COLOGNE, Germany: Tetra Pak yesterday launched what it claims is the world's first aseptic carton bottle, a container with a plastic transparent top.
The company says the bottle, called Aptiva, combines the advantages of plastic with the aseptic filling qualities of aseptic carton packaging.
The Tetra Aptiva Aseptic has a carton-based sleeve with a plastic top and screw cap. The company has designed the carton an alternative to plastic bottles, company president and chief executive officer Dennis Jönsson said yesterday at a press conference.
He was speaking at the Anuga FoodTech exhibition here, which ends tomorrow.
The plastic top allows customers to see the product's contents. The Aptiva system also requires less than half the capital investment compared to a plastic filling line at a comparable capacity, he claimed.
Operating savings are in a range of 20 per cent to 50 per cent lower compared to äseptic Polyethylene Terephthalate (APET) and aseptic High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles.
The Aptiva Aseptic is targeted at manufacturers looking to catch the growing market for on-the-go beverages distributed through vending machines, convenience stores and supermarkets.
The package has a wide opening with a re-sealable screw cap applied onto a plastic top.
Pascual, a milk, beverages and food producer in Spain is one of the company's first customers. Pascual has introduced its Scapy brand as a blend of fruit juice and milk enriched with vitamins and targeted at 8 to 14-year olds.
The Aptiva is manufactured on the Tetra Pak A5, a newly designed filling machine, which will be available in two versions, one for portion packs and the other for family packs.
Both versions will be able to handle juice, nectars and still drinks, along with liquid dairy products.
The portion pack version can produce up to 12,000 packages per hour and the family pack version runs at up to 10,000 packages per hour.
The filling and forming process developed for the Tetra Pak A5 uses rolls of carton-based packaging material and pre-made plastic top-and-cap assemblies. The forming and filling process begins when the sheet of packaging material is formed around the mandrel and then induction sealed to produce a carton sleeve ready to fuse with the pre-made plastic top.
Tetra Pak supplies two tops as one piece, which is then cut in half to create two bottles. The top is placed on the mandrel wheel where the carton sleeve is placed over it. Induction sealing fuses the two parts together.
Sterilisation is carried out through a process based on hydrogen peroxide gas. After filling, a burst of nitrogen gas is puffed into the package to minimise the oxygen content before final sealing.
The final fold, to create the shape and base, takes place just as the package is sealed.
Tetra Pak is marketing the Aptiva as a container with efficient carton barrier properties ensuring a shelf life with a minimum of six months for oxygen sensitive products.
The transparent polypropylene top on the high acid version lets consumers see the contents and also contains an oxygen barrier. An opaque polyethylene top on other versions protects the contents from light.
During the initial rollout, the Aptiva Aseptic will be available to customers in Europe only.
In 2007, the Aptiva Aseptic for liquid dairy product will be available in 1000 ml size with an opaque polyethylene top. Rollout in other parts of the world will follow on a region-by-region basis starting in 2008.