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Recloseable can a first in North America

Hirzel Canning Co. and Farms, Toledo, OH, is test-marketing in Cleveland and Chicago recloseable 12-oz tin-plated steel cans of Dei Fratelli-brand Italian Dip and Pizza Sauce.
FILED IN:  Package Component  > Closures
These represent the first application in North America of Silgan Container’s Dot-Top® technology which it licenses from Metalgrafica Rojek of Brazil (see www.packworld.com/go/c110).

The 300 (3’’)-dia necked-in cans which are offset-printed in red use 211 (211/16’’)-dia ends offset-printed in two colors. The end has a membrane made of a plastisol compound that covers a 1/16’’-dia hole. When it is peeled back the membrane releases the vacuum and the lid can be easily removed; the lid snaps back on for reclosure. Can and lid are imported from Brazil. A glued wraparound paper label carries graphics that tout the Dot-Top.

"The advantages are that the can is resealable and has no sharp edges" says sales manager Steve Hirzel who confirms that the cost is similar to other cans and lids. The products were introduced in mid-summer 2003 in Cleveland and in the fall in Chicago in select supermarkets. The products retail for up to $1.59. Shelf life is up to 24 months.

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One key change versus the Brazilian version for Nestlé’s Moca Fiesta introduced several years ago is that Hirzel’s Dot-Top is larger and peels back only halfway so the membrane remains adhered to the lid. That’s done for product liability reasons according to Silgan.

Only minor modifications are required to run the cans at Hirzel on a line previously used for 14.5-oz glass jars of tomato products. "With any new application there are always some production issues to work through" says Hirzel "but nothing major. The key is to make sure the lid is placed properly for vacuum sealing" which is done on the capper via steam injection after hot filling.

Even with the enhanced reclosure Hirzel says "it remains to be seen if consumers will look at that as a convenience." Even so Hirzel is anticipating adding other sauces and other products "if this works well. The idea is to create a whole different product line."

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