May 16, 2024

Decoding Food Freshness: Time Temperature Indicators (TTIs) Vs Data Loggers

Temperature data loggers (also known as data loggers or temperature loggers) have been around for decades. As the first major sensor technology in the cold chain, they provided temperature audit trails of shipments both at warehouses and in-transit. They also enabled the receivers to decide if the products they received were safe for use or not.

In the modern cold chain environment, however, time temperature indicators (TTIs) may be the superior choice over data loggers. Find out more information about data loggers, time temperature indicators, and why TTIs may be the better solution for your company.  

What Do Data Loggers Measure?

Data loggers serve as essential tools for recording environmental conditions and come in various types like pressure data loggers, temperature data loggers, and humidity data loggers. Temperature data loggers:

·         Continuously monitor and record temperature

·         Are placed inside refrigerators or storage areas

·         Provide precise temperature measurements

·         Are valuable for measuring temperature-sensitive products and meeting regulatory requirements

However, data loggers may require specialized handling, making them less convenient to use.

What Do Time Temperature Indicators Measure?

Time temperature indicators are specialized devices designed for monitoring and recording temperature over time, primarily for temperature-sensitive items during transit or storage. Unlike conventional data loggers, TTIs focus explicitly on temperature changes, which is crucial for ensuring the integrity of food products. Features of TTIs include:

·         Displaying cumulative temperature and time exposure

·         Attaching to food items or packaging for easy temperature abuse detection

·         Changing color or showing numerical values, making them easy to read

TTIs provide a straightforward solution for freshness and quality assurance. They offer a layer of safety and quality assurance that’s superior to traditional logging methods.

Reasons Why Time Temperature Indicators are Superior to Standard Data Loggers

Time temperature indicators have revolutionized the way temperature-sensitive logistics are monitored, offering several advantages over traditional data loggers. These indicators provide an unmatched level of specificity, tracking temperature fluctuations in real-time to ensure product integrity. They have become essential tools in industries where even minor deviations can compromise quality, highlighting their superiority in maintaining high standards of safety and reliability.

Below are some of the main advantages TTIs have over standard data loggers when it comes to cold chain monitoring.


TTIs can be calibrated to adhere to virtually any shelf life, while data loggers have a limited battery life. For time temperature indicators, calibration is critical, as it directly impacts the quality and safety assessments of temperature-sensitive products. The meticulous calibration of TTIs ensures the data captured is precise and dependable, fostering confidence in the data's integrity and leading to informed decision-making.

Application and Installation

Data loggers are largely applied by hand, where TTIs can be automatically applied on high-speed production lines, just like a standard label would be. Since TTIs can be integrated directly into product packaging, they provide a seamless and non-intrusive solution for temperature monitoring throughout the supply chain.

Unlike traditional data loggers, such as temperature data loggers, humidity data loggers, and wireless temperature data loggers, TTIs provide unparalleled ease when it comes to the application and installation process.


Data loggers require manual activation, while TTIs are activated automatically at the application phase. This ease of activation is often more convenient than that of traditional data loggers.

The activation process of time temperature indicators is straightforward. This provides a clear advantage, ensuring that accurate, reliable tracking of temperature and humidity conditions begin from the first very start of the process.


TTIs are often simpler to use and interpret than data loggers. They provide a visual indication of temperature exposure over time, such as color changes or numerical displays. This allows personnel to quickly identify temperature deviations, make assessments, and take the appropriate corrective measures - without the need for specialized training.

Data Collection - Analysis and Retrieval

Data loggers need to be removed and connected directly to a computer or compatible device to analyze the data, while TTIs transmit collected data continuously for real-time analysis on a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Time temperature indicators transformed how industries manage data collection, analysis, and retrieval tasks. Unlike the earlier methods requiring manual checks, time temperature indicators offer an intuitive analysis and easy data access, significantly enhancing user experience. This digital progression ensures that information regarding temperature fluctuations - critical for product safety - is not just collected but also readily retrievable. With TTIs, users can effortlessly interpret data and make informed decisions faster.


Evigence offers a proprietary Evigence Insights Engine designed to provide useful insights provided from the unique features of the TTIs for reporting. Data loggers, on the other hand, export data sheets that need to be manipulated by analysts which takes more time and effort.

With our time temperature indicators, users benefit from automated reports, ensuring swift access to crucial data for decision-making. This streamlined process allows for quick response to any deviations, highlighting the superiority of time temperature indicators in maintaining the integrity of temperature-sensitive goods.

TTIs offer detailed and actionable insights that summarize temperature data over specific time periods or for individual products. These insights facilitate trend analysis, identify temperature deviations, and support compliance with regulatory requirements.


Traditional data loggers, while effective, often require a more stationary setup since they’re built for permanence rather than portability. For this reason, while they can be used for cold chain monitoring, data loggers are more suited for non-mobile measurement where the data logs can be extracted manually, such as in monitoring the functions of an HVAC system or in a laboratory where environments must be controlled to keep specimens from expiring.

Time temperature indicators have a lightweight design and straightforward application process, making them effortless to move from one location to another – ideal for use in every point along the cold chain process, including last mile delivery. This adaptability proves invaluable across diverse settings, from the refrigerated aisles of grocery stores to the often hot environments of shipping containers. They allow for on-the-go adjustments with minimal interruptions, showcasing a level of agility that traditional data loggers can’t compete with.


In general, TTIs are more cost-effective compared to data loggers. This makes TTIs more suitable for large-scale deployment across various points in the supply chain.

Evigence TTIs

When you work with Evigence, you’ll reap the benefits our advanced TTIs and data analytics provide, helping you reduce food waste and make strategic business decisions.

We provide specialized cold chain freshness monitoring, as well as last mile freshness management services. These services combine our time-temperature indicators with data analytics to monitor food's freshness in real time along the entire transportation journey.

Our dedicated team provides the expertise it takes to meet the needs of your business and our technology equips you with data-driven, actionable insights that enable smart, proactive decision-making. Contact us for more details about our services.

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