Amcor packs Venezuelan ambient yoghurt

Amcor Global
Thursday, 14 November, 2013

Empresas Polar has launched Venezuela’s first ambient yoghurt. The non-refrigerated pourable yoghurt, called MiGurt, is packaged in an aseptically filled, 750-gram barrier polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle from Amcor Rigid Plastics.

The multi-serve pourable yoghurt product has an extended shelf life of six months and requires no refrigeration prior to opening. The extended shelf life enables Empresas Polar to reach consumers across the country, including those in regions not served by refrigerated distribution channels.

“A long shelf life yoghurt product was a key to commercialisation because it provided low-cost distribution and a highly affordable consumer brand,” said Manuel Capdevielle, a director of Empresas Polar.

The MiGurt range.

Amcor custom designed the container, which is its first light-blocking, aseptically filled PET container. Amcor used advanced barrier technology to meet aseptic filling requirements (up to 60°C) and provide light-blocking capabilities to prevent spoilage and degradation of the yoghurt product and maintain its nutritional value.

With no refrigeration required and an extended shelf life, the new product gives major logistical advantages in terms of inventory control, distribution and point of sale.

“The new barrier PET container represents a major development in ambient foods, offering a unique packaging solution that opens up new business opportunities in the food and beverage market,” said Mercedes Candedo, Diversified Products Manager for Amcor’s Latin American business.

Amcor met Empresas Polar’s barrier requirements while also incorporating a unique hour-glass design that minimises resin use by optimising PET material distribution throughout the container.

“Uniform material distribution is vital for effective light-blocking performance,” explained Chris LaBombarbe, senior technical manager for Amcor Rigid Plastics. “A uniform material distribution permitted us to achieve sustainable material use while at the same time maintaining light-blocking integrity.”

Amcor also overcame processing challenges presented by the bottle’s highly white pigmented, opaque structure by adapting special reheat technology. Design considerations were made to maintain a smooth interior profile, which facilitated the aseptic sterilisation process.

The barrier PET container features a single-lead 38 mm finish with a foil induction seal and is wrapped in a shrink sleeve label.

Empresas Polar plans to expand the family of MiGurt yoghurt with single-serve 100 and 250 g products, Capdevielle says. In the meantime, the company is ramping up production of its 750 g product to meet rapidly growing demand in Venezuela.

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