Publication : Thermal Control Business Update

The Indian food industry is in the middle of a promising revelation, poised to clack colossal growth. Regarding fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and seafood, the country is one of the largest producers in the world. Also, in terms of production, growth, consumption, and export, India’s food processing industry is one of the largest in the world. Despite the massive production of food, the consumer market’s demand is minimal. An enormous amount of food gets wasted due to substandard supply chain facilities throughout the processing units and delivery due to the lack of quality cold chain infrastructure.

Need for cold chain Every year a considerable amount of produce is spoiled due to various reasons. This wastage can be checked by establishing a solid linc of cfficicnt cold chain facilities. By curbing food waste, India’s contribution to the world food trade can be increased every year. The cold chains well equipped with integrated refrigerated transport, pack houses, collection centres,and cold storage to support large-scale food production and processing. Moreover, the surge in demand for fresh, locally-produced, or preserved food, especially frozen food, meat, and seafood segments, in the past few years has giving the desired impetus to the cold chain industry.

The need for a cold chain was more starkly felt during the Covid-19 pandemic when the temporary glitch in conveyance disrupted the supply chain across the country and overseas. To support the pharmaceutical and food businesses, a robust infrastructure must be laid for the cold chain industry.

Even the government is actively making strides to come up with comprehensive schemes in the direction of boosting cold storage infrastructure. Depending on the nature of the food, there are two types of cold stores, Active and Passive cold stores, for daily routine products like frozen food, ice cream, ete. Active Cold stores are more suitable with various temperature zones within the same warehouse, which is versatile for storing multiple products requiring different temperatures. Passive Cold storage is more appropriate for long-term perishable goods preservation like seeds, potatoes, onions, etc.

Solutions to contain moisture Irrespective of the type of storage, moisture is the central issue offering resistance to the effective functioning of the storage system. It incurs a scrics of limitations by meddling with the productive prospecets of the cold chain.

Moisture causes the frosting of products and ice formation on the conveyor belts and cooling coils. There are high chances of accidents as well due to the slippery floors. The situation is even worst in the loading dock, where frost build-up is responsible for the formation of fog inside the pier. Moisture can even soften and cause the sagging of cardboard cartons, making them unstable and hazardous. Gauging the disadvantages, the cold chain industry is acutely reeling under the impeding effects of moisture. This increases the chances of shutdown due to poor food quality and puts a lot of pressure on defrosting costs along with compounding the already existing problem with the space crunch. The water vapor loads affect the cooling efficiency by clogging the evaporator coils.

Also, moisture nurtures the growth of mold and mildew, which accounts for a large amount of food spoilage. To check the destructive impact of moisture on the cold storage, an advanced dehumidification solutions must be installed intensively. It stimulates the productivity of the cold chain by thwarting the formation of frost on the evaporators and, likewise, ice build-up on the conveyers. Considering the inherently large space of the cold chain, desiccant dehumidification is the most economical and energy-efficient solution suiting the complexity of the structure. It provides excellent, dry air at dew points even lower than the cold room, which inhibits fogging and frosting of the cooling coils while ensuring a continuous supply of dry air irrespective of the ambient environmental conditions.
Quality dehumidification solutions bring better value for the product and improve global trade. Therefore, monitoring the humidity levels will open up immense scope for the Indian food industry to meet the global safety and security standards and strengthen the country’s stance as an international supplier of quality food.

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