China’s leading dairy brand, Yili, is installing two Sidel aseptic complete PET packaging lines, including the Aseptic Combi Predis with its dry preform sterilisation technology.
The new lines represent a strategic move for Yili, and signal a partial switch from carton to PET, with products such as Ambrosial Greek Yogurt now being packaged in PET single serve bottles, and, says the company, proving popular since launch.
Yili says PET packaging can help it advance as a business, by offering new consumer experiences compared with the traditional carton format, while allowing a more flexible production.
The company says that PET matches the Chinese consumers’ expectations, by being user-friendly, shatterproof, re-sealable, and recyclable. It also provides freedom in bottle design to differentiate its dairy brand on the Chinese supermarket shelves.
Yili also says PET offers benefits in terms of physical product and food barrier protection, preserving nutritional and sensorial properties of yoghurts at all stages – from production, storage, and shipment to distribution. In addition, the closure tightness adds to PET’s convenience, and without the use of aluminium foil.
Sidel’s experts in liquid dairy and packaging performed a range of laboratory tests to determine the behaviour of different liquid dairy products (yoghurt, UHT white milk) in several PET barrier solutions (PET multi-layers and mono-layer with different rates of TiO2).
The scientists evaluated different caps’ opacity, to achieve the optimal light and oxygen barrier, and ensure the product’s stability without any alteration in terms of taste or colour. All these analyses confirmed that the combination of approved barrier PET and cap solutions with the Sidel aseptic filling packaging solution will allow reaching a five-months yoghurt shelf life, plus safety throughout the supply chain for distribution at room temperature.
Yili acquired two aseptic PET complete lines at the same time, both including Sidel and Tetra Pak Processing Systems equipment. The lines, featuring a high-speed production capability to answer the growing Chinese market demand of liquid dairy products for ready-to-drink (RTD) consumption, also offer Yili the opportunity to move from the traditional wet bottle decontamination technology it was previously using, to the Sidel aseptic blow-fill-cap solution, equipped with dry preform and cap sterilisation technologies.