Ampacet introduces White PET masterbatch to protect Packaged Dairy Products from Photodegradation – Plastics Insight

Ampacet’s global masterbatch leadership qualities have led to the introduction of Safari White PET masterbatch 7100177-E. It is specifically designed to protect packaged dairy products from photodegradation by imparting a high level of opacity while dramatically reducing mineral loading.

Ampacet Safari White PET MB 7100177-E abides by European guidelines of less than 4% of mineral loading in PET bottles. Moreover, it preserves fresh milk favor and nutrients even at wavelengths of 400nm – 550nm which is the most harmful wavelength range for dairy products. It’s highly suitable for the preservation of ultra-high temperature (UHT) processed milk which has an unrefrigerated shelf life between six to nine months.

In comparison with conventional preforms loaded with 10% TiO2, one-liter bottles produced with 6.5% of Ampacet Safari White (less than 4% of mineral loading) are seen to have performed better in preventing light transmission while allowing throughput increment and reduction in the number of IR heating elements. This new technology supports to lessen energy consumption and the overall environmental impact of preform stretch-blow molding operations.

Since it is NIR-transparent, Ampacet Safari White allows sorting with near-infrared optical sensors and recycling. Safari White technology is appropriate for PET and polyolefin resins. Also, it can be tailored for customer needs.

Foods like dairy products are sensitive to photo-degradation. The sensory quality of milk and its essential nutrients such as riboflavin (vitamin B2) and carotene (vitamin A) are affected after just a few minutes of sun exposure and the degradation also occurs as the product sits in retail stores under artificial light.

An important point to be considered is that dairy beverages must be correctly packaged in opaque containers for prolonged shelf-life, protection of taste and health benefits as well as for food safety.

Cost-effectiveness and better recyclability lead to usage of more and more mono-layer PET bottles for packaging dairy drinks. Light barrier properties are provided by opacifiers and the most commonly-used one is titanium dioxide (TiO2). For ultra-high temperature processed (UHT) milk, which has a typical unrefrigerated shelf life of six to nine months, up to 12-15% of opacifiers usually are mixed with the PET polymer to achieve bottle opacity of greater than 99.5%.

The flourishing market of opaque PET affects the recyclability of the collected PET packaging in Europe. Moreover, having a large amount of opacifiers in the collected PET stream decreases both the quality of recycled PET and its usability for transparent applications.

For the purpose of reducing minerals in recycled PET collected, a malus-tax has been introduced in some countries like France. This is for opaque PET packaging containing more than 4% of mineral opacifiers. All PET containers containing more than 4% of mineral opacifiers are subject to a malus-tax.

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