Bottler buys Sidel Matrix hotfill for Gatorade

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

The Matrix hotfill system
The Matrix hotfill system

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CCU Chile, which works with Heineken, Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, has installed a Sidel Matrix hotfill system to produce Gatorade sports’ drinks.

Speaking to, Gabriele Gatti, product manager, Hot Fill, Industrial Operations, Sidel, said CCU is Chile’s largest brewer and the second largest brewer in Argentina.

This Sidel Matrix filler is dedicated specifically to hot filling whereas the other two Matrix fillers released last year were for flat water (Sidel Matrix SF 100) and for CSD (Sidel Matrix SF 300)​,” he said.

Fresher beverages


It allows production of more natural and fresher beverages, including those with pulps or fruit pieces and involves hygienic contactless filling valves​.”

CCU bought a Combi hot-fill line to package Gatorade, with future capacity for filling pulp-based products with a Sidel Matrix Hot Filler​.”

The modular machine can operate at production rates from 6,000 to 60,000 bottles per hour and comes with an ‘Integrated Slurry Dosing’ (ISD), for pulp products.

Juice drinks see growth

Gatti said it was time to launch this line now to answer market requirements for hygienic and flexible filling, particularly with regard to the development of healthy and juice-based drinks with pulp and particles, which is a growth area.

“The hot filling process prevents cross contamination, given that the packaging and the product circuit is always protected by the temperature of the hot filled product​,” he said.

Quality and traceability


“At no point during the production process is any bottle in contact with the filling valve. Beverage manufacturers work with stakeholders across the supply chain to ensure quality and traceability − from sourcing of raw ingredients to food and beverage manufacturing, through to filling and packing, and then on to distribution to the end consumer​.

The Sidel Matrix hot filler has been developed to meet these high safety and quality production standards for any kind of drink - of high or low acidity - to be bottled in PET containers in sizes from 200 ml to 2 litres​. 

It is suitable for still products, such as teas, isotonic beverages, juices and nectars and comes with electronic filling valves with individual flow meters​.”

Plunger valve

The technology can handle products with small pulps and fibres up to 1 x 10 mm, with the option of a plunger valve. It is also available for products with pieces measuring up to 10 mm3​, using a volumetric bits dosing turret.

The filling environment can be tailored according to the level of hygiene required by the product being bottled, for example with an open enclosure with the option of a roof with an air filtration unit or a reduced enclosure. 

In the reduced enclosure, the volume of the filling area is lowered by 72% compared to the standard configuration. This allows for fewer chemicals to clean the space and less filtered air treats the filling area. 

When the slurry dosing (ISD) is integrated, the system undertakes a two-phase process: the first phase delivers the slurry (or particles) into the bottle, and the second fills the liquid juice. The slurry-dosing turret is equipped with contactless valves so no parts enter the bottle.

Particle concentration can be adjusted from 20ml to 300ml, depending on the recipe and size of format being bottled.

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