Pre-cooling process: What should you consider?
When preparing food for distribution, the most critical step is ensuring it arrives to the customer in pristine condition. To do this, attention must be given to the best ways to minimise microbial growth, maintain an appealing aesthetic and consistent shape. Any food manufacturer is sure to understand the importance of the pre-cooling process in these logistics. This blog will look at 3 areas to consider during the stages before your product is transported to the end distributor.
Suitable packaging solutions
Temperature-sensitive products need to be packaged appropriately to minimise spoiling. This is particularly important for food products, as well as medicines and certain chemicals. The packaging you choose needs to aid the maintenance of a consistent temperature. As well as providing a physical barrier between your product and external factors, it also needs to have the ability to keep products consistently cool during storage and transportation. Three of the most popular options include:
- Foil lined boxed and foil bubble bags:These are an ideal choice for chilled food and medicine products that need to be kept below 5°C.
- Carry bags (insulated):These are generally used in retail environments but can be ideal for smaller orders or those delivered by hand.
- Polystyrene boxes:Polystyrene has good thermal resistance and is regularly used to transport temperature-sensitive products. Therefore, boxes made of the same material are ideal for this purpose. They also help a product maintain its shape during shipment.
You may also want to consider the use of additional cooling agents for your products. These are particularly helpful when dealing with chilled and frozen foods. The most popular options are:
- Cool packs:Similar to the type used in picnics, these containers are filled with water and frozen before being included within the packaging. This offers dynamic cooling, combined with the insulating benefits of your external box or bag.
- Gel packs:Chilled to the desired temperature, slow-release gel packs allow for longer protection. Many of these are non-toxic and entirely reusable, making them a more sustainable option for multiple deliveries. They are ideal for chilled but not frozen foods.
- Dry ice:This is the most popular choice for frozen foods and must only be used with ventilated packaging. This is to minimise the build-up of carbon dioxide gases that are released.
The final precaution to take here is to minimise exposure to adverse temperature conditions. Once your product is packaged and stored appropriately, this is minimal. However, as part of your logistical strategy, it’s important to consider the stages during loading and transportation where temperatures can fluctuate. Consider the time that the loading door stays open and any delays caused by traffic or vehicle breakdowns. Minimising a product’s exposure to unpredictable occurrences such as this is vital.
Here at Iceotemp, we have a team of experts on hand to help ensure your temperature-controlled logistics are prioritised. If you would like to discuss our storage facilities or courier service, get in contact today.