We’ve all used coolers to keep our food and drinks cold while camping, grilling, and wherever refrigeration isn't available. However, many cold chain products such as food, pharmaceuticals, wine, and other temperature-sensitive items need to be shipped and stored at a consistent temperature, sometimes for long periods of time. In these situations it's important to understand how cold gel packs can help store your temperature sensitive products correctly.
How do Cold Packs Work?
Cold packs work by absorbing heat from the surrounding environment and then dissipating it through a process called conduction. When the gel pack is placed on the skin, it absorbs heat from the body, which cools the affected area and helps reduce inflammation.
How do I Use Ice Cold Gel Packs?
Using cold gel packs for shipping is as simple as placing the pack inside a freezer until desired temperature is achieved. Afterwards, the packs are ready to ensure your items arrive at their destination at the proper temperature.
How long Do Ice Cold Gel Packs last?
Once frozen, shipping gel packs last up to 65% longer than regular frozen ice derived from water. The length of time also varies between the size, shape, and density of your package. When packed properly in a well-insulated cooler, cold packs last longer. Generally speaking, Ice Cold Gel Packs can keep food at a safe temperature for 24 hours.
Are Ice Cold Gel Packs Safe Around Perishable Items?
Absolutely! Cold gel packs are non-toxic and designed to resist leaks. However, if any of your frozen food or beverage does come in contact with the contents of the gel packs you should avoid consuming it.
Can I Heat Up Cold Packs?
You should never attempt to heat up the packs. They are designed specifically to provide cold therapy, and heating them could damage the gel pack or cause injury to the skin.
Are Gel Packs Safer To Use Than Dry Ice?
Dry ice might be the answer to your shipping needs, but keep in mind that throughout your packages travel, the dry ice will eventually convert back to carbon dioxide, meaning it doesn’t thaw or melt; it just gets gassy. This gaseous element absolutely needs to escape during the length of the journey, so plan accordingly and make sure your packaging is ventilated enough for the gas to escape.
The best way to determine if your shipment requires dry ice or ice cold packs is to first consider the temperature you will need when shipping. If you need your package to be shipped cold but not quite frozen (30-60 degrees), gel packs are the best option. There are several rules and regulations to think about when shipping temperature-controlled gel packs foods and pharmaceuticals; however, shipping with cold gel packs is easier, more cost effective, and safer than traditional refrigeration methods.
Can You Bring Ice Cold Gel Packs On A Plane?
The TSA has very clear and concise guidelines for traveling safely while shipping cold packs, ice gel packs, or any other frozen liquids like water. You are absolutely allowed to bring your reusable cold packs with you in your checked luggage. The liquids inside your ice pack are non-toxic and considered safe for travel unlike hazardous chemicals which are forbidden on airlines.
For carry on bags it does get a bit more complicated. In order to pass TSA guidelines your Ice Cold Gel Pack must be COMPLETELY frozen solid. The TSA does not allow gel packs that are partially frozen or slushy. If your gel pack is melted, slushy, or partially thawed it must meet the TSA 3-1-1 rule. Meaning all liquids must be less than 3.5 ounces, stored in a clear plastic bag, and remember, only one bag per traveler is allowed in your carryon luggage.
Generally speaking, gel cold packs are best for maintaining the temperature of chilled goods above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). For example, in the food industry, the FDA requires that all raw protein perishable food items reach their destination at a maximum of 40°F. Also, injectable medicines generally need to stay within 2-8°C. Consider this while packing your cold products.
Can I Dump Ice Cold Gel Packs Down The Sink?
You should never dump the contents of our gel packs down the sink. Please study and follow your local recycling and waste removal guidelines.
Cold Gel Packs are the solution that cold chain logistics needs to ensure your product stays ice cold! Whether you’re shipping food, pharmaceuticals, liquids, or any other perishable item, their non-toxic gel packs are here to help you keep cold!
With locations in Dallas and Los Angeles our team of specialists provide the perfect solution for your cold chain supply needs. Our non-toxic, leak proof bags come in a variety of sizes to ensure your package arrives safe, on time, and at the correct temperature. Contact our sales department to see how gel packs can innovate your cold logistic shipping needs.