Training of SMEs for frozen food shelf life testing and novel smart packaging application for cold chain monitoring

Theofania Tsironi, Marianna Giannoglou, Eleni Platakou, Petros Taoukis



Application of an optimized cold chain management system for frozen products can be assisted by monitoring with Time Temperature Integrators (TTI). TTI are smart labels that cumulatively show the product history in an easily measurable, time-temperature dependent change. In the IQ-Freshlabel European project enzymatic and photochromic TTI were developed and tested for frozen products. Further to the technical objectives, training activities were implemented to provide information and training to the staff of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) regarding the properties of the developed TTI and their utilization within food packaging, transport, storage and sale. In total, more than 276 European companies and consumers representing the frozen food industry, the packaging industry and food business operators were successfully trained. The objective of the present article is to describe a general methodology for frozen food shelf life testing and modelling, and the selection of appropriate TTI for specific foods. This document serves as a technical manual for SMEs, including a case study for frozen shrimp and application of enzymatic and photochromic TTI, aiming to build their capacities to understand and use TTI for frozen food products. The value of systematic modelling of the food quality kinetics as well as the response of the TTI in building an effective chill chain management system is also demonstrated. The TTI response study allows a reliable optimization and selection of TTI to be correlated to the target food product for which accurate information on temperature dependence is available.


cold chain; frozen food; shelf life; smart packaging; time temperature indicators

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