The well-engineered cap

January 1, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Premium products demand premium delivery systems, which is why a Texas salad dressing maker pioneered the use of a no-drip, no-glop closure.

The low profile of the new flip-top closure on bottles of Briannas salad dressing complements the brand’s clean look, but the no-drip pourability drove the change. Source: Del Sol Food Company Inc.

Del Sol Food Co.’s use of a drip-proof, reclosable cap for pourable products in its line of Briannas salad dressings (second row, right) received the 2009 Package of the Year award from the Association of Dressings and Sauces. The cap is in the middle of the first row.

Closures may be the most arcane component of liquid containers. A bottle’s shape and heft register with two human senses, and label design can approach pop-art status. A cap, on the other hand…

One group that celebrates the science of closure engineering is the Association of Dressings and Sauces. Since 2001, the group has recognized breakthroughs such as yogurt in a tube (Stonyfield Farm’s Yo Squeeze), the tri-cuspid valve cap (French’s stay-clean mustard) and the oval-shaped flip-top closure (Kraft Mayo’s big-mouth jar). Some of the biggest names in pourable products have been honored over the years, but innovation, not size, is the key criterion. 2009’s citation goes to a family firm for its pioneering use of the LiquiFlapper for salad dressings.

Brenham, TX-based Del Sol Food Company Inc. switched from a commodity flip cap in February for noncream dressings in its Briannas line. The new tear-drop shaped opening “allows the bottle to breathe as you pour it over the lip,” explains engineer Billy Bowen of Del Sol, “and it gave us a better appearance,” thanks to the closure’s low profile. The company is fussy about package aesthetics-the elegance of the glass bottle and the precise placement of five labels have drawn plaudits from marketing and trade groups, including a Clio award-but performance was the key to the closure change.

The cap’s low profile was an easy changeover for Del Sol’s capping machines, says Bowen. The positive snap-close fit seals firmly, and a raised ridge around the opening resolves the occasional customer complaint about dressing dribbling down the bottle.

The cap is the work of Weatherchem Corp., a Twinsburg, OH, firm specializing in flip-top dispensing. Weatherchem identified a gap in cap dispensers for pourable, spreadable products. “There was nothing that controlled the pour,” explains Whitney Swamy, product manager. Product tended to either drip after pouring or exit in globs, Swamy added. LiquiFlapper’s larger aperture equalizes pressure inside the container. The cap also is about 10% lighter than similar closures-the 33-mm cap weighs 3.5 grams, the 38-mm version 4.4 grams-and can be customized with gripable ribbing on the vertical surface, as in the case of Briannas, or an embossed logo on the top. 

“The adoption of the LiquiFlapper as the portion-control closure is another step in Del Sol’s continuous improvement of our popular Briannas Salad Dressing and its signature package,” concludes Bowen.

For more information:

Whitney Swamy, Weatherchem Corp., 330-405-7765,

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

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.


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 Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe


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.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!


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

Visit to learn more.


FE recent tweets