Customer loyalty starts with food quality and freshness

We’ve all done it, we do our grocery shopping, and plan out our meals for the coming days. So imagine when a customer buys his favourite fresh foods at his local grocery store for the next few days, and decides to take it home to cook. But he’s had a long day, and the pizza around the corner looks great. He’ll have his steak tomorrow.

Image: Deterioration of food quality with suboptimal cooling, considering the fat layer, cut surface and rib-cage of lamb. 

A: 0hr; B: +144hrs; C: +240hrs; D: +348hrs – Source: University of Bremen

The following day after work, he’s excited to prepare his steak dinner, but notices that the colour and quality looks off, it’s not as fresh as it was yesterday when he purchased it.

Frustrated, the customer considers his options: go back to the store and choose another brand, or go to another store all together – resulting in a negative effect on customer experience and loyalty.

Axino systematically identifies and addresses the root causes of food quality problems. According to a McKinsey study, the impact of using such an approach is almost immediate: at one European food retailer, sales of fresh produce rose by as much as 24% in certain categories, and customer satisfaction and loyalty increased dramatically. 

A study from the University of Bremen, shows that shelf life of meat products was reduced by 30% for not maintaining the right product temperature in the cooler.

Would you like to know more about Axino and food product quality monitoring? Meet us at the S-Mart the SAP Experience Center in Walldorf.

Controversial power saving tip: increasing refrigerator temperature!

To save electricity right now, the Federal Council proposes to increase the temperature in the refrigerator: from 5°C to 7°C. But what does that do to refrigerated edibles – especially delicate ones like fish, raw meat, prepared salads, cheese or milk?

Read the original article by SRF (Deutsch) 

The packaging of these foods explicitly states, “Store at no more than five degrees.” What happens if you ignore this? Does the use-by date still apply or do delicate goods then spoil more quickly – which in turn leads to more food waste? Experts do not agree on this.
 

How much electricity can be saved with the refrigerator temperature?

According to S.A.F.E., the Swiss Agency for Energy Efficiency, the refrigerator and freezer account for about 15 percent of the total energy consumption of an average household. For every degree warmer in the refrigerator, you can save about five percent of its energy consumption. With two degrees more, it’s about ten percent.

Corinne Gantenbein, a lecturer and food biologist at the ZHAW and an expert on food shelf life, believes that consumers don’t notice the two degrees more in the refrigerator: “It’s a matter of hours, half a day or a day at most, if at all.”

Food manufacturers calculate in “margin for error”
Corinne Gantenbein says food manufacturers have already factored in a certain temperature buffer “margin of error” in their shelf life claims. She says research has shown that many refrigerators are already set at seven degrees or higher in normal operation. Food producers also assume that products are not stored optimally and take this into account.

Nadine Gerber, deputy cantonal chemist at the Zurich Cantonal Laboratory, is not quite so unproblematic. For perishable food, the right temperature plays a decisive role for quality and safety: the lower the refrigerator temperature, the fewer microorganisms can develop.

Shop more often and use up edibles faster
“When I set the refrigerator warmer, I have to be aware of it and have a good handle on food management,” Gerber said. Management means “shopping several times a week so edibles aren’t in the fridge as long, and eating cooked leftovers faster.”

You can also get a lot out of the refrigerator by putting things away cleverly, he adds. “The door and top are where the highest temperatures are. Also, the refrigerator should not be empty,” says the deputy canton chemist. Food from the freezer should also be defrosted in the refrigerator.

Recommendation for the freezer: -18 degrees
Coop approaches the federal government about refrigerator temperature
The major distributor Coop is not happy about the federal government’s recommendation to save electricity. According to research by “Espresso,” the retailer met with the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) this week. Coop confirms this meeting. One had “placed concerns about the impact on food safety of the recommendation issued by the federal government and asked for clarification.” Coop will not change anything on labels, consumption date or the note “store at no more than five degrees”.

Environmental scientist and foodwaste expert Claudio Beretta of Foodwaste.ch is also skeptical. He considers the recommendation of the federal government to be tricky. If more food is thrown away as a result, Beretta is convinced that more harm will be done than good.

The BLV states on request that increasing the cooling temperature would contribute to saving energy. However, this has an influence on the shelf life and therefore also on the behavior of consumers. The most important points have been published online.

 

Revolutionary AI for food transport – Axino & Rieber CHECK CLOUD

Axino partner, Rieber & CHECK CLOUD have succeeded in determining the quality of food during transport without manual measurement. Complex measurements can now be replaced with the help of artificial intelligence. The new solution allows the core temperature to be monitored to an exact 0.5 °C.  
The integration of Axino & Rieber solutions means there’s no need for manual temperature readings. Core Temperature data is available, at all times within the CHECK CLOUD platform. 

The safest food transport IoT solution 

Leveraging artificial intelligence for food safety and quality with the  thermoport® transport system.

By simply retrofitting the Rieber transport box with CHECK sensors or integrate them directly, you’ll have  core temperature data at your fingertips. Axino sensors measure to the exact 0.5 °C for precision insights into food safety. With this solution you’ll benefit from:

  • digital HACCP reporting on-demand –  no time expenditure or need for annoying paper lists
  • 100 % food safety & transparency – viewed digitally at any time and any place
  • automated alarming – prevent food waste with set high- and low temperature thresholds

Get started with the Axino & Rieber CHECK CLOUD solution today!

It’s hot outside, how does that impact food quality? 

It happens to us all, a hot summer day and you open the door of a refrigerator and stand in the cool breeze for a sweet reprieve from the heat. But what does that mean for the food? Coolers will keep pumping cold air as long as the air temperature is warmer than the set thresholds. And that’s okay, right?  
Besides the obvious energy losses, we can’t really know when food quality starts to deteriorate when cooler doors are left open. Or can we?  

 

Key metric for freshness 

Air temperature can fluctuate rapidly but changes to the foods core temperature (the key measurement for freshness) depend also on the type of food and the type of cooler. Simply put: Fresh Sushi go to waste much quicker in a small open presentation cooler than cured ham in a large closed refrigerator. 

Core Temperature for Precision Food Insights  

In the end we would have to taste the food to know if it is still safe to eat. And its no different for grocers as their employees have to walk the stores several times a day to manually check the coolers for correct functionality and spot-check certain critical products (like fish) core temperature. They don’t taste the food but check it with handheld thermometers to measure its surface and core temperature. 

To help us and our grocers make this process more efficient and precise, Axino has developed a unique method to monitor the core temperature for all food groups. Touch-less. Non-stop. It’s like magic – as if the food had a voice. This enables us and our grocers to make smart decisions for optimal cooling and food freshness. 

Quick installation, hands-free monitoring 

Axino’s LoRa-based temperature sensors quickly deploy into existing refrigeration infrastructure. Installation requires placing the magnetic back of the sensor inside a cooler, there’s no external wiring.  

The solutions core-temperature calculation is accurate to one degree Celsius for all types of coolers and food categories.  

Real-time data evaluation help prolonging food shelf life, optimize store processes and reduce energy consumption. All of which put money back in the pocket of us and our grocers.   

Get started with Axino today!

Efficient cooling for achieving sustainability goals

Improving cooling efficiency is a huge opportunity for positive impact

Access to proper refrigeration is shown to reduce food waste and increases food security. The FAO estimates that food waste costs up to $2.6 trillion per year, including $700 billion in environmental costs and $900 billion in social costs (FAO 2013).

The Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) shows that optimized refrigeration in commercial food stores will:

  • Reduce food loss and waste, which is responsible for 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions (FAO 2013)
  • Reach potential savings of 15- 30% of energy and a 60-85% CO2 reduction with energy efficiency improvements (CCAC 2014)

The impact of this is massive when considered that electricity demands are increased steadily, with more than five times the requirements in carbon intensity from 2000 to 2018, with cooling and refrigeration becoming the fastest growing use of energy (IEA, 2019).

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), help to focus impact for food quality and safety. The potential improvement that optimized cooling has for food and product safety is seen across many SDGs.

How efficient cooling contributes to the SDGs

Much of the 17 SDGs can be impacted by increasing efficient cooling and refrigeration.

For example, if food refrigeration and cooling become more efficient, this impacts across the entire food chain from the consumer back to the farmers and fishers (SDG1), providing access to market and reducing yield losses from inadequate cooling.

Reducing food insecurity from food waste, ending hunger and malnutrition (SDG2).

Not only that, but proper cooling management can deliver access to temperature sensitive vaccines and medicines for all (SDG3).

Optimizing refrigeration for product cooling helps to reduce energy requirements, promoting sustainable modern energy (SDG7) and as such, climate targets are also put at risk (SDG13).

Reducing food waste from inefficient and  inadequate cooling

Reducing food insecurity from food waste, ending hunger and malnutrition

Improved access to temperature sensitive vaccines and medicines for all

Optimized cooling and refrigeration reduces energy requirements 

Minimizing CO2 and greenhouse gas  emissions for positive climate impact

Driving the Cold-Chain Revolution: Reduce food waste and cut energy costs with IoT 

Via SAP: Christian Meister (Migros), Stefan Schweiger (Bechtle Schweiz AG), Christian Boos (SAP), Pascal Jaquet (Alnatura), Ihab Hourani (Axino)

Axino Welcomes New Chief Product Officer

Swiss Technology Fund


“The guarantee from the Technology Fund enables us to expand our solution with further functions for energy and CO2 savings and to sell it more widely on the market. We want to fully exploit the immense potential for CO2 reduction. Our goal is 50,000 tons of CO2 in 3-4 years."
Mario Vögeli
CEO Axino

The Swiss Technology Fund offers loan guarantees to Swiss companies whose novel products contribute to a sustainable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about the partnership, at www.technologyfund.ch.

Customer Success Story – Bechtle

Food Systems 4.0