2014 has proven a record year for sales of Sidel’s Predis™ dry preform decontamination technology. Worldwide sales for the year practically doubled, compared to the 2013 figures. In achieving this growth, Predis has helped produce beverages safely while reducing the costs and improving the environmental performance of the bottlers who have invested in it.
More than 15 years ago, Sidel was the first company to recognise that it was simpler and safer to decontaminate the preform, being smaller and having a single straight surface, rather than the bottle. Sterilising the preform presents an easy method for producing sensitive products safely.
When the dry preform decontamination solution was launched in 2006, the market was dominated by traditional solutions based on wet bottle decontamination. Predis was a breakthrough and inevitably soon became the accepted standard for the beverage industry. Since then, Sidel has enjoyed a leading position in beverage production technology and solutions for liquid packaging and its sales have grown steadily as companies throughout the world have recognised the benefits it brings. The near doubling of sales compared with the previous year highlights a clear endorsement of this unique technology by major beverage and dairy companies, many of which are producing leading brands.
Food safety for all beverages applications worldwide
The Sidel Predis systems sold in 2014 will be used in the bottling of a very wide range of products, from juice and ready-to-drink beverages, isotonics and functional drinks, mineral, flavoured and coconut waters, to liquid dairy products including UHT white milk. This demonstrates the production versatility of this dry preform decontamination in terms of applications, whether it is used in aseptic or ultra clean bottling facilities. It may also be combined with Sidel Capdis™ for the sterilisation of caps. To provide the flexibility to meet many varied applications, Sidel Predis has been sold in various equipment configurations last year, mainly in the Sidel integrated aseptic blow-fill-cap Combi Predis FMa.
Sidel's Vice President of Product Management, Alessandro Paini, comments: “With over 40 years' experience in aseptic beverages and dairy bottling solutions, Sidel enjoys a leading position in production technology and solutions for liquid packaging. Predis protects brands, ensuring complete product integrity and safety. It can also assist in the more natural reformulation of sensitive products that previously required the addition of preservatives to maintain food safety. It is the ideal solution for products distributed at ambient temperature and, when products are refrigerated during distribution, can actually extend shelf life.”
In addition to new customers who adopted this technology to ensure safety in their production processes, there were also numerous repeat orders in 2014. Major names in the beverage industry throughout the world, who have already successfully implemented and experienced Predis, renewed their trust in its capabilities. This demonstrates the success that the technology has already brought to bottling lines by complying with the hygienic design requirements for safe beverage and liquid dairy production. With more than 19 billion safe bottles produced worldwide to date and more than 90 production lines equipped with preform decontamination, Sidel has achieved a high level of customer satisfaction that is ultimately the best indicator of the reliability of the technology. In 2014, the investments in Predis came from throughout the world, from China to South East Asia, from Europe to the Americas.
Proven environmental and cost benefits through market applications
As fully dry systems, Predis and Capdis enable the 100% decontamination of all types of preforms and caps within an integrated blow-fill-cap solution. This provides both cost and environmental advantages that have been proven in many global projects, as highlighted by Arnaud Poupet, Sidel Product Manager for Predis: “Using hydrogen peroxide mist, Predis removes the need for any water and uses only small amounts of chemicals. It is both cost-effective in providing complete decontamination and also offers significant environmental benefits. The systems in use worldwide contribute to sustainability initiatives, with more than 2 billion litres of water already saved compared with traditional aseptic filling systems since their use began.”
When it comes to aseptic and ultra clean production, the Combi Predis FMa ensures total sterilisation of the packaging in a single machine offering a competitive production alternative to protect the integrity and safety of any beverage of either high or low acidity distributed at ambient temperatures. Beverage producers can calculate the potential cost savings that could be achieved in producing their beverage in PET on Sidel’s Combi solution with dry preform decontamination. The online calculator is available at www.sidel.com/save-in-aseptic. By selecting the following criteria - production type currently used, the quantity of bottles to be produced per year and the bottle format and weight - the savings can be calculated in terms of PET usage, electricity, water and chemical consumption.
Freedom in bottle design
With decontamination taking place at the preform stage, the resulting blown bottle has not undergone any thermal stress. This makes it possible for the designers to have total freedom when designing the bottle and allows almost any type of intricate bottle shape - round or square, small or large, in different sizes from 0.2L to 2L, at production rates from 10,000 up to 52,000 bottles per hour. The continuous by-the-neck transfer of the bottles and the absence of thermal stress also mean there are fewer restrictions in terms of bottle lightweighting, known by Sidel as “full shape freedom”. Beverage producers can also customise their bottles with a large range of both flat and sports caps.
Make it simple, keep it simple
What is remarkable about the aseptic Combi solution with dry preform decontamination is that it is designed to ensure food safety while being simple to operate and also maintain the flexibility and simplicity required by bottlers. The mantra “Make it simple, keep it simple” comes from the fact that the best warranty for food safety is simplicity, because operators have to run and maintain the line with the relevant and simple Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This is why complex configuration or sterilisation is not required at the blowing stage because the preform is decontaminated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) before being heated in the oven to activate the H2O2 through the existing preform-heating stage. This results in a reduced risk of peroxide residue remaining within the preform. This simple and efficient solution, including only a few technical features, such as filtered air treatment, UV-c and surface decontamination into the blowing stage, is now well-proven in production facilities worldwide, with satisfied customers reporting complete product safety and quality.