Food Engineering

Food Packaging Materials & Containers

April 5, 2005


First microwaveable aseptic package launched

Lund, Sweden-based Tetra Pak developed what it claims is the world's first microwaveable aseptic package aimed at the growing market of prepared sauces for both retail distribution and food service applications. French gourmet chocolate maker Valrhona is using the Tetra Wedge aseptic microwaveable 200S for its Sauce au Chocolat product.



French gourmet chocolate maker Valrhona is one of the first users of Tetra Pak’s Tetra Wedge aseptic microwaveable 200S for its premium chocolate sauce.
According to consumer research conducted by Tetra Pak, consumers found the 200 ml Tetra Wedge aseptic easier to handle and pour compared to stand-up pouches, which are commonly used for ready-made sauces.

Valrhona's Sauce au Chocolat in the Tetra Wedge aseptic package can be placed directly in the microwave and heated for 45 seconds, and is said to evenly heat due to its shape.

According to Tetra Pak, its microwaveable Tetra Wedge aseptic package uses polyethylene terephtalic silicon oxide (PET SiOx) as an oxygen barrier to ensure product safety and integrity as well as preserve the product's original flavor, color and texture for six months without the need for refrigeration or preservatives.

The package is manufactured on Tetra Pak's TBA/19 filling machine, which has been specially designed with ultrasonic transversal sealing for the innovative packaging material used in the product. Used exclusively for the Tetra Wedge aseptic microwaveable 200S, it has a capacity of 6,000 packages/hour.

"The Tetra Wedge aseptic microwaveable 200S protects the flavor and quality of our newly launched premium chocolate sauce," says Christophe Devaux, R&D project manager at Valrhona, who adds that the package has enabled the company to enter the market for gourmet ready-made dessert sauces. "It allows us to propose a ready-to-use package, and the microwaveable heating capacity and shape represent an added value to our customers, particularly for pastry cooks in restaurants. With no tools required to pour the sauce, it's a time-saver."

Valrhona, with the support of Tetra Pak France, was one of several European food manufacturers to successfully field-test the microwaveable Tetra Wedge aseptic package over the course of 14 months.

For more information:

Cristina Veronese, Tetra Pak Carton Ambient Spa,
cristina.veronese@tetrapak.com,
+39 059 898 111



Curvy juice bottle moves to plastic

POM Wonderful, growers and marketers of fresh pomegranates and pomegranate juices, converted its unique multi-bulb-shaped bottles, which are closely identified with its brand, from glass to plastic. Graham Packaging Co., L.P., York, PA, produces the 16-oz. PET bottles for the company's POM Wonderful pomegranate juice.



POM Wonderful pomegranate juice converted from glass to curvy 16-oz. plastic containers to satisfy consumers’ request for more lightweight, shatterproof, portable and recyclable containers.
The juice takes its name from the "Wonderful" variety of pomegranate, which the company grows exclusively to produce a juice that the processor claims is higher in antioxidants than any other beverage.

The bottle, designed in-house at POM Wonderful, echoes the look of a pomegranate, including the distinctive crown on the fruit.

According to Fiona Posell, vice president, corporate communications at POM Wonderful, the company made the switch from glass to plastic because "consumers wanted something more portable, lighter and recyclable." Posell notes that POM Wonderful was originally working with Owens-Illinois (O-I) to produce the glass bottles, when Graham Packaging eventually took over the O-I plant, helping to facilitate the switch to plastic.

For more information:

Paul Bailie, Graham Packaging Co., L.P.,
paul.bailie@grahampackaging.com,
717-849-8579



New Evian bottle reminiscent of its French Alps origin

Mineral water manufacturer Evian introduced a limited edition "luxurious container" for its Evian Origine brand. The "monolithic ice-like sculpture," designed by Landor Associates' Paris office, aims to replicate the brand's iconic alpine mountaintops where Evian water has flowed for more than 8,000 years.



Evian introduced a limited-edition glass container, which features sharp mountain-like peaks reflecting the mineral water’s source, for its Evian Origine brand.
The bottle, produced by Paris-based Saint Gobain Emballage, is made of thick glass, where light beams can shine through its irregular angles. The minimalist design, meant to put emphasis on Origine's shape, features a no-label look, produced by using a front-panel pressure-sensitive label. The bottle also features a contrasting red injection-molded PET overcap produced by Verchere Plastiques, Orgelet, France, which snaps over a 28 mm aluminum screw closure.

Evian invested $1.3 million to modify the filling lines at its plant in the French Alps to fill this new mountain-shaped Origine glass bottle. The line had previously been used to fill 33-cl PET bottles, but has been specially adapted to cater to the Origine launch.

Since its debut in late 2004, the bottle has been distributed in more than 100 countries.

For more information:

Mathilde Auvray, Landor Paris,
mathilde_auvray@fr.landor.com,
+33 1 5334 3096

Stephan Leonard, Saint-Gobain Emballage,
commercial.france.sge@saintgobain.com,
+33 1 4762 3800

Jean-Marie Duvigneau, Verchere Plastiques,
jmd@vpi-packlux.com,
+33 4 7442 6837



Energy drink hopes to spark sales with battery-shaped bottle

Jolt, one of the first energy drinks to appear on the market in 1985, gets an energy jolt of its own as the brand is relaunched in the Jolt Battery Bottle-a redesigned bottle that resembles a battery. Wet Planet, which owns the Jolt brand, partnered with Rexam Beverage Can North America to produce what is said to be the industry's first resealable 23.5-oz. aluminum container in its hopes to win over new consumers.



Wet Planet’s Jolt energy drink has been relaunched in a new Jolt Battery Bottle, a resealable 23.5-oz. aluminum bottle designed to stand out among the numerous energy drink brands on the shelf.
In lieu of glass or plastic, a resealable aluminum can offers product freshness, carbonation retention, improved shelf life as well as quick chilling, distribution and filling economics.

"We worked closely with Wet Planet to understand what they wanted to do with their brand and bottom line, and then we helped them build a proposition across their entire value chain," said Harry Barto, president and CEO of Chicago, IL-based Rexam Beverage Can North America.

The new Jolt Battery Bottle features a gauge printed in thermochromic ink that changes colors when the beverage is chilled. As the beverage is consumed, the ink returns to its original color showing the consumer how much liquid is left. Available in Cola, Electric Blue, Red Eye, Cherry Bomb and Ultra, Jolt delivers two hits of caffeine in every serving.

The bottle combines Rexam's 23.5-oz. Monster can body with its Cap Can closure technology. The aluminum can body is produced and printed on one of Rexam's high-speed can manufacturing lines and then transformed into a resealable container by seaming on a Cap Can end and closure developed by Dayton Systems Group, Inc. (DSG), Miamisburg, OH. According to Rexam, DSG developed the patented closure concept, including the forming process and equipment technology to manufacture the Cap Can closure assembly. ARCO Aluminum, Louisville, KY, is the single-source supplier of the coil aluminum sheet for production of the dome and decorated cap components of the can.

For more information:

Greg Brooke, Rexam Beverage Can North America, greg.brooke@rexam.com,
773-399-3362



Curwood flies away with award for its innovative oven-ready frozen turkey carrier bag

Turkey processor and marketer Jennie-O Turkey Store, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., introduced its new line of oven-ready frozen turkeys in a package which aims to be as convenient as the product. Unlike typical shrink packages used for frozen turkeys, the pouch carrier bag for the Jennie-O Turkey Store oven-ready turkey is a flat, non-shrinkable bag that differentiates the product and allows consumers to easily read the cooking instructions and nutrition facts.



An award-winning carrier bag produced by Curwood helps the Jennie-O Turkey Store oven-ready frozen turkey stand out among the shrink bag brands in the freezer case.
The carrier bag is produced by Oshkosh, WI-based Curwood and features a strong, reinforced two-hole handle to make picking up and carrying the whole bird easy for consumers. Featuring high-impact graphics, the carrier bag has functional side gussets to allow the packaging graphics to stand out in the freezer case.

"Due to the innovative aspect of this whole bird, the exterior packaging was critical in delivering the key consumer benefits," notes Chuck Meath, vice president of branded whole turkey sales at Jennie-O. Meath adds that sales of the new product have exceeded the company's expectations and Jennie-O has received positive feedback on the new package.

The product is a pre-basted whole bird with the giblets removed that can go from the freezer to oven without any defrosting or cleaning required, eliminating consumers' concerns about proper defrosting or handling of raw meat. Jennie-O Turkey Store offers two varieties of oven-ready turkey products, including home-style and butter, herb and garlic.

Curwood won a 2005 Flexible Packaging Achievement award for its turkey carrier and applied its proprietary IntegraScore opening feature vertically along one side of the gusseted pouch. By incorporating the IntegraScore feature, consumers' can open the bag without the use of scissors or a knife, thus preserving the integrity of the inner cook-in bag.

Curwood's IntegraScore feature is achieved by applying a continuous controlled score to a multilayered film. The system controls the scoring to the proper layers, ensuring that barrier protection is not compromised, while providing the convenience of an easy-opening system.

According to Curwood, the package consists of a reverse-printed polyester layer that is extrusion laminated to a rigid white sealant.

The Jennie-O Turkey Store oven-ready frozen turkeys in the new package are currently available in retail stores nationwide.

For more information:

Melissa Schumacher, Curwood, Inc.,
mschumacher@bemis.com,
920-303-7362



Corn-based plastic containers

BIOTA Water and Naturally Iowa Dairy beverage companies are among the first to bottle their products in corn-based NatureWorks PLA, produced by NatureWorks LLC, the new name for Cargill's corn-based plastics business. BIOTA Rocky Mountain spring water is available in one-liter, half-liter and 12-oz. "stubby" bottles, all formed from NatureWorks PLA. The film labels on the bottle are also made of the corn-based plastic. Naturally Iowa packages its natural and organic milk in a half-gallon "grip" bottle composed of NatureWorks PLA and it is currently working with NatureWorks LLC to develop bottles for its single-serve beverages. NatureWorks PLA is transparent and can be used primarily for short-shelf life applications that use cold-filling processing such as water, fresh juices and dairy beverages. Monolayer bottles composed of NatureWorks PLA can be formed on the same injection molding/stretch blow molding equipment used for PET, according to NatureWorks LLC. The NatureWorks PLA bottles will degrade in commercial composting conditions in approximately 75-80 days.

NatureWorks LLC;
www.natureworksllc.com;
952-742-0542



High-abuse shrink bag

The clarity and puncture resistance of Vector Packaging's Vector 80 high-abuse plastic shrink bags make them ideal for bone-in, case-ready meat and poultry products. The plastic shrink bags are custom printable. Available in clear plastic and colors, including red, white, metallic blue, silver, or smoked, Vector 80 has excellent oxygen and moisture barrier properties, lower leaker rates and a longer shelf life, according to the company. The Vector 80 shrink bag is suitable for cook-in applications such as steam or water cooked barbecued pork or beef ribs and whole turkeys.

Vector Packaging;
www.vectorpackaging.com;
800-435-9100



Clear polypropylene deli containers

Placon Corp. developed HomeFresh round polypropylene deli containers available in five clear base containers with two polypropylene lid options. HomeFresh deli containers are available in 8-, 12-, 16-, 24- and 32-oz. sizes. Placon's in-house print department offers customers the ability to print up to eight colors on the cups and six colors on the lids.

Placon Corp.;
www.placon.com;
800-541-1535



Polypropylene resin for clear blown film

Basell has developed a new polypropylene random copolymer, Clyrell RC 1314 resin, to address what the company says are growing customer needs for more demanding performance in transparent blown film applications. Clyrell resin offers a combination of optical properties, high stiffness, and good sealing performance for laminated film and transparent food packaging film applications, according to the company. It also offers high thermal resistance and allows for the introduction of a thermal sealing gradient, which makes it suitable for retortable food pouches. Combined with a barrier material such as polyamide or EVOH, it can provide easily sealable vacuum-formed blisters that exhibit reduced curling.

Basell;
www.basell.com;
410-996-1366



Lidstock seals through oils and contaminants

A new peelable lidstock for thermoformed cups that seals through oil and chemical contamination is available from Flexicon, Inc. The lamination, called Flexi 6744, is made from polyester and foil plus a proprietary, three-layer coextruded sealant. It is suitable for products such as meats, gravies and sauces. Flexi 6744 is engineered to mate with thermoformed cups and trays containing a Surlyn ionomer sealant layer. The structure is said to offer moisture, vapor and oxygen permeability.

Flexicon, Inc.;
www.flexiconinc.net;
847-639-3530