Functional straw deal targets probiotic juice boost

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tetra pak Lund

A leading packager is spying a global roll-out for a new development in straws that it claims can grant an additional probiotic boost to juices and dairy beverages.

Tetra Pak says that as part of its agreement with the device’s manufacturer Unistraw, from the middle of next year, it can provide the patented probiotic delivering straws on the majority of its Tetra Brik Aseptic cartons. According to the packager, the straws can deliver probiotics in ambient, long shelf life products.

Functional beverages that can offer health and nutrition benefits continue to dominate the non-alcoholic beverage sector, with both companies hoping the agreement will allow them to meet growing demand in the segment.

According to Unistraw, the product is designed to include dry stable ‘Unibeads’ on filters at both ends of the straws. These beads are dissolved through liquid passing through the straw, delivering additional probiotics to a consumer along with the beverage inside the pack. The manufacturer says the system allows drinks makers to package beverages without the need for refrigeration for up to twelve months.

Convenience claims

To tap into functional beverage demand, Tim York, managing director of Unistraw says that its agreement can meet a number of the pressing consumer needs affecting the modern beverage industry.

We developed the new system based on increasing consumer demand for convenience, health and wellbeing, choice and taste, in a format that’s compatible with busy and increasingly mobile lifestyles,”​ he stated.“Partnering with Tetra Pak to introduce this new system is a natural fit for us.”

Under the current agreement, Tetra Pak will not only offer the Unistraw design with its carton packaging solutions, but jointly market the product

Manufacturer costs

Tetra Pak claims that manufacturers wishing to adapt the straw into their operations will require no extra investment if they are already using its​Pak TSA/21 or TSA/22 straw applicators.

The company conceded that some modifications would be required for other Tetra Pak applicators not in this range.

The packager claims that products using the straw do not require refrigeration during transportation and storage, reducing producer expenses as a result.

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