• The aluminum tube and aerosol can industry in Germany is resilient and reliable, also in times of crisis

    Düsseldorf, August 03, 2021 - The development of the aluminum tubes and aerosol can market in the first half of 2021 can only be adequately assessed for the German market in retrospect to 2020 because the first quarter of 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis was still characterized by extremely lively demand from all end consumer markets.

    Food and household sectors stable in the crisis, pharmaceuticals mixed, cosmetics weaker

  • Packaging-free, self-serve beverage dispensing system trialled by Coca-Cola in Spain


    ITS’ technology will enable restaurants, cafes, offices, stadiums, and other venues to offer brands in CCEP’s portfolio via self-service taps. Through this system, consumers can refill their own drinks and pay for the quantity served themselves, directly through the tap.

    The self-pour, self-pay technology offers consumers a packaging-free delivery method for their drinks, while also aiming to cut down queues, reduce the need for unnecessary contact, and free up serving staff – features that are beneficial as COVID-19 restrictions lift.

    ITS, which is new to Europe, will be piloted with CCEP customers Restalia – a Spanish multinational catering group – and Aspro Parks – a company specialising in theme parks, water parks, zoos, and leisure centres.

    The first ITS devices have been installed in Restalia’s 100 Montaditos restaurant at Centro Comercial TresAguas shopping centre, located in Madrid, and at Aspro Parks’s Palmitos Park and Aqualand Maspalomas, in Gran Canaria.

    This initiative represents a step forward in CCEP’s This is Forward Action on Packaging strategy, which was launched in 2017. CCEP has committed to investing and innovating in refillable and dispensed delivery models with the aim of reducing packaging where it can and eliminating packaging waste, while lowering its carbon footprint as part of its 2040 net-zero ambition.

    Craig Twyford, co-founder of CCEP Ventures, the company’s investment arm, comments: “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways for people to enjoy our drinks, thinking beyond the traditional bottle or can, and ITS is a great example of how we’re using technology to help our customers sell and deliver our products in different ways.

    “One of the key focus areas for CCEP Ventures is exploring new partnerships and investments to accelerate sustainable packaging innovation and how we can deliver more beverages while using less packaging.

    “ITS is an opportunity for us to explore and test new dispensed and packaging-free delivery solutions and, alongside other steps, create a circular economy model that will help us reduce, reuse and recycle our packaging.”

    CCEP Ventures invested in ITS in 2020 and plans to co-develop the self-pour, self-pay solution for soft drinks with the goal of bringing new packaging and packaging-free innovations to market for CCEP customers.

  • IOT in Packaging

    IoT, or the Internet of Things, quite literally talks about how physical objects (aka things) such as machines and materials are now a part of a very large system (you guessed it right, the Internet) that allows them to communicate and share data with the help of sensors, microcomputers, assisted software, etc.

    From tracking your online shipment on your laptop to switching on the smart lights in your room using voice commands, all this  “convenient access to information” is made possible due to the “Internet of Things”.

  • Study reveals ‘unexpectedly high’ number of concerning substances in plastic products


    Every year, more than 350 million tonnes of plastic – much of it used by the food industry – is produced worldwide. According to researchers at the ETH Zürich university in Switzerland, these plastics contain a huge variety of chemicals that may be released during their lifecycles -- including substances that pose a significant risk to people and the environment. However, only a small proportion of the chemicals contained in plastic are publicly known or have been extensively studied.

    A team of ETH researchers claims to have for the first time compiled a comprehensive database of plastic monomers, additives and processing aids for use in the production and processing of plastics on the world market, and systematically categorized them on the basis of usage patterns and hazard potential.

    The team identified around 10,500 chemicals in plastic: 2,109 were used in food-contact applications; in packaging (2,489), textiles (2,429); some are for toys (522) and medical devices, including masks (247).

    Of the 10,500 substances identified, the researchers categorized 2,480 substances (24%) as substances of potential concern. Amoung food-contact applications, 679 are substances of potential concern.

    Of of the 679 substances of potential concern amoung food-contact applications, the study revelealed there are:

    • 528 high-production volume chemicals, 434 not regulated chemicals, and 52 chemicals without any scientific references.
    • 9 are persistent and bioaccumulative, 120 are carcinogenic, 51 are mutagenic, 132 are toxic for reproduction, 300 are toxic for specific target organs, 404 are toxic for aquatic organisms, and 22 are endocrine disrupting
    • 119 substances of unknown or variable composition (UVCBs), 131 contain metals, 507 are (partially) organic, 13 contain silicon, 23 contain phosphor, 77 contain sulfur, and 92 contain halogens (like bromine, chlorine, fluorine, etc.)

    Of the 2,109 chemicals that are used, there are:

    • 513 substances of unknown or variable composition (UVCBs), 402 contain metals, 1682 are (partially) organic, 69 contain silicon, 90 contain phosphor, 226 contain sulfur, and 214 contain halogens (like bromine, chlorine, fluorine, etc.) 

    "This means that almost a quarter of all the chemicals used in plastic are either highly stable, accumulate in organisms or are toxic. These substances are often toxic to aquatic life, cause cancer or damage specific organs,"​ said Helene Wiesinger, doctoral student at the Chair of Ecological Systems Design and lead author of the study. About half are chemicals with high production volumes in the EU or the US, she said.

    "It is particularly striking that many of the questionable substances are barely regulated or are ambiguously described,"​ Wiesinger added.

    Surprisingly, despite having highly problematic hazardous properties, 901 substances of concern also appear on the regulatory positive lists for use in food-contact plastics, the study claimed, with 225 of these approved in the EU.

    In total, 53% of all the substances of potential concern are not regulated in the US, the EU or Japan.

    Also surprisingly, about 350 substances of potential concern appear on both negative (e.g., authorization requested for specific uses and bans in certain applications) and positive (i.e., approval for use in food-contact plastics) regulatory lists. For example, while authorization is required for use of dibutyl phthalate (CASRN 84-74-2) in the EU and Republic of Korea, it is approved for use in food-contact plastics in the EU, US, and Japan. According to the researchers, this regulatory inconsistency “needs to be properly addressed, for example, through closer collaboration among regulatory domains and agencies”.

    Finally, scientific studies are lacking for about 10% of the identified substances of potential concern.

    Until now, research, industry and regulators have mainly concentrated on a limited number of dangerous chemicals known to be present in plastics,"​ said Wiesinger, adding that today, plastic packaging is seen as a main source of organic contamination in food.

    "The unexpectedly high number of substances of potential concern is worrying,"​ added Zhanyun Wang, senior scientist in Hellweg's group. Exposure to such substances can have a negative impact on the health of consumers and workers, he said, adding that problematic chemicals can also affect recycling processes and the safety and quality of recycled plastics.

    The two researchers identified the lack of transparency in chemicals in plastics and dispersed data silos as a main problem. In over two and a half years of detective work, they combed through more than 190 publicly accessible data sources from research, industry and authorities and identified 60 sources with sufficient information about intentionally added substances in plastics. "We found multiple critical knowledge and data gaps, in particular for the substances and their actual uses. This ultimately hinders consumers' choice of safe plastic products,"​ they wrote in the study, adding they are pursuing the goal of a sustainable circular plastic economy. 

  • Wheat, mango peel biopolymers can replace petroleum-based food packaging, say researchers


    Wheat straw and mango peels are normally disposed of in landfills or used as animal feed, but can provide feedstock polymers and antioxidants to produce renewable, biodegradable and nontoxic active food packaging.

    Active food packaging has the ability to respond to temperature and time changes in food storage and could help keep products fresher for longer. This is one of the main findings of her recent doctoral study.

    As part of her study, Mugwagwa developed and optimised processes for extracting polymers and antioxidants. She then combined the polymers and antioxidants to make a food packaging material and tested the stability of the biocomposite films when in contact with food, as well as their potential to release antioxidants into packaged food over time.

    Low-density polyethylene film, a commonly used plastic, was used as a benchmark.

    The properties of polymers and antioxidants in wheat straw and mango peels can be tailor-made during extraction to suit their application in food packaging, says Mugwagwa, adding that the polymers and antioxidants can be extracted simultaneously from the same feedstock without affecting their use in food packaging.

    “The bio-based films that I developed were capable of releasing more antioxidants into food over a short period of time when compared to low-density polyethylene plastic. This suggests they can be a replacement for perishables food packaging.

    “The release of antioxidants into food by packaging material is becoming an important aspect to consider when choosing packaging material. Packaging material capable of releasing antioxidants into food in response to storage conditions have the potential to increase the shelf life of products because the released antioxidants act upon free radicals and microorganisms, which may develop when food is improperly stored or stored for longer periods.”

    The polymers are cheap, sustainable and biodegradable and can be used in the development of food packaging, as well as presenting methods for recovering natural antioxidants and their application as additives to food packaging material. These natural antioxidants have the potential to replace artificial antioxidants in packaging material. Biorefineries and the food packaging industry, as well as farmers and consumers, will benefit from the research, she says.

    Mugwagwa’s study was conducted under the supervision of Stellenbosch University Department of Process Engineering professor Annie Chimphango, with the financial support from the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the National Research Foundation of South Africa, the Department of Science and Innovation and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Waste Road Map, and Stellenbosch University Department of Process Engineering. 

  • Mondi and Unilever serve up aluminium-free paper-based packaging for Colman’s Meal Makers


    Unilever, together with Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, have developed a new high barrier paper-based packaging material for Unilever’s Colman’s dry Meal Maker and Sauces range by reducing plastic, increasing paper content, and consequently ensuring recyclability in the existing UK paper waste stream.

    By replacing the previous unrecyclable multi-material laminate with recyclable paper packaging, Mondi supports Unilever in its sustainability targets. The aluminium, as well as all unnecessary plastic layers of the previous material, were eliminated. This resulted in a new packaging solution with paper content of 85% and an ultra-thin functional plastic layer that seals the packaging, and provides barrier protection for the food. Mondi and Unilever’s R&D teams identified this layer as the minimum acceptable protection needed to ensure a long shelf life while maintaining high quality and reducing food waste.

    Unilever, together with Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, have developed a new high barrier paper-based packaging material for Unilever’s Colman’s dry Meal Maker and Sauces range by reducing plastic, increasing paper content, and consequently ensuring recyclability in the existing UK paper waste stream.

    By replacing the previous unrecyclable multi-material laminate with recyclable paper packaging, Mondi supports Unilever in its sustainability targets. The aluminium, as well as all unnecessary plastic layers of the previous material, were eliminated. This resulted in a new packaging solution with paper content of 85% and an ultra-thin functional plastic layer that seals the packaging, and provides barrier protection for the food. Mondi and Unilever’s R&D teams identified this layer as the minimum acceptable protection needed to ensure a long shelf life while maintaining high quality and reducing food waste.



  • Paradise Fruits creates new health division for functional snacks and confectionery


    As the company noted, its development has been sparked by the rapid emergence of wellbeing based foods and supplements, that have heavily influenced global market trends amid the pandemic.

    According to the business, its new Paradise Fruits Health division will offer a variety of innovative fruit Shapes with high fruit content and stand-alone products fortified with vitamins, minerals and extracts that can help to enhance the wellbeing of consumers.

    Bodo Mittmann, Chief Sales Officer comments: “Over recent years there has been a noticeable growth in demand for easy to consume and functional products that boost wellbeing. In fact, according to the 2020 NBJ Supplement Business Report, the global nutritional supplement industry saw its highest growth in over 2 decades, with a 12.1% increase.

    “There is no wonder then, that consumers are looking for more innovative and `better for you` foods to be available on the market. Our new Paradise Fruits Health division has been developed to extend our support and product offering in this field and will provide our new and existing customers in the health and wellbeing sectors with the support they need to meet these latest trends.”

    Paradise Fruits Health has already developed a range of fruit Shapes designed specifically to provide food supplements carried by a plant-based matrix that can be called almost functional confectionery. The recipe contains a higher fruit content than many other similar products available on the market and can be fortified with vitamins and minerals as well as other ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, or extracts.

    Bodo Mittmann adds: “Unlike much other vitamin-infused confectionery, our new Shapes fortified with vitamins and minerals are high in fruit and without gelatine so not only offer a convenient and delicious way to end pill fatigue but are even more appealing to health-conscious shoppers. The launch of these new Shapes will be the first of many we have planned to support our customers in developing products to meet the consumers desire to eat healthily and, at the same time, to pursue sensible and individual nutritional supplementation.”

    New Paradise Fruits Health’s Shapes are available in bespoke fruit and vegetable flavouring combinations, are free from artificial colours and preservatives, are EU-allergen-free, palm oil free possible, halal and kosher possible, gluten-free and suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets.

    The Shapes can also be specified in four options that can be altered to suit the customer’s needs or wishes. This includes, generations – suitable for adults, multivitamin fruit Shapes for vitality. Universal, aimed at all ages from 3 upwards, fortified with  with vitamins and minerals. Its Health Benefits series is also designed for ages 3 and above, ideal for providing an added daily boost of vitamins, minerals and extracts, addressing individual supplementation. Finally, its Active range is for those with more active and busy lifestyles, fortified with caffeine, vitamins and minerals.

    Paradise Fruits by Jahncke is a global supplier of naturally healthy and delicious food ingredients. The company is a trusted part

  • New cracker snacks from Cofresh


    Developed in response to growing consumer demand for taste adventure, the two new snacks are designed to appeal to all ages and will capitalise on the popularity of shared snacking occasions with friends and family.

    The Mango Chutney Grills (80g) combine the authentic sweet and spicy elements of this classic condiment, including a hint of mint, in a crunchy potato-based snack while the Onion Bhaji Corn Crackers (60g) faithfully recreate all the flavour of the famous Indian appetiser. Both are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets and have an RRP of £0.83.

    “The last year in lockdown has seen increased demand for new varieties but people are also embracing the comfort factor found in familiar flavours,” comments Jon Roberts, Cofresh brand manager. “The renewed interest in health and well-being also means there’s a fantastic opportunity for our Grills to shine – with 30% less fat than the market leader and no reduction in the flavours that Cofresh is renowned for, they’re exactly what consumers are seeking.”

    The new Grills and Crackers have been developed as part of Cofresh’s extensive NPD programme and will be supported by high profile PR, advertising and social media campaigns, as well as in-store promotional activity such as multibuys and WIGIGs to help drive shoppers to the fixture.

  • The Functional Chocolate Company introduces new Brainy Chocolate Bars


    Combining vegan, fair trade chocolate with vitamins, botanicals and clinically researched ingredients, the newest product extends the Functional Chocolate line with a new formulation designed to assist with focus and productivity.

    As students return to classrooms and workers return to office life, while others remain working from home offices, kitchens and basements, productivity and engagement are a struggle for many. Distractions are everywhere, pulling concentration in countless directions.

    “As we come out of such an unusual year, the challenge of balancing work or studies with outside responsibilities and passions is more difficult than ever before,” explained Nicole Smith, CEO, The Functional Chocolate Company. “Based on years of research and full of clinically-researched ingredients, our team formulated Brainy Chocolate as a delicious way to get your head back in the game.”

    With a combination of trusted botanicals including ginkgo biloba, bacopa and rhodiola, paired with a proprietary blend of amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids and Chocamine, a patented cocoa-based ingredient that may help improve cognitive function, the brand says its Zesty Orange flavoured Brainy Chocolate brings consumers back to centre with calm focus.

    Other offerings from The Functional Chocolate company include:

    • Energy Chocolate
    • Sleepy Chocolate
    • Carefree Chocolate for Stress and Anxiety
    • Hot Chocolate for Menopause
    • Sexy Chocolate for Low Libido
    • Rhythm Chocolate for PMS

    All of The Functional Chocolate Company’s bars are made with Fair Trade 60% cacao from a cooperative of South American farmers. Crafted in the USA, these bars are 100% plant-based, vegan, dairy-free, non-GMO, cholesterol-free and gluten free.

  • Finsbury Food Group remasters full Thorntons cake bites and bars range


    Launching this month, retailers and consumers will see new-look packaging that has been designed to increase product stand-out on shelf with a design that brings to life the luxury and quality of Thorntons chocolate. Finsbury is also bringing in ‘Bitesize Moments Made Special’ as its tagline across the entire range, playing into the treat and snacking occasions that the cake range has been successful in for the last two decades.

    The leading cake manufacturer has introduced NPD to the range before, but this year it will be bringing in seven new options with a focus on seasonality and modern tastes and flavours. The NPD will introduce completely new ingredients, never seen within the range before.

    The additions to the bites range are:

    • Chocolate Orange Caramel Shortcake
    • Toffee Apple Caramel Shortcake
    • Hot Cross Bun Caramel Shortcake
    • Peppermint Crème Brownie
    • Strawberry Dream Brownie

    Finsbury is also making two additions to its individually wrapped cake bars, bringing in Hazelnut Brookie and Salted Caramel Brownie options.

    Finsbury has also revamped some of the existing products within the range, answering the consumer need for quality ingredients and flavours in treats. Its Caramel Shortcake will now feature a crunchier biscuit base and more chocolate alongside the Thorntons toffee in the caramel.

    Jordan McCann, brand manager at Finsbury Food Group, said: “Thorntons cake bites have the highest impulse purchase rate throughout the category, and we know its look and flavour appeal is key to ensuring those impulse purchases remain high. The range has enjoyed great success over the last 20 years, but we are constantly looking for ways to bring in new shoppers. The key to our ongoing success is to never take our eye off the ball when ensuring the range fits changing consumer trends.

    “The Thorntons bites and bars are successful because they are perfect for sharing occasions and adding a bit of luxury to those moments. We know the chances to get together and share a treat have been few and far between but hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, people will have more opportunities to spend time together and we’re making sure we have the perfect treats for those times.”

    Fiona Morgan, head of Foodservice Ferrero UK & Ireland, at Ferrero UK Ltd, added: “Finsbury has consistently found ways to bring the high quality and luxurious taste of Thorntons chocolate to cake products and this revamp is continuing that successful tradition. We’re excited to see the changes appear in the market and watch the range continue to go from strength to strength.”

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