“Beverage” is a term obtained from French word “Beaver” that means a drink. The beverages are basically categorized as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The beverage industry is one of the prominently growing industries where huge expenditure is done for technological up-gradation and expansion. The beverage packing, of non-carbonated as well as carbonated, is a multifaceted technological branch in the Packaging industry/Food processing industry. The conventional returnable glass bottle has offered a means to newer cartons and plastic containers. At present, improving the traditional containers, offer greater convenience to customers, extend the products’ shelf-life, expand the market share, and eventually generate economic packages are the few ongoing trends in the market.
Traditionally, the materials utilized for packaging consists of paperboards & paper, plastics, glass, and metals such as foils, aluminum, tinplate, laminates, & tin-free steel. The appropriate selection of the material for packaging plays a vital part in maintaining the freshness and product quality during storage and transportation. The utilization of plastic as a material for packaging beverage has persisted in rising owing to its low price and functional benefits, including microwavability, thermosealability, unlimited shapes & sizes, and optical properties, over conventional materials such as tinplate and glass.
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The important requirements for packaging of all types of beverages are:
- Avoid contamination;
- Completely leak-proof;
- Shield the contents against chemical deterioration;
- Be safe and hygienic;
- Economical, easy to dispose and use;
- No pick up of external flavors;
- Preserve carbonation in the case of carbonated beverages;
- Good aesthetic appearance.
Key factors to be assessed when choosing a packaging system are:
- Pack size, display, printing options, and so on;
- Distribution, legislation, shelf-life requirements;
- Product protection needed during distribution, retail sale, and storage;
- Consumer appeal, image of packing and product
- Product composition and quality as produced and at full shelf-life
- Packing system concept, the capability to incorporate with future and/or existing systems, and automation options.
At present, the implementation of active packaging methodologies for the preservation of food has been promoted. Thus, the rise in the intake of functional drinks and alcoholic beverage coupled with the demand for the development of the eco-friendly packaging materials is expected to boost the market worldwide.