StePac has launched a web-based cold chain management system to monitor produce freshness and quality as it travels through the supply chain.

The modified atmosphere and modified humidity (MA/MH) specialist, part of DS Smith Plastics, has developed the Xsense Perishables Quality Monitoring Program to provide information about the quality of products pre-shipment, in-transit and post-arrival.

Xsense monitors both actual produce temperature and that of the surrounding environment.

The system uses disposable tags that are placed within the packaging and begin to monitor and collect temperature and relative humidity data as soon as they are activated.

For land transport, this information is transmitted in real time using proprietary technology to StePac’s Xsense server centre. For seafreighted products, the information is logged and then downloaded upon arrival at the harbour.

The exact location of products in transit can be tracked using GPS data.

If there are any problems, the system immediately notifies all those concerned with an email and/or text message.

A key feature of Xsense is its ability to analyse data and draw conclusions about product quality and safety, with shelf-life prediction models able to calculate the residual product quality to enable customers to ascertain if some products have been more affected than others and, if so, implement an effective first expired, first out policy.

StePac has just completed a series of successful customer trials in Israel and across Europe. The system was found to reduce the need for the manual input of data and outputs only the most relevant data.

StePac ceo Israel Ben Tzur said: “These trials have exceeded our expectations. Xsense has proved to be a technological breakthrough that also ideally complements our Xtend MA/MH technology to help the cold chain industry deliver premium quality, fresh produce to market.”