Manufacturers of temperature controlled packaging for the cold chain distribution of pharmaceutical and fresh food industry are vital to the health and well being of consumers.
The general public does not realise the effort that is taken in transporting vaccines, blood and plasma as well as pathology samples so that they arrive undamaged. Proper cold chain validation and qualification ensures that the temperature within the insulated cold chain monitoring systems
shipping boxes, insulated shipping containers, or temperature controlled packaging is within the required limits. Only those who work in the pharmaceutical distribution, medical samples transport, biotechnology clinical trials area or within chilled or frozen food distribution understand the paramount importance of cold chain distribution.
A "supply chain" is a system through which a product or service is delivered from a manufacturer through to a warehouse or distribution center and onto a customer.
A cold chain distribution supply chain is the program by which temperature-sensitive items must be kept within a cold temperature range. For example, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, blood, plasma, medicines, yoghurts, cheese, meats, fish and pastries cannot be allowed to become warm or be exposed to fluctuating temperatures whist in transit. The quality of the product will be irreversibly affected which could have extremely damaging effects on peoples health.
The significance of the cold chain distribution chain cannot be underestimated.
· For vaccines need to be storage at temperature ranges from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
· Blood should be storage at temperature of 1 to 6 degrees Celsius
· Chilled foods should be stored at temperature of 0 to 4 degrees Celsius
· Frozen food should be stores at temperature of -18 to -23 degrees Celsius
The way products are packed and transported will effect temperature loss over time. Temperature controlled packaging is designed to minimise temperature variations or temperature-sensitive items whilst in transit. Factors that are taken into consideration when designing temperature controlled packaging and validating a cold distribution chain include extreme temperature, and humidity changes, possible delays and various types of transportation methods used.
Temperature controlled packaging and cold chain validation is too important to leave to change. There are many different kinds of packaging solutions that are available including Polyeuathane boxes which are twice as insulating as Styrofoam boxes, insulated shippers which retain cold temperature over a long period of time and a variety of gel bricks depending on the packaging requirements. The inclusion of temperature data loggers monitor the temperature of the products inside the page and set off alarms when the product is outside the acceptable range.