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Development of the Milk Can.

Development of the Milk Can

Earlier this year Cravendale Foods launched the Milk Marketing Board's new product, the Milk Can. This product is long life milk packaged in a polypropylene can with an aluminium ring-pull top. Effectively, this milk can allows the consumer to enjoy milk at anytime and anywhere because the pack tends to keep milk cool.

The milk is treated by an improved UHT process that reduces taste impairment and the can is produced by a specially developed filling and packing process. Credit for the improved UHT process goes to the Milk Marketing Board but the pack was developed jointly by the Board and CMB's research and development facility at Wantage, part of CMB Packaging.

This the first commercial application of the Freshfill drinks can, a development of CMB's Freshfill aseptic packaging system. The Freshfill drinks can is produced by sterilising a polypropylene pot with hydrogen peroxide before filling it in a sterile chamber of an aseptic filling machine. A standard aluminium can end is then firmly attached to the pot, creating an aseptic seal, before it is conventionally seamed. By being able to produce an initial sterile seal, it is possible to provide the double seam that gives the integrity and physical strength required.

All this can be achieved by modifying the pot filler to accept can ends and by a patented pot design that provides not only the crucial fit with the can end but also its tumbler-like appearance, the convenience of stacking and a totally usable print area.

CMB developed the Freshfill system to take advantage of the aseptic process first developed in the dairy industry. Dairy food producers were looking for a means of treating and packing their products that offered similar benefits to those of retorting - a method of producing shelf-stable product whilst preserving quality parameters like flavour, colour and texture. What it came up with was a process in which the container and product are separately sterilised before being hermetically closed in a sterile environment.

Using the new technology and drawing upon its considerable experience in the food industry, CMB was able to develop its own aseptic pot filling equipment with a range of high barrier containers to meet the growing demand for such containers. The first Freshfill plastics pot filler, designed for dairy products and thin liquids, was produced a full decade ago, and it was used by the Scottish Milk Marketing Board to hold cream. With its longer non refrigerated shelf-life, the cream could be safely distributed as far away as Cornwall! In 1986 Ambrosia creamed rice became the first product containing small particles to be sold in a Freshfill container.

Today, the Freshfill equipment includes the SL1, a single lane system, the multi-lane ML-4 and the Remy 2000. The first two systems have typical outputs in the range from 25 to 40 containers a minute and are the only preformed systems to have full FDA approval for use with low acid foods. The Remy ECO 2000 is a versatile modular filler, designed to European standards, that is suitable for high output applications; various options an be offered, including a volumetric filler that gives a clean cut-off and dispenses and pumps without damaging the product. The development of UHT particulate processing methods has allowed this filler to be offered as an option for applications involving liquids with particles up to 25mm in diameter when processed through units like APV's Ohmic and Jupiter systems.

Freshfill containers are manufactured within CMB's Performance Plastics division and there is a wide choice of shapes and sizes. In fact, when using the SL1 Mark 4 system, large plan area containers can be used in this way for the first time. Options such as decorations in up to six colours and microwave tolerance are also available.

Readers wanting more information about this whole development should contact CMB Performance Plastics Plc at Woodside, Perry Wood Walk, Worcester, tel:0905 354444.

PHOTO : The six-lane drinks can filler at Cravendale Foods
COPYRIGHT 1990 Food Trade Press Ltd.
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Title Annotation:new product introduced by Cravendale Foods and Great Britain. Milk Marketing Board
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Previous Article:Alpma diversifies.
Next Article:Aseptic packaging of juice and juice drinks.

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