Running an online food or drinks related business can be a tough job. Not only do you have to deal with continuously developing new and exciting products for your customers, you also have to find ways to get your products to your customers as quickly and safely as possible. It is vital that your product arrives with your customers in exactly the condition you expect it to (notice how I didn’t say “…how it left your company”). One of the important considerations you must make is that of using insulated, temperature-controlled packaging solutions such as ice packs.
Ice packs are used as a way of maintaining the temperature of packaged items during transit. There are a variety of different products available on the market, but by far the most popular are those that incorporate chemical beads, containing within individually separated cells, that soak up water and can be reused. The reason that these are so popular is because they are relatively cheap to purchase, can be wrapped around items of irregular shape, and can be reused numerous times, sometimes up to hundreds of times.
Other forms of ice packs are solid containers that contain a refrigerant solution designed to stay at low temperatures for extended periods.
The reason that these gels and liquid solutions work so well in maintaining low temperatures is to do with the phenomenon known as enthalpy of fusion. Essentially it is to do with the amount of energy needed to change the temperature of a particular substance. It takes more energy to change the temperature of these refrigerant gels and solutions than it does to change the temperature of simple water, which effectively means, with everything being constant, water will gain temperature (heat) quicker than the refrigerants, ergo the refrigerants will remain without (technically 'with less') heat for longer periods.