Where health and carton packs meet

Tetra Pak on the natural juice trendThree out of-five people (61 per cent) are looking for beverages with proven medical health benefits, while three out of 10 want cold drinks that can assist in stress relief. Consumers rated all natural products the highest in the consumer survey. This ties in with Nielsen’s 2015 Global Health and Wellness Survey, which found that 43 per cent of global consumers want natural products. This trend is very pronounced in Middle East and Africa, at 53 per cent. Organic is another popular product category. Consumers are looking for products with reduced salt, fat, lactose, caffeine, gluten and sugar.

All natural speciality juice

Mixed vegetables and fruit blends ranked eighth in the survey, achieving 18 per cent. Tomato juice came in at number 10, with 17 per cent. New product launches with vegetable ingredients saw a 43 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2012 and 2016. Beetroot and kale are two of the more popular vegetable flavours. A crossover category for many consumers is the desire for naturally functional products and those that deliver benefits without additives.

These products lend themselves to aseptic processing and packaging. The system uses highly advanced controlled heating to commercially sterilise products and pack contents in air-free systems. The process allows the contents of aseptic carton packs to keep for months – without the need for preservatives or additives.

Light and oxygen can modify the characteristics of food and drink. Ultra high temperature (UHT) processing technology combines barriers inherent to aseptic cartons to preserve its commercial sterility.

It also protects food and drink from microorganisms. In the aseptic process, the product is brought to commercial sterility by optimised thermal treatment. This translates to very short heating and cooling times (e.g. 135°C for two to 15 seconds). This ensures the product is free of harmful microorganisms, retaining its taste and nutritional benefits. Products are then packed in pre-sterilised carton packaging material under aseptic (essentially air-free or vacuum) conditions.

Carton packs offer several other benefits. Products are lightweight, using fewer fossil fuels to transport it. The square shape packs product closer together, resulting in less space used. Depending on the product and volume, carton packs can weigh as little as one 20th of glass bottles. Companies can therefore ship up to one-third more carton packs per vessel, compared to glass.