An often discussed issue in the food and beverage industry is that too much food is thrown away
The sell-by date on food packages tells grocers how long to keep items on shelves and tells consumers how long properly stored product can be consumed without loss of taste and quality and without risk to their health. The time span during which a product meets customer expectations is also determined by other criteria such as visual appearance, smell and consistency of fruit and vegetables for example. The length of this time span is primarily influenced by material handling & logistics along the value added chain with the appropriate storage temperature and an unbroken cold chain as the most important factors. Maintaining the cold chain can be difficult as different products have different temperature requirements. The risk of a broken cold chain poses another challenge for handling logistics, i.e. to distribute foods and beverages as fast as possible or, if ideal temperatures cannot be provided, to keep the time span with suboptimal temperatures as short as possible.