Hello and welcome once again to Cooling India.
India is among the world’s largest producers of fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, and seafood. The country produces over 400 million metric tonnes (MMT) of overall perishable food production. However, due to lack of proper cold chain, 15-50 per cent of this perishable food is lost.
According to Invest India, a national investment promotion and facilitation agency, the annual value of harvest and post-harvest losses of major agricultural production at the national level is estimated to be USD 14 billion.
This time, we focus on how to manage cold chain efficiently and effectively. Cold chain is an integrated and immaculate network of refrigerated and temperature-controlled pack houses, distribution hubs and freight used to maintain the safety and quality of food, thus, building efficient market links. Cold chains reduce post-harvest food losses and increase farm income by storing and transporting high quality produce to distant cities throughout the year.
CRISIL Research estimates around 70 per cent of this wastage stems from lack of end-to-end cold chain logistics. The research explores how fruits and veggies caught in a vicious cycle of low investment and high wastage in the report ‘Fruits & Veggies Cry for Cold Chains’.
Prof BVC Mahajan and Prof Mahesh Kumar talk about how proper handling and storage of fruits and vegetables can extend its shelf life. Reduction of post-harvest losses can increase produce availability and bring more returns to the farmers in the article ‘Managing Qualitative & Quantitative Losses in Horticulture Produce’.
Thus, cold chain can emerge as a powerful industry for reducing food losses. The proper and optimal regulation of temperature in storage or transit can be achieved by precise operation and timely inspection at every process level. So, prudent management of cold chain can achieve the goal of energy efficiency apart from the quality of food.
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