Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

A step-change in light protection for milk in PET bottles

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A step-change in light protection for milk in PET bottles
GEA Procomac trials breakthrough White & Safe milk bottle
In Use – n/a

Benefits
Shelf life extension

Product Categories
Drinks

Relevant Materials
Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars

Supply Chain Phase
Consumer, Retailing

Details

For many years packaging for UHT and ESL milk has been dominated by HDPE and cartons. This paper briefly looks at the limitations of these materials, introduces modern alternatives describing the production and marketing benefits they provide to the dairy industry, and describes a new process that allows manufacturers to manipulate the level of light protection provided by  packaging in line with each product’s needs.

New developments in light protection for PET
Today also the PET market offers many options that provide a light barrier: multilayer materials, the addition of colourants, or TiO2 (titanium dioxide) additives dispersed directly during PET polymerization step.

And it is embracing this last technology that GEA Procomac, in collaboration with P.E.T. Engineering for the bottle design optimization and with Novapet, launched its own bottle for the UHT dairy milk market: ‘White & Safe’. The mission was to show that it is now possible to combine the highest level of hygiene and safety of aseptic filling, with packaging that provides a ‘total light barrier’ (over 99.5% of the visible light spectrum), with the guarantee over nine months shelf life for UHT milk and significant advantages over earlier materials. In fact barrier PET further than a flexible and modular light barrier functionality, offers the potential to allow light-weighting in exactly way as ordinary PET, and a significant reduction of material costs with the same bottle to bottle recyclability potential as for normal PET.

New ‘White & Safe’ from GEA Procomac
The GEA Procomac development, however, has not only achieved this aim but has gone further by providing users with the opportunity of customizing the level of light protection provided by the bottle simply by adjusting the concentration of TiO2 based solution (DCU® by Novapet) in the preform to match the needs of each individual product. By doing so it has provided a level of control over operating costs that has not been possible to date.

There is no need for dedicated technology for the injection process. With little investment, and in a very short time, the preforms can be produced by a high speed standard mono-layer injection machine at whatever TiO2 concentration is required without any risk of delamination during blow molding process due to the single-layer technology.

Because the process uses GEA Procomac ABF (Aseptic Blow Fill) technology, that sterilises the preform rather than the blown bottle, it is possible to reduce the weight of the bottle dramatically without any risk of deformation caused by heat treatment. As an example, the 1litre ‘White & Safe’ bottle, designed specifically for ABF technology, with a 33/15 neck, weighs just 21g and is believed to be the lightest of its size on the market.


* 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. Source:

Potential Benefits

Shelf life; light barrier;

Intellectual Property

tbc

Consultant View

n/a

Contacts and Further Information

GEA Procomac S.p.A.
Via Fedolfi 29 - 43038 Sala Baganza (Parma) Italy
 
 

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