Cargo Covers Strengthen Supply Chains and Reduce Food Waste
When you think about the many ways that technology has shaped your life, what comes to mind first? Maybe it’s faster communication, or lifesaving healthcare. But what about fruit salad? It’s easy to forget, but with today’s complex food supply chains there are some surprising technologies behind many of our favorite meals—even the simple things we enjoy every day.
Take a closer look at that fruit salad, for example. How did it arrive on your plate? Whether you’re at a brunch in Boise or a picnic in Paramus, chances are good that many of its ingredients traveled a bit to get to you. Let’s say you’re enjoying strawberries from California, apples from Washington State, blueberries from Maine, and melon from Mexico. Delicious! And pretty ordinary, too. These days, we’re accustomed to enjoying a diverse mix of healthy produce any time of year. But as our grandparents and great-grandparents can attest, it wasn’t always so easy to find peaches in January.
So how have we gained access to our favorite fruits, all year round? That’s where technology comes in. Each delicate crop must be harvested and transported quickly to prevent spoiling or bruising during its journey to you. Air freight has made it possible for that precious cargo to arrive in your neighborhood faster than ever before.
According to Joe Dennes, Global Technology Manager for Tyvek® Graphics and Protective Packaging, that trip is only worth taking with very special handling. Produce needs protection from excessive heat while waiting on a hot runway. When cooled containers are too bulky or cost prohibitive, DuPont Tyvek® Air Cargo Covers step in.
The proof is in the data, of course. As Dennes notes, the same palette of goods that heated to 56°C (132.8°F) when wrapped only in plastic film would heat to just 22°C (71.6°F) when covered in Tyvek® Cargo Covers—a huge difference in temperature that ultimately means fresher products for consumers. While most Tyvek® Cargo Covers are currently used in pharmaceuticals protection, this technology has the potential to improve our food supply chains and reduce waste.
Keeping cool is just one part of the battle, though. DuPont has also engineered products to maintain temperatures in colder weather—so cantaloupes don’t freeze on the way north. This cost-effective solution that implements a high-tech fleece to protect even the most fragile cargo from frigid temperatures.
So the next time you’re choosing blueberries in January or picking out pears in December, remember that technology does more than power your computer. It fills your plate, too!
For more information about Tyvek® Cargo Covers, view this video – A World Without Food Waste.