Italian milk producer Fattoria Latte Sano has switched their UHT milk production from carton to aseptic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with a new packaging line, featuring Sidel’s Aseptic Combi Predis. Combined with a new bottle design, it opens the door to sustainable business growth with flexibility for future shelf stable dairy production needs for their own brand and private labels.
Boosting milk production capacity with aseptic PET bottling solution
Although the Italian market is still dominated by milk packaged in carton or high-density polyethylene (HPDE), bottling milk in PET is becoming increasingly popular in the country, offering a higher perceived value for the consumer.
Fattoria Latte Sano has switched their production of extended shelf life (ESL) and UHT milk to the recyclable PET packaging material.
Marco Lorenzoni, president at Fattoria Latte Sano, said: “A combination of the market demand and our willingness to pursue a sustainable business practice encouraged us to choose Sidel’s aseptic PET packaging solution with its integrated blow-fill-seal solution based on the dry preform sterilisation technology.”
Besides supporting a number of brands in the dairy industry, another contributing factor to Fattoria Latte Sano’s choice of Sidel was the approval of the Aseptic Combi Predis by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) of the US in 2017. For the Italian player, this was a recognition of the food safety level, reinforcing their confidence when investing in the first aseptic PET solution for the company.
Sidel’s team of engineers worked in close collaboration with the Fattoria Latte Sano team to design an optimised line layout, which features a relatively small footprint, to install and validate it. They also provided the support to the customer team by improving their operational routines and guiding them in terms of manufacturing practices.
Lorenzoni added: “Since the successful start-up in January 2019, the aseptic complete PET line maintains the highest food safety standards, production simplicity and flexibility as well as the ergonomic aspects we were looking for.”
Additionally, the line provides the dairy producer with greater choice in production schedule and product range; it can manage multiple stock-keeping units (SKUs) with a variety of four different types of milk – whole, partially skimmed, skimmed and organic – produced aseptically in 1-litre and 500-millimeter bottle formats with different label types according to the produced brands. In respect for environment, the line also ensures a reduction in water and chemical consumption.
New PET bottle design with cow outlines: A modern and original look
Packaging liquid dairy products (LDP) in PET bottles brings forth benefits for producers and consumers, from meeting food standards to providing enhanced customer experiences. Sidel further claimed that PET is a cost-effective and sustainable packaging solution that allows producers to differentiate dairy products on the supermarket shelves from the traditional square carton boxes or HDPE bottles.
During the implementation of the packaging line, Sidel also helped to design the new PET bottles. Made from a monolayer material – for easier recyclability – and with cow outlines on the top part of the bottle, the new design gives a “modern and original look”. The 1-litre bottle weighs 26 grams because there are no thermal constraints associated with the traditional bottle-rinsing process, contributing to PET savings. It also ensures easy opening and closing options as well as the milk quality and integrity due to the tightness between bottle neck and cap with no aluminum foil.
As stated by Luigi Camorali, account manager for sales in southern Europe at Sidel, the design process for the UHT packaging for Fattoria Latte Sano marked an important landmark in the entire implementation project. Camorali elaborated: “Our support played a great role when selecting and qualifying the most suitable PET barrier solution for the new packaging, and also in advising our client in the most cost-effective solution for labelling. We suggested to maintain the same bottle diameter and labelling panel for all the bottles to minimise additional costs when changing labels.”
The labels are applied with a Sidel RollQUATTRO Evo labeller, delivering the flexibility needed to match the dairy player’s requirements in product changeover, accurate label application and lightweighted container handling.
By leveraging Sidel’s expertise in packaging design, Fattoria Latte Sano also sought to open wider business opportunities in the private label segment.
“To help with this goal, the company’s logo was included on the label rather than embossed on the bottle, so the same containers in different formats can be used to bottle LDP sold under their own as well as other brands,” Camorali concluded.
With a production capacity of 12,000 bottles per hour, the line is currently running eight hours per day, five days a week with more than 90% average efficiency for each bottle format. With these attributes, Sidel offers Fattorie Latte Sano an opportunity to enhance production capacity, and increase their UHT milk market share.