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Graham Packaging Allows More Consumers to Drink Their Apple a Day

Petrochemical industry | 12 Apr 2006 IST | Polymerupdate.com
Graham Packaging Company, L.P. has partnered with apple juice processing leader S. Martinelli & Company of California to produce a redesigned and improved plastic version of its trademark 10-ounce, apple-shaped glass juice bottle.

The new PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic containers were introduced first on the West Coast and are expanding into Midwest and East Coast markets.

"The clear, apple-shaped bottle tells the consumer that this is a 100 percent natural product," said S. John Martinelli, vice president and general manager of Martinelli~s. "It visually reinforces the fact that Martinelli~s award-winning apple juices are made from fresh apples only, with no additives of any kind."

Martinelli~s wanted to maintain the container~s unique brand identity, in use since the glass version was first created in the 1930s, while recognizing "major growth opportunities with a clear plastic bottle," he said. "Plastic containers are generally preferred for children~s lunchboxes and family coolers, and for sporting events, beaches, and similar uses."

PET was the obvious material choice for the container, but Martinelli~s guidelines produced challenges that Graham Packaging successfully met.

"Martinelli requested a panel-less and label-free container, but with barrier properties, that could be processed on hot-fill equipment," said Paul Young, vice president and general manager of the PET business unit for Graham Packaging.

The challenge was to maintain the shape of the bottle when the contents cooled after being hot-filled. "We solved it by using liquid nitrogen ~dosing~ in the head space," explained Charles Simpson, senior product development engineer for Graham Packaging. "When the bottle is filled and heated, the liquid nitrogen expands as it becomes a harmless, inert gas that then counteracts the normal volume reduction during cooling."

Although using nitrogen is a common practice in water bottling, "it has never been done like this before," said Simpson. "No other company has been able to successfully use liquid nitrogen dosing at the hot-fill temperatures Martinelli uses." Adding liquid nitrogen flushes out the oxygen, also improving the juice~s shelf life.

"Graham Packaging~s unique capabilities - exceptional people, technology, and systems . make us the acknowledged leader in ~hard-to-make-happen~ projects," said Young. "Customers come to us with complex requirements that we turn into brand-building successes."

S. Martinelli & Company of Watsonville, California, produces the "Number 1" brand of apple juice made from fresh apples - never from concentrate - in the U.S. A family owned tradition since 1868, the company has won more than 50 gold medals for product excellence. The company slogan is "Drink Your Apple a Day."®

Graham Packaging, based in York, is a worldwide leader in technology- based, customized blow-molded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household, personal care/specialty, and automotive lubricants product categories. The company produces more than 20 billion container units at 88 plants in North America, Europe, and South America, and had sales of $2.5 billion in 2005.

The company is a leading U.S. supplier of plastic containers for hot-fill juice and juice drinks, sports drinks, drinkable yogurt and smoothies, nutritional supplements, wide-mouth food, dressings, condiments, and beers; the leading global supplier of plastic containers for yogurt drinks; the leading supplier of plastic containers for liquid laundry detergent; and the number-one supplier in the U.S., Canada, and Brazil of one-quart/one-liter plastic HDPE (high-density polyethylene) containers for motor oil.

The Blackstone Group of New York is the majority owner of Graham Packaging.
Note: This story has not been edited by The Polymerupdate Editorial team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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