The well-proven method of bottle capping using aluminium foil
introduced hygiene and high speed mechanisation to milk packaging
and contributed to one of the most efficient forms of re-used pack.
The used glass bottles are collected and re-filled again and again
so saving valuable material resources. The aluminium used for the
cap can be recovered economically by recycling. This apparently
‘simple’ alufoil cap does several jobs. It can be printed or
lacquered to identify the milk. Embossing by the bottling machine
allows date-coding and identification. The inside surface of the
foil may also be printed for special sales promotions.
Crimping the capping foil onto the rim of the bottle provides a
secure closure. Also, aluminium’s intrinsic ‘deformation-hardening’
adds a high degree of grip where the maximum deformation occurs.
Once opened, the foil cap provides a temporary reclosure.
Heat-sealed caps and diaphragms for liquid milk
The compatibility of aluminium foil with heat-seal lacquers coupled
with the metal’s excellent heat conductivity and stability makes it
the ideal material for capping and heat-sealing of all types of
plastic milk containers. Whether the milk is fresh, aseptically
filled or sterilised in the container, the foil/coating combination
can be designed to meet the demands of processing and distribution.
A foil diaphragm solves the problem of achieving a reliable
screw-top closure for blow-moulded milk bottles. This is
heat-sealed to the bottle opening using an induction heating
technique. Only the metal foil becomes heated by a high frequency
electro-magnetic field applied after filling and capping.
Although reliably sealed, the foil can be peeled away cleanly
thanks to coatings that combine seal strength with peelability.
Lidding for cream, yoghurt and dairy desserts
Much has been quietly evolving over recent years in the materials
and techniques for dairy product lidding. Foil thicknesses have
been steadily reduced thanks to greater sophistication in the
selection of alloys and in their conditioning prior to printing,
embossing and cutting. Traditionally embossed to ensure reliable
handling on the lidding machinery, lids can now also be supplied
without embossing. The separation characteristic is provided by a
pattern of ‘dots’, messages or logo designs printed on the inner
Surface decoration has developed significantly over recent years to
enable lid suppliers to combine comparatively low runs with very
high grade multi-colour designs for competitive prices. This
appeals to companies wishing to test market new products. Now even
hotels and restaurants can have their own ‘brands’ of dairy
products breakfast yoghurt, cream portions, butter etc. without the
cost barrier associated with lid printing.
Advances in heat-sealing lacquers have also brought the consumer
the convenience of peelability combined with the security of a
reliable and temperature-controlled rim seal which only a metal
closure can offer.
Scientific studies* have shown that opaque lids for dairy product
containers can help to extend shelf life by protecting the
sensitive contents from direct exposure to the strong fluorescent
lighting in refrigerated supermarket display cabinets.
Following a study into the comparative merits of lidding
materials**, a major American producer of organic yoghurt products
recently found that switching to alufoil from plastics reduces
packaging waste at source by 270 tons.
Lidding for milk and cream portion packs
For the caterer, portion packs with a reliable seal coupled with a
complete barrier to all contaminants and the facility for ease of
opening, simplify the storage and serving of these sensitive foods.
An alufoil closure completely eliminates spoilage due to exposure
to the atmosphere, over-serving and deterioration during storage.
Dairy desserts in alufoil containers
The ideal package for heat-processed dessert products, the alufoil
container has several advantages. The entire pack is opaque. No
deterioration due to UV light is possible. The conductivity of the
alufoil allows rapid heating, minimum processing time and rapid
cooling. The decorative potential of the container can be seen from
some of the examples on the market.
In the case of the smoothwalled container format, pre-distorted
printing allows for excellent graphics on the shap