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TempTRIP new time/temperature monitoring approach offers game-changing data for perishable food, sensitive pharma products

After a successful North American launch, TempTRIP, LLC is making its innovative time/temperature management system available in Europe.

The company has partnered with several representatives throughout Europe who will be servicing the continent via TempTRIP's Vilnius, Lithuania-based logistics center.

Important reasons for food companies to implement cold chain monitoring include quality, safety and minimizing food waste. According to a recent study commissioned by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tons - gets lost or wasted. The report also found that the level of waste is about the same in both developed and developing countries.

TempTRIP® can contribute to reducing that waste by providing a complete cold chain record throughout the lifecycle of the pallet load, regardless of how many trucking firms, distributors, wholesalers or retailers have handled it. The data also can be used to make decisions which will positively impact quality, shelf life, expenses and brand equity.

In addition to recording time/temperature data points at desired intervals, the TempTRIP system also graphically displays the food's journey online. Cold chain participants can take a look at a map and be able to tell at a glance when and where it has been subjected to off-spec temperatures. TempTRIP provides easy methods of connecting other data such as pallet ID, shipping manifest number, etc. to the temperature records for more valuable reporting and analysis.

The cost-effective TempTRIP system targets a broad range of perishable foods (meat, dairy, juices, produce, ready-to eat meals, and other fresh or processed foods) as well as pharmaceutical and medical applications (medications, plasma, devices, etc.).

"Although temperature monitoring has been around for a while, up until now, there wasn't a system that allowed data to be collected, and easily correlated to other logistical data, throughout multiple chain segments. Even when there is a change in 'ownership'-such as when a shipment moves from the processor's control to the distributor," said Phaedra Culjak, chief operations officer, TempTRIP.

The TempTRIP monitoring process typically begins at the pallet staging step, follows the load through its transit, continues monitoring at the distribution center and warehouse until it arrives at the individual retail store.

An RFID smart card is placed on the pallet (or other designated location such as an individual case or in certain locations within a trailer load, depending on the level of detail desired).

To start the time and temperature monitoring process, the reader scans the pallet's bar code (or other data) and writes it to the smart card's memory. Temperature is recorded continuously, at a company's specified time interval.

When the TempTRIP-tagged pallets arrive at distribution center they are "read" to determine if temperature alarms have occurred. Results are sent, via USB or Wi-Fi transmission, to the TempTRIP system, with optional email and text alerts sent to the chain partners. (Users also have the option of mailing the smart card back to TempTRIP and results are available online within 48 hours.)

The tags can be read and restarted at any time to record new segments with new starting and ending times. For example, as pallets are received, tags continue to record time and temperature in the truck, on the dock and in the warehouse. Tags can even receive new "ownership" and new time and temperature parameters as they move from grower/processor to distributor to retailer.

"The TempTRIP approach enables the data to be shared transparently with all of the channel partners including growers, food processors, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. This is powerful information that can be used to fine tune everything from which coolers, trucks or transportation partners perform better to which products should be rotated out of the warehouse first," said Culjak.

TempTRIP's capabilities have been put to the test over the past year by North American early adopters. Companies ranging from food producers and processors to pharmaceutical and healthcare distributors have already harnessed its data capture capabilities to make more precise cold chain decisions. As a result of the positive support for the technology in the United States and Canada, TempTRIP is now ready to unveil the product to European companies.
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