Françoise Raoul Duval, Sidel’s vice president for sensitive products, told this publication that Combi Predis had spread rapidly across the world since its 2006 launch, with Europe and Asia the two most “booming” markets – Sidel has sold over 60 systems to date.
Duval said that Sidel’s new generation High Speed Combi Predis FMa aseptic PET filler – pencilled in for an H2 2012 launch – was an evolution of the firm’s current range, and was designed to produce single-serve bottles ranging from 200ml to 750ml litres at 48,000 bottles per hour.
“It is suitable for on-the-go consumption by simultaneously achieving very high output rates for the single-serve PET bottle market while reducing operating costs by improving productivity. It can manage any kind of end products, from juice to UHT or soya milk,” Duval said.
Middle Eastern growth
High Speed Combi Predis FMa combines blow moulding, filling and capping, and provides pre-form and cap sterilisation via a ‘dry’ hydrogen peroxide mist that replaces the traditional need to rinse bottles; thus it significantly cuts chemical use and does not require water.
Combi Predis was first launched for use with extended shelf life (ESL) dairy products in 2006, and Duval said it could now package any kind of sensitive beverage, where demand for such products was growing in the Middle East and Africa, in particular.
Appropriate application areas include high acid ambient products and apple juice; high acid carbonates without preservatives; aseptic low acid ambient products and UHT milk.
So were there any applications that were particularly popular? “It is really popular to fill ESL dairy products and to aseptically fill juices, teas, ambient as well as UHT milk,” Duval said.
Chinese market evolution
With Sidel planning to launch its new high speed machine in response to Asian market demand for high speed filling within territories where there was increasing pressure on water supplies, could Duval pinpoint any countries in particular?
Duval cited China, where he said the beverage industry had grown consistently by over 20% year-on-year over the past 10 years, with 2010 production (excluding dairy and beer) hitting 100.8m tonnes.
“The market has not only evolved in terms of growth, but also in terms of quality. This is a market where health and well-being of people is more and more engaged,” Duval said.
“That’s why the beverage industry has to drive innovation and production efficiency, with a specific focus on food safety.”