Home » Innovative Pouch Technology for Liquid Food Markets
Until today, juice-type beverages in pouches have been dominated by a small number of companies. But new technology is now allowing for highly efficient F/F/S machines to fill hot liquid products into pouches at 95°C, opening up the market to many other companies.
The innovation behind one particular liquid pouch is that, contrary to past concepts, form, size and filling capacity of the pouch can be chosen freely. Every possible addition, such as a straw-applicator, resealable corner spout or center spout, or simple pouring aids can be realized. Now, there is no end to beverage market creativity.
Traditional technology fills and seals pre-made pouches, but the new liquid pouch, manufactured by German pouch packaging technology company SN Maschinenbau GmbH, is produced directly from a film roll. It is formed, filled and sealed with utmost precision and velocity. The Liquid Pouch machines are designed for 60, 120, 240 and 500 pouches per minute and can handle cost-reduced composite films. Material consumption is significantly reduced in comparison to former methods.
“Pouches open up completely new marketing possibilities for creative product presentation of fresh, liquid dairy products, sauces and beverages,” states SN CEO Olaf Clemens.
Thus, the SN Liquid Pouch technology offers critical ecological and economic advantages. The upper sealing edge is sealed absolutely precisely along the entire width by a special ultrasound-hygiene-sealing procedure. This eliminates germs or dirt to accumulate at the upper sealing edge and guarantees highest hygiene standards.
Clean Packaging of Fresh, Liquid Dairy
Besides precise, high-speed filling, sterility and storage life are major challenges when filling fresh, liquid dairy products into pouches. By integrating SN’s Ultra-Clean technology into multistation machines, the challenge is tackled with efficiency. Automatic hydrogen-peroxide sterilization is integrated in the pouch making process, which ensures sterility of the film and spouts. In combination with clean-room technology and a secured cold chain, the filled goods last 40-60 days.
Furthermore, a camera system monitors the exact positioning of the spouts with a precision of 0,1 mm which makes further costly and personnel-intensive quality controls redundant.
Newly developed cutting tools allow for a smooth pouch without ridges reducing the risk of injury for the customer to a minimum. At the same time, damages during transport and storage caused by a pouch are eliminated.
All standard pouch formats and contents between 70 ml and 350 ml can be produced on the LMS 120 LP and LMS 424 LP machines. Both machines are CIP and SIP compatible. All machine parts, including the filling area, can be cleaned and sterilized without dismantling. The SN Ultra-Clean technology meets all international requirements for clean filling of fresh, liquid dairy products into pouches and is acknowledged and certified by FDA, USDA and 3A Dairy. Format changeovers are easily and quickly done by exchanging complete building groups and by using central adjustments.
Fresh Sauces in Stand-Up Pouches
With the FBM 20 machine, which fills 100-120 stand-up pouches per minute, SN also offers a highly efficient and innovative machine concept to pack fresh sauces into pouches. In order to optimize sterility and shelf-life of the filling good, the film can be sterilized by UV-radiation during the pouch making process. The filled goods are supplied via CIP-compatible pumps, which can completely be cleaned without dismantling.
The filled goods are dosed precisely by means of electromagnetic flow meter. The advantages: The servo-driven filling valves guarantee exact and reproducible behavior of the filled goods (spilling and splashing).
Like with all other SN machines, a recipe control is integrated and all filling parameters are able to be reproduced at the push of a button. This guarantees an easy and quick change of product. Further advantages of the FBM 20 machine are its flexibility concerning pouch formats and the small footprint.
High-Tech for the Future Market: Fruit Purées
In Europe and the US, the market for fruit purées and smoothies is growing rapidly. Pouch packaging is getting more and more important for a creative and successful presentation of the products.
With an output capacity of 120, 240 and 500 pouches per minute SN presents further three new machine generations for hot-filling of fruit purée and other liquids. Hot-filling makes costly pasteurizing downstream redundant.
Here, too, a camera system can be integrated to monitor the exact positioning of center spouts with a precision of 0,1 mm. This system makes further inspections down the line unnecessary. The two machine types with output capacities of 120 and 240 pouches per minute are available in both right-hand and left-hand execution. This reduces the costs for personnel by 50 percent.
Naturally, all SN machines can be linked to known data management systems and the recipes and production parameters are saved in the program, which allows for a very quick product changeover.
This issue of Flexible Packaging spotlights today’s flexible films; packaging line automation along with a case study; coverage on COVID-19 medical mask material, hand sanitizer packaged in single-use sachets; and sanitizing wipes, along with a brand renew of a popular jerky snack brand.