Ads:Current issue FRUIT PROCESSINGWorld Of Fruits 2022Our technical book Apple Juice TechnologyFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Instability of fruit-based beveragesFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Don’t give clogs a chanceOrange Juice ChainOur German magazine FLÜSSIGES OBST

For the first time ever, European container glass manufacturers come together to build the first large scale hybrid electric furnace to run on 80 % green electricity.

The ‘Furnace of the Future’ is a fundamental milestone in the industry’s decarbonisation journey towards climate-neutral glass packaging. It will be the first large-scale hybrid oxy-fuel furnace to run on 80 % renewable electricity in the world. It will replace current fossil-fuel energy sources and cut CO2 emissions by 50 %.

For the very first time, the industry has adopted a collaborative approach where 20 glass container producers have mobilised resources to work on and fund a pilot project to prove the concept.

We are extremely proud to announce this joint-industry project”, comments Michel Giannuzzi, President of FEVE. “The hybrid technology is a step-change in the way we produce and will enable us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging production. The move marks an important milestone for the glass sector in implementing our decarbonisation strategy”.

Ardagh Group – the second largest glass packaging manufacturer in the world – has volunteered to build the furnace in Germany. It will be built in 2022, with an assessment of first results planned for 2023. The industry already works with electric furnaces in several of its 150 glass manufacturing plants across Europe, but they are small scale and exclusively used to produce flint (colourless) glass with virgin raw materials, therefore using very little or no recycled glass content. With this new technology, the industry will be able to produce more than 300 tonnes per day of any glass colour, using high levels of recycled glass.

“With this new technology we are embarking on the journey to climate-neutral glass packaging, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of manufacturing”, states Martin Petersson, CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass Europe. “We aim to demonstrate the viability of electric melting on a commercial scale, which would revolutionise the consumer glass packaging market”.

Bringing the ‘Furnace of the Future’ to life is an extremely ambitious project requiring significant financial and human resources and a wide range of expertise. For this reason, the industry has committed to work together. By adopting a sectoral approach, it also intends to gain the support of the European Commission through the ETS Finance for Innovation Fund Programme. Despite its key importance, this project is not the only one the industry is working on. Other pathways towards clean production technologies and climate-neutral glass packaging are already implemented and others are also being explored.

Less sugar, more minerals and still: 100 percent juice!

From 16 to 18 October 2018, the largest and most important European summit of the fruit juice industry – the Juice Summit in Antwerp – took place. Stefan Reiß, CEO of Green Coco Europe GmbH and co-founder of premium brand Dr. Antonio Martins was invited as a speaker emphasizing the potential and relevance of coconut water / coconut juice to the juice industry in front of about 600 decision-makers. The CEO of the Nuremberg company presents an interesting approach to reducing sugar in fruit juices. Coconut juice is very popular among athletes, vegans and nutritionally-conscious consumers due to its high potassium and low calorie content – making it an ideal blend for juices whose high sugar content no longer seems to hit the nerve of the times.

For some time now, the juice industry has faced immense challenges in terms of sugar discussions. The high sugar content of orange juice & co is increasingly being pilloried. For example, orange juice with about 8 grams of sugar per 100 ml of juice contains as much sugar as cola. For this reason, the 100 % fruit juice loses its healthy reputation not only with relevant nutritionists, but more and more with nutritionally conscious consumers.

“Coconut juice can be a solution here and take out the wind of the issue´s sails. Why not add coconut juice to orange juice and drastically reduce sugar content and calories? The fruit juice content remains in this way at 100 percent. The light and neutral properties of the coconut juice do not mask the taste of the orange juice. According to the latest figures from the market research study by Arizton, I see a potential of 297 million liters for juice with coconut juice by 2023, “says Green-Coco CEO Stefan Reiß, summing up his solution. Coconut juice adds valuable minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium to the juice and these can also be declared as such. The juice of the coconut is 11-19 kcal per 100 ml – the lowest calorie fruit juice ever.

A mixing ratio of 40 % coconut juice and 60 % orange juice gives 29 calories per 100 ml, instead of 42 kcal as before. In this way you achieve a reduction of more than 10 calories per 100ml to less than 30 kcal compared to the pure variant – in times of steadily rising numbers of diabetes diseases a step in the right direction. Even in multivitamin juices, adding coconut juice would mean a significant calorie and sugar reduction.

Other facts should encourage the industry to take this path: According to a market study by Arizton, the coconut water market is expected to grow by 25 % per year across Europe by 2023. Coconut juice is no longer a niche product, has established itself as an independent category and can be found in almost every discount. Supermarkets, such as REWE, already have a firm place on the shelves for their own coconut juice brands.

Made from sugar cane, bio-sourced plastics offer a new level of sustainability

United Caps, an international manufacturer of caps and closures, and Braskem, a leading Brazilian petrochemical company, reported they have collaborated to deliver to the market greener bio-sourced plastic caps and closures made from sugar cane as an addition to the United Caps product portfolio.

Bio ethanol, the feedstock for I’m green Polyethylene, the basis for United Caps greener bioplastic caps, is derived from sugarcane, a renewable alternative to traditional fossil feedstocks. Being a renewable feedstock, sugarcane captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere with every growth cycle, which occurs annually. This means that the production of I’m green Polyethylene contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional polyethylene, made from fossil materials.

“As a result, the carbon footprint of I’m green Polyethylene is negative, when considering our life cycle analysis. This means that every kilogram of I’m green Polyethylene used in United Caps products results in 3.09 kilograms of CO2 being sequestered from the atmosphere,” Brendan Hill, Sales Manager at Braskem Netherlands B.V., explained “Apart from the feedstock, I’m green Polyethylene follows the same production process as traditional fossil Polyethylene, ensuring that our Polyethylene has the same characteristics, quality and properties as the fossil equivalent,” he added “It goes without saying that I’m green Polyethylene fits all existing end-of-life scenarios and that our ethanol is sustainably sourced with clear chain of custody certification possible.”

United Caps is initially bringing to market two standard closures manufactured using bioplastic resin from Braskem, including:

  • The VICTORIA closure, a 30/25 screw closure designed for still drinks.
  • PROFLATSEAL, ideal for dairy products and still drinks, both pressurized and non-pressurized.

Innovative caps and closures for the food and drink industry are the core business of the Luxembourg-based family company United Caps. Its custom-designed caps and closures solutions have been one of the most sought-after solutions in the packaging industry for years. The company has experience growth in the high single digits since its 2015 rebranding, with a significant percentage of production being bespoke products that are uniquely designed to meet customer needs for exceptional appearance and ease of use, both in the filling line and for the consumer.