How to switch dairies to PET packaging with Sidel at Global Dairy Innovation summit

At the Global Dairy Innovation Summit 2018, leading industry professionals discussed key innovation practices, designed to overcome challenges in today’s dairy sector. Here Sidel highlighted the good reasons to switch liquid dairies’ production to PET bottles for marketing, cost-effective and flexible production.

Sidel is a leading provider of equipment and services for packaging liquid, food, home and personal care products in PET, can, glass and other materials. At the summit, held in Amsterdam, from 11th to 12th of April, Sidel presented how it has been supporting the liquid dairy industry worldwide to move their production to PET bottles. As the market leader in Aseptic PET and notably for liquid dairy products, Sidel shared its experience from a market and customers’ success stories point of view, to PET packaging expertise as well as complete safe and simple packaging line solutions, including the FDA-approved Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis™.

A liquid dairy market moving towards PET

The use of PET as a packaging material is expected to continuously grow within the liquid dairy sector over the period of 2018-2020 with a forecast of 9%[1]. With 13.7 billion package units today, PET package is forecast to reach 14.9 billion units in 2020. With a closer look at the regional trends in this part of the packaging sector, the increase in the use of PET is particularly true in the Europe and Central Asia region, where a 7.5% growth in the adoption of PET containers for liquid dairy is forecast for this time period. “This trend started in Europe more than 10 years ago and has been deployed worldwide now, for chilled and ambient distribution, for UHT milk, flavoured milk or soya milk, and even more for the on-the-go formats rather than family formats”, comments Naima Boutroy, Global Packaging Technical Support at Sidel.

Good reasons to switch to PET

The liquid dairy market, traditionally in carton or HDPE containers, is driven by the burgeoning consumer demand for more functional and health-oriented drinks, which explains the booming product diversification. Due to the large number of product introductions on the market, the dairy players need to differentiate their brand, and have a more flexible and cost-effective production. PET is really an attractive packaging material offering great opportunities in this field.

When packaging milk and liquid dairy products, multiple variables can influence the quality of the beverage, including microorganisms, light, oxygen and temperature. Perfectly defined liquid recipes and processing methods, combined with the right PET bottle and aseptic packaging solution, can ensure maximum product integrity along the supply chain for liquid dairy products, while optimising uptime and costs, which Naima presented at the conference. “It is important to remind the dairy industry players how they can easily benefit from PET in terms of marketing opportunities, as well as flexible and cost-effective production. The PET package fully ensures product integrity and safety with the right barrier performance for extended shelf life to protect from light and oxygen, and this has been proven worldwide. Another key advantage is the monolayer and multilayer preforms, available worldwide and allowing for a competitive supply chain”.

Complete aseptic PET packaging solutions for Liquid Dairy Products

A focus at the conference was the presentation of Sidel’s capabilities to support any dairy players to introduce a new product or to switch their product from another packaging material to PET bottles. Based on 50 years of aseptic packaging expertise, Sidel offers fully integrated and technically advanced solutions for the liquid dairy sector, which employ the processing equipment and capabilities of Tetra Pak Processing Systems (TPPS). Over the years, Sidel and TPPS have been combining competencies and expertise to define and execute more than 100 complete line projects. With their more than 40-year PET packaging expertise, Sidel can help in designing a unique and ergonomic bottle in line with dairy brands. “We can evaluate PET bottle strength and performance across the supply chain. We perform laboratory tests under real production and supply chain conditions to determine the most suitable packaging designs, PET barrier solutions, sizes, shapes, caps, and filling volumes,” explains Naima.

A proven, safe and simple aseptic blow-fill-seal solution

As a clear proof point of Sidel’s leadership in aseptic applications, Naima indicated the company’s Aseptic Combi Predis. The solution merges dry preform sterilisation with aseptic blowing, filling and sealing functions within a single production enclosure, and respects the fundamental concept which underpins state-of-the-art aseptic packaging rules: producing a commercially sterile product, filled in a sterile zone, in a previously sterilised package. It differs from traditional aseptic technology because the package sterilisation takes place during the preform rather than during the bottle phase. It offers many benefits including safety and simplicity, cost-effectiveness, no water and use of very few chemicals. More than 100 Aseptic Combi Predis installations worldwide are a clear endorsement of this technology. As a further indicator of the reliability of the system, Sidel recently received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Aseptic Combi Predis blow fill seal filler, making the solution the world’s first aseptic PET filling equipment with dry preform sterilisation validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the United States market.

This conference encouraged knowledge-sharing and networking between speakers and attendees. “We had great interactions with the audience who wanted to know more about the different dairy players’ success stories that we highlighted, their challenges and opportunities, so as to build on that”, concludes Naima.


[1] Source Euromonitor 2017

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