Temperature performance and food shelf-life accuracy in cold food supply chains – Insights from multiple field studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A challenge in perishable food industry today is variable and unknown food quality caused by different temperature conditions. This sometimes leads to unreliable printed shelf lives (best before dates) and food waste. Hence, temperature monitoring and control along cold food supply chains (FSCs) are essential for maintaining food quality and safety of perishable food products. This paper evaluates the temperature performance of cold food supply chains in relation to dynamically predicted shelf life and printed shelf life. Based on an in-depth study of actual temperature conditions of food products collected from field tests made in Swedish FSCs (from production to retail cold storage and retail displays), complete FSC scenarios were created. The results showed a significant difference in product shelf life between the most and least efficient FSCs, and between dynamically predicted and printed shelf life. Overall, the distribution from production to retail represents an efficient part of the FSC, in contrast to retail display storage. This study emphasizes the importance of a full-time temperature monitoring system to confirm food quality. A temperature monitoring system can be used to enable dynamic shelf life prediction, increase FSC transparency, and support food producers to proactively improve printed shelf lives.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Malmö University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Food Engineering
  • Transport Systems and Logistics

Keywords

  • Cold chain, Dynamic shelf life, Food quality, Food waste, Retail displays, Temperature monitoring
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-341
Number of pages10
JournalFood Control
Volume86
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes