After the production, quality check, and packaging of food the main concern of the food industry is the transportation of these products safely to the retail stores. Not just production but packaging and the safe transport of the products are also essential to gain the trust of a consumer.
HISTORY OF FOOD TRANSPORTATION
At an early age, farmers were concerned after the harvest of products that what should be done to stop these products from spoiling .at that time Egyptian people provided a solution for this problem by introducing their method of transporting goods along the river Nile to deliver the goods to nearby areas.
The industrial revolution of the 19th century was the time when this problem was addressed when canning and cooling methods of storage were introduced.
At that time Amphora’s tall ceramic containers were used to transport food, mostly wine.
Transportation at that time was revolutionized when the steamships along with freezers are used to transport meat carcasses to retain its freshness. The train system was also used to transport goods at a quicker rate and too long distance areas easily.
Iceboxes then replaced the gas-powered refrigeration system, and then ice boxes were replaced by electrical refrigerators. Roads were built to enable smooth transportation of goods.
International transportation of food nowadays
When food is produced the other responsibility of a manufacturer is to transport it where it is needed. In the past day’s mode of transport was not developed for the transference of food but in the current time, international food trade has been developing day by day. Many food products like cereals, fruits,sea-food, vegetables, and milk are transported across the world from one country to other thanks to the more secure mode of transport .the only constraints to transport are cost, nature of product and distance needed to be traveled.
Modes of food transport:
- Airfreight: If the shelf life of food is minimum like asparagus and mangoes Airfreight is the mode chosen to transport food from one continent to another.
- Road/Rails: If the food is needed to transport within the same vicinity this mode is chosen. The train usually used when the distance is long but these modes are usually used on a national level.
- Sea freight: This mode is less expensive but it is a time taking mode. It is equipped with refrigerators for saving the food from spoilage.
FSMA Sanitary food transport act 2005
FDA (Food and drug administration) approved a sanitary food transport act 2005 to transport Human and animal food within the US.
It was instructed that this act should be followed by shippers, receivers, loaders, and carrier involved in the transportation of food .the few exceptions were:
- Shippers, beneficiaries or bearers occupied with food transportation tasks that have under 500.000$ in normal yearly income ;
- Transportation exercises perform by a ranch and the transportation of live animals;
- Food that will be transshipped to other nations;
- Transportation of packed food gases (carbon dioxide, nitrogen or oxygen expected for use in food and drink items ).and food contact substances;
- Transportation of human food by-products transported as animal food without further processing; and
- Transportation of food that is encased by a holder aside from food that requires temperature control for security.
According to the regulations, the shipper is considered responsible for the transportation of food, it is the authority of the shipper if he wants to assign this responsibility to any other entity. If the shipper assigns responsibility to the other carrier, the carrier become the responsible entity for the following:
- To check the vehicles must meet the shipper’s requirement ;
- To check especially the cleaning and sanitation requirements
It is the responsibility of the carrier that if temperature controlled is required then pre-cool the vehicle before loading and;
- To check cross-contamination is avoided or not
- Check whether the food is isolated with the raw food or not
- To check the temperature control requirements given by the shipper
- Checking and providing information about the previous food carried by the vehicle if required by the shipper
Shippers are also responsible to train the drivers of the food vehicles .and if shipper have assigned this role to the carrier then it will be the responsibility of the carrier to train the drivers properly to avoid any food damage during transportation. The training program of the drivers include:
- Awareness about food safety problems
- Basic sanitary food transport practices; and
- Responsibilities of carriers in transporting the food product.
- If assigned then the carrier will be responsible to maintain the training records and the records must include the name of the driver, the date on which the training takes place and the description the training .moreover the carrier must maintain :
- A written agreement for the responsibilities assigned by the shippers, they should follow this agreement and is effective for the additional 12 months.
- The procedure describes by the shipper for transportation .this should be followed and it is effective for an additional 12 months.
- Individual driver training records.
Records can be written on paper or electronically generated and must be made available within 24 hours of requirement.
Logistics and transportation of food consideration for food industries
After food production, food industry specialists are always concerned about the safe and timely transportation of food, logistics, and transportation department of the food industry plays a vital role to generate revenue. The food and dairy industry have several different challenges than other industries. These unique challenges are :
- Immediate Supply to avoid deterioration; Some fresh supplies from fields are more prone to deterioration like tomatoes, cucumber. Their shelf life is low due to which these agricultural products are needed to transport rapidly. Products with expiry dates or products like pizza, bread, and milk products are susceptible to rotting are needed to be transported at an earlier time.
- Quality Preservation: Checking the quality of food during transportation is as necessary as production before production and post-production. The products can be susceptible to spoilage during transportation due to improper handling and improper storage conditions.
- The threat of Contamination: Food products are highly prone to contamination due to bacteria’s and fungi, quality control experts assured the quality of food products because a contaminated food is hazardous for human health and it can sometimes lead to the death of the consumer, .transportation and logistics chief ensures safety and hygiene of products during transportation to gain the trust of the consumer.
- Bruises and damages: The soft fruits can face bruises and damages during transportation, or eggs and ice-cream cones can halt on a slight impact so these foods need special attention during packaging, unloading, loading, transporting to ensure no damage will occur.
Transportation of solid and liquid food through trucks, planes, rails are decade-old methods. In this new era loads of research has been done to improve the transportation method. This includes:
- Foodie Robots :
Don’t be surprised when a robot will be at your door to deliver food. A company of San Francisco is working to develop foodie robots that will deliver food rapidly.
- Edible drones
Researches and experiments have been done to develop aerospace models to deliver food. Through them to the areas where any disaster happened these aerospace models are made of plywood. They are capable of providing food to 100 people at a time.
- Self-driving vehicles
A pizza company dominoes is working to deliver pizza through ford a self-driving car, experiments have been started with the customers who agreed, customers track their order through dominoes app and when a car reaches their doorstep a unique code will be provided to them through a text to open the heating chamber where pizza is placed.
- Subversive delivery
Elon Musk and many companies around the world are working to avoid congestion costs by traditional transport methods. A concept of microform is developing when the lettuce is ready to harvest it will quickly be delivered to you.
The world is changing at a fast pace. Transport methods for solid and liquid food are also revolutionizing to cater to the issues of environmental pollution; because of carbon footprints and food wastage. The safer and damage-free food needed by a consumer is the responsibility of the persons working behind the production. Also packaging, storage, and transportation of food to connect different continents with the chain of food.