When you pick up roses from your florist or strawberries from the supermarket, have you given thought to how fast it has taken them to get there from the source, and how is it that they have managed to stay fresh?
A highly precise handling centre called SATS Coolport is behind the reason why your groceries went from farm to table, staying fresh within 48 hours.
Join Singapore artiste Michelle Chia in this video as she takes you behind the scenes with her all-access pass, to see how perishable food and pharmaceuticals are handled for import, export and trans-shipment.
Q: How much faster can food arrive in Singapore via plane?
If it were to be transported from, let’s say – Japan, on a cargo ship, it would take two weeks. But it would only take six hours via air, which means a total of 48 hours from the time it’s harvested to the time it reaches your kitchen. SATS Coolport works 24/7 all year round to make sure that you never run out of fresh produce.
Q: How is it possible to refrigerate food produce the minute it gets off the plane?
SATS Coolport is conveniently located close to the runway so perishables can be swiftly moved inside the facility once they arrive by air. Isn’t that cool? It is said to be the first perishable handling centre of its kind in Asia. Tractors transport the cargo once it is unloaded from the planes, and items are sorted into two groups: those for storage and those which are meant to be picked up immediately.
During transit, their temperatures are constantly monitored to make sure that items remain fresh.
Q: Is the Coolport like one large refrigerator?
No, it’s a warehouse containing many large chilled rooms. For cargo meant to be stored, SATS Coolport has 18 different cool rooms set to various temperature zones to cater to different types of air freight, so that they remain fresh until ready for pick up.
Q: What are the different temperature zones?
Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes are kept in a room set to 7 to 10 degrees Celsius, seafood like fish and lobsters are kept under minus 5 degrees, and ice cream is kept in a freezer the size of a warehouse, at minus 28 degrees.
Q: Why go through all this trouble?
The good people at SATS Coolport are serious about keeping your food fresh for you. They even segregate the bananas from the rest of the fruits, as they are known to emit a gas which will hasten the ripening process in other fruits. A Halal room keeps Halal produce separate from the rest.
Watch the video above to learn more about how food is delivered fresh from the airport runway onto your dinner table.