All Nippon Airways Co. will begin shipping fresh meat and vegetables on long-haul flights using a coolant that keeps food products fresh for several days, according to company officials.
The new service will allow clients in Japan to ship produce to Europe and the United States, which was previously difficult due to costs and a lack of necessary equipment.
The IceBattery coolant, developed by Tokyo-based Innovation Thru Energy Co., can keep food products at low temperatures for up to five days. The airline will begin offering the shipping service on flights leaving Japan on Sept. 28.
Long-haul air shipping of fresh meat and vegetables relies mainly on dry ice as a coolant, but ensuring quality has been an issue because dry ice, while inexpensive, can damage cargo en route. That has effectively limited such shipping to areas within Asia.
Rechargeable containers can also be used to transport fresh goods over long distances, but they are costly because of the need for charging facilities at airports.
The coolant ANA will be using can keep temperatures inside containers and boxes at between minus 25 C and 8 C for at least 100 hours. It can be put to use once it is frozen inside a typical freezer at an airport and there is no need for battery charging or power during transportation, according to the officials.
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