Tetra Pak has launched what it calls the world's first clear aseptic package.
The introduction of the new package gives food companies using aseptic filling methods greater choice in how they display and market their food products.
Aseptic processing involves filling a sterilised package with a sterile food under a confined hygienic environment. Through the method processors can achieve a longer shelf life without the use of preservatives or refrigeration. The process is especially suited to those who make "natural", "preservative free" or chilled products.
The Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear is transparent, allowing potential customers to see the product. A patented barrier technology protects the product and aseptic processing seals in taste and nutrition.
The package's barrier properties allows for both high- and low-acid applications, making pouch-style, shelf-stable packaging a new possibility for the dairy and soy industries.
Aseptic processing opens up new formulation potential not currently possible through hot-fill processing. In addition, the size and shape of the package makes it ideal for kid beverages, Tetra Pak claims.
The Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear was first tested by Mexican beverage company Jumex. The company used the package for its Nautix brand, which was launched this May in the Mexican market. Not Tetra Pak plans to bring the package to other markets.
"The demand for healthy beverages is increasing and Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear can help fulfill that demand in an innovative new package," stated Vanessa Solmaz, Tetra Pak's business development manager.
The Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear has smooth sides and no sharp edges like current commercial stand-up pouches. The package is designed with a special straw hole pocket that guides the straw to the best position to puncture the straw-hole patch.
The strength of the package material prevents the straw from puncturing the opposing side of the package, a common problem with existing pouches. The package is 80 per cent more puncture resistant than other stand-up-pouches, Tetra Pak claims.
"Operationally, Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear offers reduced energy and water consumption versus hot-fill," the company claimed. "This process also eliminates labour and additional steps required with pre-made pouches."
The company is targeting the pouch at makers of flavored waters, sports beverages, liquid electrolytes, juices, dairy and soy drinks, nectars, and other related products.