International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.43, No.9, 4495-4505, 2019
Thermal buffering effect of a packaging design with microencapsulated phase change material
Temperature fluctuations during storage and transportation are the most important factors affecting quality and shelf life of food products. Phase change materials (PCM) with their isothermal characteristics are used to control temperature in various thermal operations. In this study, octanoic acid as PCM candidate was used in a packaging material design for thermal control of a food product. The PCM candidate was microencapsulated in different shell materials in our laboratory. Among the synthesized microcapsules, microencapsulated PCM (mPCM) (Delta Hm = 42.9 J/g) with styrene polymer as the shell material was selected based on its properties of being cost effective and compatibility with human health. Thermal buffering effect of PCM in bulk and microencapsulated forms was tested in a packaging design with special PCM pockets. Results showed that packages with mPCM and bulk PCM provided 8.8 and 6 hours of thermal buffering effect for 160 g of chocolate compared with the package without PCM (reference package).