Sponsored By

Mercedes Candedo, diversified products manager for Amcor's Latin American business, told PlasticsToday that Amcor's new light-blocking, aseptically filled PET container opens up new business opportunities in the food and beverage market.

Heather Caliendo

October 31, 2013

2 Min Read
Amcor designs its first light-blocking, aseptically filled PET container

Mercedes Candedo, diversified products manager for Amcor's Latin American business, told PlasticsToday that Amcor's new light-blocking, aseptically filled PET container opens up new business opportunities in the food and beverage market.

"It's a significant announcement for the company," she said. "We see it growing in applications where you need a light barrier, but at the same time, offer an appealing container. This kind of development will definitely have an impact on the MigurtfamilyPET.jpgmarketplace."  

Amcor Rigid Plastics created this new packaging for Empresas Polar, a Venezuelan food and beverage manufacturer. The non-refrigerated pourable yogurt, called MiGurt, is packaged in an aseptically filled, 750-gram barrier PET bottle.

Empresas Polar made its entry into the Venezuelan yogurt market through its subsidiary Pascual Andina and worked with Amcor to create the new packaging to compete with leading cold distribution channel products. The multi-serve pourable yogurt product has an extended shelf life of six months and requires no refrigeration prior to opening.

The extended shelf life enables Empresas Polar to utilize its nationwide ambient distribution chain to reach consumers including low-income regions not served by refrigerated distribution channels.

"A long shelf life yogurt product was a key to commercialization because it provided low-cost distribution and a highly affordable consumer brand," said Manuel Capdevielle, a director of Empresas Polar.

Amcor used barrier technology to meet aseptic filling requirements (up to 140°F) and provide light-blocking capabilities to prevent spoilage and degradation of the yogurt product and maintain its nutritional value. With no refrigeration required and an extended shelf, there were major logistical advantages in terms of inventory control, distribution and point of sale, Candedo said.

Amcor also incorporated a unique hourglass design that reportedly minimizes resin use by optimizing PET material distribution throughout the container.

"Uniform material distribution is vital for effective light-blocking performance," said Chris LaBombarbe, senior technical manager for Amcor. "The uniform material distribution permitted us to achieve sustainable material use while at the same time maintaining light-blocking integrity."

Amcor also overcame processing challenges due to the bottle's white pigmented, opaque structure by adapting special re-heat technology, according to LaBombarbe.

Meanwhile, the bottle's design elements were maintained and optimized while meeting aseptic fill demands. Design considerations were made to maintain a smooth interior profile that facilitated the aseptic sterilization process. The barrier PET container features a single-lead 38mm finish with a foil induction seal and is wrapped with a shrink sleeve label.

Empresas Polar plans to expand the family of MiGurt yogurt with single-serve 100-gram and 250-gram products, according to Capdevielle. In the meantime, the company is ramping up production of its 750-gram product to meet growing demand in Venezuela.

"In Latin America, many customers are looking for this type of container," Candedo said. "The trend is being driven by changing lifestyles - today you have more moms working and there is a need for an easy accessible product with an extended shelf life." 

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like