Shatter-resistant and lighter than glass, narrow-neck polyethylene terephthalate bottles for hot-filled beverages have enjoyed steady growth lately. But only now is a wide-mouth PET jar for hot-filled food being commercialized as Tree Top Inc.
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Equipment that automatically feeds ends to can seamers helps Mexico City-based La Coste"a meet rising demand for its chili peppers. The feeders also save 70% in labor costs and improve overall efficiency at a two-year-old plant.
Several unorthodoxies on the filling line make it possible for this soft, squeezable, straight-walled polypropylene container to resist paneling after hot-filling. Also new is a first-of-its-kind on-line shrink label application in a bottling plant.
The technology's not commercial yet, and it certainly has its skeptics. Test results show that thermal and barrier properties are enhanced significantly by blowing PET into heated molds and cooling with LN2 delivered by a unique new system.