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Update on teabag paper manufacturers.

The very keen competition among the tea companies, and between the manufacturers of teabag papers, the changing needs of the consumers and the exacting environmental requirements of today demand a level of dynamism and professionalism which, a few years ago, would not have been necessary, according to Peter Hart, tea sector consultant for Bollore Technologies.

As a result, innovation and the constant improvement of product quality have become of paramount importance to Bollore Technologies who have invested heavily, not only in up-dating and modifying their papermaking machines but, also, in ensuring that their research laboratories are adequately provided with the latest equipment and that their quality control system will meet ISO 9002 with which compliance is now well advanced.

Their R & D department now has a pilot papermaking machine which enables them to make many paper trials without disrupting the manufacturing programs of our production machines. Heatsealing and non-heat-sealing teabag machines, upon which immediate and extensive trials of new qualities of teabag papers are made, have also been installed.

"With these facilities we have been able to produce standard teabag papers which perform well on virtually all teabag machines in current usage, except for the IMA CSS, IMA C2000 and round teabag machines for which we have designed special papers," said Hart. "Round teabags have now become very popular on both sides of the Atlantic whilst round coffeebags, for which we can also supply a paper, show several advantages over loose coffee when used in coffee-making machines."

"Over the past few years, we have successfully developed a method of producing teabag paper with personalized patterns and, much more recently, we have perfected and patented a process of embossing teabag paper, very distinctly, with complicated logos. With our "E" grade teabag papers, we have kept abreast of the demands for environmental papers, matching the three phases of the UK Tea Association's guide-lines, while we are also able to offer our "N" grade teabag papers, containing unbleached wood pulps and unbleached cellulosic long fibres."

"In our laboratories, we have conducted profound studies on the seal strength, infusion, dust-retention and neutrality of taste characteristics of our teabag papers and, as a result, can supply teabag papers with more than adequate seal strength, while still enjoying a wide range of sealing temperatures and a minimum knife-wear, a very acceptable neutrality of taste - and in our opinion it hardly makes sense to pack a good tea in a paper which tastes - and, by using a wide variety of cellulosic fibres, an optimum balance between infusion and dust retention. Good seal strength characteristics are achieved by a wise choice of heatsealing fibres combined with the "know-how" of experienced papermakers and very accurate online microprocess gauges."

A good teabag paper requires a good pulp, said Hart, and our paper is assured of this by our up-to-date pulp mill at Troyes where research on an extensive range of cellulosic long fibers is constantly in progress.

"It is our intention to remain at the forefront of development and we consider that a close liaison with our customers is one way in which to achieve this aim; we regard our customers as our partners who will help us to ensure that knowledge of their needs, coupled with our professionalism, will enable us, at all times, to offer quantities of teabag papers which will fully meet their requirements, Hart concluded.

JR Crompton

"We have obviously been very pro-active adding to the range of Environmentally Friendly papers in both non-chlorine bleached and unbleached format," said Geoff B. Woodall, sales and marketing director, JR Crompton Ltd.

"There have been some new additions to tea packaging machinery during the same peroid and as always we have been working closely with the machinery producers to develop the optimum materials for particular applications."

"The breakthrough in production potential for double chambered heat-sealed teabags has presented its own challenges, to which, we believe we have fully responded and we are currently expanding this range of products further, to ensure full compatibility with envoromentally friendly requirements."

"At Cromptons, we have recognized for some time that the demands upon the filter paper, for instance, in the coffee beverage markets, vary considerably from country to country. The results of our work in this area have enabled us to develop specific papers for coffee filtration incorporating these particular market requirements."

"Additionally the machinery developed and used for coffee bag/pouch manufacture can be very specific and in this area too we have shown that we can respond and match the individual user requirement."

"Over many years of association with the tea and coffee industry, we have established various means of identifying and measuring the effect of patterning filter papers to varying degrees of openness, upon the tea and coffee brewing characteristics. By these means, we can offer pattern designs to our customers, which will give optimum pre-determined brew or liquoring characteristics vs tea particle of coffee solids retention," Woodall concluded.

Schoeller & Hoesch/Johnson & Johnson

Executives from Schoeller & Hoesch and Johnson & Johnson were asked the following questions concerning teabag manufacturing: How have you kept your technology up-to-date for the tea and coffee industry?

S & H: Schoeller & Hoesch has been one of the first tea bag paper manufacturers being able to respond to the tea and coffee industry's demand for unbleached and oxygen bleached papers which developed by virtue of the growing environmental consciousness. Today, we improve the constant quality of our filter papers by control of raw material sources. S& H just bought a Manila pulp plant in the Philippines, applying the most modern paper machine technology available. S&H also just started to operate a new paper machine.

Johnson & Johnson: Through the inplementation of a Q.I.P. process (Quality Improvement Program). Our customers have also requested Infustion Guaze, which we now produce for high quality tea to be adaptable on high speed teabagging machines.

Are there any differences in paper for teabags versus coffee filters versus coffee pouches?

S & H: Coffee filter is made of ordinary pulp and its substance is higher than the substance of tea bag paper of the paper used for coffee pouchs. The latter two papers are similiar to each other as far as heat-sealable teabag papers are concerned. Non heat-sealable teabag papers have a lower substance. Moreover, teabag paper and paper for coffee pouches are mainly made of special pulp. Coffee filter paper is not heat-sealable.

Johnson & Johnson: Infusin Gauze equals apertured fabric. Paper which is non apertured reduces the infusion process which is essential for full body flavor. What do the difference patterned papers do for tea flow/coffee flow?

S & H: In between different patterns, there is no significant difference in tea flow/coffee flow.

Johnson & Johnson: J & J Infustion Guaze Fabric provides exceptional infusion performance by allowing water to flow easily through the bay, ensuring the release of the full body flavor of premium blend tea.
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Title Annotation:technological advancement in tea bags and coffee filters
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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