It’s likely that increased inspections aimed at preventing the transportation of spoiled food products could result in additional costs for exporters and importers, says Crowley’s Ramos.
During the China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo held in early November, Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for the FDA, discussed the increased focus on safety standards for imported and exported food goods.
“We are developing new prevention standards and new inspection and compliance strategies,” he explained. “We are building an entirely new import safety system.And we are forging new partnerships with our states, with foreign governments, and with industry, academic and consumer stakeholders to foster and support widespread implementation of modern food safety practices.”
Protecting food in transit
The latest products and services for cold chain shippers help protect food shipments from the point of origin all the way to the grocery shelf, whether the products are frozen, like seafood, or fresh fruits and vegetables.
Menlo Park, California-based Purfresh looks to reduce food waste while improving the food quality in the supply chain. Their solutions protect the quality of fruits and vegetables without the use of chemicals.
“Consumers expect fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, regardless of growing season,” says Dr. Brian Westcott, president and CEO of Purfresh. “Purfresh is unique in that it is the only technology proven effective to minimize decay, control ripening, and enhance food safety without the use of chemicals.”
Purfresh’s solutions are targeted at protecting decay-prone or ethylene-sensitive produce during ocean transport, adds Westcott. Certified and approved by the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Purfresh generates ozone to help control airborne microorganisms and increase the shelf life of the product.
In addition, the company’s Intellipur solution provides a comprehensive look into the supply chain. “Intellipur provides role-based, real time atmospheric conditions inside the reefer, location data, automatic alerts and detailed trip report,” says Westcott. “When unexpected conditions occur, such as changes in the temperature, relative humidity, oxygen, carbon dioxide [or] ozone, users automatically receive an alert sent to their computer or smartphone.”
One customer, Uruguay-based Adano Fruit, protects their blueberries and mandarins from shriveling and producing mold during the ocean voyage from Uruguay to North America, Asia, and Europe.
“Purfresh allows us to reach destinations with confidence that the high quality standards of our products will be maintained when the fruit reaches our customers,” said Alejandro Adano, director of Adano Fruit, in a press release. “Our customers are thrilled with the arrivals, and we will continue to utilize Purfresh for future shipments.”
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Hong Kong also offers solutions to help trace and protect frozen commodities. Their tracking and tracing solution, My OOCL Reefer, provides more than just the location of the shipment.
My OOCL Reefer allows a customer to track the temperature and the humidity inside the container via computer, tablet or smartphone, says Frankie Lau, director of media and regulatory for OOCL.
OOCL’s Advanced Fresh Air Management Plus (AFAM+) container solution, developed by Thermo King, slows down the aging process of products while reducing the water loss and shrinkage of the commodities and is designed primarily for perishable goods. Meanwhile, the Ultra-Cool Magnum container solution is designed for deep-freeze goods. The Ultra-Cool Magnum containers are capable of reaching temperatures as low as -31 F (-35 C).
APL offers a satellite tracking device that gives customers visibility via APL’s website, called SMARTemp. SMARTemp offers a real time look into the supply chain by providing shippers with the exact position of the container along with temperature information. Shippers can also export and archive container data.