Food Storage Monitoring Protects Perishables For Small Business

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CLEVELAND - Jan. 10, 2019 - Rezul -- T&D Temp & Humidity System Safeguards Specialty Cheese

CAS DataLoggers provided the food storage monitoring solution for Tulip Tree Creamery, a small business located on the northwest side of Indianapolis. After 20 years of international consulting for other creameries, owner, Fons Smits decided it was time to produce hand crafted specialty cheeses himself.

Installation

Mr. Smits decided that the T&D RTR-500 Wireless Data Logging System was the right solution. The system is comprised of the RTR-500AW (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/product/rtr-500aw...) Wi-Fi connected data collector, four RTR-502 (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/product/rtr-502-w...) External Temperature Sensor data loggers, and two RTR-507 (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/product/rtr-507-w... Range Temperature and Humidity Data Loggers. Placement of the data loggers was easy due to their small size and external temperature sensors while the RTR-500AW data collector was placed in a central location to maximize wireless communications with all the data loggers.

The T&D RTR-500AW Wi-Fi Data collector automates the retrieval of all data points from the entire group of data loggers, aggregates and sends the data to the FREE T&D Cloud Service. Wireless communication between these units and the base unit has a range of 500 ft. unobstructed while current readings are visible locally on their LCD displays.

Smits explains, "I wanted to see detailed data from my aging rooms because if conditions are out of range like low humidity, the mold-ripened cheeses will dry out and have to be disposed of. We store our cheese product in a 3500 sq ft. area in a larger warehouse so I have the data loggers on the outside of each aging room with the probe wired inside the room through a hole I drilled. The base station is in the corridor between the rooms mounted on a wall, this wireless setup works really well in our warehouse."

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"Each room has its own air compressor system but we always want the best product quality, and we need more control of the air systems. I can only do that after I measure the temperature and humidity in the rooms directly." This setup makes the most recent data easily accessible from the corridor. Through their configurable sampling rates, the loggers are set to take a reading every 10 minutes and have a 16,000 point storage capacity.

Each of the four aging rooms stores its own style of cheese which requires different conditions to mature post-production. The more aromatic cheeses need to stay moist on the outside to grow, so they require high humidity. In contrast, natural rind cheeses need a lower humidity, but if it goes too low the cheese will dry out impacting its quality.

Wireless food storage monitoring (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/wireless-data-loggers/) has vastly improved Tulip Tree Creamery's product quality. Smits explains, "The better I can control the temperature and humidity in my aging rooms, the more positively I can impact the quality and consistency of my cheese product. This, in turn, has an immediate effect on my business's profitability. After installing the loggers, I immediately decreased the humidity in the natural rind cheese aging room and have seen an immediate positive impact on the product."

Regulatory Needs

The collected environmental data is also useful. Smits continues, "There are new HACCP (https://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/haccp/) quality control rules coming next year, so with T&D we can show inspectors that we're monitoring the temperature and that we have conditions under control. We're currently planning our critical control points, and we plan to be full HACCP compliant by spring of 2016."

"We also have a regular state board of health dairy inspections every three months since we are a Grade B facility. The board requires that our facility has a temperature monitoring method in place in each room where we store product. Our T&D system will give them more trust in what we're doing…I can show them the environmental data of any given period of time so they can see that the readings are within safe levels and that we've made an investment for quality and safety."

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Alarm Capability Protects Products 24/7

In case of an out of tolerance condition, the T&D base station automatically sends alarms directly to designated email addresses or can activate a local alarm using the built-in relay. No local computer is required because the RTR-500AW determines whether temperature or humidity excursion has occurred and then generates the alarm notification.

Owner Fons Smits describes his response to an alarm situation, "In the dairy industry you have to act on alarms ASAP because if temperatures get too high bacteria can quickly develop. If I receive a notification I drive out here and immediately adjust the thermostat or humidistat as needed. If the HVAC system fails the T&D base station immediately sends me an email so I have time to move our cheese out of the affected aging room and into an unaffected one."

Benefits

Since installation, Tulip Tree Creamery's new T&D system automates environmental monitoring and alarming in every cheese aging room giving them a low-cost wireless solution. However, Smits already sees the potential in the future to monitor the cooling tank containing his milk supply, and also to monitor his pasteurization process which will make his daily routine even more convenient.

For further information on T&D RTR Wireless Data Logging Systems (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/tandd/rt...), food storage monitoring or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Application Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or request more information (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/need-more-informa...).

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CAS DataLoggers
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Source: CAS DataLoggers
Filed Under: Food

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