WIRELESS TEMPERATURE MONITORING SYSTEM IN A GLOBAL KIWIFRUIT SUPPLY CHAIN
New Zealand is a major exporter of fresh kiwifruit. The supply chain is characterised by short and long term storage in New Zealand; two main modes of transport (containers and chartered reefer vessels); multiple distribution and storage channels in markets with varying capabilities to manage the product. The cool chain is the key technology for maintaining a high quality product over a long selling season and a complex supply chain. Improved visibility and accountability for management of temperatures right along the supply chain from harvest to final customer is seen as one of the vital enablers for management of fruit quality. In 2011 the New Zealand kiwifruit industry embarked on a trial to evaluate a potentially transformational method for monitoring the product temperature with a proprietary temperature monitoring system using wireless communication to download data. This technology offers the opportunity to monitor individual pallets with virtually no human intervention and have the data available to users throughout the chain on a web-based platform. The aim of such systems is to provide evidence of best practice and react to alarms and alerts where temperatures are out of specification. The power of these systems, however, is the opportunity to utilise information on the supply chain history to predict out-turn quality. The current pilot has been used to research possible techniques to model fruit quality throughout the chain. One of the major complicating factors has been dealing with vast quantities of often imprecise data and relating these to impacts on fruit quality.
Bollen, A.F., Tanner, D.J., Soon, C.B., East, A.R., Dagar, A., Sharshevsky, H., Mowat, A.D., Heyes, J.A. and Pelech, Y. (2015). WIRELESS TEMPERATURE MONITORING SYSTEM IN A GLOBAL KIWIFRUIT SUPPLY CHAIN. Acta Hortic. 1091, 205-212
temperature monitoring, quality modelling, kiwifruit, RFID, wireless