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Inadequate refrigeration causes food poisoning that affects 600 million people globally

Artificial cooling the backbone of health, comfort and data, says Professor at University of Birmingham

| | Apr 22, 2018 | 1:05 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 22 April 2018: Inadequate refrigeration causes food poisoning for approximately 600 million people globally, and 420,000 die every year primarily owing to poor cold chain practices. These were the statistics Toby Peters, Professor in Cold Economy, University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, presented to drive home the following statement: “Artificial cooling is the backbone of health, comfort and data.” Peters added that such numbers were to be expected, given that in the developed world 70% of food is chilled or frozen from the time it is produced to when it is eaten. Additionally, he said, two million die every year from lack of vaccines, also owing to poor cold chain practices.

Speaking on another aspect of artificial cooling, Peters emphasised that air conditioning accounts for 50% of energy consumption in the GCC region, going up to 75% at peak times and, on some days, 90%, to provide thermal comfort amidst the region’s high ambient conditions. In data centres, Peters said, 50% of energy consumption is cooling and today, it is estimated that 5-10% of large cities’ demand for electricity is used to compensate for the urban heat island effect.

The challenge, Peters said, is also the fact that the middle class in Asia Pacific and Africa could grow sixfold, amounting to more than three billion by 2030. “Their lifestyles will be built on cooling,” he stressed. “To put it in perspective, by 2050 there will be at least 9.5 billion cooling appliances used worldwide – that’s two-and-a-half times more than where we are today.”

Hannah Jo Uy is Features Writer at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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