The demand for control of the cold chain for vaccines, drugs, foods and other perishables is growing and evolving rapidly. Costs of spoilage are substantial, and risks from degraded pharmaceuticals and vaccines are not acceptable. Storage and transportation within specific temperature limits is necessary. It is complicated by the varied needs of the products – some deep frozen, others at only room temperature, and yet more that require refrigeration without any freezing. Products not able to be frozen have limited lives – they age and degrade, but at greatly varied rates. Consequently cold chain management has a great deal of variety based upon product, storage, transportation and environment.

Not only are there many methods, there are also many suppliers. Additionally, there are few products which perform or respond identically. It has proven difficult and time consuming to identify potential solutions for different applications. But having done that on multiple occasions it was realized that a source where the information has been gathered, can be searched, and is readily extracted, must have benefit to many. For this reason, we undertook to expand our database of manufacturers of temperature monitoring, measuring and alerting devices and make it available for commercial use.

The data base includes about 150 companies. They have been selected as being relevant for participants in the cold chain – the preparation, storage, distribution, transportation and use of temperature sensitive materials. Examples are foods of all types, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, medicines, biological materials, scientific samples, forensic specimens and thermally sensitive chemicals.

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