Packaging coatings containing phenol methane (BPA) are currently banned, but metal containers continue to make breakthroughs in design and functionality.

The metal packaging industry is witnessing some interesting innovations and is also trying to minimize the use of coating additives. The use of coating additives was once a common practice in the industry but it caused great controversy overnight.

The additive questioned by people is BPA. Its role is to maintain the integrity of the coating inside the metal food can under thermal and chemical conditions. However, it is currently being questioned because many laboratory studies have shown that this substance can cause birth defects, low body weight, cancer, precocity and other health problems in mice. U.S. MP Ed Markey once proposed legislation to prohibit the use of BPA in all food and beverage packaging.

Regrettably, like many other health-related food problems, science is not the power to determine everything. The reaction of government agencies is also uncertain. In April this year, a report issued by the National Toxicology Planning Office, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Health and Welfare, stated in the report that “through contact with the human body, it may produce some of the nervous and behavioral effects of the fetus, infants and children. Adverse effects.” However, an advisory committee appointed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated in a report submitted in June that the current evidence against BPA is not sufficient to impose a ban on BPA.

The main focus of this dispute is BPA contained in polycarbonate baby bottles. However, according to data from the American Metal Packaging Federation (NAMPA), in the United States, more than 90% of food cans contain BPA in the interior epoxy coating. NAMPA is an organization of metal can makers and users who are committed to solving food contact safety issues.

The use of BPA in food cans has attracted the attention of consumers and regulators, although they have not yet considered the issue of baby bottles. For example, Tony Clement of Health Canada announced four bans this year that prohibited the import and sale of baby bottles containing BPA ingredients. However, Clement’s department, the Health Ministry of Canada, immediately announced next month that the BPA content in canned foods was insignificant and there was no harm.

Difficult alternative ingredients

Substitutions do exist, but few people currently use them. Eden Foods, a canned organic food manufacturer headquartered in Clinton, Mich., has been producing canned beans since 1999. The packaged foods are completely BPA-free. Some of the food cans are printed on the back label. This advantage. Eden manufactures and sells more than 10 15-ounce canned beans and 6 108-ounce canned foods.

These metal cans are produced by the Ball company and lined with oily enamels made of rosin or balsam fir resin. Prior to the appearance of coatings containing BPA components, such metal cans were commonly used in the industry. But now, Eden is the only customer who purchased this metal can from Ball. Bue Becker, Eden's vice president of marketing, said in this way. The cost of this metal canister is 2.2 cents higher than that of a normal metal can containing BPA.

“I hope our awareness of this health will encourage other businesses to start buying this metal can,” Becker said.

In any case, currently canned manufacturers like Eden who do not have BPA commitments are very rare. Eden supplied tomato products to Canada. When the company consulted about those products that contained no BPA in the package, they were told that the shelf life of this product was only 6 months.

For products with a relatively high acidity like tomatoes, using a package containing BPA ingredients is the only option. A canned tomato manufacturer said that he also received some consumer inquiries about BPA, but the company had to continue to use this packaging.

"We can't do anything about it. That's the problem," he said. "All metal cans contain this ingredient. If you want your cans to have a coating, then the coating must contain (BPA). If you Don't want this layer of coating. Something like a tomato will corrode metal cans."

The U.S. Metal Packaging Alliance reminded us that one of the findings of separate studies around the world was that the level of BPA released from the package was far below the level that could harm health — the value is at most 1 in 300.

John Rost, president of the American Metal Packaging Alliance, suggested that only a small amount of BPA that has not reacted with the epoxy coating in the metal can may enter the product in the tank.

"When major health problems are on the table, people's concerns are inevitable." Rost said, "Some consumers and brand owners are worried that products that come in contact with metal packaging will have problems. Our current main goal is to tell people that BPA What exactly is science?"


Although people are concerned that BPA may be a strong negative impact on the food can industry, metal packaging is undergoing many positive changes. Some leading metal packaging suppliers recently introduced many innovative packaging to the market.

One of the most important comments people have about metal packaging is its identity. This type of metal can has obvious advantages in terms of handling, storage, transportation, and substitutability, but this identity has no advantage on the shelf because all the packaging looks similar.

In this situation, shaped metal cans have great potential for development. Currently, the latest face of this market is the series of shaped metal technology from Silgan Packaging, which can be designed into different volumes and shapes, made of steel and aluminum, and divided into conventional covers. And easy to cover.

One of the most extraordinary innovations in the field of metal packaging came from Ball. The company developed a Widget metal can that will be automatically released when it is filled with foamy beer or coffee. Certain nitrogen. Many years ago, some beer packaging began to use this technology, but until today, this technology began to be applied to soft drink packaging.

The key to this kind of metal can is the “widget”, which is a small capsule stuck to the bottom of the can during production. When the metal can is filled with beverage and liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrogen begins to evaporate. At this point, the metal can is immediately sealed and then inverted for at least 15 seconds. Nitrogen continues to evaporate, exerting pressure on the can and entering the capsule. Nitrogen will remain in the capsule until it is opened once the metal can is facing up. When the lid is opened, the transfer of atmospheric pressure releases nitrogen gas, spilling out of the metal cans, and rolling bubbles appear.

"This will certainly create interesting noises," Ball's spokesperson Jennifer Hoover said. "When you open the metal cans, you can hear the sound of nitrogen release, like the sound of a 'bang' sound. Tell you this is a can of drink that hasn't been opened. If you pour the drink out, the bubble will pour out, feel like a drink in the cafe.” Widget metal cans are designed for beer, but It is also used today in Kenco Ice Cappio, a coffee-flavored soft drink produced by Kraft Foods for the European market.

Straw metal cans

Ball also developed an alternative to a metal can, a sterile drink box with a straw. The volume of this drink box is a standard 8.4 oz. It has an easy-to-pull port and a small round hole at the top, just enough to insert a straw, that is, once the straw is inserted, the product will not flow out, even if it is packaged Inverted. However, such metal cans with straws have not yet entered the market application stage.

The Alumi-Tek bottle introduced by Ball has contributed to the development of aluminum beverage bottles, which are currently used as packaging for Caribou retail iced coffee (produced and sold by a joint venture of Coca-Cola). Beverage bottles are inherently rare enough to give a distinctive feature to a product. In addition, the beverage bottle combines the advantages of rapid cooling of aluminum products and the ability of glass or plastic screw caps to be repeatedly sealed.

Another advantage of Ball is its Eyeris direct printing technology. Eyeris is a huge leap forward in traditional metal can printing. The first to use Eyers technology was Jones Soda, which was featured in the image of the United States National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks and was launched in the fall of 2007.

Ball is currently promoting another of its exterior decoration innovations: custom laser patterns on easy-pull rings. This easy-to-open ring was introduced in 2006. The first user was Go Fast Sports and Beverage Company. They printed the company logo on the same name of the energy drink can.

“We want consumers to connect the Go Fast concept with the Go Fast brand as closely and quickly as possible, and the use of this easy-to-pull ring is the best way,” said company president Troy Widgery in an email. Says, “Go Fast is the first user to use this kind of easy-pull ring.” In addition, Widgery said that using this easy-pull ring, the cost of each metal can only increase by about 0.5 cents.

Crown Food Packaging North America recently introduced a modified version of the Eole easy-pull food can lid to the European market. The new lid is registered under the trade name “Easylift”, which is characterized by a tilted, easy-pull ring. Allow more space to make metal cans easier to open.

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