Cold Chain Intervention in India Cuts Post-Harvest Loss

Pre-cooling units and refrigerated truck trips reduce losses by 76%, says Carrier study.

© Silvija74, 2018

The introduction of pre-cooling units and refrigerated truck trips into a transport corridor in India resulted in a 76% reduction in post-harvest losses and a 16% reduction in CO2e emissions in the harvest and transport of kinnow fruit, according to a new Carrier white paper.

The “Reimagining the Cold Chain in a Post Pandemic World” white paper, published by Carrier Global Corporation, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (U.S.)-based HVAC&R provider, was announced at the online Cold Chain 4 LIFE conference on June 26 as part of World Refrigeration Day (WRD).

The white paper can be downloaded here.

The paper described the Carrier-sponsored pilot conducted in India to reduce post-harvest losses by improving the cold chain.

From a base of zero, the number of pre-cooling units now in use has increased to 10, and there are 400 refrigerated truck trips being made between Abohar and Bangalore during the harvest season, the paper said.

In addition, with an expanded window of availability, “growers began exporting kinnow for the first time, reaching 10 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Europe,” said the paper.

The grower’s profits increased by 15%, and the payback on cold chain equipment ranged from two to four years. “This successful pilot demonstrates how a targeted investment in a single product and trade lane can rapidly heal a broken food model,” said the study.

While the introduction of cold chain transport and refrigeration inevitably creates new carbon emissions, measured against food loss, “the benefit is indisputable,” noted the paper. 

Going forward, with natural and ultra-low GWP refrigerants, and all-electric-powered transport refrigeration equipment replacing older, less sustainable equipment, “new cold chain emissions will be reduced even more.”

Coping with the ‘new normal’

The India cold-chain pilot was an example of what must be done in the food sector and life science fields in the face of the “new normal” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the white paper.

“We must work to develop the cold chain globally within the limitations posed by the pandemic, where traditional distribution patterns have been upended, and where extreme weather and future pandemics threaten to further disrupt production, supply chains and consumer segments,” according to the white paper.

“COVID-19 shines an even brighter spotlight on the cold chain and getting food and medicine to those most in need,” said David Appel, President of Refrigeration at Carrier during his keynote presentation at the Cold Chain 4 LIFE, according to the Global Cold Chain News website.

“We envision and are working to build an end-to-end cold chain that will reduce cost and waste in today’s cold chain network.”

This successful pilot demonstrates how a targeted investment in a single product and trade lane can rapidly heal a broken food model.”

-Carrier white paper

By Nicholas Cooper

Jul 01, 2020, 09:41

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