Aseptic Liquid Nitrogen Dosing - "Typically Swiss" as seen in The Filling Business magazine January 2007
It’s no surprise to learn that Coca-Cola is the most popular carbonated soft drink in Switzerland, but I bet there aren’t many people who’d be able to correctly guess the runner-up. It's Rivella, a health-promoting drink that uses the clear milk product lactoserum, containing lactose, lactic acid and minerals. It gives a distinctive taste that the Swiss love, but one that has found limited favour further afield. Test marketing in the UK and the USA (Florida) was not a success.
Rivella’s other line is for Michel, its range of fruit juices, that recently benefited from a CHF 16 million (US$13.3 million) investment in a new aseptic cold filling PET bottling line, a key component of which is the latest Nitrodose liquid nitrogen (LN2) injection system from Vacuum Barrier Systems (VBS), the European company that distributes Vacuum Barrier Corporation (VBC) equipment in Europe.
It’s a big investment, and one that demonstrates the typically far-sighted Swiss approach to business, since it comes at a time when Rivella’s group chief executive Franz Rieder describes the market as “stagnating”. This translates into a 3 percent drop in home sales and tougher conditions abroad, as we have seen.
“Far sighted” and undoubtedly confident they may be, but what exactly was it that made Rivella abandon hot filling for the latest in an aseptic bottling line featuring LN2 injection?
Besides a more gentle filling process of the fruit juices, which positively impacts taste and quality, we wanted to make our production more efficient thanks the possibilities of this new filling line, which can be used for both carbonated and non-carbonated drinks,” said Assistant Engineering Director Marc Taschi.
The ‘old’ hot-filled product meant thicker walled PET bottles to maintain rigidity.
“This is very expensive,” said Taschi. “We were using a three-layer PET bottle — the inner layer was EVOH nylon — and we wanted to reduce our costs as much as possible.”
Using thinner-walled, lighter, PET bottles can save several grammes per unit.
Taschi also had his eyes on the future costs of PET and with the typically Swiss eye for the long term, was concerned at the costs of oil-based products in an increasing unstable petroleum market. “Resin costs may be relatively stable now,” he said, “but there will be future increases.”
| The "Power of Pressure" | (PDF) Liquid nitrogen dosing systems are becoming a popular means of ensuring the stability and extending shelf life of non-carbonated products in plastic bottles and cans. The Filling Business - Septembre 2005.
| Liquid Nitrogen Fill Station | New NITROMATIC fill station is designed to fill vacuum insulated storage thanks with liquid nitrogen from larger bulk systems or tanks.
2003 - Vacuum Barrier Systems - All right reserved