FRISBEE: the European program that revolutionizes the cold chain

EUROPE – New technical innovations were presented at a seminar held on August 28, 2014 at IRSTEA. These technological advances concern the FRISBEE program (Food Refrigeration Innovations for Safety). They are devoted to refrigeration of foods, to developments in the field, the lack of risk among users as well as issues related to reducing the impact of cold production on the environment.

This program has been running over the last four years and has involved around 29 partners from 12 European states. So what are the conclusions from this program? And what are the other results from the program?

Conclusions from FRISBEE
It is important to know that the food products usually remain within various containers from production to consumption in the consumer’s plate. The finding is most often linked to the excess of the required temperature. Thus, the following statistics are observed:
• 25% of food produced in the world are lost due to poor management of the level of the cold chain.
• 8% of the energy consumed by the world is to keep food cold.
To improve this situation, several groups were formed under the FRISBEE program. One of these groups has been responsible for designing a European cold chain database. About 10,000 records were collected on chilled and frozen food products. These data include:

  • Temperature.
    • Packaging.
    • Data on the equipment used.
    • The refrigeration cycle of products.
    • The season.

This information was recovered from 100 providers. The information has allowed for the identification of elements that act negatively on the chain. If for example we take the case of France, it was noticed that it is at the consumer unit where the problem lies. The data also allows an assessment to be made of how food product affects health, environment and energy.

Other results
These results are from the work of the second group and relate to the control tests which were carried out regarding the cold chain in the markets of Europe.
Several categories of food products were controlled from miniature data loggers from producer to final consumer. Profiles of the analysis led to the determination of the various aspects of representative cold chain.

Findings were determined based on the large variation in temperature that would exist between the institution responsible for the distribution and commercial centre. Refrigerator in the future was also the subject of concern. Thus, this equipment will be considered in the future integration of technologies such as:

• Magnetic refrigeration.
• Nanoparticles.
• The use of air as refrigerant.