Smart Ice Cream Cold Storage

The Problem

Dairy products suffer a lot of safety, integrity, and issues in terms of the forwarding and storing. Icecream as a dairy product is heavily regulated due to the fact that it is not just classified as a food product but as a Chemical due to its ingredients and process of molecular changes, it goes though. One cannot even legally call it as Ice Cream if it does not follow the scientific methods and the required temperature storage and maintenance. Effective management of a cold storage is no walk in the park. It requires intricate attention to detail and management skills to ensure optimum productivity is maintained, despite the harsh, freezing conditions, defrosting etc.

The final quality of the ice cream product, particularly the smooth texture and the cooling sensation perceived by the consumers, is largely influenced by the size and morphology of the ice crystals and air bubble. Recrystallization, is one of the major problems at storage locations which is a result of storage temperature fluctuations that cause some ice crystals to melt and recrystallize freely into larger crystals. Ice recrystallization, also called ripening or coarsening. In general, storage at temperatures below −30℃ is considered deep frozen storage and lower temperature storage could minimize the quality degradation of ice cream products. However, excessively low temperature storage is not desirable in the energy consumption and storage costs for manufacturers and retailers. Ice cream stored for up to 52 wk at deep frozen storage temperatures of −70℃ to −50℃ experienced minimal ice recrystallization. Low frozen storage temperatures suppress the molecular mobility and vapor pressure of ice crystals, inhibiting ice recrystallization.

Quality: Maintaining a uniform distribution of small ice crystals is critical for obtaining a smooth texture and mouthfeel during consumption. The quality attributes of ice cream depend on various factors, including ice crystal size, overrun, initial freezing temperature, and storage temperature. Among these, storage temperature is of particular interest to ice cream manufacturers and retail stores, because the physical characteristics of ice cream associated with mouth feel are greatly influenced by storage temperature.The International Dairy Foods Association has stated that any ice cream product stored at higher than −28.9℃ has incurred heatshock damage and should not be sold via retail.

Melting: Ice cream melts much faster (without much sunlight exposure) when the air is more humid at the same temperature. In addition to having more heat capacity than dry air, humid air will deposit water molecules on the surface of the ice cream in the form of condensation. Upon contact with the cold ice cream, the condensing moisture releases latent energy, the energy of vaporization that originally was required to create humidity from water. So not only does water-laden air surround the ice cream with more heat, it’s condensation releases latent energy which converts crystalline water to liquid water seven times more rapidly.

The Solution:

digiBlitz partnered with ST MicroElectronics to create a simple and permanent solution for these problems. As evident from the above problems statements, Icecream as a product should be preserved not just with right temperature but also humidity. So, we have created one solution for tracking, monitoring them and made the information available instantaneous in mobile devises through App and traditional SMS and Emails. We also seamlessly connect to the Cloud for further analytics. The solution is fully wireless from inside freezers all the way to the cell phones and cloud.

• Handles temperature between -30o to +50o C.
• Monitor Both Temperature & Humidity.
• BLE Communication.
• Low Voltage and longer life Battery.
• Email, Text & Apps Notifications.
• Multiple Devices in one gateway in mesh network.
• Connectivity to Cloud.
• Data Analytics for Audit & Predictions.
• Expandable for additional capabilities.
• Integration with other systems.
• Easy Maintenance.
• Powered by ST Microelectronics Components.