Please find below more interesing information from and about SIG Combibloc.
New in the up-and-coming MEA region: Marina launches ‘SunStar’ in the combidome carton bottle
Zarin Jam Marina, one of Iran's leading beverage manufacturers, has once again opted for an innovation from SIG Combibloc. With combidome, the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc, Marina is taking an important step towards clear differentiation of its products on the sales shelf. The company will shortly be launching 21 varieties of its popular 'SunStar' beverages in combidome. Apart from the closure, the package is manufactured entirely from a cardboard composite - from its base right up to the characteristic dome that gives the carton its special shape.
With the market launch of the combidome carton bottle, Marina is making a statement in the up-and-coming Middle East/Africa (MEA) region. In this region, in addition to product protection and economic considerations, criteria such as differentiation and convenience also play a major role when it comes to beverage packaging. Hazem Mizban, owner of Marina: "combidome meets all the requirements for modern beverage packaging today: the cardboard bottle combines all the great product features of a carton pack with the positive characteristics of a bottle. combidome impressed us in every respect - not only through its unusual shape, but also in terms of its stability and pouring performance. In addition, it offers first-class product protection and environmental and economic benefits. This combination makes us certain that with combidome, we've made the right choice".
Marina is set to bring out 21 varieties of its popular 'SunStar' beverages in combidome: Apple, Orange Juice, Green Cocktail, Green Apple, Sour Cherry, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Peach, Mango, Orange Nectar, Lemonade, Orange/Mango, Orange/Carrot, Apple/Banana, Tropical, Grape, Apricot, Blood Orange, Fruit Cocktail, Melon Mix and Mojito.
This is not the first time that Marina has opted for an innovation from SIG Combibloc, and caused a stir in the region. Marina was one of the first customers in the world to use the drinksplus technology from SIG Combibloc to bring out innovative juice drinks containing real fruit pieces in aseptic carton packs. And when it comes to high-speed filling technology too, Marina is a pioneer and very well-equipped. Two CFA 124 high-speed filling machines from SIG Combibloc for filling combiblocMini are in operation at the company's factory. These machines can fill 24,000 carton packs per hour.
Goal clearly in sight
Hazem Mizban: "Our goal is to continue growing in the beverage sector. That requires us to recognise trends early on, and have the right solutions. To do that, we need the right equipment and reliable partners. With the team, the filling technology and the packaging solutions from SIG Combibloc, we're on the right track to achieving our goal".
Zarin Jam Marina was founded in Kaveh Industrial City in 2008. The company's core activity is the manufacture and marketing of high-quality juices, nectars and syrups. To do this, Marina relies on cutting-edge filling technologies and production facilities. The export business is also gaining in importance for Marina.
Bamdad Ghafari, Area Sales Manager Iran at SIG Combibloc: "Iran is a market with good foundations. Investments should start to prove easier in the future, and we're also looking forward to positive business development. In the beverage industry, willingness to invest is growing - we're seeing that in our customers. We're pleased that with combidome we can give Marina a packaging solution that will move the company an important step forward".
Alpura launches an innovation on the Mexican market
Mexican dairy cooperative Alpura has now added evaporated milk to its product portfolio. The products are sold in combiblocCompact with screw cap combiSmart from SIG Combibloc. With this product launch, Alpura and SIG Combibloc are kicking off their partnership with an innovation, because evaporated milk in carton packs with screw cap is a newcomer to the Mexican market and offers a new solution for retail.
Founded in Mexico in 1972, Alpura is now the country's second-largest dairy company, with around 6,000 employees and a further 7,000 indirect contributors (farm workers and suppliers). More than 123 farms are part of the company. Each day, these farms produce an average of 2.9 million litres of milk, which is then processed at the cooperative's two production plants in Cuautitlán Izcalli (Mexico) and Ciudad Delicias (Chihuahua). The company's product range includes more than 87 products from the segments milk, yoghurt, cream, cheese, butter and desserts.
Alpura is now expanding its product portfolio with the addition of evaporated milk, and has opted for filling technology from SIG Combibloc to fill the products. A CFA 612 filling machine to fill products in aseptic carton packs combiblocCompact has been installed. This filling machine can fill a total of seven different volume sizes. The Alpura evaporated milk carton packs are fitted with the recloseable screw cap combiSmart.
Antonio Fiumara, Head of Sales in Mexico at SIG Combibloc: "Evaporated milk in carton packs with screw cap is an innovation for the Mexican market. Previously, evaporated milk was mainly available here in food metal cans. For serving, people then usually put the products into a small pot or jug. But those days are over. With the screw cap, the milk can be neatly poured and conveniently portioned out directly from the carton pack. After use, the carton pack can be reclosed, so the product remains protected even after it's been opened for the first time. This is extremely convenient for consumers. We're very proud that we've marked the beginning of our partnership with Alpura with an innovation".
Jorge Aguilar, CEO of Alpura: "We are confident that with evaporated milk in recloseable carton packs we're offering consumers real added value. With the convenient, easy-open closure, the package fits perfectly with the convenience trend that modern consumers demand. The carton pack is very easy to open and conveniently reclose, because combiSmart has little 'wings' on the sides of the screw cap". The closure is applied to the closed and sealed carton pack by an applicator after the aseptic filling process has taken place. There is no need for pre-perforation of the cardboard - the cutting ring in the flange slices through the coated cardboard cleanly and effortlessly with a single twist.
More about Alpuras innovation at http://alpuraevaporada.com
Dos Pinos becomes
SIG Combibloc’s first customer in Costa Rica
Products from Dos Pinos (www.dospinos.com) are the first choice for consumers in Costa Rica, as the 2015 "Brand Footprint" annual report published by Kantar World Panel confirms: 99.7% of survey participants said they had purchased products from Dos Pinos during the previous year. This successful cooperative - Central America's and the Caribbean's largest dairy company - has now become SIG Combibloc's first customer in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a nation of milk drinkers, with an average annual per-capita consumption of 200 litres, putting the country third in Central and South America, close behind Argentina and Uruguay. This market environment, the product quality and consistent innovation make Dos Pinos one of the most important and well known dairy companies of Central America and the Caribbean.
Dos Pinos was established in Costa Rica in 1947, when 25 dairy farmers combined to market their milk together to ensure fairer and more stable prices. The cooperative now counts 1,400 milk suppliers among its members. In Costa Rica alone it has 3,900 employees, with a further 600 in the surrounding countries. It focuses on manufacturing high-quality dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghourt, ice cream and butter. The umbrella brand "Dos Pinos" covers more than 600 different products. Dos Pinos has a presence in a total of 10 countries in Central and South America, as well as the USA and the Caribbean.
Its three production facilities today process more than 1.4 million litres of milk every day. The company's portfolio now also includes non-carbonated soft drinks in addition to milk products. Besides Costa Rica itself, Dos Pinos markets its products in Nicaragua, Honduras, San Andrés, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and the USA, among others. Although other private-label products are on the rise in these regions, consumers remain very loyal to the Dos Pinos brand, recognizing it as the most loved and respected brand in Costa Rica in 2014 according to Saatchi & Saatchi.
Dos Pinos' corporate social responsibility strategy is supported by three pillars: Nutrition, support for socially vulnerable populations and sustainable environmental management. Dos Pinos has a raft of programmes and projects in place to help its environmental balance - including extensive measures to cut emissions and adopt environmentally friendly means of processing waste water. Environmental management systems help to record and evaluate production processes, and then introduce measures to ensure the company's environmental balance continues to improve. These efforts as well as projects in the other pillars place Dos Pinos as a top company regarding corporate social responsibility in different studies run by research agencies.
Gonzalo Chaves, CEO of Dos Pinos commented: "We strive to offer high-quality food, which means we have to use the best quality ingredients and operate at the highest technological level. We are confident that SIG Combibloc will be a partner that we can rely on in this context." The first stage will involve installing a filling machine CFA 712 from SIG Combibloc at the Alajuela location to fill combiblocSmall and combifitSmall carton packs. At the beginning, they will fill 16 milk products in combiblocSmall 250 and 330 ml, as well as in combifitSmall 250 ml with screw cap combiSmart. In a subsequent stage, Dos Pinos juices will also be filled in carton packs from SIG Combibloc.
From glass jars to carton packs: Waitrose opts for retortable combisafe
Waitrose is changing the packaging for its own label Passata range, from glass jars to SIG Combibloc's heat resistant combisafe carton pack. The premium food retailer will now use SIG Combibloc's flexible filling technology and the retortable combisafe carton pack for its own label Passata with Basil and Passata with Garlic and Onion products, moving from 680 g glass jar to a 500 ml combisafe carton pack.
The passatas will be filled by La Doria in Italy on food filling machines from SIG Combibloc. Through the use of three modular filling units a hugely diverse range of products can be filled in combisafe - the size and quantity of the chunky product ingredients can vary in virtually any respect and can be measured out precisely. After the products have been filled into the carton pack, which is open at the top, the carton top is sealed ultrasonically. The carton packs are then automatically conveyed into an autoclave. Package and product are sterilised together. In the area of carton packs for long-life food, the use of a rotary autoclave is a world first, delivering optimum temperature distribution inside the carton pack.
Due to its rectangular shape, manufacturers and retailers, such as Waitrose, will benefit from maximised transportation and storage efficiency, and use of shelf space in the supply chain. combisafe carton packs fill up the available space on supermarket shelves around 30 per cent better than food metal cans, and also have high visual impact.
SIG Combibloc offers a complete perforation opening for combisafe, which means the top of the carton pack can simply and safely be torn off by consumers, without the use of scissors. This allows easy pouring and even spooning to remove all contents from the carton pack, hence reducing food waste.
John Vine, Waitrose Category Manager for the initiative, commented: "Switching to SIG Combibloc's combisafe carton pack means we can now offer our discerning customers a lighter long-life alternative, which also guarantees first-class quality and product protection from our stores to kitchen cupboard storage."
John continued: "The carton pack's impact on the environment will also be an important factor both to Waitrose and our environmentally aware customers. The low weight of the carton pack, due to resource-efficient use of raw materials, plus the excellent environmental performance of the unprocessed cardboard, are major factors in why the combisafe carton pack has the best environmental performance."
Ideal for people on the go: Extaler now available in the 500 ml size of the combidome carton bottle
combidome, the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc, is now available in a package volume of 500 ml - a perfect volume for 'on-the-go' products that can be consumed anywhere. The company riha WeserGold Getränke GmbH & Co. KG now offers Extaler-brand mineral water in combidome 500 ml.
Margarita Maier, Product Launch Manager Europe at SIG Combibloc: "Convenience remains one of the big issues for consumers when it comes to food packaging. Besides protecting the product, packaging needs to be easy to use, secure and give consumers peace of mind that they contribute to a sustainable environment. These are becoming increasingly important all over the world as more people are on the go, more often - whether it's for work or leisure".
And people's mobility behaviour has an impact on their consumer buying habits. What's in demand right now is 'on the go' products that people like because they taste good; that are healthy and nutritious and give consumers the good feeling that they haven't been eating junk food. The packaging helps showcase products such as these to best effect. In this respect too, combidome, the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc, does it all.
combidome is ideal for drinking straight from the carton pack, because the 28 mm single-action screw cap is positioned centrally on the top of the pack - this creates the perfect angle to make drinking from the carton easy.
Message on a carton
The four display surfaces and the distinctive dome of the carton pack, which is made entirely from a cardboard composite, can be fully printed, and thus used for the right 'message on a carton'. This gives beverage manufacturers plenty of scope to communicate information and to attract consumers' attention to the product. In this way, the design on the printed surface becomes the perfect complement to the unique shape.
Flexible as usual: one for all
A single combidome filling machine can be used to fill carton packs with volumes of 1,000, 750 and 500 ml. A volume change takes just a few minutes, offering manufacturers the option of positioning products in quantities that are tailored precisely to the intended target audience. Alongside this volume flexibility, the combidome filling machine, which can fill up to 12,000 carton packs per hour, also offers the design and product flexibility that customers have come to expect from SIG Combibloc filling machines. A change of carton design can be implemented without interrupting the production process, and with no wastage at all. All you need to do is switch the carton sleeves in the filling machine magazine.
In addition, the product flexibility of the combidome filling machine from SIG Combibloc provides the basis to implement modern concepts for products with low and high viscosity levels, right in line with current consumer trends.
Margarita Maier: "We believe combidome 500 ml is the ideal volume size for 'on-the-go' products - whether a manufacturer is looking to bring out breakfast drinks, premium organic products, smoothies, energy drinks or perhaps products targeted at specific groups such as health-conscious women or 'Best Agers' - it can be done efficiently, effectively, in a form that is readily marketable".
A plus for the environment:
ALDI Süd puts organic vegetables in combisafe on the shelf
As from now, ALDI Süd has organic vegetables in the carton pack combisafe from SIG Combibloc on German supermarket shelves. This packaging alternative to the classic food metal can offers comparable product protection and the same kind of shelf-life for the food it contains, but it also scores for its environmental benefits. Compared to other packaging solutions for long-life foods, using combisafe can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 54 per cent, and the consumption of fossil resources by up to 59 per cent.
Since February, ALDI Süd has organic baby carrots, organic kidney beans and organic peas in the combisafe 300 ml carton pack from SIG Combibloc on supermarket shelves. combisafe is a carton packaging solution that is suitable above all for particularly chunky foods, and at the same time for filling all food products that do not flow freely and therefore cannot pass through a pumping system and an aseptic process. This includes, for instance, vegetables and pulses, fruit, convenience foods and stews.
Volker Bubacz, Head of Area Marketing Europe at SIG Combibloc: "The total package that combisafe represents was a key factor for ALDI Süd in incorporating the innovative carton pack into its range. combisafe ticks all the boxes you'd expect for long-life food packaging, and at the same time it offers environmental benefits. Carton packs are proven to be among the most environmentally friendly packaging solutions for long-life foods. In a life-cycle assessment conducted by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU), it was demonstrated that in the line-up against food metal cans, glass jars, plastic stand-up pouches and plastic pots, the carton pack has the best environmental performance. Compared to other packaging solutions for long-life foods, using combisafe can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 54 per cent, and the consumption of fossil resources by up to 59 per cent". More on the 'Europa Food Aseptic and Retort' (2013) life-cycle assessment.
And also in terms of logistics and advertising effectiveness on the sales shelf, carton packs clearly outperform competing packaging solutions. In addition, carton packs from SIG Combibloc are, of course, free from Bisphenol-A. The combisafe carton packs for the organic vegetables from ALDI Süd, filled by food manufacturer Jütro GmbH | Konserven und Feinkost (canned foods and delicatessen), are marked with the label of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). The label confirms that the paperboard used to make the package is sourced from responsibly managed forests and other controlled sources.
Mengniu launches drinkable milk meal containing oats and wheat grains
A milestone product in the history of beverages with perceptible added value.
The result of the latest joint project by major Chinese dairy enterprise Mengniu Dairy, process technology developer GEA and packaging and filling machine manufacturer SIG Combibloc fits in one hand. And it is right in line with the tastes of Chinese consumers. With the market launch of the new milk drink with cereal grains under the high-end 'Telunsu' (that means: 'Deluxe') brand, Mengniu has opened up a new product category in China: the milk meal you can drink. The milk meal is available in aseptic carton packs from SIG Combibloc.
Milk meals are just the ticket for modern, dynamic consumers in China. Often, those people do not have time to fit in a solid meal in their busy everyday life. In light of this, the product category of the healthy and nutritious milk beverage is attracting more interest. For anyone who does not have much time to spare to grab a bite, but still needs their food to be high in quality, the premium Deluxe milk with oat and wheat grains in the carton pack combiblocMini 250 ml is ideal. The combination of healthy milk and highly nutritious grains can potentially replace a meal.
Stella Yan, Head of Marketing Asia-Pacific North at SIG Combibloc: "The Deluxe milk with oat and wheat grains, safely packaged for long life in aseptic carton packs, is a milestone product in the history of beverages with perceptible added value and we are confident that it will be another successful product from Mengniu Dairy. For consumers, the grain and dairy beverage is a valuable contribution to a balanced diet. This innovative product has been made possible thanks to a never before undertaken project by our company in collaboration with the experts from
Mengniu Dairy and GEA. Each step was taken in close cooperation - from generating the product idea and developing suitable formulations, to the selection and sourcing of the ingredients, the choice of the packaging and its design, right up to the newly developed product processing method and, last but not least, the aseptic filling. From the first minute onwards, the relevant teams from the three companies were involved and offered valuable, constructive input which resulted in the creation of this unique product. We're very proud of that".
Mengniu Dairy Group Co. is one of the leading dairy enterprises in China, and one of the country's biggest. The company includes more than 50 production plants at 31 locations in 20 provinces. Annual production capacity is 7.7 million tonnes. Mengniu employs a total of around 30,000 people. Annual turnover was 7.4 billion Euros (50 billion RMB) in 2014. Mengniu sets its sights very high when it comes to innovations - not just for the Chinese market, but across the globe as well. The company has recently concluded various strategic cooperation agreements, for instance with Arla (Denmark), Danone (France), White Wave (USA) and AsureQuality (New Zealand).
Technology with plenty of potential
The filling of the Deluxe milk containing real oat and wheat grains is possible thanks to the drinksplus technology from SIG Combibloc. Using this technology, beverages with up to ten per cent natural particulate content, such as fruit or grains, can be processed and aseptically filled in carton packs on standard filling machines from SIG Combibloc for liquid dairy products and non-carbonated soft drinks. Song Jidong, General Manager of Brand Management Center 5 (Marketing) at Mengniu Dairy: "According to our most recent consumer study, consumer requirements can be sub-divided into six major areas. One of the key areas is the need for a high-quality meal substitute. This area has not yet been tackled in the dairy sector - and that's where we've set to work."
The development of the new milk and grains beverage from Mengniu included an extensive series of pilot trials at SIG Combibloc's research and development centre in Linnich, Germany - a total of eight different product formulations was devised, which was whittled down to a single favourite. The project teams from
Mengniu and SIG Combibloc were assisted by expert raw material suppliers and GEA, supplier of process technology. In this way, the optimal formulation was found and the perfect module for processing the Deluxe milk and filling it with real grains was developed.
Mengniu's main target group for the Deluxe milk with oat and wheat grains is discerning consumers who have a particular lifestyle, and in connection with that also have a particular vision for the quality of their food. Healthy foods that can be consumed quickly and easily in any situation are very popular among these consumers. The Deluxe milk provides food intake that is quick and healthy, because the product is made from premium milk with 3.3 grams of milk protein per 100 ml. This is supplemented with top-quality oat and wheat grains. The oat grains come from Australia and, like the grains of premium black wheat, represent the ultimate in quality.
Performance and flexibility tipped the scales
With Orkla Foods Sverige, one of Sweden's leading food manufacturers, SIG Combibloc has won another new customer. At its Kumla site, Orkla Foods Sverige has now replaced two existing filling machines with one filling machine from SIG Combibloc.
It is the first filling machine from SIG Combibloc in operation at Orkla Foods Sverige. With the CFA 712, the company is now filling premium juice drinks - both ready-to-drink beverages and concentrates - of its JOKK and BOB ranges, as well as Muksu-branded baby food in combiblocSmall and combifitSmall aseptic carton packs from SIG Combibloc.
Johan Linné, Plant Manager at Orkla Foods Sverige Kumlafabriken: "The new filling machine from SIG Combibloc has enabled us to significantly increase our production volume. The performance of the machine, coupled with an unrivalled flexibility in terms of formats, volumes and the variety of products that can be filled, was the crucial factor in our decision to switch to filling technology from SIG Combibloc. With the successful start we are open for converting more carton filling machines to the SIG Combibloc filling technology in the next few years".
Flexibility brings new perspectives
The format, volume, product and decor flexibility of the SIG Combibloc filling machines enables food manufacturers to keep production flexible and cost-effective. With the CFA 712 filling machine, Orkla Foods Sverige is able to fill products in the combibloc and combifit formats - an output of up to 12,000 carton packs per hour is possible. And the machine can do this in several different volumes and with any decor required. This means products can be optimally positioned: precisely as required to fit the market and the relevant target group. For all combibloc and combifit formats with the same base dimensions, switching between different fill volumes takes just a few minutes. With the CFA 712, six different volumes can be filled at Orkla Foods Sverige.
Peter Hedin, Key Account Manager Scandinavia at SIG Combibloc: "We're very proud to have found in Orkla Foods Sverige a new and very ambitious customer. The product flexibility of our filling machines provides the basis on which Orkla Foods Sverige can confidently forge ahead with developing new products to supplement its existing product portfolio. In addition to classic beverages, with the newly installed standard SIG Combibloc filling machine Orkla Foods Sverige can also fill more viscous food products such as smoothies or dessert sauces. And the machine can even handle products containing fibres and particulates".
Orkla Foods Sverige employs more than 1,500 people. Headquartered in Eslöv, the company manufactures at eight sites in Sweden. Orkla Foods Sverige belongs to the globally operating Norwegian Orkla Group, which has more than 28,000 employees world-wide.
Lactose-free milk is on trend: Aseptically dose small quantities, safely and accurately
The VARI-DOS-ASEPT aseptic dosing station from GEA TDS is an innovation that enables users to dose aseptic liquids in very small quantities of 0.2 and 0.3 g/litre directly into the main aseptic product flow - with total accuracy and at favourable cost.
This offers significant added value for the beverage industry - in the manufacture of lactose-free milk, for instance. The stimulus to develop this innovative dosing station came directly from the everyday experience of SIG Combibloc's dairy customers.
Customers needed a method that would enable them to produce beverages containing special ingredients such as enzymes, functional additives, vitamins, flavours or extracts more safely and accurately, and thus more cost-effectively, than existing systems were able to do. GEA TDS engineers set to work on this request, and developed a technological masterpiece that is now proving its value in practice.
The production of lactose-free milk is a good example of how the new aseptic dosing station is bringing clear added value to the beverage industry in practical terms. In theory, it is easy to make lactose-free milk. Simply add a bit of the enzyme lactase to normal milk, and after a certain amount of time you have lactose-free milk. The challenge is to keep the quantity of the required enzyme as small as possible, and to
make sure that the enzyme is added in conditions of the utmost aseptic safety, because the lactase enzyme is a comparatively high-cost item in the cost accounting. The dosing must be absolutely safe in aseptic terms, highly accurate, as far as possible automated, and rapid, so that no contaminants are introduced into the production process. Only then is high product quality guaranteed.
Optimal quality, favourable costs
The VARI-DOS-ASEPT presents an alternative method for aseptic dosing which differs in key aspects from existing systems, and offers optimal product quality at favourable costs. Ludger Tacke, Head of the Aseptics Division at GEA TDS: "Basically, there are two ways of making lactose-free milk. In both methods, the aim is to break down the milk sugar, lactose, in the milk, which causes intolerance reactions in many people. The enzyme lactase is used to break down the lactose into glucose and galactose, so that most consumers will then no longer have any problem. The lactase enzyme can be added to the milk prior to heat-treatment; everything is then heat-treated together and subsequently packaged for long life."
This batch technology is a reliable method, but a more costly one, requiring comparatively large quantities of the enzyme, because the heat treatment alters the lactase enzyme; to some extent, the enzyme is even marginally decomposed by the effects of the heat. In addition, the storage temperature for microbiological reasons is very low, which greatly delays the degradation Therefore a high quantity of enzymes must be added in advance to achieve the desired effect.
At around five to six cents in enzyme costs per litre, the method is very expensive and consequently is suitable only for small quantities. In this method, 0.8 to 0.85 g/litre of lactase (activity 5,000 units) is added to the pasteurised milk, which has a temperature of 8 to 10°C. The hydrolysis time is about 24 hours. A shortcoming of this method is, that the milk has to stay in the tanks during hydrolysis and thus the tanks cannot be used for production. Furthermore, the milk turns brown faster (the Maillard reaction).
Considerably more efficient is the method of adding the enzyme after the heat treatment by aseptic dosing. If the milk has already cooled, no more of the enzyme will be destroyed by heat. Tacke: "0.2 to 0.3 g of enzyme is enough for one litre - that's only about 10 to 15 per cent of the quantity you previously needed when adding the enzyme prior to the heating process."
Existing dosing stations - which are used to add very small quantities of additional aseptic liquids to the main product after the heat-treatment has taken place - have the disadvantage that at key points, such as when sterilising and when placing the needles in the product flow, the operator has to perform some
actions by hand. And that always represents a risk for aseptic product safety. Another critical point is that with existing systems, the enzyme is delivered to the dairy processing plant in a bag, which in turn is inside a container. In this position, these bags cannot be emptied fully, which means a loss of enzymes.
A plus for safety
VARI-DOS-ASEPT differs in key aspects from existing systems, and offers optimal product quality at favourable costs. During sterile dosing with VARI-DOS-ASEPT, approximately 0.3 g of sterile lactase per litre is added to the milk after the UHT process has taken place. Hydrolysis occurs in the carton pack, and takes about 5 days at room temperature. With this method, while a dosing station is required and the hydrolysis time is longer, the enzyme costs are up to 85 per cent lower than with the batch method.
Furthermore, the method offers a high level of flexibility in production. Milk does not have to stay in the tanks and so the tanks are available for production. Product quality is improved as well, as the Maillard effect is significantly delayed.
With existing systems, the enzyme is delivered to the dairy processing plant in a bag, which in turn is inside a container. With the new VARI-DOS-ASEPT dosing station, the product to be dosed is delivered in specially developed bags similar to those used in the pharmaceutical industry - comparable to a hanging infusion bag, which can be emptied down to the last drops. There is no danger of the bag being crushed in the container, and residues then being left in the bag. This also saves costs. The container consists of this bag and a hose that is firmly connected to the bag. A dosing needle is fitted to the tip of the hose. All components are already sterilised when they reach the beverage manufacturer. That means the individual components no longer need to be touched by hand - a huge plus for aseptic safety. These bags are delivered by the company optiferm. The company filters ingredients from a wide range of international suppliers and fills them in the above-mentioned special bags for the VARI-DOS-ASEPT.
Tacke: "To ensure the needle enters the main product flow in flawlessly aseptic conditions, we have developed a special multifunction port valve to which the empty hose, inside which is the aseptic filling feed system, is connected upstream of the aseptic filling machine. The port valve, of which two are provided so that production can run continuously, has an automatic sterilisation function, where the needle is sterilised with steam. This takes place when the operator will be having no further contact with the components. In its mini sterile zone in the aseptic vacuum, the needle is then automatically moved to the production position. Then the filling feed system and the needle are filled with the aseptic liquid via the valve. The aseptic liquid is measured out using a high-precision balance and dosed into the product flow in exactly the required amount. In the event of a production stoppage, the port valve is simply closed and the needle remains in the production position within its sterile zone, until it's put into operation again. A sterile air overpressure ensures consistently reliable sterility. Manual withdrawal and re-sterilisation is not necessary. This is another plus point for aseptic safety."
Precise dosing – many areas of application
Apart from the lactase enzyme, a wide range of other aseptic additives can also be accurately delivered into the aseptic product flow, using the new dosing station. Norman Gierow, Head of Global Product Management Market at SIG Combibloc: "Numerous areas of application can be imagined here, particularly if we think about added value products. Ingredients such as lactoferrin, vitamins, various flavours and extracts or colourants - with extras such as these, our customers need to ensure that their routine production operation works with the utmost precision, and is absolutely
clean and aseptically safe, in order to maintain outstanding product quality at favourable costs. And in this process, the VARI-DOS-ASEPT is a real improvement. We're very proud to have had a hand in initiating this project, and with VARI-DOS-ASEPT GEA TDS has developed an innovative dosing station that really is one-of-a-kind. We're certain that with this solution, beverage customers all over the world will benefit considerably when it comes to product quality and cost-effectiveness. In fact, that's already being demonstrated in practice."
SMART DISPENSER: The clever dispensing unit for food products
The new SMART DISPENSER from SIG Combibloc and Server is the perfect combination to deliver a more hygienic, convenient, cost-efficient and eco-friendly way to dispense food products in the foodservice segment. The SMART DISPENSER is the new solution to eliminate the mess, hassle, and costs of dispensing food products.
The new SMART DISPENSER is a durable and reusable dispensing unit created by Server. It has been designed for food products that are available and sold in our aseptic carton pack combiblocMaxi. The SMART DISPENSER is very easy to use and allows precise dispensing of products such as flavoured syrups or base mixes for smoothies and cocktails with every stroke.
The dispenser consists of a lidded box into which the carton pack is placed inside. Then the pump is inserted directly through the overcoated hole, opening the package. With a simple pump action, the product is dispensed in precise amounts, with no mess. The product is safely and hygienically protected - there is no need to transfer the product into another container. The dispenser yields up to 98 % product evacuation to minimize waste.
The carton pack combisafe:
a fresh look for canned products – the rectangle gains ground
'Retro' is not always the right way to go. While retro design continues tobe a trend for cars, clothes and furniture, it is a different story when it comes to food.
Consumers love a fresh look, and this applies for preserved products as well. So more and more of the products typically sold in food metal cans or glass jars are now being brought out in carton packs instead. More than 200 products are now on sale in combisafe, the heat-resistant carton pack from SIG Combibloc. combisafe is the perfect choice for filling long-life food products with a very high particulate content, such as vegetables and pulses, fruit, ready-meals and stews. The heat-resistant carton packaging can be filled with practically any chunky food product and subsequently sterilised in an autoclave.
Many stores already offer traditional canned products in combisafe - and with good reason. Dominik Haug, Global Market Segment Manager Food at SIG Combibloc: "For retailers choosing a packaging solution, in addition to providing protection for a top-quality product, considerations such as logistical efficiency and advertising effectiveness on the sales shelf are more important today than ever before. On all points, the combisafe carton pack offers crucial benefits compared to other packaging solutions for canned products. And retailers and food companies are really starting to appreciate these advantages".
Logistical miracle for transportation, and on the sales shelf
Logistics example: the exceptional transportation and commercial logistics of combisafe are good for the environment, and at the same time help food manufacturers cut down costs. Like all SIG Combibloc carton packs, combisafe carton packs are transported to the food manufacturer's production plants as flat folded sleeves. This means the most efficient use is made of a truck's loading volume.
Once the carton packs have been filled with the product, a truck en route to distributors is transporting around 95 per cent content, and just 5 per cent packaging. With truck transportation, carton packs also score over other packaging solutions thanks to their light weight, their compact, rectangular shape and their unbreakableness. Carton packs stack well and use the full capacity of pallets, and therefore also of trucks and warehouses. Dominik Haug: "Compared to glass packaging for food products, for instance, up to 93 per cent packaging weight can be saved with carton packs. Every saving on space and weight means fewer emissions, reduced consumption of fossil resources, and lower costs. And on the sales shelf too, the available space can be utilised most efficiently. With their rightangled shape, carton packs fill up the available space around 30 per cent better than food metal cans".
Eye-catchers and brand ambassadors
On the canned foods shelf, combisafe really catches the eye. The natural, fresh look the carton packs deliver, and the design scope they offer with their four fully printable sides, provides the perfect blank slate for setting up the brand image. On the display surfaces, there is space not just for information, but also for an attractive design that will draw consumers' attention to the product.
It is also their convenience that makes combisafe carton packs a hit with consumers: combisafe is lightweight, unbreakable and easy to use. The perforation right across the carton top means users can open combisafe easily without additional tools such as scissors or knives, and empty the carton pack completely. More and more consumers rate the easy opening of packaging, without risk of injury, as an important aspect of product convenience.
Best environmental performance
No other long-life food packaging has as its principal ingredient a natural material that regrows. Like all other SIG Combibloc carton packs, combisafe is made mainly fromwood, a renewable resource. If the wood originates from responsibly managed forests, this natural raw material is available in a virtually infinite supply. And because wood is extremely carbon-neutral, it does not alter the CO2 balance in the atmosphere. Dominik Haug: "We make sure the cardboard we process is manufactured exclusively using wood pulp originating from controlled and responsibly managed sources. That makes carton packs unique in the packaging mix for long-life foods, and is reflected in a positive impact on the environmental performance of our customers' products and production processes. A recent life-cycle assessment has confirmed that, compared to other long-life food packaging solutions, carton packs can cut CO2 emissions by more than 60 per cent and fossil resource consumption by even up to 69 per cent. The study compared food metal cans, glass jars, carton packs, plastic pots and plastic pouches".
Rotary autoclaves and multi-head scales
Other factors that make combisafe an exceptional option for food manufacturers are the flexibility, precision and efficient performance the system offers. When filling food products in combisafe, the sleeve system and the volume-flexible filling machine technology of SIG Combibloc are used. First, the carton packs are shaped on the filling machine and sealed across the base. The food is then filled into the carton packs, in several stages if necessary. Through the use of three modular filling units, including a high-precision multihead weigher, a hugely diverse range of products can be filled. The size and quantity of the chunky product ingredients can vary in virtually any respect, and they can be measured out precisely. In a first stage, pumpable products are filled; chunky product ingredients follow in a second stage, and in a third stage the liquid is added. Dominik Haug: "That's a big plus for cost-effective production, because individual product ingredients can be added to the recipe in precisely the desired quantities using the 3-stage filling technology. That really adds up in the product calculation, too".
After the carton top has been ultrasonically sealed, product and packaging are sterilised in an autoclave. The composite structure of combisafe is specially designed to permit the heat treatment of product and packaging in the autoclave. Along with the cardboard, there is a layer of aluminium (protection from light, external odours and oxygen), and polymer layers (liquid barriers and heat protection). Dominik Haug: "Once filled, the products are sterilised together with the carton pack. Depending on product requirements and customer request, rotary autoclaves may be used for this - in the area of carton packs for long-life foods, that's a world first. Not only do the autoclaves guarantee that superior product quality is retained, they also make it possible, through the continuous movement of the carton packs while they are undergoing the effects of heating, to fill and process certain products in the first place. This applies, for example, with viscous foods containing extra-large particulates, such as the popular baked beans which, in the USA or Great Britain, no breakfast should be without. As well as very chunky products like these, combisafe is perfect for all food products that do not flow freely and therefore cannot pass through a pumping system and an aseptic process".
The range of products offered in combisafe is constantly increasing. Nowadays, consumers are just as likely to find assorted vegetables in sauce packaged in combisafe as they are to find ready-meals, a wide range of tomato products, soups and pasta sauces, as well as organic vegetable mixes that have typically been sold in food metal cans or glasscontainers. Fruit is another perfect candidate for safe, long-life packaging in combisafe, and can be stored without refrigeration or preservatives for up to two years, with no loss of quality.
With combisafe, the SIG Combibloc filling machine system offers unrivalled volume flexibility. Carton volumes of 200, 300, 400 and 500 ml can be filled using a single filling machine. A volume switch takes just a few minutes - and the carton design can be changed without interrupting the production process at all.
IFEU life-cycle assessment compares environmental impacts of long-life food packaging: best environmental performance goes to carton packs
In a life-cycle assessment carried out by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU), the environmental impacts of the main long-life food packaging solutions in current use have been compared. The result: compared to food metal cans, glass jars, retortable pouches and plastic pots, the carton pack has the best environmental performance.
Compared to the other packaging solutions included in the study, using carton packs can save CO2 emissions by up to 63 per cent, and consumption of fossil resources by up to 69 per cent. According to the study, the main drivers behind the environmental impacts of a packaging solution are the material used, and the quantity of the material.
Michael Hecker, Head of Group Environment, Health & Safety at SIG Combibloc: “The market for long-life packaged foods is changing all the time – in addition to new products, from time to time new packaging solutions also come onto the market, or existing packaging systems are modified. With this most recent life-cycle assessment we’ve commissioned, we aimed to take these developments into account and obtain solid information, based on the latest life-cycle assessment findings, about the environmental impacts of the main packaging solutions currently used for long-life foods such as soups, sauces, tomato products, vegetables and ready-meals. So in addition to our aseptic and retortable carton packs, the study also looked at food metal cans, glass jars, plastic pots and retortable pouches”.
For this purpose, the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg (Germany) was commissioned to analyse and evaluate in a Europe-wide life-cycle assessment the environmental impacts of the various packaging systems in accordance with the ISO standard 14040ff stipulated for life-cycle assessments. The independent IFEU Institute is one of Europe’s top environmental research institutes, also working for, among others, government ministries, international environmental and conservation organisations, Germany’s Federal Environmental Agency, and various companies and corporations.
Overall product life-cycle under the microscope
In the life-cycle assessment, all key environmentally relevant factors and processes that come into play across the life cycle of the packaging system were critically examined and evaluated: beginning with the extraction and processing of the raw material used to manufacture the packaging, through the processes of manufacturing and transporting the packages, the packaging of the food, and distribution to retailers, as well as the recycling or disposal of the packaging after use. This type of evaluation is the only assessment method that examines the environmental profile of a packaging as a whole, rather than just focusing on a single aspect.
In the current life-cycle assessment, all key environmental impact categories that are relevant to the resource are investigated and assessed, along with the emission-related categories. In relation to the utilisation of resources, for instance, these categories include consumption of fossil resources and primary energy used, as well as impact on abiotic resources. In respect of emissions, it is the criteria relating to CO2 emission and the associated climate change, the impact on the ozone layer, transport intensity, particulate matter emission, summer smog and the eutrophication and acidification of soils and watercourses that are of interest.
Material used for the packaging and material quantity are the decisive factors
The results of the study show that, when assessing the environmental impacts produced by a long-life food packaging, the key factors are the material used to manufacture the packaging, and the quantity of the material used. These are the main variables influencing what impacts a packaging solution has during its product life-cycle.
In the study, the combibloc aseptic carton and the retortable combisafe carton pack from SIG Combibloc have the best results in all environmental impact categories – in terms of resource consumption and emissions. The most striking findings are the positive results in the impact categories 'Consumption of fossil resources', 'Use of primary energy', and 'CO2 emission/climate change’. The study shows that in terms of fossil resource consumption and CO2 emission, carton packs generate substantially less environmental impact than the other packaging solutions considered in the study – and it does so using considerably less primary energy.
According to the study, the reasons for this are first and foremost the low weight of the carton packs, which is due to the resource-efficient use of raw materials, and the very good environmental performance of the unprocessed cardboard. Thanks to their high content of paper board made from wood, a renewable resource, carton packs use significantly fewer fossil resources than food metal cans, glass jars, plastic pots and retortable pouches. At around 70 per cent, wood is the main material of the carton packs. If forests are managed responsibly, the wood to produce the paper board is virtually unlimited.
Also ideal in environmental aspects
Michael Hecker: “The findings of the latest life-cycle assessment, which was monitored and critically reviewed by independent LCA and packaging experts, confirm the results of a study we had commissioned in 2009 on the life-cycle assessment of long-life food packaging. And the results go further than that, because even when compared to improved or new packaging solutions that are now available to the global food industry, in environmental aspects too carton packs are the ideal packaging solution”.
Also in the present case, the study was not focused on individual countries, but instead takes a European-wide approach. This meant significant differences in recycling rates were factored into the investigation. The findings, which are based on the average recycling rates in the European nations, have undergone an in-depth sensitivity analysis. This proves that, even with varying recycling rates, carton packs perform better than the packaging alternatives in all impact categories.
That applies not only in the area of long-life packaged foods, but likewise in all other market segments in which products are available in carton packs from SIG Combibloc. This too is verified by life-cycle assessments. So, with the current Europe-wide life-cycle assessment for food packaging and the earlier Europe-wide life-cycle assessments for packaging for UHT milk (2012) and packaging for non-carbonated soft drinks (2011), SIG Combibloc has a complete, valid dataset that includes the life-cycle assessment evaluation of carton packs compared to packaging alternatives from every market segment. The overall picture across all studies shows that in environmental terms, carton packs perform significantly better than the competing packaging systems.
Four awards for combidome: the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc convinces expert panels
combidome, the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc, has won not one but four innovation awards: the Beverage Innovation Award, the German Packaging Award (Deutscher Verpackungspreis), the Lions' Lair and the French Packaging Award.
Beverage Innovation Award
Since 2003, the renowned Beverage Innovation Award has been awarded annually by FoodBev.com in cooperation with UNESDA (Union of European Soft Drinks Association) and wafg (Wirtschaftvereinigung Alkoholfreie Getränke e.V. - Germany's trade association for non-alcoholic beverages). This year, 370 applications were submitted by manufacturers and suppliers in the beverage and liquid food industry from 40 countries.
If you want to find out more about award, please visit the websites of FoodBev.com.
German Packaging Award
In the 'Best Sales Packaging: Beverages' category, combidome has won the German Packaging Award. For 50 years now, the best and most innovative developments in the packaging industry have been recognised with the coveted prize. Under the auspices of Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, an independent jury of experts from business, research, teaching and the specialist press chooses prize-winners in six categories.
If you want to find out more about the award, please visit the websites of the Deutsche Verpackungspreis (German language only).
In Great Britain, a jury of packaging experts crowned the innovation from SIG Combibloc Packaging King. In London combidome won the Lions' Lair competition at this year's Packaging Innovations Fair.
French Packaging Award
combidome, the carton bottle from SIG Combibloc, has won the '2013 French Packaging Award' in the 'Drinks' category. For the 58th time, the prestigious 'Emballages magazine' awarded the most innovative packaging of the year. combidome convinced the jury of 12 experts drawn from journalism, industry, retailers and agencies because of its uniqueness with regards to differentiation, convenience and sustainability.
If you want to find out more about our award-winning package, visit our combidome website.
The 'little sensation': combiblocXSlim
New small-format carton pack from SIG Combibloc.
The new, extra-slim small-format carton pack comes in a total of seven volumes from 80 to 180 ml, all of which can be filled on the same filling machine from SIG Combibloc. And it is a 'little sensation' in the truest sense of the word, because carton packs in volumes of 80 and 90 ml are a world first. FrieslandCampina Thailand is the first manufacturer to offer its products in 90 ml portions in the new combiblocXSlim carton pack. The company's 'Omega' brand premium dairy products are specially designed to provide children with healthy vitamins and minerals, and have been on sale in Thailand since August.
"As a globally expanding company, at SIG Combibloc we work to identify market trends at an early stage. This applies especially to developments in fast-growing regions such as Asia and the Middle East. Particularly in these markets, demand is growing in the food and beverage industry for small-size carton packs with volumes of 100 ml and below", says Ralf Mosbacher, Head of Global Product Management at SIG Combibloc. "With products in small-size carton packs like these, food manufacturers are able to match their products to consumers' spending power in the respective markets, and respond very flexibly to market requirements". And the clear demand of consumers for greater convenience also favours the positive growth in the market for small-format carton packs out of which users can comfortably take a sip even when they are on the move − and the carton packs are also perfect for children's little hands. In addition, having a range of small carton sizes makes it possible for food manufacturers to offer added-value products in quantities that are tailored precisely to the needs of their consumers.
With this in mind, SIG Combibloc, systems manufacturer of carton packs and filling machines for beverages and food, has developed the new combiblocXSlim carton pack. combiblocXSlim has a base area of just 47 x 32.5 mm, giving the carton pack an exceptionally slim look. combiblocXSlim comes in a total of seven different volumes: 80, 90, 100, 110, 125, 150 and 180 ml. All these volumes can be filled on the same SIG Combibloc filling machine. The little carton packs can be fitted with handy drinking straws with a large diameter of more than 7 mm, so that even drinks with a thick, creamy consistency can be conveniently consumed straight from the pack. Milk and dairy products and non-carbonated soft drinks can be packaged in combiblocXSlim. "For food manufacturers, this means a high degree of flexibility. By opting for combiblocXSlim, manufacturers are choosing a completely new packaging solution which provides for differentiation on the supermarket shelf. And with the different volume options available, it offers plenty of scope for selecting the ideal packaging form for a given product", says Ralf Mosbacher.
At high speed: proven filling machine technology
The CFA 1224-36 filling machine for combiblocXSlim is based on the proven high-speed filling machine technology from SIG Combibloc, which is capable of filling up to 24,000 carton packs per hour. FrieslandCampina in Thailand has now become the first food manufacturer in the world to launch products in combiblocXSlim. The company, part of the multinational Royal FrieslandCampina group, specialises in the manufacture and sale of long-life dairy products, and has been a leading performer in Thailand for 45 years. The products of the long-established Royal FrieslandCampina group are sold in more than 100 countries. The most important regions are Europe, Asia and Africa. FrieslandCampina has more than 19,000 employees in 25 countries.
Ralf Mosbacher: "combiblocXSlim is perfect, for instance, for packaging products for children. Packaged in carton packs, premium-quality foods and drinks are perfectly protected, and they can be offered in portion sizes that are tailored exactly to the needs of the relevant target group. Especially with the very small volumes of combiblocXSlim food companies could differentiate their products and offer new premium product concepts that come as one shot drinks".
SIG Combibloc’s environmental performance: Targeted individual projects show first results
When you work toward an objective, it pays to look back on what has already been achieved. This applies equally to SIG Combibloc as it seeks to reduce the environmental footprint of its carton packs, filling machines and production processes still further, to ensure that its packs, which are already among the most environmentally friendly for long-life food, can become even better. Targeted individual projects show first results at SIG Combibloc and can be clearly seen in the company's environmental performance.
In 2009, SIG Combibloc set itself the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in its packaging materials plants world-wide by 40%, its energy consumption by 35% and its specific waste production by 25% by 2015; in addition, it aims to increase the proportion of carton packs carrying the label of the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) to 40% by 2015. "We have focused on the points of adjustment that are demonstrably the most significant, so as to achieve the greatest possible benefit for the environment with our products and manufacturing processes. And we are on track with this. We have made marked progress thanks to focused environmental commitment at our various locations world-wide," says Rolf Stangl, CEO of SIG Combibloc.
Independent and critically verified life-cycle assessments by prestigious specialist institutions assist SIG Combibloc in analysing the environmental impacts of its carton packs and to make constant improvements in this regard. The results of up-to-date scientific life-cycle assessments for packaging for UHT milk (2012), non-carbonated soft drinks (2011) and long-life food products (2009) provide SIG Combibloc with a valid dataset including an assessment of carton packs compared to alternative packaging from an environmental perspective for each market sector in which the company provides packaging solutions. All of these studies confirm that, compared to other packaging, carton packs generate significantly less CO2 and use less primary energy and fossil resources. The main reason for the good environmental performance of carton packs is the high proportion of cardboard used, which is made from wood, a bio-based, sustainable and renewable raw material.
Says Michael Hecker, Head of Group Environment, Health & Safety at SIG Combibloc: "You could say that these studies have helped us to generate important knowledge regarding potentials for improvement. This also affects our production processes. We have already been able to make a noticeable reduction in our energy consumption, which in turn has a positive effect on reducing our CO2 emission rate. We are making improvements in areas such as infrastructure in our buildings and cooling systems. This will also contribute to an even greater reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions at our production facilities."
FSC® certification: more trail-blazing
By obtaining FSC certification for its carton packs, SIG Combibloc is making equally good progress toward its goal of increasing the proportion of FSC-labelled carton packs worldwide to 40% between 2010 and 2015. "At 16% by mid-2012, we were clearly in the target zone, still six months before the half-way point," says Hecker. "Seeing the FSC logo on our carton packs reassures consumers that the raw cardboard manufacturer is processing the corresponding volumes of wood that are sourced from an FSC-certified, exemplary forest management system, and other controlled sources."
The go-ahead was given in 2009: by late 2009, SIG Combibloc was the first manufacturer of carton packs to have certified all of its production facilities world-wide in accordance with the FSC criteria for a continuous Chain of Custody (CoC), which it maintains to this day. This enabled SIG Combibloc to offer its customers world-wide carton packs that are allowed to carry the "FSC Mix" label (trademark license code FSC® C020428).
The first of SIG Combibloc's carton packs with the FSC label appeared in all of the German branches of the Lidl retail chain. These were the first FSC-labelled carton packs for fruit juices and iced teas anywhere in Europe. After the FSC labelled packaging subsequently made a successful start in other parts of Europe, the first carton packs for yoghurt drinks carrying the FSC label were made available in China, the result of a joint effort with the leading Chinese dairy group Yili. These were followed by the first FSC-labelled carton packs from SIG Combibloc for juices and fruit juice drinks in the USA and UHT milk in South Africa. These were marketed by Johanna Foods, one of the largest suppliers and co-packers of juices and fruit drinks in the US, and DairyBelle, South Africa's oldest and leading dairy business.
Today, SIG Combibloc carton packs with the FSC label are on the market in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa, accounting for more than 1,600 different product packs in 21 countries.
WWF praises commitment
The FSC standards are recognised and supported by international environmental protection organisations, such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Says Johannes Zahnen, in charge of forestry policy and business partnering at WWF Germany: "We believe that labelling carton packs achieved a particular result in terms of the perception of the FSC label and what it means, both in the food sector and among consumers."
Studies in various regions of the world have shown that the FSC label is enjoying increasing familiarity. In Germany, where the first carton packs with the FSC label in the fruit juice and iced tea sectors were marketed in Europe, spontaneous familiarity with the FSC label was about 28% in 2011 (Source: "Facts and Figures on FSC® growth and markets", published by FSC®, April 2012). According to the study, as many as 43% of consumers in the UK claimed to be familiar with the FSC logo, compared to only 19% four years previously. A similar dynamic can be observed in other parts of the world, too: in Hong Kong, for instance, 29% of consumers recognised the FSC label in 2011, compared to 16% in 2010.
Says Zahnen: "We believe that the FSC-labelled carton packs have played a key role in increasing this familiarity level. We need companies with clearly defined, ambitious objectives. Only by having goals in front of you can you direct them with bold and motivated steps. It is excellent that SIG Combibloc has made a clear commitment to FSC and is working actively toward achieving this goal. It is important that SIG Combibloc continues to take an active role in driving this process forward, motivating its suppliers, enthusing its customers for the subject and finally also giving consumers the opportunity of choosing the better product. Increasing awareness of the significance of responsible forestry management will also mean that the food sector will commit in greater numbers to FSC-certified packaging. Of course, there is a long way to go before the FSC® logo appears on all of SIG Combibloc's carton packs, but it is still achievable."
Recycling – active world-wide
SIG Combibloc's commitment to developing and expanding national collection and recycling systems is also bearing fruit. Says Rolf Stangl: "Recycling is a fundamental element in SIG Combibloc's environmental sustainability strategy. This is why we are actively committing to developing collecting and sorting systems and implementing the corresponding recycling technologies world-wide, for instance in China, Thailand, Brazil and the UK. The use of wood, as a sustainable raw material, means that used carton packs are a valuable source of material for high-quality paper products. This is resource-efficient and saves raw materials."
Further information about SIG Combibloc's environmental commitment is available in <media 2177>the company's latest life-cycle assessment brochure</media>.
Carton packs are top performers in the categories CO2 emission and fossil resource consumption
A recent, Europe-wide life-cycle assessment conducted by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) has confirmed that, compared to disposable HDPE and PET bottles, carton packs for UHT milk have a significantly better environmental profile - particularly with respect to CO2 emission, use of fossil resources and consumption of primary energy.
In the 1-litre format, carton packs generate 34 per cent less CO2, use 56 per cent less fossil resources, and consume 30 per cent less primary energy compared to HDPE multilayer bottles; when compared to disposable PET bottles, these figures are 45 per cent for CO2, 57 per cent for fossil resources and 36 per cent for primary energy. The comparative, independently verified study of the environmental impact of those UHT milk packaging solutions with the greatest market relevance in Europe sees the good performance of the renewable main raw material and the resource-efficient use of materials as the key factors contributing to the carton pack's positive results. Carton packs are already manufactured by around 75 per cent from wood, a sustainable, completely renewable and bio-based resource.
Throughout its life cycle, every product has demonstrable environmental impacts - and so packaging does. Life-cycle assessments help to obtain credible, scientifically proven and reliable facts on these impacts. Michael Hecker, Head of Group Environment, Health & Safety at SIG Combibloc: "Our objective was to obtain valid facts about the environmental performance throughout the life-cycle of all current market-relevant packaging solutions for UHT milk. In Europe, alongside carton packs the prevalent packaging solutions include HDPE and PET multilayer bottles in the 1,000 ml volume. In light of this information, we commissioned the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg to carry out a comparative, Europe-wide life-cycle assessment studying the environmental impacts of these packaging systems - naturally, in accordance with the ISO Standards 14040ff for life-cycle assessments". The IFEU Institute is one of the most reputable environmental institutes in Europe, also carrying out studies and analyses for, among others, government ministries, international environmental organisations, Germany's Federal Environmental Agency, and various companies and corporations.
Comprehensive environmental profile
In the latest life-cycle assessment, all key factors and processes within the life cycles of the various packaging solutions that are of relevance for the product's environmental performance were evaluated: beginning with the extraction and refining of the raw material used to make the packaging, through the processes of manufacturing and transporting the finished packages, the packaging of the beverage, and distribution up to the retailing stage, right up to the recycling or disposal of the packaging after use. At each stage of the product life-cycle, the key environmental impact categories relevant to the resource and the emission-related categories were investigated and evaluated. In terms of resources, factors such as the consumption of fossil resources, the amount of primary energy used and the use of nature are looked at. With respect to emissions, it is the criteria relating to climate change measured in CO2, the particulate loading of the air and the eutrophication and acidification of soils and watercourses that are of interest. At present, the key environmental impact categories world-wide are emission of greenhouse gases, consumption of fossil resources and use of primary energy sources.
Main criteria: material and quantity
The results of the current study show clearly that the environmental impacts produced by a UHT milk packaging during the packaging life-cycle are determined first and foremost by the material from which the packaging is manufactured, and how much of the material was used. In this context, the current life-cycle assessment proved that the carton pack offers significant benefits − with respect to the use of resources and in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The specific properties and the composite structure of the carton pack have a beneficial effect in nearly all of the environmental impact categories and especially in all the important ones like 'Consumption of fossil resources', 'Use of primary energy sources', and 'CO2-emission/climate change'. Compared to 1-litre HDPE multilayer bottles (the UHT milk packaging solution that has the greatest market relevance in Europe after the carton pack), the carton pack generates 34 per cent less CO2, uses 56 per cent less fossil resources and consumes 30 per cent less primary energy; when compared to disposable PET bottles, these figures are 45 per cent for CO2 emissions, 57 per cent for fossil resources and 36 per cent for primary energy.
Above all, the resource-efficient use of raw paperboard, which is manufactured using a high fraction of renewable energy, and the low weight of a carton pack contribute significantly to its favourable environmental performance. Carton packs use significantly fewer fossil resources than HDPE and PET bottles, because the carton is manufactured by around 75 per cent from pulp fibres obtained from wood, a renewable resource. For this reason, in the 'Use of nature' environmental impact category, the carton pack lags behind the packaging solutions manufactured from fossil resource-based raw materials. In contrast to finite resources, however, with responsible forest management, there can be a constant supply of this renewable raw material. Another positive effect is that with sustainable forest management, wood is carbon-neutral and therefore does not alter the CO2 balance of the atmosphere. The reason for this CO2-neutrality is that while they are growing, trees extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it. When they later burn or decay, they release exactly the same quantity of CO2 that they absorbed during their lifespan.
The results of the life-cycle assessment conducted by the IFEU have been monitored, critically reviewed and confirmed by independent LCA and packaging experts Hans-Jürgen Garvens, Dr. Philippe Osset and Dr. Mercedes Hortal.
Michael Hecker: "The results of the current life-cycle assessment show us that when it comes to environmental life-cycle assessments, the carton pack in its current composite structure has clear advantages over other packaging solutions for UHT milk. In its guidance documents the institute that carried out the study is recommending the carton pack to business and consumers as a packaging solution whenever environmental considerations are a factor in decision-making. But that doesn't mean we can sit back and rest on our laurels − in fact, we're working continuously to further improve the environmental performance of our carton packs for UHT milk, so that they continue to be one of the most environmentally friendly packaging solutions around. One possibility we're looking into, for instance, is further increasing the fraction of the sustainable, renewable raw material used in the composite structure of our carton packs, so that we can improve the environmental footprint of the carton pack and at the same time offer consumers the convenience they have come to expect and value".
With the latest life-cycle assessment, SIG Combibloc now has an up-to-date, valid data set which covers the environmental life-cycle evaluation of carton packs compared to packaging alternatives from every market segment. Following on the heels of the Europe-wide life-cycle assessment for food packaging (2009) and the Europe-wide life-cycle assessment of NCSD packaging (2011), with the new IFEU analysis there is now a comprehensive, scientifically proven investigation of the environmental performance of packaging solutions for UHT milk products. The wider view across all studies shows that carton packs offer a significantly better environmental performance than the competing packaging systems. This applies above all for the key indicator CO2 and fossil resources categories, and for the consumption of energy category.
Healthy new ice tea trend: focus on naturalness and new worlds of flavour
A sophisticated and refreshingly different new trend is making an appearance. Enterprising tea bars are serving up tea in inventive combinations.
Their target clientele is modern, active consumers who seek out products with high-quality, healthy ingredients, and who at the same time are adventurous with food, like to enjoy what they eat, and are keen to try out new and unusual beverages. After the coffee-to-go phenomenon, modern tea drinks to go are also taking off - served iced, they are as creative and refreshing as a classic cocktail. "Even the major premium manufacturers are starting to present ice tea as a whole new product: it's all about naturalness", says Norman Gierow, Global Market Segment Manager at SIG Combibloc. Gierow believes that in the non-carbonated RTD (ready-to-drink) teas sector, exotic new worlds of flavour are set to open up. RTD teas from tealeaves, flowers, herbs, fruit and spices - these 'cocktails' of pure ingredients are getting more and more creative, and have the potential to revitalize the market.
"The culture of tea-drinking has a history stretching back thousands of years. But the fact that this culture has always been dynamic, picking up new influences throughout its history, is the reason for its enduring success", says Norman Gierow. The market for ready-to-drink teas has been enjoying positive growth for many years, particularly in Asia. World-wide, in 2011 around 29.5 billion litres of non-carbonated RTD teas were drunk. Sales of RTD tea are especially high in countries where drinking tea is a deep-rooted part of traditional culture. Alongside Asia, North America has recently re-emerged as a significant driver for the positive growth in the RTD teas sector. Experts expect the healthy growth in this sector to continue. The global annual growth rate for 2011 to 2015 is forecast at around 8.7 per cent.
Ice tea has a history of its own. Iced tea drinks are thought to have been introduced to a wide audience for the first time in 1904, at the World's Fair in St Louis. Richard Blechynden, a British tea merchant selling Indian tea at the Fair, wanted to popularise black tea among the Americans. At the time, the main variety known there was green tea. Fearing that, given the summer
temperatures, hot tea would find few takers, Blechynden had his tea chilled. From there, the idea of iced tea drinks spread quickly and ice tea became more and more popular. According to historical cookbooks, though, the first recipes for preparing cold tea were already around as far back as the early 19th century, long before the World's Fair.
Recipes for ice tea typically specify freshly brewed black tea as the basis, chilled with ice cubes immediately after steeping and enhanced with lemon juice and sugar. The cooling with ice cubes is a key step because black tea, which cools only slowly at ambient temperature, tends to develop a bitter taste. Rapid cooling with ice prevents this bitter tang. Nowadays, black tea is far from being the only variety that is used as a basis for ice tea. Depending on the consumer's tastes, any tea variety can be served chilled. A glance at the 'cocktail menus' of the hip new tea bars that are currently springing up for example in North America shows a dazzling variety of creations, such as white tea with Acai berries and fizzy lemonade, hibiscus blossom with cherry and sweet vanilla, green tea with ginger and vanilla, and a raft of other unusual blends. "In the future, we're set to find comparable high-quality infusions − refreshing, energising and made from pure, natural ingredients − among the RTD teas as well", Norman Gierow believes. The trend is already emerging.
Pure tea infusions
'Favorit' brand ready-to-drink premium ice teas manufactured by Swiss firm Bischofszell Food Ltd. are a good example of this. No tea granules are used to make these teas - just real, freshly brewed black, green and herbal teas. The pure tea infusions are enhanced with fruit juice. Norman Gierow sees this product range as a forerunner for the emergence of a new generation of ice tea drinks that are exceptionally authentic, and also have the potential to appeal to health-conscious consumers.
Martin Drexel, Export and Brand Manager at Bischofszell Food Ltd., says: "Ice tea drinks that have been made to simple recipes, and use fresh, naturally pure teas as their basis, taste best. That's essentially what we're doing when we make our 'Favorit' ice teas". The premium ice teas made with real, freshly brewed tea are available in the aseptic carton pack combifitPremium with screw cap in Green Tea, Lemon and Peach (both with black tea basis) and Alpine Herbs varieties. The products are for sale in Europe and in the USA, Canada, Australia and Mexico.
Gierow: "We believe that in the future we'll be seeing a lot more ice tea creations like these appearing on the market - drinks in which flavour, fresh, natural ingredients and just a little added sweetness combine to create a beverage of
incomparable authenticity. Inspired by the success and the ideas of the new tea bars, unusual, premium ice tea creations will be coming along that are a million miles away from the character of the classic sweetened ice tea drinks".
First Portuguese customer in the NCSD segment
With Grupo Água de S. Martinho (Aguarela), Portugal's leading supplier of packaged drinking water, SIG Combibloc has won another customer in Portugal. For Aguarela, the decision to choose filling technology from SIG Combibloc represents an entry into business with beverages in carton packs, and at the same time entry into the non-carbonated soft drinks (NCSD) segment.
Aguarela is now offering ice tea in aseptic carton packs from SIG Combibloc; nectars and juices are set to follow. For SIG Combibloc, Aguarela is the first Portuguese customer in the NCSD segment.
"Together with SIG Combibloc, we're starting a new era in our company history. We'll be significantly expanding our company's product portfolio with a range of ice teas and juice drinks in a variety of carton formats and volumes. In SIG Combibloc, we have at our side a partner with wide experience in aseptic carton packs and filling machines. That gives us another reason to look to the future with great optimism", says Francisco Ferreira, owner and CEO of the Aguarela Group.
The origins of the Aguarela Group go back to 1992. Since then, the company has thrived, thanks largely to the steadily growing consumption of packaged drinking water in Portugal. And export has also given the company a push forward over the years. Today, the privately owned and managed business consists of four firms, which have a market share in Portugal's packaged drinking water sector of around 42 per cent and in the past few years have generated an increase in turnover of around 6 per cent annually. Entry into the regional NCSD products business is expected to bring a new wave of positive momentum.
Francisco Ferreira: "The NCSD market is currently experiencing significant growth in Portugal. As a key factor in this, the issue of regionality plays a primary role among Portuguese consumers. For health-conscious consumers, foods from one's own country have greater appeal than imported products. So we're confident that with ice tea, nectars and juices from Portugal for Portugal, we're right on the mark in catering to consumers' wants. We're getting ready to enter this sector with carton packs, because they help retain the quality of
the products, they're convenient for consumers to use in their day-to-day lives, and they also have positive characteristics in terms of logistics and the environment. The filling machines from SIG Combibloc are characterised by high performance and offer a high degree of flexibility - in terms of the formats and volumes and in respect of the range of products. So there's also the option in the future of using the standard filling machines to fill juice drinks containing fruit pulp or other perceptible extras".
At the company's production site in Chamusca, a SIG Combibloc CFA 909 filling machine for filling products in the carton pack combiblocMagnum and a CFA 112 filling machine for filling products in the small-format carton pack combiblocMini are now in operation. In an initial step, a variety of ice teas are being filled in combiblocMagnum 1,500 ml with combiSwift screw cap and in combiblocMini 200 ml.
Victor Cordoba, Head of Market Area Iberia & France at SIG Combibloc: "We're very excited about getting our first Portuguese customer in the NSCD segment, which is currently seeing very strong development in Portugal. Aguarela is on the one hand an established, experienced company, and on the other it is very open to new things and keen to generate new growth. In this respect, our companies go together perfectly and we're looking forward to a successful, flourishing collaboration".
Huiyuan exhibits breakfast juice in combidome at EXPO in Milan
The Chinese SIG Combibloc customer Huiyuan Group is participating at EXPO 2015 in Milan, Italy. Since May 1st and up to October 31st the company showcases its products at the Universal Exhibition - recently also a breakfast juice in combidome.
The Huiyuan Group, as the leading fruit juice brand and producer in China, has a social responsibility and aspires to share the best products with global consumers as well as to become the most trusted, internationally recognized, safe and healthy brand in China. Given the international center for economy, culture, and fashion, Huiyuan believes Milan Expo is the best platform for the Group to present its brand and products to the World. It is the best opportunity for Huiyuan to launch itself internationally and for European consumers and visitors from all over the world to understand Huiyuan.
Over a six-month period, Milan Expo 2015 is a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium. In addition to the exhibitor nations, the Expo also involves international organizations, and expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area.
Save time and costs with the Robotic Magazine (R-CAM)
With the new Robotic Magazine (R-CAM) for high-speed filling machines that fill up to 24,000 carton packs per hour, SIG Combibloc offers customers a crucial component on the road to greater automation. The new R-CAM loads the filling machine with carton sleeves fully automatically - a real gain in terms of the efficiency of workflows and reducing the amount of manual work.
Food and beverage manufacturers who operate filling machines from SIG Combibloc receive the carton sleeves in shipping boxes on pallets. Up to now, the shipping boxes have been removed from the pallet and loaded into the filling machine's magazine by an employee. With six tracks and a top speed of up to 24,000 carton packs per hour, this ties up personnel.
Jan Gansow, Global Product Manager at SIG Combibloc: "The aim was to develop an automatic magazine for the high-speed filling machines similar to the Combibloc Automatic Magazine (CAM) already available for other types of SIG Combibloc filling machine. With the Robotic Magazine, we've even gone a step further and developed a fully automated magazine. The shipping boxes are removed from the pallet and opened, and the filling machine is loaded with carton sleeves. This process does not require any action from the machine operator. Thanks to the Robotic Magazine, workflows are more efficient, saving working time and costs".
The Robotic Magazine basically consists of two modules: the pallet magazine and the unpacking station. The pallet magazine offers space for a Euro pallet, Industrial pallet or Australian pallet. Once the pallet is inside the magazine, a scanner records the arrangement of the shipping boxes on the pallet. The gripper arm moves a shipping box to the unpacking station. The Robotic Magazine has an internal buffer, which ensures that production can continue to run smoothly even while a new pallet is being loaded into the pallet magazine. This buffer can accommodate up to 20 shipping boxes of carton sleeves. The magazine can operate for up to 2.5 hours without the need to top it up with a new pallet.
Inside the unpacking station, the shipping boxes are opened and the sleeves are removed from the box. The sleeves are automatically filled into the appropriate track of the filling machine, and the shipping boxes are folded flat and collected in a specially provided container for subsequent disposal.
Successfully in use at Arla Foods
The first R-CAM 724 prototype is in operation at Arla Foods Germany at its Pronsfeld factory. "With the new Robotic Magazine and an optimised line configuration in which the tray packer is positioned close behind the filling machine, we're now able to operate the entire high-speed line very efficiently with one machine operator", says Peter Bratsch, who is in charge of the R-CAM prototype at Arla Foods.
Jan Gansow says: "The Robotic Magazine is a key component in building the fully automated filling line of the future, in which automatic guided vehicles (AGV) transport the pallets of packaging material automatically from a central store to the R-CAM. It's a major step towards fully automated lines for the 'smart factories' of tomorrow".
In an initial step, the new Robotic Magazine is available for the CFA 724 high-speed filling machine for filling products in the small-size combiblocSmall carton format. In a next step, the fully automated magazine will also be offered for the CFA 124 for filling combiblocMini carton packs. Fully automated solutions for the filling machines CFA 512 and CFA 312 for filling the medium-sized carton packs combiblocStandard and combiblocSlimline are also planned.
The filling machines CFA 724 and CFA 124 that are already installed can be retrospectively fitted with the Robotic Magazine. Of course, the R-CAM can be integrated into the SIG Combibloc ECS Line Monitoring System.
Carton packs support Sainsbury’s Sustainability Plan
British supermarket chain Sainsbury's has set itself challenging sustainability targets to reach by 2020. One example is to reduce own-brand packaging by half compared to 2005. During the last year alone, the company - one of UK's largest retailers - achieved a reduction of 5.1 per cent year-on-year. And also carton packs make a contribution to this success. In a video of the series "Little stories, big difference" Sainsbury's employee Karen shows, how she can eliminate 65 % of the packaging of a tomato product - nearly at first go!
USA: Steuben Foods opts for
SIG high-speed filling technology
Steuben Foods, one of the United States' leading companies in the field of aseptic filling of low-acid foods and beverages, has now opted for filling technology from SIG Combibloc. The CFA1224-36 high-speed filling machine from SIG Combibloc can aseptically fill 24,000 small-format carton packs combiblocXSlim per hour - an innovation for the US market.
The high-speed filling machine technology from SIG Combibloc combines high output with performance and flexibility. combiblocXSlim is available in volumes of 80, 90, 100, 110, 125, 150 and 180 ml. All volumes can be filled on a single machine, and switching between the different filling volumes takes just minutes. There is no need to change machine parts, and the machine does not have to be resterilised after switching volumes. With combiblocXSlim, Steuben Foods has added to its portfolio a packaging solution that brings variety to the sales shelf. For instance, the carton packs are perfect for added value and 'on-the-go' products, and for children's beverages.
Steuben Foods was founded in 1983 and specialises in aseptic, low-acid foods and beverages. The company is part of a group of privately-owned food and beverage manufacturers that have been operating on the North American market for more than 85 years. Steuben Foods' head office and its technology centre are in New York City; the production plant is in Elma, NY.
FDA Master File
Steuben Foods' well-established success is due to the company's ongoing commitment to delivering product quality that meets the highest industry standards. With its CFA 1224-36 high-speed filling machine, SIG Combibloc has proven to be the perfect partner for Steuben Foods. Like many other SIG Combibloc filling machines, this unit is designed to process low-acid food for the North American market and has the appropriate FDA Master File. In addition to the CFA 1224-36 filling machine, Steuben Foods already uses a SIG Combibloc CFA 312 to fill combiblocSlimline carton packs and a CFA 812 for combiblocMidi and combifitMidi. These machines also have validated sterilisation processes that best satisfy the requirements for rapid acceptance by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Tim Kirchen, Head of Marketing and Business Development at SIG Combibloc North America: "Steuben Foods works with leading companies in the food and beverage industry, seeing to it that customers get first-class products. And we at SIG Combibloc are committed to delivering carton packs and filling machines which are exactly made for the requirements of our customers and the markets in which they operate. Against the background of increasing pressure on margins, rising prices for raw materials and the need to reduce costs, products in small carton packs offer promising solutions. combiblocXSlim enables manufacturers and retailers to position beverages in line with the current consumer trends, and to respond flexibly to market requirements".
In the USA, as in many other parts of the world, consumers are increasingly paying attention to making sure that the beverages they buy not only quench their thirst but also are healthy, as far as possible organically grown, and as 'unprocessed' as possible. The issues of health and wellness play a major role in the choice of foods - not least also in view of the fact that childhood obesity is a widespread problem in the USA. Wide-ranging publicity campaigns are intended to help make people aware of and receptive to the issue and find ways to be active to counter obesity. There is a consensus that improving food product quality and reducing portion sizes may be useful steps in the fight against obesity. In light of this, the small-size carton pack combiblocXSlim is a helpful solution for putting beverages on the market in controlled portions that can also be conveniently consumed while on the go.
Milk and dairy products as well as non-carbonated soft drinks, can be packaged in combiblocXSlim. Vegetarian dairy alternatives such as soy or almond drinks, coffee creamers and added-value products are optimally packaged in the small carton pack, too. combiblocXSlim can be provided with 6 and 8 mm straw holes. This ensures that, with the right drinking straw, even beverages with a creamy consistency are easy to drink straight from the carton pack.
Equipped for the future
Jeffrey Sokal, Senior Vice President at Steuben Foods: "We're proud to be in partnership with SIG Combibloc, enabling us to include combiblocXSlim in our product portfolio. The continuous optimisation of our production processes is part of our corporate culture. We upgrade our equipment on an ongoing basis so that, in terms of technology, we're optimally prepared to continue evolving with the growing market. With the high-speed filling machine and the combiblocXSlim carton pack from SIG Combibloc, we're able to offer our customers a modern, versatile packaging solution that promises plenty of options".
Tim Kirchen: "With Steuben Foods, we've gained as a partner an ambitious and at the same time established player in the aseptic filling of foods and beverages, who recognises the growing importance of aseptic carton packs in North America and is expanding its portfolio accordingly using our filling technology. The partnership between Steuben Foods and SIG Combibloc opens up a wealth of new strategic possibilities in the aseptic packaging of foods and beverages that will ensure further growth in the North American market".