Basic definition of cold chain monitoring

At present, the understanding and expression of the concept of cold chain or cold chain monitoring are not yet unified. Several definitions that are often cited are:



The definition of “cold chain” in the national standard “Logistic Terminology” (GB/T 18354-2006) is: “In accordance with the characteristics of an item, the logistics used in the process from production to consumption to maintain its quality is always at a low temperature. The internet."



The definition of the cold chain given by the Japanese Mitsubishi NAK Dictionary is: “A system in which fresh foods and raw materials are kept in a fresh state from producers to consumers by adopting methods such as freezing, cold storage, and cryogenic storage.”



The US Food and Drug Administration's definition of cold chain for fruit and vegetable products is: "In order to prevent the growth of bacteria and ensure the quality of the product, the monitoring process of the correct temperature is always maintained during the continuous movement of the product from the farmland to the table."



The definition of the cold chain given by the Global Cold Chain Monitoring Alliance is: “The refrigeration temperature of perishable foods is monitored during the process from slaughter of livestock or fruits and vegetables to the supply of final consumers to ensure the quality of the products. And food safety."



The above-mentioned typical definitions, although expressed in different ways and emphases. But summed up the following key points:



First, the subject of cold chain monitoring mainly refers to perishable foods. Perishable foods need to be stored and transported at low temperatures to prevent the negative effects of bacterial growth on the quality of the product. Maintaining the freshness of foods is the basis of low-temperature logistics.



Second, the cold chain monitoring is a continuous irreversible process that cannot be interrupted in the middle. A stable temperature environment is required. Temperature control is the key to cold logistics. Cold chain logistics requires refrigerated transport and storage facility equipment and specialized refrigeration technology.



Third, cold chain monitoring is a system driven by the power of this low-temperature circulation system, and perishable foods are transferred from the production site to consumers.



In order to conduct a more comprehensive study of cold chain monitoring, here is a deep analysis of the concept of logistics. The concept of "logistics" itself contains multiple meanings. In general, logistics can be observed from three perspectives:



The first is to observe logistics from the point of view of production activities with the nature of operations. Logistics is a kind of production activity. The output of logistics production activities is “services”. The effectiveness of logistics services is reflected in the narrowing of gaps in the space, time and variety, scale, and adaptability of use of commodity entities, corresponding to Logistics activities are transportation, storage, distribution, selection, circulation processing, etc.



The second is to observe logistics from the perspective of the system that supports the physical flow of the target product. Logistics is a system. The logistics system is just like a pipeline transportation system, sending target products to their destination.



Third, observe logistics from the perspective of scientific management of logistics production activities. Logistics embodies the use of systematic viewpoints and scientific management methods to plan, organize and coordinate logistics production activities and logistics systems to make them more efficient and effective in logistics management activities.



Combining the above definitions. In order to further clarify the concept of cold chain, this article will subdivide the cold chain monitoring into three concepts, namely cold chain logistics activities, cold chain logistics systems, and cold chain logistics management, and describe them separately.


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