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susi_say

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 07:30 AM

Hello, good morning/afternoon/evening/and night. I've been tasked with developing an RTD (Ready-to-Drink) product and have searched for numerous references regarding the process flow and packaging. The product I'm developing is expected to have a pH of less than 3.5 and is intended to be stored at room temperature. Between Tetra Pak and PET bottle packaging options, I am prefer to use PET bottles, but PET bottles cannot withstand hot filling temperatures. After researching Tetra Pak, I'm a bit confused about where to start. What initial steps should I take? Is there someone who can provide some guidance on this matter? Any response would be highly appreciated.

 

BTW, Our product will use citric acid and ascorbic acid as preservatives.



pHruit

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 09:18 AM

Are you planning to pack this yourselves and invest in new process/filling equipment for it?
If not, it's probably worth talking with the co-packers you'll be using - or getting input from the potential co-packers from whom you'll be choosing the right partner - to see what their capabilities and requirements are.

Tetra potentially provides less light transmission than PET, but that isn't always a relevant/significant concern.

There might be differences in O2 transmission too, but that will depend on the specifics of what is available from your packers.

 

Tetra isn't typically hot-fill either IMEX - a lot of aseptic systems these days for shelf-stable drinks in this format.

I wouldn't generally view citric and ascorbic acid as "preservatives" in the sense of outright microbiological control. Certainly they can be useful in beverage applications, with ascorbic providing antioxidant functionality and citric acting both for flavour profile purposes and pH control, but the latter I'd view as being part of an overall formulation and process strategy - pH alone will not give you a shelf-stable product in this scenario.



susi_say

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 09:09 AM

Are you planning to pack this yourselves and invest in new process/filling equipment for it?
If not, it's probably worth talking with the co-packers you'll be using - or getting input from the potential co-packers from whom you'll be choosing the right partner - to see what their capabilities and requirements are.

Tetra potentially provides less light transmission than PET, but that isn't always a relevant/significant concern.

There might be differences in O2 transmission too, but that will depend on the specifics of what is available from your packers.

 

Tetra isn't typically hot-fill either IMEX - a lot of aseptic systems these days for shelf-stable drinks in this format.

I wouldn't generally view citric and ascorbic acid as "preservatives" in the sense of outright microbiological control. Certainly they can be useful in beverage applications, with ascorbic providing antioxidant functionality and citric acting both for flavour profile purposes and pH control, but the latter I'd view as being part of an overall formulation and process strategy - pH alone will not give you a shelf-stable product in this scenario.

Thank you for your response, Scampi. We're currently exploring the possibility of handling our own packaging, and I'm grappling with the initial steps needed to get started. Apart from aseptic packaging, could we consider using the hot filling method with a batch pasteurizer and hot fill PET packaging?
 
Regarding preservatives, I'm considering whether replacing ascorbic acid with sodium benzoate might be a better option. From my research, it seems that our product's pH might be more compatible with sodium benzoate. What do you think?

best regards 


pHruit

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 10:21 AM

I'm genuinely flattered to have been mistaken for Scampi :blush:

There are PET bottles that will cope with hot-fill, but you may need to look at a bottle-blowing setup to make them, and they'll almost certainly need an inversion step to "pasteurise" the inside of the cap.

 

Ascorbic acid may have a legitimate use in your product despite not being a preservative - it's not uncommon in some types of soft drinks, as the antioxidant activity can help with colour protection during shelf life.

 

If your hot fill process works correctly, I'd question whether a preservative (or combination of preservatives) will be necessary. Are you specifically expecting consumers to need a long shelf life after opening? This can be a legitimate consideration, but will depend on your product and expected use case etc.



susi_say

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 11:23 AM

I'm genuinely flattered to have been mistaken for Scampi :blush:

There are PET bottles that will cope with hot-fill, but you may need to look at a bottle-blowing setup to make them, and they'll almost certainly need an inversion step to "pasteurise" the inside of the cap.

 

Ascorbic acid may have a legitimate use in your product despite not being a preservative - it's not uncommon in some types of soft drinks, as the antioxidant activity can help with colour protection during shelf life.

 

If your hot fill process works correctly, I'd question whether a preservative (or combination of preservatives) will be necessary. Are you specifically expecting consumers to need a long shelf life after opening? This can be a legitimate consideration, but will depend on your product and expected use case etc.

I've looked into hot fill PET bottles, but I've mostly seen them used for commercial sterilization. Yes, we're hoping our product can have a long shelf life at room temperature. Is it possible if we only use the hot filling method? Of course, with the inversion process at the final step

anyway thank you for your response

best regards,





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