Report on first simulation model, that predicts the feasibility of communicative packaging concepts : Deliverable 6.14

R.A.M. Canters, I.M. Wienk, F.I.D.G. Kreft-Pereira Da Silva, S.O. Tromp

    Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


    One of the objectives of this part of the SustainPack project (WP 6.3) is to facilitate the implementation process of communicative packaging in the chain of production, storage, distribution and use of packed products. New packaging concepts are more easily implemented if the benefits can be demonstrated. The objective of this study is to investigate the benefits of a quality indicator integrated in packaging. To do so a case was chosen to monitor and draw conclusions from. This case is the transport of vine tomatoes from the Netherlands to the US by boat. The communicative packaging is a transport box equipped with a sensor that is able to register time, temperature and relative humidity. In a dedicated simulation program, called Aladin, the distribution chain of vine tomatoes was simulated; using product quality models to predict shrinkage in four different logistical concepts. Shrinkage is defined as the amount of product in a chain, which drops below a certain quality level, causing the product to be lost since it is no longer acceptable for the end user. Product quality of vine tomatoes mainly depends on four factors: time, temperature, relative humidity and biological variation. The different scenario¿s predicting shrinkage are divided in two categories: ¿ OSLO control to reduce shrinkage in the chain. This means the optimal quality, predicted by measuring environmental conditions, is delivered as last to the next step in the supply chain. The effects of different variations in temperature and RH are investigated. ¿ Anticipating shrinkage and sending products to a discount channel to decrease shrinkage in further parts of the chain (supermarkets). In both categories the quality in the chain is determined measuring different factors: i) only time, ii) temperature and time or iii) time, temperature and RH. From the simulation results it can be concluded that under certain circumstances, the use of transport boxes equipped with a temperature sensor can result in significant reduction of shrinkage of the vine tomatoes. Shrinkage reduction can be 4% and a temperature sensor may cost ¿0.31. Another conclusion from this study is that the impact of relative humidity on the tomato quality is not large enough to justify the implementation of a relative humidity sensor. A third conclusion is that there can be economical benefits when products of inferior but still acceptable quality are sold to a discount channel for 75% of the supermarket price.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationWageningen
    PublisherAgrotechnology & Food Innovations
    Number of pages35
    ISBN (Print)9789067549936
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Publication series

    NameRapport Agrotechnology & Food Innovations
    PublisherAgrotechnology & Food Innovations


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