Food for thought at Annual Refrigeration Conference 2017

ARC1The impact of ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and the sustainable efforts taken by both governments and private organisations in the UAE to encourage use of sustainable refrigerants in cold chain industry were the focus of discussions at the inaugural edition of the Annual Refrigeration Conference that took place at Habtoor Grand Resort, Dubai, today

Organised and hosted by Technical Review Middle East, the event was co-chaired by Ghaleb Abusaa, engineer-arbitrator at GASO, who spoke about the necessity of food security in an arid region such as the Middle East.

Giving an overview about regulation challenges regarding food establishment in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Erwa Mudathir Mohamed, senior food safety specialist, at RAK Municipality laid down the regulation and inspection standards in the emirates in food establishments. In 2017 alone, the municipality received 233 complaints, out of which 11 per cent comprised of restaurants and supermarkets.

Bjorn Ostbye, project development manager, EMKE Group (Lulu Hypermarket Chain), gave an overview about how Lulu is moving towards sustainability in its storage chain.

Johnson Controls’ technology manager Alexander Cohr Pachai, spoke about hydrocarbon chillers and R-290 refrigerant and why it is the perfect choice.

The world needs to move towards ‘Green cold chain storage’. This was stressed upon by Arvind Surange, fellow ASHRAE, ACR Project Consultants. He said that ammonia is coming back as a refrigerant and companies need to develop technologies for natural refrigerants.

As important food storage is, transportation of food cannot be placed second. TSSC’s general manager Miro Donabedian talked about reefer trucks and solar-power trucks that the company specialises in for the food industry.

With companies moving ahead with compliances and innovations, Dubai Municipality is working with companies in the emirates for quality checks and controls in the food industry. Bobby Krishna TM, food studies and planning specialist – food safety department, Dubai Municipality, said that driving technology into food safety is what the organisation is looking into as well as working with refrigeration industry in the fields of IoT to capture data from food establishments, thus securing food safety.

Araner’s Guillermo Martinez spoke about temperature abuse in cold chain and frozen food and the company’s thermal energy storage tank helps reduce the operational cost and the required capacity of cooling plants, thus increasing the efficiency of the cooling plant and reducing the capital cost.

Shankar Subramoniam from National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL) explained about the best practices in procurements that also include quality control and temperature control.

On Day 2 of the event, Simon Clarke, Global Refrigeration Consultant, will host a masterclass for delegates who are keen to understand the changing needs of the refrigeration industry serving the food chain.


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