Retort pouches prove multifunctional; Classic glass bottle evokes ice tea's homemade flavor; Microwavable paperboard tray turns hot dogs into fast franks; Panel-less PET bottles offer a smooth grip; Bio-based packaging additive; Biodegradable paper coating; Shapely PET bottle for juice; Aluminum longneck bottles

Wyeast Laboratories' line of pure liquid yeast for beer and wine making is available in 50-ml and 125-ml retortable stand-up pouches and is said to be the only pure liquid yeast marketed in a retort pouch in the US. Source: Ampac Packaging.

Retort pouches prove multifunctional

Wyeast Laboratories, Inc., based in Hood River, OR, launched a line of pure liquid yeast for beer and wine making in 50-ml and 125-ml retortable stand-up pouches from Ampac Flexibles, a unit of Ampac Packaging, LLC. According to Ampac, this is the only pure liquid yeast marketed in a retort pouch in the US.

As home brewing grows in popularity, selecting liquid yeast that will meet performance expectations has become critical. Ampac was presented with the challenge of producing a packaging structure that provides both oxygen and ultraviolet (UV) protection to help deliver these performance expectations.

"Because oxygen stimulates yeast metabolism, our packaging must protect our yeast from exposure," comments Jenny Logsdon, general manager, Wyeast Laboratories. "The shelf life of our product is up to six months when refrigerated at the appropriate temperature. The yeast needs to rest in a dormant state so that it does not metabolize in the package, which would deplete the energy it needs for fermentation. Also, if the yeast is exposed to light, you will get cell mutation which results in cell death and lower cell counts."

Usually when a product is packaged in a retort pouch, the filling and sealing takes place first, followed by retorting. However, due to the sensitive nature of the yeast product, Wyeast retorts the pouch before filling in order to have a sterile environment for the yeast.

Wyeast also has other products in its line called Smack Packs that feature a small pouch within the retort pouch. This smaller pouch contains a liquid malt nutrient base. When consumers are ready to activate the yeast, they move the inner small packet to the corner of the sealed retort pouch. Consumers then hit the smaller pouch to break it open and release the malt nutrient base to begin yeast metabolism.

For the Smack Pack system, the small pouch is first inserted into the retort pouch and then retorting takes place. Filling of the liquid yeast into the sterile retort pouch then takes place in a clean room environment.

In addition to meeting the desired oxygen and UV barrier requirements, the pouches also had to perform during the metabolic phase. Once the yeast is activated and metabolism begins, the culture gives off carbon dioxide, which causes the pouch to expand. The pouch's gusseted bottom panel, which is collapsed flat prior to activation, expands as the internal pressure increases.

The back panel on the pouch instructs the brewer to allow the package to incubate and swell for three hours or more. Therefore, the seals on the stand-up gusseted pouch have to also withstand internal pressure without rupturing. Ampac Packaging supplied Wyeast with a retort pouch that is made from a proprietary, high-barrier adhesive lamination, which is offered in six colors and can be rotogravure reverse printed.

"The integrity of Ampac's retort pouches has been great. The company has excellent quality control which is critical to our product," added Logsdon.

For more information:
Lisa Fey, Ampac Packaging,, 513-551-1209

Coca-Cola North America is using a carafe-like glass bottle to convey the homemade flavor of its Gold Peak brand of premium ready-to-drink iced tea. Source: Coca-Cola North America.

Classic glass bottle evokes ice tea's homemade flavor

With so many different varieties of premium iced tea currently on the market, Coca-Cola North America decided to go back to basics with its launch of Gold Peak brand premium ready-to-drink (RTD) iced tea.

"The premium and super-premium segments of the RTD iced tea market are the fastest growing in the category," says Gloria Garrett, Coca-Cola North America vice president, Hydration Business Unit. "The category is ripe for a new premium brand with classic iced tea taste."

Offered in five flavors-sweetened, unsweetened, lemon, diet and green tea-Gold Peak provides a bottled option for enthusiasts of home-style iced tea, according to Coca-Cola. "Gold Peak is the modern, convenient expression of the classic drink we all know and love," adds Garrett.

Gold Peak is filled in carafe-like 16.9-oz. single-serve glass bottles supplied by Anchor Glass Container Corp., Henryetta, OK. The glass bottle's label features a lakeside scene, which together with the rich color of the iced tea in the clear glass bottle, is designed to stand out as a sophisticated, upscale brand.

Gordon Love, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, 813-884-0000

Microwavable paperboard tray turns hot dogs into fast franks

As if hot dogs weren't easy enough to prepare, now consumers can pop them already wrapped in their buns in the microwave for 35 seconds and eat. Kraft Foods' Oscar Mayer brand and Graphic Packaging International have teamed up to offer the latest in super-convenient food-Oscar Mayer Fast Franks. These hot dogs come individually wrapped in a specially designed microwavable paperboard tray that uses Graphic Packaging's QuiltWave active microwave package; it heats the bun while simultaneously fully warming the hot dog.

Graphic Packaging created the Hot Pockets heat sleeve back in 1983. According to John Gerstner, senior account executive at the Marietta, GA-based packaging firm, "Our QuiltWave technology, coupled with proprietary Kraft dough technology, heats the bun so it's soft and warm right out of the microwave oven."

The QuiltWave package uses unique laminated quilts, or pockets, that expand when exposed to microwave energy and provide closer contact with the food product. This hot surface immediately next to the food drives away moisture and heats the bun to just the right taste and texture, explains Gerstner.

Launched this summer, Oscar Mayer Fast Franks are available in two varieties-meat wieners or beef franks-and can be found in the refrigerated products section of major grocery stores nationwide. Packages contain three hot dogs in buns and an eight-count club package is scheduled for introduction later this year.

For more information:
Bob Babich, Graphic Packaging International,, 770-795-3765

Leading Brands' Trek natural sports drinks and Nitro energy drinks are filled in 20-oz. Heat-Tek Brick PET bottles from Ball Corporation. Source: Ball Corporation.

Panel-less PET bottles offer a smooth grip

Vancouver, Canada-based Leading Brands, Inc. launched its Trek natural sports drinks and Nitro energy drinks in new 20-oz. Heat-Tek Brick polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from Ball Corporation. The bottle's proprietary design eliminates the need for side vacuum panels, which provides a smoother label panel for a more comfortable grip and facilitates labeling.

Trek is an all-natural sports drink that is sweetened with pure cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup, and is "osmotically balanced" to allow for quick absorption by the body. The Nitro energy drinks are non-carbonated beverages that the company claims "packs the full punch of an energy drink and hydration at the same time."

Ball says it designed the unique structure for the patent-pending Brick bottle by eliminating the need for side vacuum panels, and giving it similar dimensions to Ball's standard 20-oz. Heat-Tek bottle so it could run on the same filling lines.

For more information:
Ann T. Scott, Ball Corporation,, 303-460-3537

Bio-based packaging additive

DuPont Packaging's says its Biomax Strong additive improves the performance of bio-based, biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) packaging. DuPont's Biomax Strong is a petrochemical additive that improves the toughness and reduces the brittleness of PLA materials. DuPont also claims that its Biomax Strong enhances the impact strength, flexibility and melt stability of PLA, particularly when used in rigid applications like cast sheets for thermoforming and injection molding. Biomax Strong is designed to have good contact clarity and provides a clearer container than other alternatives. When used at the recommended levels, Biomax Strong allows the material to still meet compost-ability requirements. Biomax Strong 100 was developed for use in packaging where no regulatory food compliance is necessary. The second grade, Biomax Strong 120, is expected to be available in three to six months and was developed to comply with food contact regulatory requirements.

DuPont Packaging;; 302-992-6678

Biodegradable paper coating

Cereplast, Inc., a producer of proprietary bio-based resins; MeadWestvaco Corp., a global packaging company; and Solo Cup Company have announced that MeadWestvaco has completed the development of a fully renewable and biodegradable extrusion-coated paperboard product made with Cereplast resins that Solo can manufacture into cups. The Cereplast coating, with a heat resistance of 220

Shapely PET bottle for juice

Tropicana Products, a division of PepsiCo, Inc., introduced Tropicana Pure, a line of 100 percent fruit juices in contoured, clear, one-liter PET bottles from Graham Packaging Company. The new line of flash-pasteurized, refrigerated fruit juice blends is available in grocery store produce sections. The bottles feature clear pressure-sensitive labels on the front and back panels. Tropicana Pure comes in four flavors including pomegranate blueberry, mango orange, triple berry and valencia orange.

Graham Packaging Company;; 717-849-8500

Aluminum longneck bottles

CCL Container introduced the first two designs in its new Aluminex line of full-body shaped aluminum bottles. The "Roadhouse" design is a longneck bottle available in 12 oz. and 16 oz. sizes with crown and 28 mm threaded finishes. CCL's second design, known as the "Tailgater" features a full-contoured body and can be produced with a number of bottle finishes, including crown, 38 ROPP (roll-on, pilfer-proof), 38 mm threaded and 38 mm lug finishes. The Aluminex line offers proprietary, food-grade, internal and external linings to protect product taste and purity. They are 100 recyclable and are available in a choice of industry standard resealable closure systems.

CCL Container;; 203-354-4523