The phrase “cold chain” describes how perishable products are handled and distributed when they are kept at an appropriate temperature from storage through the freezing or chilling process to the point of sale. Some products need a temperature-controlled environment, such as biopharmaceutical products, equipment, medicines, vaccines, biologics and food items.
When products are loaded, the cold chain logistics process does not start. Every stage of the supply chain is affected, including purchase, transit, storage, and last-mile delivery. Throughout their lifespan, sensitive products must be controlled at a constant, defined temperature or temperature range; there are normally two main ranges: 2-8°C and 15-25°C. Products are susceptible to temperature changes during the storage process.
Why is Cold Chain Important?
Perishable goods are safe and of the highest quality at consumption, thanks to the cold chain. Failure to maintain a product at the proper temperatures can cause microbiological development, discoloration, bruising, and textural degradation. Additionally, a high-quality product results in happy customers, increased demand, and general public health protection.
Benefits of Cold Chain in the Food Industry:
Food items are frequently “open” to dampness, chemicals, and germs. They are susceptible to a range of environmental factors or can adopt any germ very quickly that will cause health problems for customers. Depending on the product and the temperature range, the shelf life of food items can differ greatly from a few days to many years (frozen, fresh, or controlled). As a result, there is a wide range in the length and complexity of the supply chain. Since food products must have shorter supply chains than pharmaceuticals since they are more susceptible to temperature, they require a more precise temperature to prolong their shelf life.
For instance, if a fresh food item is made in one place, they need to get to the client in another place within seven days to avoid freshness and loss of its nutrient value. They cannot be frozen and are quite sensitive to temperature.
Benefits of Cold Chain in the Pharmaceutical Industry:
Cold Chain plays an essential role in the pharma industry. The need for various drugs, vaccines, and medicine increases pressure on the pharma industry. Because some vaccines deteriorate by providing inappropriate environments and temperatures, they must require a controlled temperature environment to retain their shelf life.
Commercial pharmaceutical items are packaged to safeguard them against bacteria, chemicals, and humidity. The shelf life of the majority of commercial pharmaceutical drugs is 18 to 36 months. When compared to food items, they frequently have lower temperature sensitivity. The main problem with most pharmaceutical items is that the patient cannot perceive the quality or degree of degradation; for example, you cannot tell by looking or smelling whether such a vaccination has been frozen, lost its efficacy, or become dangerous.
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