BERICAP - Bericap closures for juice and dairy in PET

Bericap uses its enormous experience in closures to offer a full range of products to the juice and dairy markets. The company explains how it is able to provide a versatile, lightweight product to suit every need.

Bericap is a manufacturer of plastic caps and closures for the worldwide beverage, food and non-food industries. Its five product development centres allow it offer to offer each market segment a complete product range. The company generates revenue of €760 million, with 23 plants in 20 countries, across all continents.

Lightweight trend

In recent years, the trend in carbonated soft drinks and still water has been towards lighter PET packaging. Carbonated soft drinks mostly converted to the PCO 1881 neck standard, while mineral water migrated to lighter necks with 26-29mm diameters, even though there is no dominant global standard in this segment. Numerous neck finish configurations are in use, especially for 26mm units; Bericap offers closure options for most types currently in use.

PET packaging for juices and milk has also moved towards lighter weight options, but with much less obvious standardisation. The most notable weight saving has been for hot-filled juices, in which most neck finishes have a wall thickness of 2.3mm.

Considerable weight reductions have been achieved by down gauging neck walls to 1.5mm. Since this reduction is made from the inside, it requires no alteration to the blowing moulds, and very little change to the blowing and filling equipment. Bericap closures with the patented DoubleSeal system allow safe sealing of hot-filled bottles with 1.5mm neck walls. The weight of such necks is similar to comparable aseptic finishes, increasing the competitiveness of hot-fill products.

Besides the neck wall reduction, the introduction of the 33mm neck (which replaces the dominant 38mm finish) allows weight savings, not only for hot-filled, but also for aseptically filled juices.

Bericap offers on-the-go packs for children, as well as flip-top and push-pull sports-cap products. The latter can be used for hot-fill packaging, even with 1.5mm neck walls. Both sports-cap types are used in aseptic filling.

Aside from reducing weight, brand-owners require bespoke designs for product differentiation. The challenge with custom closures lies in the efficient production of small lot sizes; fancy designs drive up costs to levels that are comparable to custom-moulded cosmetic packaging. Bericap offers customised designs that enable efficient production, as well as basic closures, to solve the small-lot problem.

Milking it

While PET packaging is not new with juice, until recently it was only used in a few countries for milk: now it has entered every major geographical market.

Generally, the same closures can be used for dairy as fruit. Nevertheless, Bericap offers lightweight crew caps for 38 and 33mm necks, and supplies numerous custom closures to the milk market.

A specific requirement of the milk market is a light barrier. To this end, Bericap offers colours that obstruct light of wavelengths that are detrimental to milk's shelflife. Some premium products also stipulate oxygen reduction, and this is met with incorporated scavengers.

The most remarkable trend in the milk market is aseptically filled dairy products with either 38 or 33mm necks. Until recently, aseptically filled dairy products belonged to the premium segment; Bericap has used its vast experience in closures to create aspetic filling products with the necessary technical customer service. Bericap looks forward to serving the growing market of PET packaging in juices and milk.

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Bericap’s lightweight PET closures can be used with dairy products as well as juices.
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