(Dec. 1) Cincinnati’s Chiquita Brands International Inc. helped with a recent study by the University of Arkansas’ RFID Research Center and global financial services firm Deloitte that sought a cost-effective, real-time method to reduce $35 billion in annual waste from perishable goods ranging from fresh produce to cancer drugs.

The university and Deloitte jointly announced that they developed a method to monitor and control cold chain conditions after finding wide temperature inconsistencies in environmentally controlled trailers, including temperature variations up to 35% from pallet to pallet.

Chiquita provided the reefers and produce for a study that leveraged new wireless, sensor and Internet applications – without a specific vendor bias -- to monitor and control temperatures.

The researchers said the preliminary data in this project’s still early stage gives insight into an affordable way to create an “intelligent cold chain.”