Marathon Products’ EDL- 4S provides actionable data and safeguards your site against temperature excursions.
- Temperature mapping is essential for product quality and freshness
- Data loggers help you quickly identify and fix problem areas
- They also allow you to monitor other metrics such as humidity, CO2, and vibration
- Beyond maintaining the right environmental conditions, proper inventory management and sanitation from Marathon Products can ensure your products don’t get spoiled or contaminated
Temperature directly affects the permeability of gasses through packaging films, respiration rate, and the survival and growth of pathogens. It also affects enzymatic browning and shriveling. Therefore, maintaining the right temperature conditions during processing, transportation, and storage ensures that the efficacy and shelf life of your products remains intact throughout the cold chain.
Sustaining product quality and freshness isn’t always easy, but proper temperature, humidity, CO2, and vibration monitoring can help you stay on track. One of the major challenges stakeholders face in the produce chain is the lack of actionable data, making it difficult to protect products against temperature excursions.
Without real-time data monitoring, responding efficiently when environmental conditions fall outside the optimum range for product quality and freshness is impossible. And without zonal data recording, it’s difficult to detect problem areas in your cold chain process, warehouse, or retail facility.
Players in the cold chain industry can combat these challenges using data loggers to assess the risk profile of their storage facilities and prevent produce loss.
How to identify and fix problem areas through temperature mapping
You’re likely to experience humidity and temperature fluctuations as factors such as product quantity, location, warehouse layout, weather, and air circulation change. Therefore, one of your primary goals should be to continuously monitor and document these variations.
This not only keeps you FDA compliant, but it provides more control over product quality. By improving the detection and analysis of temperature variations, temperature mapping helps you maintain the right environmental conditions so that your products don’t get damaged or lose their efficacy. It also ensures that your products reach end users while they are safe for consumption, effectively helping to prevent foodborne illnesses.
For successful temperature mapping, there are a few steps you should take.
1. Choose the right data logger
The choice of which data logger you should use ultimately depends on your specific application and analysis requirements. Ideally, the device should be FDA-approved and provide real-time and easily accessible data. Other factors to consider include the data logger’s battery life, physical size, temperature range, sampling rate, and storage capacity. Choosing a data logger with the right features ensures a seamless data collection experience.
2. Distribute your sensors strategically across your facility
It’s not enough to select the right monitoring devices – you must also place them strategically to prevent missing out on critical data that could potentially reduce product quality and freshness.
As a rule of thumb, you should place temperature sensors along a 3D grid for more accurate data. It’s equally important to have enough sensors that cover all the crucial data points. Pay attention to areas near windows, ceilings, and HVAC ducts, as they are more prone to temperature variations.
Each device should be fully charged and properly calibrated to ensure the validity of the temperature mapping process.
3. Keep track of sensor locations
Knowing the specific section each sensor monitors helps you read data more efficiently, ensuring there’s no mixup when identifying problem areas. You can track sensor locations using a map detailing each device’s location or by assigning them based on their serial numbers.
4. Review your data to identify problem areas
After collecting sample data, the next step is to review it and identify problem areas. High-quality data loggers usually provide metric-based data such as minimum, maximum, and average kinetic temperature readings, graphs, and timings during the sample period.
5. Repeat the process
If there are no extensive temperature variations, repeat the process after three months while keeping all variables unchanged. Otherwise, make corrective changes to the problem areas, then repeat the mapping process to confirm that the environmental conditions are ideal.
The benefits of temperature mapping in sustaining product quality and freshness are clear. But there are other important factors to consider, such as how long your products stay at your facility and whether they’re handled using proper sanitation.
Use the first in, first out principle to manage inventory
An easy way to ensure your food products don’t go bad is by selling the oldest items first. The first in, first out principle is fairly simple, as all you need to do is group similar products together and place those with earlier expiration dates in the front, so they’re sold first.
Prevent contamination through proper sanitation
Maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene in your facility goes a long way in ensuring product quality and freshness. Storage units, refrigerators, shelves, and other equipment used within the warehouse should be regularly and properly cleaned to prevent contamination. In addition, all personnel should be trained in proper hygiene when handling products on-site.
Now that you know how to sustain product quality and freshness, the next step is finding a high-quality temperature mapping device from a reputable brand. That’s where Marathon Product’s EDL-4S data logger comes in.
EDL-4S: The ultimate temperature mapping device
Marathon Products’ EDL-4S data logger is a multi-use, 4-channel temperature mapping device. Its compact size makes it ideal for both warehouse and shipping applications, but the LCD is large enough to easily view data. The EDL-4S features a temperature sensor with a range of –200°C to +380°C for accurate readings, as well as humidity, CO2, and vibration sensors, allowing you to monitor multiple environmental metrics in real time.
The EDL-4S integrates with MaxiThermal-X software, allowing you to easily transfer data to your computer and view up to eight traces simultaneously. The software also provides detailed analysis and insights, including a summary report of the sample period. This solid pairing ensures you have actionable data at your fingertips to protect your facility against temperature excursions.
Sustain product quality and freshness with the EDL-4S data logger. Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-858-6872.