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As a matter of interest....

September '06

"All perishables being delivered in winter have acceptable standards of quality, regardless of means of transport!"

Door-to-door Milk deliveries in Zanzibar.


  That is some statement, isn’t it? If broken down and analysed I am sure that many would disagree with me and argue that not ALL perishables would have the same properties and therefore some might perform better than others under the various circumstances.


  So let me try and briefly qualify my statement by narrowing the perishables down to two products: Fresh Milk and Fresh Cream. Now I invite ANYONE to argue my point!


  Here in Johannesburg, we have winter days, like a few weeks ago when light snow fell in parts of the city and temperatures fell as low as 0ºC. In summer, like the last season, we encountered record temperatures as high as 38ºC. You have to admit that the variance is astounding.


  I conducted experiments over September 2005, in which I placed a pre-programmed temperature sensing transponder first on a vehicle with a fibreglass canopy (Fig. 1), and then placed the same transponder, with the exact same settings, on one of our new refrigerated vehicles (Fig. 2). The difference in temperature fluctuations was astounding.


Fig.1: Fibreglass Canopy on a bakkie.


  On 13/09/06 The Citizen Newspaper’s temperature forecast for the day was 10/28. We loaded our MAC Milk at 5.1ºC at 07h10. By 12h00 the temperature had risen to 27.6ºC.


Fig. 2: Insulated Body with Refrigeration Unit on a bakkie.


On 14/09/06 The Citizen Newspaper’s temperature forecast for the day was 10/25. We loaded our MAC Milk at 5.1ºC at 07h10. By 12h00 the temperature had fallen to 2.8ºC.


  There is no comparison.


  In winter, however, most of the transportation is done while outside temperatures assist in maintaining the temperature of the products at around 8ºC. Although this is still high in comparison to the accepted 0ºC-6ºC storage and transportation standard of dairy products, the effect on the shelf life of the product is minimal.


  When compared to temperatures such as 27.6ºC the damage to Fresh Milk and Fresh Cream is rapid and beyond repair. The shelf life of these products at such high temperatures could reduce by up to 50%, which means that the product may only last thirty-six hours at the customer. Not only that, but the longer milk stands at excessive temperatures the more likely it is that the ‘frothing’ abilities of the product diminish. Likewise cream may lose its ability to whip up to acceptable standards. The health risk implications for the patrons of customers who are accepting these products that are ‘turning’ are another issue unto itself.


 So in winter companies delivering Fresh Dairy Products have standards of quality that are similar regardless of what their delivery vehicles are equipped with. In summer, however, those companies with vehicles fitted with insulated bodies and refrigeration units remain consistent and maintain high levels of quality that are synonymous with successful products and in turn successful customers.

  I rest my case.



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