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Cold Chain Technology Brief: Commercial, professional and domestic refrigeration.

Author(s) : EVANS J., CURLIN J. S., CLARK E.

Type of article: Thematic file

Summary

Due to the complex nature of the cold chain and the high temperature dependency of post-harvest or post-mortem deterioration in food, temperature control in the food chain is vital. Temperature control tends to become less well controlled at the retail/professional and domestic stages of the cold chain. The food chain is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions through direct (refrigerant emissions) and indirect (energy consumption) eff ects. Published data for overall emissions for each section of a whole cold chain are relatively scarce. However, there is evidence to suggest that the retail sector has relatively high direct and indirect emissions compared to other sectors of the food cold chain. Domestic refrigeration has high overall indirect emissions (due to the large numbers of domestic refrigerators) but direct emissions are low due to low leakage of refrigerants and the use of low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. Refrigerant leakage is also low in the professional (catering) sector (for the same reasons) but there is evidence that indirect emissions are relatively high.

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