Gerber edges away from glass

The possibility of glass fragments contaminating baby food is a source of tremendous anxiety, and manufacturers spend heavily on safeguards to minimize the risk. The best solution may be elimination of glass jars, and the NatureLock line from Fremont, Mich.-based Gerber Products Co. is a move in that direction.

Low-acid fruits and vegetables including applesauce, pears, carrots and peas are being packaged in aseptic, thermal formed plastic cups formed on a Hassia TAS 28/80 filling machine. The horizontal form/fill/seal machine is the same as the unit used for pudding at Hunt-Wesson's Waterloo, Ia., facility, according to Charles Ravalli, president of Morganville, N.J.-based Hassia USA Inc. That plant was Food Engineering's 1999 plant of the year. The machine steam-sterilizes cup materials and foil lidding and can output up to 1,200 barrier-plastic cups per minute. The Gerber package also features a snap-fit overcap.

NatureLock uses a high-temperature, short-time cooking process that Gerber officials say yields higher quality, more flavorful products. Only three 3.5 oz. servings are available in plastic, with a 12-month shelf life.

The process has not been validated for particulate, so other NatureLock varieties remain in glass jars.

NatureLock products are bundled into four-packs, adding organization to shelf displays and helping to move multiple units, another drawback of individual glass jars.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.