- THE MAGAZINE
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- PROCESS EXPO
Uncompromising when it comes to product and aroma protection: Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG, weidenhammer.de/en/home), Europe's leading supplier of composite cans, composite drums and plastic containers, has brought a new generation of highly impermeable containers to the market. These can be used to safely package perishable products and oxygen-sensitive bulk goods. A key component of the Peel-off Top composite can is its special metal closure, which is similar to the one used on standard tin cans. Along with its excellent barrier properties and consumer convenience, the composite can with Peel-off Top offers marketing advantages. Wrap-around labels can be customized to create an eye-catching product presentation at the point of sale. In Italy, the company H. J. Heinz is already successfully marketing their Plasmon and Nipiol milk powder products in the innovative Weidenhammer solution. WPG has also presented a composite coffee can with Peel-off Top at interpack 2014.
Composite cans have been used as standard packaging for decades in many segments of the food market, including snacks and instant beverages, soups and sauces. Stores and consumers appreciate the added convenience as well as the excellent protection of product aroma and freshness. Thanks to Peel-off Top composite cans developed by WPG, these benefits can now be applied for the first time to highly perishable and oxygen-sensitive bulk products. A special metal closure makes the can extremely gastight. Attached directly to the body of the can, it looks like a standard tin can closure and is used in the same way. "The Peel-off Top considerably increases the high barrier properties of our composite cans," explains Rolf Regelmann, Executive Director of Marketing and Sales at WPG. "Composite cans with Peel-off Tops are equal to other gastight standard packaging solutions. They offer a viable alternative to standard tin cans – especially for baby food and other perishable food products with special protection and hygiene requirements."
Maximum safety for powdered milk starts in production
U.S. food manufacturer Heinz, best known in Germany for their tomato ketchup, is already convinced by the Peel-off Top solution. Since May 2013, Heinz has been selling its Italian Plasmon and Nipiol milk powder products in Weidenhammer large-size composite cans with Peel-off Tops. The two brands are sold on the market in two sizes. The 400-gram and 800-gram cans each have a diameter of 126.7 millimeters. The spiral-wrapped can has an aluminum lining and a tinplate base to fully protect the sensitive product from external influences. These cans are sealed gastight with a flat tab Peel-off Top, which is similar to other standard can closures and can be easily, intuitively opened. A resealing plastic overcap provides optimal product protection after the first opening.
The Peel-off Top cans are manufactured at the Weidenhammer plant in Hockenheim, Germany and supplied "just in time" to the Heinz factory in Italy. To meet the highest hygiene standards and ensure maximum product safety, WPG developed and implemented a special hygiene concept for the production of composite cans for baby milk powder. In addition to clean room production, this includes ultraviolet sterilization of all composite cans delivered to Heinz. "This concept is unique to the market and helps us ensure that our packaging meets the highest quality standards," says Regelmann. "There can be no compromises in terms of hygiene and quality, especially when it comes to products for babies and toddlers – and it all starts with packaging production."
Optimal aroma protection for coffee
Peel-off top cans are used for baby food and many other food products that were once packaged in tin cans. At interpack, WPG has introduced their Peel-off Top can developed for ground coffee. "Aroma protection is key," explains Regelmann. "High-quality, freshly-ground coffee is extremely sensitive and quickly loses its aroma when it is exposed to oxygen. The right packaging is important for both coffee roasters and coffee lovers."
WPG left nothing to chance in the packaging development phase. A specially commissioned study evaluated all of the key features of an ideal coffee can. The study focused on coffee aroma, freshness and shelf life. Two different coffee blends were tested, a 100% Arabica coffee and a 50/50 blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. The Peel-off Top can was developed based on the research findings. "The result is a composite can that is 100% gastight to protect the coffee aroma, taste and freshness," says Regelmann. "Our packaging solution offers maximum protection across the entire product life cycle and increases the shelf life of the coffee even after it has been opened." The composite can is available with an optional valve to degas the coffee.