food would show signs of perishing before reaching its end user and could potentially be inedible and unsafe.”

 

Transportation guidelines have been established in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to maintain standards. The ranges include banana (13°C), chill (2°C), frozen (-18°C) and deep frozen (-29°C), which are typically used for agricultural purposes. The medical community has labels such as “store in a refrigerator” or “store in a freezer.”

 

“The pharmaceutical industry factors in potential temperature fluctuations during transit and storage,” the article noted. “For many of pharma products, there is an MKT (mean kinetic temperature). This is a “thermally equivalent” temperature that degrades the same amount of a drug as degraded by the different temperatures during a particular period of time.”

 

Packaging has played an important role in the development of cold chain technology in various industries. Among the common types of packaging technologies are dry ice, gel packs, eutectic plates (also known as cold plates), liquid nitrogen, quilts, and reefers (temperature-controlled vehicles).

 

“For a range of goods labeled as perishables, particularly produce, quality also degrades with time. Ensuring that cargo does not become damaged or compromised in shipment, businesses in the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries are increasingly relying on the cold chain,” the article concluded.

 

Read the full article at https://goo.gl/tYXsaj.

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