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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2014 May 5;372(2017):20130302. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2013.0302. Print 2014 Jun 13.

Reducing food losses by intelligent food logistics.

Author information

1
Institute for Microsensors, Actuators and Systems (IMSAS), University of Bremen, , Bremen, Germany.

Abstract

The need to feed an ever-increasing world population makes it obligatory to reduce the millions of tons of avoidable perishable waste along the food supply chain. A considerable share of these losses is caused by non-optimal cold chain processes and management. This Theme Issue focuses on technologies, models and applications to monitor changes in the product shelf life, defined as the time remaining until the quality of a food product drops below an acceptance limit, and to plan successive chain processes and logistics accordingly to uncover and prevent invisible or latent losses in product quality, especially following the first-expired-first-out strategy for optimized matching between the remaining shelf life and the expected transport duration. This introductory article summarizes the key findings of this Theme Issue, which brings together research study results from around the world to promote intelligent food logistics. The articles include three case studies on the cold chain for berries, bananas and meat and an overview of different post-harvest treatments. Further contributions focus on the required technical solutions, such as the wireless sensor and communication system for remote quality supervision, gas sensors to detect ethylene as an indicator of unwanted ripening and volatile components to indicate mould infections. The final section of this introduction discusses how improvements in food quality can be targeted by strategic changes in the food chain.

KEYWORDS:

cold chain; first-expired-first-out; food chain management; food losses; intelligent container

PMID:
24797131
PMCID:
PMC4006167
DOI:
10.1098/rsta.2013.0302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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