The primary target market for the new additive masterbatch is monolayer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging, although it may also be beneficial for other polyester-based materials. Well known for its ubiquitous use in soft-drink and water bottles, PET has many advantages. Compared to other polymers, it has excellent transparency, is food contact compliant, easy to process and it is the most recycled polymer today.“PET is already a good barrier material,” notes Antonello Decortes, Global Product Manager at Clariant, “but sensitive applications may still suffer from oxygen inlet. This is not a problem for water or most carbonated soft drinks, but fruit juices lose vitamin potency and undergo a color shift, dairy products can sour, coffee capsules suffer flavor loss, and as little as 1ppm of oxygen can change the taste and odor of beer. CESA ProTect additives can help extend the shelf life of these products and ensure that less food is thrown away.”
The active ingredients in CESA ProTect masterbatches do not slow down penetration of oxygen through the container’s PET wall. Instead, it is an “oxygen scavenger,” which absorbs O2 molecules as they enter so they cannot reach the protected product.CESA ProTect is active only after processing, and PET-treated containers are protected after production and can be filled and shipped. CESA ProTect is also suitable for cold chain distribution as it has perfomed well when used on refrigerated products.
Exactly how long CESA ProTect additive masterbatches can protect food and beverages, Decortes says, depends on a number of factors, including additive loading, package size and design. In testing of a 23g, 0.5-liter bottle, a 3,6% loading of CESA ProTect masterbatch successfully held oxygen levels below 1 ppm for 588 days or more than 18 months. In contrast, untreated PET maintained levels below 1ppm for just 22 days, and a competitive oxygen scavenger lasted just 63 days. Even at a loading of 2%, CESA ProTect masterbatches were found to be effective for 266 days.“Based on these test results,” says to Alessandro Dulli, Global Head of Segment and Business Development, Packaging, “we believe that CESA ProTect is one of the most powerful oxygen-scavenging masterbatch on the market.”
CESA ProTect masterbatch also appears to have little, if any, impact on appearance or mechanical properties of the packaging. When CESA ProTect is used at recommended dosages, finished containers of different sizes and shapes maintain a level of transparency in line with market expectations. The product is highly compatible with PET and does not appear to impact processing. Food contact approvals are pending.
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