Keeping Food Fresh from Farm to Fork

By Jeff Dormo

16 October 2023

This week we celebrate World Food Day, a day to appreciate how the food we eat makes its way safely and efficiently from the farm to your home refrigerator. In a recent post, we shared a Forbes piece explaining the system of distribution and transportation that takes food from farm to market to your home, while maintaining safe temperatures and preventing food waste. This global cold chain system is nothing short of a technological and supply chain wonder, safely and efficiently bridging divides between farm and fork.

The cold chain is critical to a globalized economy, allowing food to be transported around the world safely and efficiently. This technology has advanced to the point where it allows humans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve reliability and mitigate food waste that can occur along the chain.

Over the past decade, Honeywell has invested more than one billion dollars in research, development and new capacity in our Solstice® portfolio of ready-now, low-global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) — molecules that are used in a variety of applications along the cold chain including in temperature controlled transportation, the supermarket, and in your home.

These energy-efficient HFOs are on the front line of meeting important sustainability targets and regulations across the world and at home. 

Let’s take the cold chain journey alongside a fresh head of lettuce, regardless of where the lettuce is grown, processed or stored. To get it to your plate, it will need to be moved with temperature control. Keeping cargo fresh before preparing it for shipment to supermarkets and other customers is essential. HFOs help keep these refrigerated trucks and storage containers efficient, cool, and controlled for humidity through insulation and refrigeration. 

Once in supermarkets, HFOs help keep the lettuce fresh for you while supporting retailer’s (and the planet’s) sustainability goals by helping improve energy efficiency and lower costs for businesses and consumers. HFOs do this safely. 

We are proud that Honeywell HFOs play the important role of keeping, among many other things, lettuce heads fresh at every step of the global food cold chain. HFOs are important for helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase reliability of these necessary supply chains, ultimately reducing overall environmental impact and food waste.

So, as you shop at your nearest supermarket, deli or bodega and reach for the perfect lettuce head or your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables at the market, feel free to wonder at the science, systems and technology that were specifically developed to help keep produce fresh for all families to enjoy. At every step in the food cold chain, small molecules like HFOs can make a big impact in helping operations from farms to markets reduce food waste and take steps to reduce their emissions.

Jeff Dormo
President, Advanced Materials, Honeywell
Learn more about HFOs. Get in touch with a Honeywell expert.