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Cold chain

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**History of Cold Chain**:
– Mobile refrigeration with ice introduced in the mid-19th century.
– Term ‘cold chain’ coined in 1908.
– First effective cold store in the UK opened in 1882.
– Frederick McKinley Jones invented mobile mechanical refrigeration in 1938.
– Increased demand for cold chain systems since the 1950s due to medical breakthroughs and events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

**Uses and Importance**:
– Common in food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries.
– Pharmaceutical cold chain typically ranges from 2 to 8°C.
Cold chain crucial for maintaining vaccine efficacy.
– Different types of cold chains for various products, including ultralow, frozen, and refrigerated chains.
– Ensures quality, freshness, and prevents food losses.

**Cold Chain in Vaccine Distribution**:
Cold chain crucial for vaccine supply to distant clinics, especially in hot climates.
– Disruption of cold chain can render vaccines ineffective.
– Different vaccines require varying cold storage conditions, with some needing ultracold temperatures like -70°C.
– Challenges of distribution for vaccines needing ultracold temperatures.

**Validation and Monitoring**:
Cold chain distribution process extends good manufacturing practice.
– Processes must be validated for safety and quality.
– Quality management system crucial for managing the cold chain.
– Temperature data loggers, RFID tags, and NIST traceable sensors monitor temperature history.

**Role of Warehousing in Cold Chain Management**:
Cold chain management is an integrated system for transporting goods.
– Warehouses at source, destination, and in transit are crucial.
– Strong managerial oversight for quality systems is essential.
– Compliance with WHO guidelines and GMP norms in manufacturing operations.

Cold chain (Wikipedia)

Cold chain is a set of rules and procedures that ensure the systematic coordination of activities for ensuring temperature-control of goods while in storage and transit. The objective of a cold chain is to preserve the integrity and quality of goods such as pharmaceutical products or perishable good from production to consumption. Cold chain management earned its name as a "chain" because it involves linking a set of storage locations and special transport equipment, required for ensuring that temperature conditions for goods are met, while they are in storage or in transit from production to consumption, akin to the interconnected links of a physical chain.

An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted sequence of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities, along with associated equipment and logistics, which maintain a desired low-temperature interval to keep the safety and quality of perishable or sensitive products, such as foods and medicines. In other words, the term denotes a low temperature-controlled supply chain network used to ensure and extend the shelf life of products, e.g. fresh agricultural produce, seafood, frozen food, photographic film, chemicals, and pharmaceutical products. Such products, during transport and end-use when in transient storage, are sometimes called cool cargo. Unlike other goods or merchandise, cold chain goods are perishable and always en-route towards end use or destination, even when held temporarily in cold stores and hence commonly referred to as "cargo" during its entire logistics cycle. Adequate cold storage, in particular, can be crucial to prevent quantitative and qualitative food losses.

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