Speaking to DairyReporter, Hans Werink, manager, Holcomer New Developments, HCA, said products that need light and oxygen protection include soy beverages, milk juice blends and baby formula.
US FDA approval
“Often when talking to customers about light sensitive products, they don’t realize how much chemistry and physics is behind the colors and the technology behind it.
“For example, Sidel recently received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Aseptic Combi Predis FMa blow fill seal filler, which means its FMa PET filler is validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the US.
“With FDA approval we will see more ambient dairy products on the market and conversion from traditional packaging to PET. Many products today have some level of light sensitivity but most will need more protection against the elements such as oxygen ingress, water vapor, CO2 loss and light and UV barrier.”
Werink added products like soy beverages, beer, mixed fruit and dairy drinks may need a combination of these elements to protect them.
He said there is also a limited infrastructure available for cold chain transport and storage in regions like Latin America so this will have to be considered when launching new products there.
Other challenges include seasonal and geographical differences where demands for shelf life extension are different. Manufacturers will have to consider four levels of protection and treatment for products including; pasteurized milk; ESL (cold chain distribution); UHT (ambient temperature distribution); and sterilized.
“Regarding the effects of light on milk; different products have different components with various oxidation sensitivities, for example, dairy products contain strong photo-sensitizers like riboflavin (Vitamin B2) beta-carotene and protoporphyrin and chlorophyll derivatives,” said Werink.
“For oxygen barrier packaging to have an effect the product has to be oxygen free prior to filling, including the headspace. This is generally not the case for dairy products.”
HCA has developed Holcomer UHT white, part of its opacity series, which generates a white monolayer bottle that blocks 100% UV radiation and up to 99.9% of visible light. It is EU 10/2011 approved.
“Benefits of Holcomer include protection of taste preservation, equal to multilayer and cartons; cost; competitive against carton HDPE alternatives; value-add recycling with PET; no additional laser marking additive needed and its tamper proof,” he added.