A reliable temperature-controlled supply chain is essential when dealing with perishable products. A cold chain is a supply chain with cargo that requires end to end temperature control throughout transit to the end of the chain, which is consumption by a human being. If the cold chain for either food or drugs is broken, the product can become damaged, causing it to lose integrity or worse case bring harm to the customer. To protect temperature sensitive products, in compliance with government regulations and standards, cold chain packaging solutions must be used.
What are the temperature standards for cold chain shipments?
The temperature requirements for cold chain shipping boxes used for transporting food and drugs varies from below -18°C to Ambient depending on the specific product. Here are the typical standards, according to the WHO:
- Deep frozen, -20° to -70°C: This is used for biopharmaceutical products like vaccines to ensure product remains stable and protect the integrity of the item. Seafood and ice cream products also fall into this category.
- Frozen, -20°C: This is for frozen food products including meats, cakes, and bread
- Sensitive but not frozen, 2°C to 8°C: Meats, fish and most dairy and cheeses must be kept below 5°C. Some cured and smoked meats, fruits and vegetables and pharmaceuticals can be shipped below 8°C.
- Cool, 8°C to 15°C: Whole hard cheeses and some vegetables and fruits can be shipped at below 10°C. Tropical fruits and potatoes can be stored between 12°C and 14°C.
- Room/Ambient Temperature, 15°C to 25°C: Nonperishable products
Temperature controlled transportation can be active which is very expensive because it uses reefer or refrigerated trucks or vans. It can be passive which is using more economical cold chain shipping solutions or hybrid which is a combination of the two. The distance between the source and destination of the cargo, dictates the type of transportation, cold chain shipping boxes and type of refrigerant used.
Different Types of Shipping Box Liners
There are many different options to choose from depending on the cargo that is being transported. They can be used in conjunction with dry ice, gel or finger packs depending on the temperature range requirements for the products. Box liners are durable, lightweight, mostly two-piece thermal insulation, made to protect the content of a 6-sided container against extreme ambient temperatures. They are shipped flat, more space efficient than molded cooler products and can be used for frozen, refrigerated and room temperature shipments. Liners are made of nontoxic food grade materials, 100% recyclable, and are available in custom thickness and lengths.
At Distinctive Solutions, we provide a one stop shop for your cold chain packaging solutions for food and pharmaceutical products. Our assortment includes Metalized Bubble, Pharma Pack, Polyethylene and Polyester Fibre liners. Our Insu-R-Liner is a multilayered, laminated poly bubble material filled with insulating gas and a metallic reflective outer layer. With our extensive experience in both cold chain and protective packaging, we can help you to choose the best options for your shipments. Visit our website and speak to one of our professionals to learn more.