The company is training its sights on glass in the pasta sauce, apple sauce, salsa, jam and jelly sphere, in addition to other food products filled at temperatures up to 205°F (around 96°C).
With a 63mm neck diameter, the jar weighs just 51g and mimics the appearance of glass. Amcor said its patented blow-trim technology also ensured the product had consistent finish dimensions, optimum closure and sealing integrity.
A panel-less design comprised four horizontal ‘ribs’, while its stiff walls resist the vacuum as the product cools, thus maintaining bottle shape, said Amcor principal engineer Ron McFarlane.
Dominant packaging material
Amcor predicted that its new product would “unseat glass as the dominant packaging material” in the 24oz (680g) segment, a bold claim that the company took pains to substantiate.
Yi Jiang, Amcor food market development manager told FoodProductionDaily.com: “These are the reasons why we believe PET will gain advantage over glass in the near future. Firstly, several major fruit sauce brands and private label brands are already converting to PET.
She added: “Also, our customers expressed interest in converting their pasta sauce [containers] to PET, given its light weight and freight-saving benefits. The jar brings savings to customers due to its light weight.”
Amcor anticipated that pasta sauce products will be the first hot-fill foods packaged in the new containers, with launches scheduled for later this year.
Conversion to PET would benefit both brand-owners and contract packers, Amcor said, since reduced weight versus glass meant lower transportation costs, and fewer breakages would lead to more efficient inline production and handling.
Hot fill potential
Genuinely new aspects of the product included hot fill potential up to 205°F, Jiang said, and while she added that a “lot of factors can impact shelf life”, she explained that the typical range for the new jar was 18-24 months with an oxygen barrier.
“The round design improves product evacuation compared to alternative PET design and is label-friendly. Via a modular mold program, customers can also choose to customise the jar at a low cost," said Jiang.
Other benefits claimed by Amcor for its new product include its ability to improve a brandowner’s environmental profile, due to its status as a lightweight recyclable jar, and consumer satisfaction.
Users, especially families with children, would benefit from “consumer-friendly benefits of PET including its lightweight nature, easy opening and much improved product evacuation”¸ Amcor said.
An unbreakable design and transparency were other positive product features, the firm added.