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Pigmented bottle battles milk oxidation

A new FlavorTight™ bottle that adds a white color concentrate to high-density polyethylene helps prevent oxidation in Dean Foods’ Land O’Lakes-brand ½- and 1-gal sizes of milk. Introduced in August into seven Midwest states, the bottles are used for 14 total SKUs.
FILED IN:  Applications  > Food  > Dairy

Suggested retail prices range from $3 to $3.50 for the 1-gal size; $1.50 to $2 for the ½-gal versions. Refrigerated shelf life remains at about 20 days.

What’s different is that “the pigment [is] three times better at blocking out light than our traditional translucent milk containers” says Pat Graiziger vice president of sales and marketing for Dean Foods North Central. Oxidation in milks begins after four minutes of direct ultraviolet sunlight and in four hours when exposed to fluorescent light. This chemical process causes an “off” flavor that intensifies with time. It also breaks down vitamins.

The handled containers are blow-molded by Dean at its facilities in Woodbury MN and Sioux Falls SD. New equipment is used to blend HDPE resin with color concentrate pellets supplied by PolyOne (Avon Lake OH).

At the time Dean Foods introduced the bottle it also added a second pressure-sensitive label that is positioned on a panel adjacent to the front label. Both panels tout the bottle’s ability to keep light out and to protect nutrients and flavor.

“We pay more for the additional label the pigment and the advertising” Graiziger admits. He says the company adds “about a two-percent upcharge to the trade. But we need to add as much value for the consumer as we can to what has typically been a commodity business. When consumers ask for Land O’Lakes milks we sell more product and our trade partners increase gross profits. So far” he concludes “the trade and consumers are responding favorably.” (JB)

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