Pilot 8: Implementation of cold chain management systems to improve quality and safety of pork products
Expected results of this pilot chain are:
- the application of innovative temperature monitoring solutions based on the RFID technology by using wireless communication
- optimal settings of cooling parameters during all cooling steps
- development of guidelines for the efficient and effective implementation of temperature monitoring systems in meat supply chains to improve food quality and safety.
With the help of these results, companies can optimise the cooling down of pork carcasses and, therefore, estimate the effect of cooling parameters during the process on remaining shelf life of the products.
Description of Pilot 8
1.) What is the main objective of the pilot chain?
The main objective of the pilot chain is the implementation and evaluation of innovative tools and techniques to improve food quality and safety of pork meat due to efficient cold chain management. The objective is divided into two parts:
- Part one: Optimisation of the cooling techniques during process
- Part two: Optimisation of the temperature monitoring with special regard to innovative tools (like RFID with integrated temperature sensor)
2.) Please explain the status quo of the activities within the pilot chain.
Temperature mappings have been conducted in the cooling rooms at “Sueddeutsches Schweinefleischzentrum Ulm/Donautal” to identify the best placements for the new temperature monitoring system. A testing plan has been set up for evaluating the performance of data transmission by wireless sensing units which will be realised in November.
3.) Which results can be expected in the further course of the project?
Due to the different pilot trials which have been carried out so far and pilot trials which are planned for the next months the temperature monitoring and the cooling technique in the company will be optimised. This will deliver an important contribution to the improvement of the quality and safety of the product.
4.) How can these results be realised (e.g. which technology is used etc.)?
To optimise the temperature control new RFID based temperature monitoring solutions are tested, which allow a continuous online control of the temperature conditions. The technologies will be directly tested in pilot trials. All partners will be involved in the pilot trials.
5.) What are the main steps in the next period?
- Further implementation tests with innovative temperature monitoring solution based on the RFID technology (RFID temperature logger).
- Optimisation of the cooling techniques to improve meat quality.
- Development of guidelines for the efficient and effective implementation of temperature monitoring systems in meat supply chains to improve food quality and safety.
6.) What are the innovative aspects of the pilot chain compared to the status quo of the pig and pork sector?
Temperature monitoring on basis of the RFID technology enables real-time monitoring of temperature-sensitive products like pork meat in the future. The technology is already used in some industries but it is a relatively new technology in the pork industry.
7.) How can these results apply to other companies in the sector?
- Due to several implementation challenges of innovative temperature monitoring solutions guidelines are needed for an efficient application of such tools in the pork sector. The pilot trial will help to establish guidelines for a practical use of RFID based temperature monitoring systems to support cold chain management in the pork supply sector.
- The adjustment of the process parameters during different cooling steps will also help other companies in the pork sector to optimise the cooling process and thus to optimise pork quality.
8.) Please explain the collaboration within the Q-PorkChains Project.
The pilot activity is integrated in module IV of the Q-PorkChains Project and is an interdisciplinary project with the involvement of University of Bonn/Cold Chain Management Group, University of Wageningen/Logistics and Operations Research and the project partners “Gesellschaft für Lebensmittelsicherheit (GLS)” and Verdict Systems BV.
The team of the eighth pilot chain consists of the following partners: