More and more trendy drinks are coming onto the market and addressing a large target group. The ingredients of smoothies and juices are mostly made from natural or untreated products that are healthy and sustainable. After all, many consumers want to do something good for their bodies during an often stressful daily routine. In addition, smoothies and juices are drunk just faster than the underlying fruit is consumed. At the same time, the time saved is reflected in the popularity of ready-to-go products, which are sold in PET bottles and beverage cartons that are as light as they are handy on the way to work or during the lunch break.
Consumers are willing to pay a little more for these fruity, fresh, trendy drinks. Green smoothies, which are partly made up of different types of vegetables, are also becoming increasingly popular. In recent years, coconut water has also found a growing fan base. As a drink for athletes and thirst quencher, it is just as convincing as fruit juice spritzers. They are all the more popular when no artificial additives are added to them. The aseptic grade hydrogen peroxide product from Evonik supports the need for products that are as natural and fresh as possible. It ensures that trendy drinks in beverage cartons have a longer shelf life without having to be refrigerated and without losing their flavors and vitamins.
Gentle disinfection with hydrogen peroxide
A visit to a filling plant in the Westerwald region, Germany, shows how the Evonik product is used. Early in the morning, shortly before 6 a.m., production is already running at full speed. In one of the family-owned company's buildings, the Tetra Pak filling plant performs its duties at a constant rhythm. Beverage cartons that have just been filled leave the machine every half second. The filling time and the best-before date are printed on the top.
The secret of longer freshness is hidden in the upper part of the filling plant. There, the still empty beverage cartons are immersed in hydrogen peroxide, which ensures that no germs remain in the packaging. This is because germs would cause the product to be filled to spoil more quickly. Before the beverage carton is filled, rubber rollers and hot air blowers remove excess hydrogen peroxide from the packaging. "The special form of filling can significantly extend the shelf life," says an employee at the plant.
Mainly sensitive beverages with high hygienic requirements such as dairy products and juices benefit from this so-called aseptic packaging. The product that keeps the germs at bay is called OXTERIL® and is an aqueous hydrogen peroxide solution. At first, this may sound like a contradiction to health-conscious shoppers. Hydrogen peroxide is, after all, a chemical. Dr. Sebastian Imm, who is responsible for hydrogen peroxide application technology at Evonik, clarifies: "The hydrogen peroxide product OXTERIL® developed by Evonik for this purpose is highly pure and decomposes to water and oxygen when exposed to heat. This makes the environmentally friendly disinfection product ideally suited for use in the food industry." In this respect, the high purity product OXTERIL® fits very well into the range of popular trend products because of its naturalness. It does not pollute the environment or the consumer, as only water remains in addition to the oxygen that volatilizes. This is one of the reasons why hydrogen peroxide has established itself in the beverage industry as a thoroughly cleaning yet gentle product.
Longer shelf life uncooled
Filling the beverages in the beverage cartons disinfected with hydrogen peroxide has another decisive advantage. The products have an extended shelf life if left unrefrigerated, without the need for additional preservatives. In addition, the recyclable packaging allows a wide variety of designs, which means that the individual character of the beverages can also be taken into account visually. Last but not least, the handy cartons are practical. "Beverage cartons with a gable shape are currently in great demand, because they make pouring easier," says the plant employee, who is familiar with consumer preferences. The bottling plant has adopted this design for its large range of fruit juices and has had very good experience with it.
Evonik supports the beverage industry with food safety products. This is because the increased demand for healthy trend beverages alone is increasing the need for gentle disinfection of the packaging material. Fewer spoiled goods and full flavor with a longer shelf life are the result.