Superior delivery containers for temperature-sensitive goods
The Problem

 

Significant challenges arise in transporting retail orders containing a variety of food products with different handling requirements.  A customer located a long distance from your fulfillment center may order some fresh vegetables and some frozen items such as ice cream.  One common approach to keeping frozen foods cold is to line transport containers with disposable liners made of insulating material, typically Styrofoam.  However, Styrofoam is easily broken, requiring frequent replacement.  In addition, its brittle porosity makes it difficult to clean and allows it to trap dangerous contaminants. What is the most efficient way to transport mixed orders that include foods needing to be at different temperatures?

 

The Solution

 

One proprietary solution is a highly durable container with attached flaps that allow it to be tightly closed.  The container includes a snugly-fitted liner comprised of a shell and lid, both of which are filled with insulating material.  The liner is strong enough to be reused many times and may be washed, for example, by steam cleaning for sanitization without degrading its performance.  The lid could have an easily accessible compartment on its underside.  The compartment can be designed so that one can insert into it a refrigerant to maintain the inside of the container cold.  Different types of refrigerant can be used.  For example, gels made of guar gum and salt solution may reach a temperature of - 10°F, while dry ice (CO2) changes state from gas to solid at a temperature of approximately - 110°F.  These solutions offer maximum flexibility for a variety of mixed food product orders, while minimizing container parts replacement, possible contamination, and product spoilage.

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