Today, the most widespread milk in Spain is long-term milk, U.H.T. (Ultra High Temperature) and therefore, the pakaging in which it must be packaged and preserved, have changed markedly for the benefit of the consumers.
PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS AND OPTIONS FOR UHT MILK
UHT milk requires special consideration for packaging to ensure long shelf life. Almost 100% of milk served to consumers is heat-treated, to kill harmful bacteria and to improve its self-life.
- Pasteurised: (the most popular) HTST (high temperature, short time, min.71.7ºC between 15- 25 s) process. It kills harmful bacteria without significantlly affecting the nutritional value or taste of the milk. Short shelf life circa 5 – 10 days and low light protection required.
- E.S.L. (Extended Shelf Life): pasteurisation plus fine filtration to remove further souring bacteria. Extended shelf life circa 2-3 weeks and higher light protection required.
- U.H.T. Milk (Ultra HIgh Temperature, ultrapasteurisation or uperisation): UHT heat process (140-150ºC between 2-4 s.). Aim: to get microbiological stability to be filled and stored at ambient T. Prior milk heat treament to aseptic filling. The milk is then packaged into sterile containers. Long shelf life circa 4-9 months makes it more susceptible to light induced oxidation and it requires high/full light protection.
VALUE SOLUTION FOR THE DAIRY MARKET
Some years ago, light blocking was achieved with use of multilayer HDPE and PET packaging.
Novapet DCU enables light blocking in single PET layer bottles, and offers the added advantage of design freedom.
A number of variables impact shelf life of milk, being the visible light blockage the most important, in order to prevent light-induced reactions and to enhance milk shelf life. Study data and sources find that full light blocking is a key factor in preventing vitamins A, B2 (rivoflavin), D and amino acids loss, protein oxidation and off-flavor generation, among others, leading to potentially longer shelf life for UHT milk.
*Novapet DCU vs other milk packaging.
Traditionally, UHT liquid dairy products have been packaged in laminated paperboard cartons, pouches, or multilayer high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Some of these packaging options have several disadvantages due to their shape and material which do not make them user friendly, such as handling, storage, opening, pouring and resealing. Both paperboard and multilayer polymers restrict design freedom, so that the packaging is often less than ergonomic.
To increase the user-friendly aspects of UHT dairy packaging, Novapet DCU expands design freedom by allowing designers to use a single PET layer bottle to create the same visible light blocking as paperboard and multilayer HDPE and PET packaging. As a result, light induced oxidation is minimized and properties and taste are preserved, even at the lengthy ambient shelf life common with UHT liquid dairy products.
Novapet DCU is a solid masterbatch additive that, when added to PET to make monolayer bottles, provides high-performance light blocking technology and protection for liquid dairy contents.
This additive helps PET packaging to protect longer shelf life products. Especially ultra-high temperature (UHT) liquid dairy products, from visible-light induced oxidation due to ambient storage conditions.
It has several advantages in terms of performance, design, distribution and environment:
- Performance: Preserves the taste, smell and color without altering the nutritional properties of UHT milk, blocking 100% UV radiation and up to 99,9% of visible light.
- Design: Combines creativity and style in customizable containers according to client.
- Distribution: A real solution available in the global market: PET bottles.
- Environment: High energy saving in its production and 100% recyclable bottle to bottle.