Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Superplum

An IoT-enabled cold chain delivers farm-fresh fruits

Agriculture & Energy

Customers can track the whole journey of their produce via QR codes

Spotted: In many parts of the world, large quantities of fresh produce are lost due to a lack of adequate cold chains – a continuous series of refrigerated transport and storage that keeps food at the correct temperature. This problem is particularly acute in India, but startup Superplum is working to develop a solution.

The Noida-based company has developed a connected, traceable agriculture supply chain. Central to this is the Fresherator – a refrigerated container that can be attached to any large truck. The Fresherator can transport up to seven tonnes of fruit from farms and keep it fresh for up to four weeks. It also does not require an external power source to operate, making it extremely flexible.

Using an IoT system, Superplum remotely controls temperature, humidity, oxygen, and ethylene levels in the Fresherator. This means the company can precisely design the environment in each container to keep specific fruits fresh for longer.

All the data that Superplum collects on its produce is also accessible to the end consumer. Customers simply scan the QR code on an item’s packaging to view a range of data on the Superplum app, including information on the soil where their food was grown, pesticide test reports, transportation conditions, and details on the farmer who grew the fruit. The app also lets customers send bonus payments to farmers whose produce they particularly enjoy.

Customers can buy Superplum produce online from Amazon Fresh, Zepto, and Swiggy, as well as in some of the country’s large retailers. Recently, the company completed a $15 million (around €13.8 million) series A funding round and the money is being used to expand its infrastructure.

Other innovations in cold chain technology include the use of lightweight nanomaterials to save space and energy and solar-powered cooling for East Africa’s livestock industry.

Written By: Lisa Magloff and Matilda Cox



Download PDF