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APPE, the packaging division of LSB, has now released full details of its
breakthrough barrier technology for the juice industry, which has been
officially launched at the World Juice Conference in Madrid.  
The new ActivSeal® system combines excellent protection against oxygen ingress and vitamin C loss with improved clarity compared to traditional barrier materials and no impediment to the recycling process.  In addition, the technology is cost-effective for smaller size bottles, and without the extra haze that other monolayer barriers cause.

ActivSeal® has been developed through collaboration with ColorMatrix and KTW/Husky. ActivSeal is based on the HyGuard technology developed by ColorMatrix, which APPE is the only company licensed to sell.

ActivSeal® works through the combination of the bottle and closure.  A minute amount of the ActivSeal® catalyst is present in the container wall, while a hydrogen activator is built into the closure.  Once the container is full and the closure applied, there is a controlled release of hydrogen.

As oxygen enters through the container wall, it binds with the hydrogen on the surface of the catalyst to form negligible amounts of odourless and tasteless water. In this way, oxygen is prevented from entering the container’s contents.

With the key part of the technology in the closure ActivSeal® has a number of advantages.  ActivSeal® containers offer the same excellent clarity as nonbarrier PET bottles because they do not use traditional nylon-based barriers. 

ActivSeal® bottles are also completely recyclable as there is no danger of contamination from the barrier, a fact recognised by the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) which has stated that ActivSeal® has ‘no negative impact on European PET recycling’


ActivSeal® technology is equally effective for any  bottle capacity, including smaller sizes.  With smaller volume bottles, there is more surface area per cc of content than larger bottles, which means more barrier material has to be added to the smaller sizes in order to achieve the same level of protection as larger versions.  This adds to the cost of the bottle as well as further affecting its clarity, with both factors often resulting in current barriers being unviable in smaller containers.  Because the technology for the ActivSeal® system is held mainly in the closure, no extra barrier is needed for smaller sizes, ensuring the same level of clarity whatever the bottle size and meaning that costs are proportionally the same.

ActivSeal® can match the typical shelf life for juices packaged with current barriers, and where required, an extended shelf life is easily achievable. 

Another advantage of the system is that the oxygen scavenging process does not start until after filling and capping, so empty bottles can be stored for longer periods with no loss of barrier effectiveness.
“We are confident that ActivSeal® will deliver major benefits to the juice market,” comments Mike Hanratty, Corporate Business Development Director of APPE/LSB.
“We can now offer an effective barrier solution for even the smallest bottle size, along with the excellent clarity that helps to create the right on-shelf impact and appeal, without negatively impacting the recycling stream.”

APPE is currently further developing the ActivSeal® technology for the wine market with an anticipated launch in 2012.