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Meat and Livestock Australia discusses temperature monitoring for cold chain

Manager shares best practices for maintaining shelf life of perishable products

| | Nov 1, 2018 | 5:17 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 1 November 2018: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) places great value on the role that temperature control plays in the quality and shelf life of its products, said Ian Jenson, Manager, Market Access, Science and Technology, while outlining the body’s recent work on real-time temperature monitoring, during its participation in the 12th Dubai International Food Safety Conference. Jensen said MLA is doing scientific research on how to best utilise the data on temperature, collected and stored in the cloud, in determining the shelf life of its products when it arrives on site.

“I think everyone in Australia’s supply chain is aware of the need to maintain temperature control,” Jensen said. “Loading docks are usually refrigerated, so trucks can back up to the loading dock and unload their product from a refrigerated truck to a refrigerated warehouse.” For the most part, Jensen said, the government does not specify regulations, but the industry has ensured best practices on a voluntary basis. “If you don’t look after your product, then you disappoint your customer and you lose business,” he said, adding that this is of concern, given that Australia exports a lot of its meat to many countries, including the United Arab Emirates, via sea freight. “Australian meat has long shelf life, because we are careful about how we process and pack it and we have good hygienic quality, so it lasts for a long time and can come by sea,” he said.

Jensen added that studies conducted by the body showed that most companies have been vigilant in securing the cold chain, and that they recommend to industry to keep the product between zero and -1 degrees C, so the meat is kept cold, but doesn’t freeze. At that temperature, he said, the product will have a long shelf life.

Jensen said that the industry has a responsibility to do research and that monitoring every load in the supply chain may not always be necessary and depends on the trust stakeholders have on the resilience of the cold chain. “If you have very expensive products and you have a supply chain you think may not work well, then maybe you have to watch those ones more carefully, but at the moment we are trying to understand more about the supply chain, so we understand what monitoring and control is needed,” he said.

What is lacking in the industry, Jensen added, is the ability to operate between one system and another and standards in this regard. “You can have a data logger that can measure temperature in real time and send the data to the cloud,” he said, “but maybe you need a gateway to be able to do that, which perhaps the truck or the ship doesn’t have, or [if it does have it] it is a different system. I think there is a need for a little more uniform IT infrastructure that becomes available to everybody.”



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

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