Cold room storage monitoring plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality and safety of perishable goods, such as food and biopharmaceutical products.
But it’s not just about safety and waste. Large Hotel chains could have several 100K $ worth of seafood and because these items are super-sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, they could potentially lose big-time money because of improper management of goods.
- over 13% of all food is lost due to a lack of refrigeration
- an improved cold chain could feed 950 million inhabitants per year
The tourism industry is thought to contribute to 9% of the total food waste generated by the food sector. Worldwide, hotels produce an average of 289,700 tonnes of waste each year, including 79,000 tonnes of food waste. Indeed, recent studies have demonstrated that the food and beverage sector contributes nearly 12% of total food waste.
Beyond that, 5-star hotels need to follow a strict regime if they are to follow food safety protocols. Their clientele expects the best in all categories and when it comes to food management, this could mean large costs.
Large Hotel chains could have several 100K $ worth of seafood in their Cold Rooms and because these items are super-sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, they could potentially lose a lot of money because of improper management of goods.
It’s really not just Food Safety & Waste. It’s $$$ being thrown away.
For hotel chains like Sheraton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, and Accor it is paramount to deal with this issue in the proper way. Besides all the money and efficiency lost, so too could improper management blemish their reputation. The quality of food is very important to their guests, and there are a lot of internal rules that need to be obeyed to fulfill that promise.
Temperature and Humidity, above all
Temperature management is one of the most important factors affecting the quality of fresh produce. There is an optimum storage temperature for all products.
The cold chain includes fresh tropical produce (at 12 to 18°C), chilled fresh produce and food products (at 0 to 4°C), or frozen food products (at -18°C). Reliable temperature control is required during storage and distribution.
Fresh foods continue to metabolize and consume their nutrients throughout their shelf life, from harvest or slaughter through packing, distribution, marketing, and sale. Carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients are broken down into simpler compounds often resulting in reduced quality or quantity of the foods, through respiration, enzymatic breakdown, and microbial degradation. All of these processes are highly dependent on temperature
The impact of humidity levels on perishable goods cannot be overstated. In the case of food products, high levels of humidity can facilitate bacterial growth, leading to spoilage and contamination. Furthermore, excessive moisture in the air can cause certain products, such as pharmaceuticals, to absorb the excess moisture, thereby negatively impacting their quality and efficacy.
Where Smart Sensors come in
Sensors are widely used in various industries and verticals. IoT technology has expanded their impact and use cases, allowing for real-time data collection and insights for decision-making in smart factories, cities, buildings, and individuals.
Monitoring the temperature and humidity levels of cold storage facilities provides real-time insight into the conditions in which the products are being stored.
This information is critical in identifying any deviations from the optimal temperature range, which could lead to spoilage, contamination, or compromised quality. With a reliable monitoring system, potential issues can be identified and resolved quickly, preventing further damage and waste.
With the deployment of 300 Senstick MicroClimate sensors in Australia and Singapore, the hospitality industry has experienced a technological revolution.
Sensors provide opportunities to reduce expenses, operate a safe work environment, and allow hotels to provide care and hospitality for their guests. With the deployment of 300 Senstick MicroClimate sensors in Australia and Singapore, the hospitality industry has experienced a technological revolution. MFC Safe integrator has played a key role in managing the installation of these sensors in the cold rooms of prestigious hotel chains such as Sheraton, Intercontinental, and Hyatt.
By replacing human temperature monitoring with the Senstick MicroClimate sensors, kitchen personnel has been freed up to perform other tasks, resulting in a significant 30% reduction in labor costs. Moreover, the metal isolation of the cold rooms posed no challenges for the sensors, and the expected ROI is expected to materialize in a mere 14 months.
How they work
The sensors in this use case are based on LoRaWAN technology. This gives them a head start in the world of IoT measurements, as LoRaWAN protocol is a Low Power Wide Area Networking (LPWAN) communication protocol that functions on LoRa. The LoRaWAN specification is open so anyone can set up and operate a LoRa network.
With measurements made on intervals (e.g. 15-min), it means there is little or no maintenance involved, as sensors only use standard AA lithium batteries for power. Besides that, the power of LoRaWAN is there can only be 1 gateway installed and millions of sensors can then provide readings, as long as they are in range. In a straight line that could be up to 50km away in perfect conditions.
How it started:
Food waste, big loss
High cost of manpower
Risk of damaging brand image
How it ended:
Reducing manpower by 30%
Improved food safety
A crucial tool for our hotel operation, it provides opportunities to reduce expenses, operate a safe work environment, and ultimately allows us a platform to provide care and hospitality for our guests and all stakeholders.
Lucas Glanville, Executive Chef Grand Hyatt Singapore
Other applications for Temperature Monitoring:
The optimal temperature for a server room environment is between 20°C to 23°C. Air conditioning and ventilation are vital in maintaining this temperature threshold, battling with the heat generated by the hardware. Should there be a failure in the cooling system, sensors will alert the user immediately of any temperature violations. The ability to take action right away can help ensure the best network performance, and avoid the possibility of a complete shutdown.
Maintaining chemicals at the correct temperature and humidity levels is critical to safe chemical handling. Deviations from the prescribed levels can result in volatile and hazardous chemicals, rendering them useless and potentially dangerous. Sensors allow users to monitor ambient temperature and environmental fluctuations in real-time, enabling them to act quickly and prevent damage or loss of stock.
Fluctuations in temperature can lead to increased product damage and waste, as well as a decline in effectiveness. Sensors facilitate continuous monitoring of temperature throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to storage and transportation. This ensures that pharmaceutical products remain safe and effective, resulting in significant cost savings and reducing waste.