Date of Award:

4-3-2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

Donald L. Snyder

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Frederico Topolansky

Abstract

This study evaluated the temperature variability that existed in refrigerated table grape consignments over a two-day journey from two suppliers in southern Spain, to client managed facilities in England. In order to inhibit senescence, perishable foods are transported in temperature-controlled transport to maximize shelf life. However, thermal dynamics suggests that uniform spatial temperature is not necessarily achieved despite a constant set point. As fruit exposed to suboptimal temperatures is more likely to exhibit undesirable quality issues, knowledge of spatial temperature can direct quality control team members to these potentially problematic pallets within an inbound shipment.

Warmer temperatures were identified on the passenger side of both trailers, at the rear of both trailers, and in lower pallet layers. Furthermore, heightened temperature was recorded in lower pallet layers in close proximity to the refrigeration return unit. The Supplier 2 shipment, set at 4oC, exhibited more spatially uniform temperatures compared to the Supplier 1 shipment set at 1oC. This implies that an operational compromise may exist: a higher but more uniform temperature or a lower but more variable temperature. In addition, analysis of airflow distribution suggested that airflow could be improved specifically in lower pallet layers and towards the rear of the trailer. Improved circulation will promote improved temperature uniformity for quality maintenance.

Included in

Economics Commons

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