Brand owners are responding to consumer demands by replacing artificial colorants and preservatives with more natural ingredients in drinks as well as in solid food, vitamins and other packaged products. But this creates a new challenge, since exposure to UV light can degrade such ingredients, and negatively impact the color, appearance, flavor, fragrance or nutrient value of the contents.
ClearShield offers an efficient way to protect beverages and other UV-sensitive contents against harmful light exposure by incorporating the UV blocker into the PET package itself. These absorbers filter 95% of UV light at up to 390 nanometers and are effective at very low loadings, enabling the use of more highly UV-sensitive natural colorants in the packaged products.
To ensure product consistency, and hence brand integrity, the contents of PET packaged goods must be protected from exposure both to sunlight and to indoor lighting during storage, distribution, retail display and post-purchase storage. Consumers also like to be able to see the contents of what they’re buying. This is where Milliken is making a difference.
Occupying Stand 108, Hall A2 at the Sept. 11-15 show at Messe München, Milliken will use real-life examples and case studies to highlight how these additives create a new UV protection performance standard for PET bottles and containers, including for such products as juices and energy drinks.
Due to the photo-oxidation effect, most vitamins are sensitive to light, heat and oxygen in the presence of light. Vitamin degradation can lead to off-flavor and color shift in the beverage formulation.
PET bottles made with ClearShield UV absorbers offer impressive results when it comes to extending ingredient shelf life (defined as 80% of initial concentration). Studies have shown that vitamin A’s shelf life, for example, is 30 times better when protected in a ClearShield-modified bottle than when packaged in standard PET. Vitamin B6 shows a better than 70 times improvement, riboflavin seven times, folic acid 3.5 times and vitamin B12 double the shelf life.
Approved for food-contact applications by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), ClearShield overcomes the deficiencies of traditional technologies, including unwanted color, migration and bloom. These additives are easy to handle and meter and, since they are incorporated into the PET itself, do not extract into beverages. PET preform producers and bottle converters, meanwhile, will especially appreciate that the use of ClearShield-modified PET simplifies processing by resisting plate-out onto injection molded preform and bottle molding surfaces.
But the advantages of using ClearShield do not end there. There also are clear sustainability benefits. “For starters”, says Milliken technical manager Simon Bousquet, “formulators can use more natural ingredients with confidence, while also eliminating concerns about toxicity or wastewater contamination by some of the chemicals traditionally used in other UV stabilizers.”
Additionally, Bousquet noted, “Better contents protection and extended shelf life help to reduce product waste. And by enabling greater use of more natural and uncolored PET, ClearShield helps to reduce or eliminate the need to use dark or colored containers to protect the contents,” he explained. “Such opaque and colored PET materials tend to make the recycle stream dark, which can make recycling more difficult and lessen the value of the reclaimed product.”
Hear more from Bousquet directly when he gives a presentation at the Sept. 11-12 “PETnology 2017” conference that is running concurrently with Drinktec, in the Congress Center Munich on the trade fair’s grounds.
Milliken ClearShield UV absorbers protect vitamins, plus the color and aroma of drinks in clear, transparent PET bottles
Photos © 2017 Milliken & Company