AKODATA, a.4.0 product care support tool (eCARE)

IRTA (Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology) and Aliments Onyar have recently closed the project “Implementation of a sensor system for temperature monitoring for READY TO EAT products”.

This project involved studying the effect of the cold chain on the shelf life and quality of fresh products (pizza and fresh pasta) of the Aliments Onyar food group.

In this case study, AKODATA wireless temperature and humidity sensors allowed to measure the shelf-life loss of foodstuff during the logistic routes related to the distribution of these products (from their processing in the kitchens) to supermarkets around Spain, following their route through vans, logistics centres, trucks and ships. A picture of this application can be seen in Figure 1.

 

The project has helped to determine the quality of the cold chain along the distribution routes. Additionally, the project allowed to build a relationship between the quality of the fresh product and the storage temperature history during its distribution. This exercise demonstrates the commitment of Aliments Onyar and AKO Group to provide the highest quality to the customers, by analysing temperature data, together with an alert system that made possible incident analysis and resolution not only in production, but also in the distribution and marketing of its the fresh products.

The AKODATA solution (NB IOT wireless temperature monitor, together with AKONET.CLOUD) has made possible to track the routes as well as perform subsequent scientific analysis and correlations to determine the quality of the food product based on the storage temperatures.

As an illustrative example, Figure 2 shows the monitoring by AKODATA of a 4-hour incident without refrigeration during the transport of three different foodstuffs (apples, pumpkins, and bananas), which was designed at a 2°C temperature. Shelf-life loss indicators show that during the incident day, all 3 products accelerated their shelf-life reduction by varying amounts (an equivalent of 7 days for apples and bananas, and only 2 days for pumpkins).

 

 

Therefore, all products had an acceptable lifetime loss and were sufficiently preserved after the incidence, thus avoiding becoming ‘food losses’, as it would have been the case without the AKODATA system for calculating such temperature effect on the products.

Once again, AKODATA demonstrates how its versatility and powerful NB IoT wireless connectivity system are an essential tool for food product care, providing value-added cold chain surveillance (eCARE).

One of our main objectives at AKO Group is to contribute with efficient and sustainable solutions to achieve lower incidences of ‘food loss’ and ‘food waste’, leading to a more efficient use of the fruits of the earth, as well as water, which would positively impact the global challenges we are facing, such as families’ food security and climate change.