The company’s International Patent Application No. WO 2014/205499 A1 – published on December 31 2014 – claims that glass holds a number of drawbacks as a packaging medium for beverages – including its weight, durability and (more controversial this one) its “less than optimum” recycling ability.
And while metal cans, PET bottles and Tetra Pak cartons have grown in popularity in recent decades, Barokes said, their success with wine had been limited to date.
“This lack of success is primarily due to the relatively aggressive nature of wine – non-specific filling practices and non-specific lacquer specifications which are the cause of adverse wine integrity effects as a result of interaction between the product and container.”
Lacquers traditionally used to coat can innards
Barokes points to the need for a fully recyclable integrated wine packaging system that allows global transit of the wine with no detriment to taste and a shelf life of 12+ months.
“Traditionally can manufacturers have used lacquers to coat the inside of aluminum cans to form a barrier between can body and beverage prior to filling,” the company’s application states.
“These traditional lacquers are applied to the inside of a beverage can for the purpose of holding a beverage in an aluminum container for a short period of between 3-6 months,” it adds.
But the filing states that the current lacquer processes (and indeed, other packaging options) do not address shelf life stability and product integrity issues – namely flavor degradation, loss of freshness, changes in taste, aroma and color.
‘Generally recognized’ that current wine in cans lasts six months
It adds that it is “generally recognized” in the industry that wine will lose its integrity in a can after six months, and that can manufacturers’ own internal guidelines accept this.
The company said consumers sometimes complain that even high-value canned beverages taste ‘tinny’, ‘oxidized’ or ‘off’, ‘lacking in flavor’ or ‘dull tasting’ – since the product had reacted with the coating and the aluminum container due to the breakdown of the coating.
To overcome these problems – which Barokes Wines claims are exacerbated by a trend towards thinner gauge aluminum that risks damaging can lacquer – the patent proposes a container with an internal coating layer that (in one embodiment of the patent) includes resveratrol in a concentration of at least 0.0001% by weight.
‘Surprising’ finding: Resveratrol protects against quality loss
Barokes said their ‘surprising’ finding was that a partial internal coating layer including resveratrol gave excellent protection against quality loss – preventing any reaction between beverages and packaging material.
“In addition, a container with a coating comprising resveratrol surprisingly enhances and stimulates the defense mechanism against oxidation and yeast growth in packaged wine,” the firm’s application adds.
“A container according to the present invention surprisingly assists in maintaining and even improving the quality and/or longevity of the beverage,” it states.
“For example, the anti-aging effect (browning) on the wine, and in parallel it stimulates the natural immune system of the wine in a container and as a result remarkably extends shelf life, e.g. up to and beyond 2 years.”
While wine is the principal focus of the invention in this patent application, Barokes Wines says in its filing that it could also be used to package any beverage that may interact/react with its packaging and spoil – namely fruit juices, soft drinks, lemonades, colas, acidic beverages, carbonated beverages and beverages containing phosphoric acid.