Using an ice pack is an excellent packaging solution. Not only does it help in soothing an injury, but it is also a commonly used packaging material with food. Ice packs are plastic bags that consist of a liquid that can be either plain water or a special kind of refrigerant gel. Generally, ice gel packs last longer than regular ice. With ice cubes inside plastic packaging, there is no evidence suggesting they last longer than regular ice.
For these reasons, ice packs are often used in packaging for food that is more vulnerable to bacterial growth, such as meat, eggs, milk, and dairy products. By covering sensitive foods with ice bags, increase the shelf life of the foods by keeping them fresh for longer during transportation. Therefore, cold packs such as these make for excellent cold chain packaging, as they prove to be pivotal for the packing and transport of food items.
Proper packaging, which incorporates the use of ice gel bags, allows transportation of perishable food items even in unfavorable climatic conditions. Let us discuss some tips recommended to consider during packaging.
Use Ice Gel Packs with Cold Shipping Container
To ensure maximum freshness of food items, the use of ice gel packs can help to protect food from temperature changes. Cold chain packaging can ensure the safety of the perishable food items with the help of insulated containers, along with ice bags.
Portable containers made from insulating material can have an enormous impact on the longevity of perishables. These containers help keep the external heat from the surrounding atmosphere from entering the package.
Also, keep in mind that different food items require different packaging containers. For example, liquids may need a package that has a top seal to prevent leakage. On the other hand, cakes and deserts may need cold chain packaging that has a more rigid surface to avoid damage frosting.
Overall, the type of packaging or container selected must be lightweight, portable, strong, and made from a high-quality insulating material. An excellent cold packaging container not only helps in keeping perishables cool and fresh for an extended period but also prevents it from any external damage.
Furthermore, the amount of ice gel packs required depends on many varying factors that have to take into account. The amount of food needed to store will determine how many ice gel packs are required. Other factors include the temperature of the atmosphere as well as the food, not to mention the thermal insulation of the container.
Iced Gel Packs for Meats
Gel packs are essentially the most successful option when it comes to storing heat-sensitive foods, especially meats. They have the excellent property of staying at increasingly lower temperatures for durations that can last over 36 hours. The packaging environment makes gel packs ideal for the storage, packaging, and shipping of fresh meats.
Moreover, ice gel packs are adjustable and flexible, and they can be placed on the surface or in between meats. Even though ice gel packs are great for preserving fresh meats, another alternative is to use dry ice for shipping frozen items. Dry ice provides an easy method of refrigeration inside a cold package box.
Once it has adequately packaged the food with ice gel packs together with maximum insulation, further ensure the thermal stability of the foods by shipping them overnight. Overnight shipment allows faster delivery of the food because of lesser traffic. Furthermore, it also enables the transfer of the food in a much colder atmosphere.
Ice Gel Pack- FAQ’s
Ice gel packs are a better and more accessible alternative to traditional ice. The main benefit is their ability to stay colder than ice for long periods. Let us discuss some commonly asked questions about the ice gel packs.
How to Use Ice Gel Packs for Injuries?
Icing is a common technique that people use to alleviate pains. Applying cold packs instantly to an injury-induced swelling will help slow down the inflammatory response and heal faster. When applying an ice gel pack on the skin, wrapping it in a towel will help it stay cold longer. Without an insulating cover, the ice pack will become warm quicker after coming in contact with the warm body.
How Long Do Frozen Ice Packs Last?
Ice packs can last for long durations, given that it is placed inside a well-insulated container. At conditions of optimum insulation, an ice gel pack will last about 24-36 hours. Alternatively, at room temperature, an ice gel pack will only last 2-3 hours.
Our Ice Packs Toxic?
There was a time when the gel inside the ice packs was toxic. However, current ice packs consist of gels that are not toxic. Therefore, ice gel packs can be used for food preservation or injuries without worrying too much.
How to Keep Food Cold With The Right Packaging
Ultimately, how cold the food stays will depend on how well insulated is the container and packaging. Also, there is a critical role in maintaining the coolness of the shipping and distribution process. Cold chain packaging includes managing external temperature along with the proper use of ice gel packs by using temperature labels and data loggers.
Ice gel packs are often used in various ways, for multiple purposes. Overall, ice gel packs are great products that last a very long time. They do not usually expire, but it would be best to use them within two years. If the ice gel pack starts to reek, there is a good chance that it is not worth using again and it would be best to replace it.
Click here to watch a video about Ice Gel Packs.