Food Engineering

No cap on closure expectations

April 1, 2004


Alcoa’s Seal-Max closure features a leak-resistant liner at an affordable price to meet the fit-and-finish challenges of HDPE bottles. Source: Alcoa Closure Systems International.
Single-serve containers remain sales-growth leaders at many beverage companies, including dairies, but they pose special challenges in delivering leak resistance and easy opening. A skateboarder will subject a grab-and-go bottle of chocolate milk to harsher handling than a homemaker touting a half-gallon container, yet finding a standard closure to meet both situations is a problem. Closure suppliers are stepping up with innovations they think will fill the need.

Indianapolis-based Alcoa Closure Systems International thinks it has found the proper balance between leak-resistance and closure affordability with Seal-Max, a 38 mm screw on/screw off cap that recently debuted on Moomentum 14 oz. high density polyethylene (HDPE) milk containers from Marva Maid Dairy in Newport Beach, Va. The HDPE application requires a liner to compensate for the imperfections of HDPE bottles, but the standardized cap is more economical than the Extra Lock 38 mm cap Alcoa developed for Gatorade's hot-fill needs. Baraboo, Wis.-based Foremost Farms also is converting to the cap for its Grip It, Sip It single serves.

"For those processors who feel leak resistance and appearance are critical, this is a step up from the snap-on caps that account for 80 percent of the dairy closure market," suggests Alcoa's Larry Gibson. "We didn't want to have a Cadillac closure with a Yugo appearance."

For more information:
Larry Gibson, Alcoa Closure Systems International,
317-390-5213, larry.gibson@alcoa.com