Just over a decade ago, Lineage BB #:294667 set out to transform the world’s food supply chain to eliminate waste and help feed the world.
To do that, we brought together diverse minds from multiple disciplines and invested in cutting-edge technology to reimagine how the cold chain moves the world’s food from farm to fork.
Earlier this year, our team celebrated an important milestone in Lineage’s innovation journey: the issuance of our 50th patent.
Solving Problems with Technology
Patent number 50 describes a blast freezer design that more efficiently and effectively freezes meat or fresh produce. Blast freezing is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the process of rapidly bringing food from ambient temperature down to below-freezing temperatures, increasing shelf life and allowing it to travel.
Here’s the story in a nutshell:
The Problem – Inconsistent freeze times and qualities when using conventional blast freeze methods.
The Solution – Redesign blast cells using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and custom-curved metal panels for optimum, equally-distributed airflow across all pallets and products within each cell.
The Results – Freeze more products in as little as half the time while using up to 20% less energy.
Why Patents Matter
It’s important to note that Lineage isn’t just innovating for innovation’s sake. Our innovations solve tangible problems, making the cold chain smarter and more efficient. A more efficient cold chain increases the quality of food, decreases the cost of food and decreases the environmental impact of the food system.
“Every one of our patents memorialized a novel solution to a problem that we encountered while designing, improving or operating the food supply chain,” says Lineage VP & Chief Data Scientist, Elliott Wolf. “Necessity is the mother of our innovation.”
Such innovation—some initiatives spanning years—is possible partly because Lineage has the scale necessary to make meaningful, long-term investments in large-scale experimentation and capital improvements throughout our network. We also have the talent and vision to find solutions across industries as diverse as aerospace, machine learning and computer vision.
Our team’s spirit of creative discovery led to our 50th patent and beyond, and will continue to lead us on our innovation journey. The future of the cold chain includes more energy efficient buildings, fewer team member hours spent in the cold and more optimized processes to quickly move product to the consumer. We can’t wait to see what our team does next.