Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Innovative barrier technology

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Innovative barrier technology
Oxygen barrier technology for use in plastic drinks bottles
In Use – Currently in use for juice drinks and wine sectors with plans to extend to other sectors including foods.

Product Waste Reduction, Shelf life extension

Product Categories
Drinks, Other

Relevant Materials
Liquid Beverage Cartons or other composites, Plastic – Flexible, Plastic – rigid, Other (e.g. soluble sachets )

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars, Cartons, Other

Supply Chain Phase
Design, Packing


The packaging manufacturer has made innovative use of simple chemistry concepts to develop a new barrier technology.  The solution follows a two stage approach with small amounts of a catalyst present in the container wall and a hydrogen activator built into the closure.
Once the container is filled and the closure applied hydrogen is released from the closure. As oxygen enters the container through the container wall it binds with the hydrogen on the surface of the catalyst to form nan-particles of odourless and tasteless water. This prevents oxygen entering the product and accelorating decay. The application is suitable for either cold or hot filling processes. The manufacturer states that the innovation is 100% recyclable and does not cause haziness of the container which had been an issue with alternative barrier solutions.
As long is moisture is present the hydrogen activator will not degrade and will continue to release hydrogen.  This makes this solution particularly effective as an oxygen barrier in drinks applications.  The manufacturer has applied the technology to juice drinks and plans to extend this to wines in due course.
APPE Packaging has developed this technology in collaboration with Colormatrix and KTW and is the only company licensed to sell the Active seal technology. 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The greatest potential benefit from this application is in reduction of food and drink wastage caused through oxygen ingress.  This should ensure that the product is kept in good condition up to the point of consumption.
Additionally, the manufacturer states that the closure and bottle is 100% recyclable and is totally clear in use whereas some alternative barrier technologies cause hazing of the container.
It is also claimed that this is a one size fits all technology as the closure can be used in various sized pack configuration with no consequent loss of hydrogen production.

Intellectual Property

The solution was developed in collaboration with Colormatrix and KTW and APPE Packaging is the only company licenced to sell the Activ Seal technology.

Consultant View

This solution represents a good use of basic chemistry principles applied to the real world issue of oxygen barrier technology.  The resulting solution is effective and the manufacturer claims it is cost neutral compared to alternative packaging formats.
There are many other examples of similar solutions to food spoilage issues on the REID database and reviewers are recommended to search this database using terms such as "shelf life extention" , phage technology" and "food spoilage reduction"

Contacts and Further Information

APPE Packaging
Ellice Way
Wrexham Technology Park
LL13 7YT
Tel: 01978 857463

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