Just about all areas of the food and beverage industry including commercial kitchens, transportation, storage or food service, require temperature and often humidity monitoring to ensure that the product has been kept within an acceptable range to avoid contamination and bacteria growth. The technology requirements are essentially the same for the sensor in each of these areas but collecting the measurements can be quite different.
TandD U.S., the US subsidiary of T&D Corporation, provides data loggers and temperature, humidity and even illuminance, ultraviolet (UV) and carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors to maximize food safety.
“The most common sensor we supply for food is a simple thermistor,” says Stephen B. Knuth, President, TandD U.S. The thermistor covers the bulk of the range for food safety from -40 to + 155°C including monitoring in transportation, storage, and warehousing applications, especially for ensuring refrigeration within the proper limits.
The thermistor packaging provides as many as eight or nine alternatives for the temperature sensor, including the length of the sensor, the option of a stainless-steel tip and fabrication (shape and water incursion capability) for insertion into food products. For example, monitoring the temperature in a walk-in refrigerator or freezer would suggest a regular thermistor with a cable from three up to 10 feet long. In contrast, measuring the temperature of foods in transit, such as grapefruits, would require an insertion type sensor with a stainless-steel tip. The sensor would be inserted into a sample grapefruit on a pallet to verify the internal temperature was within safe limits throughout the transportation process instead of just the environment around it.
The detachable sensor plugs into a datalogger such as the TR4 Bluetooth low energy based thermo recorder (TR-42) popular in transportation applications. For wireless monitoring, the RTR-500 series includes 13 different types of data loggers, such as the RTR-502 with an external temperature sensor, and four types of wireless base unit/data collectors. A system configured with the user’s selection from each of these groups allows free access to the company’s cloud-based “T&D WebStorage Service”.