How To Use Ice Gel Pack?
Published On:December 2, 2020 Revised On:March 15, 2023

How To Use Ice Gel Pack?

Ice gel packs are sealed bags of PE (Polyethylene) filled with a unique refrigerant gel. Their primary function is to provide simple, mess-free cooling, and these packs are a cheap and easy-to-use alternative to ice and cold water. Most ice gel packs are reusable, but single-use options are also available.

Ice gel packs are used for two primary purposes: as a packaging material for food and chemical products and to treat injuries. In this article, we look closer at how ice gel packs are used and how they function in various roles.

Ice Gel Pack

Using Ice Gel Packs with Cold Shipping Containers

Portable containers with insulating material reduce the heat from the surroundings that enter the package. Ice gel packs are used in cold chain packaging as they are easily packed and transported with food and chemical products.

The gel packs are often used in the packaging with temperature-sensitive food products such as meat, eggs, milk and dairy. This helps maintain the freshness of the food products during transportation. Proper cold chain packaging with ice gel packs can protect food from temperature changes and ensure maximum freshness.

Cold chain containers should ideally be lightweight, portable, strong, and made from high-quality insulating material. Note that different food items may require different packaging containers. For example, liquids might require packaging with a top seal to prevent leakage.

An excellent cold chain packaging solution helps keep perishables cool and fresh for an extended period while protecting against impact damage. The amount of ice gel packs required for cold chain transportation depends on factors such as the

  • amount of food
  • container volume
  • temperature requirements

Iced Gel Packs for Food

Proper temperatures are crucial in keeping food fresh, and cold gel packs are often used for storing temperature-sensitive foods such as meat. Ice gel packs can maintain optimal temperatures for up to 36 hours in this role to reduce food waste.

One unique advantage of using a gel pack is its flexibility; an ice gel pack moulds itself into any space. This feature ensures maximum surface area contact between the gel pack and the food substance, improving temperature control. Another advantage of that flexibility is that ice gel packs can be used in tight spaces of varying shapes. Keep items cool with ice gel packs.

Medical Purposes

Cold gel packs can treat swelling, bruising and general discomfort. They are a cost-effective method to deal with minor injuries and are often used in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics and nursing homes.

Applying ice gel packs to a wounded body area is known as ice therapy or cold therapy.

How does this work?

The body launches an inflammatory response to tissue damage, which results in swelling.  Applying an ice gel pack to an injured area can help reduce swelling by constricting the flow of blood to it. It also promotes the flow of nutrients to the damaged tissue, which hastens the healing process. Both acute (24-48 hours) and chronic (beyond 48 hours) injuries can be treated using ice packs.

How to Use Ice Gel Packs for Injuries

When applying an ice gel pack on the skin, wrap it in a towel to help it stay cold longer. Without an insulating cover, the ice pack will warm quicker as it remains in contact with the warm body.

Fitness and sports use

Fitness training and other strenuous activities increase lactic acid concentration within muscle tissue, which can cause pain. In fitness centres, gyms, and other training facilities where muscle soreness, spasms and injuries are common, ice packs can help with pain relief.

Training in the sun can cause heat stroke, and cooling gel packs can help reduce body heat, preventing serious injury.


Cold temperature can have cosmetic benefits ranging from swelling reduction to constricting pores. An ice gel pack wrapped in a towel may help with swelling and acne. After cleansing, a cold gel pack applied to the face for 15–30 seconds will help tighten pores and prevent oil and sebum build-up.

The cold can also increase blood circulation, which can help with ageing and wrinkles. Apply an ice gel pack to the face before applying moisturiser to allow the skin to absorb skincare products better.

How Long Do Frozen Ice gel Packs Last?

Cold gel packs last longer in transportation and storage when used in a well-insulated container. At conditions of optimum insulation, an ice gel pack can last about 24-36 hours. The ice gel packs will last approximately 2-3 hours at room temperature. Use temperature-indicating labels or temperature data loggers to monitor.

Ice gel packs are reusable, and some can work well for years. A durable plastic shell keeps the gel intact even after exposure to a higher temperature. Easy-to-store ice gel packs do not need to be frozen when not in use and can be stored at room temperature and last longer than ice.

Are Ice Packs Toxic?

Food-grade ice packs are not toxic and can be used with food.

How to Monitor Ice Gel Packs

Use temperature labels and data loggers to monitor and track temperatures during transportation.


Ice gel packs as a cold chain packaging solution are cost-effective and convenient for food and chemical storage and transportation. They are an effective packaging solution for the healthcare and life science industry.

Watch the video below to learn more about ice gel packs.