The delivery and transportation time, temperature control and cost factors of four systems of tray transportation and distribution were compared. The systems that were used were the following: 'Electra Royal' of Meals on Wheels, 'Unitray' Cart of Swartbough, 'Lampson Trayevors', and the "Dri Heat Food System'. Hospitals which has the specific system were used for the delivery and transportation time and for the temperature control portion of the study. Cost factors were obtained from printed price sheets or by personal communication with the factory representative of the firm concerned.

The delivery time was taken as the time required to deliver twenty trays from the time they arrived at the patient area until delivered to the door of the patient's room. The transportation time was a calculated time request to move the specific carts a stated distance.

All temperature readings were taken with a pyrometer. The temperatures being taken at the serving time and then at two minute intervals for fourteen minutes after arrival in the patient area. Since all beginning temperatures were different due to limiting factors of the study, a percentage of heat retention was determined for each system.

The cost factors were divided into two categories: (1) purchase and installation and cost (2) yearly operating costs, such as cold be determined.

The pellet system had the lowest mean transportation and delivery time. The transportation time did not apply to the conveyor system but it was second in delivery time. The single unit hot and cold cart was third in delivery time and second in transportation time. the system which required the most time for both the transportation and delivery time was the double unit hot and cold cart.

The double unit hot and cold cart showed the greatest percentage of heat retention, the pellet system was second. The third ranked system was the conveyor system. The single unit hot and cold cart had the lowest percentage of heat retention.

The cost factors were in the following order starting with the one which had the least cost: (1) conveyors, (2) pellets, (3) the double unit hot and cold cart and (4) the single unit hot and cold cart; this was for the original purchase and installation costs. The annual operating cost were as follows also starting with the lowest cost system: (1) conveyors, (2) pellets, (3) the single unit hot and cold cart and (4) the double unit hot and cold cart.

From the information gathered in this study, it would seem that the pellet system would be the system of choice in that it had the fastest delivery and transportation time, an acceptable heat retention and it's cost factors were reasonable, in that the lowest cost system was not much below it.

It was recommended, however, that further study be conducted on the pellet system and on the percentage of heat loss with a suitable or acceptable temperature retention.


Food Science


Graduate School

First Advisor

Paul S. Damazo

Second Advisor

Rose Budd

Third Advisor

Fonda Chaffee

Fourth Advisor

Verna Mae Marsh Hanson

Fifth Advisor

Lydia Sonnenberg

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Food Service, Hospital



Page Count

vi; 44

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives