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EAFA European Aluminium Foil Association

Part 3.1.2: Dairy - 1: Milk Cream Yoghurt and Dairy Desserts

Edition – January 2004

Milk, cream, yoghurt IMPORTANT PROPERTIES

● Barrier protection:

and dairy desserts Foods containing oils or fats lose their

nutritional value and flavour when
exposed to light. The thinnest layer of
alufoil in the packaging stops this
process and acts as a complete barrier
against loss of moisture and flavours as
well as preventing contamination or
unwanted external taints.
● Mechanical properties:
Light, yet strong, alufoil’s unique ‘deadfold’
characteristic makes it ideal for embossed
surface designs, date coding etc.
● Readily laminated to other materials:
Alufoil can be easily laminated with other
materials to provide additional properties,
thus improving the performance of other
flexible packaging substrates and making
thinner laminates possible – so saving
● Decorative potential:
Alufoil’s bright or matt metallic finish
plus compatibility with all printing
technologies provides designers with
enormous scope to create packs with
stunning graphic design and shelf
● Hygiene, safety and product security:
At the end of its production process,
alufoil is sterile thanks to high
temperature annealing. This forms the
basis of a very hygienic packaging
material which can be delivered to a
From its earliest use as a robust and Today, aluminium foil continues to high level of sterility depending on the
subsequent converting, printing,
non-corroding material for milk churns answer the special needs of liquid dairy packaging and delivery conditions. Alufoil
and the introduction of alufoil tops for products and to facilitate the great is safe for use in contact with foodstuffs,
glass milk bottles, aluminium has changes in processing, packaging and does not harbour or promote the growth
played a key role in the packaging of distribution required to meet consumer of bacteria and is an ideal protection
dairy products. demands. against product tampering.
● Sustainability:
Alufoil is weight-saving, effective and
Why alufoil? – applications and properties minimises the amount of packaging
material needed. Added to this reduction
at source, it also helps to preserve
Decorative Hygiene and valuable dairy products, so cutting waste
Properties ➪ Barrier Deadfold potential and Formability product Sustainability of food, materials and energy. Aluminium
Applications printability security can be repeatedly recycled at a fraction
of its original energy cost. Modern
Crimped milk bottle separation techniques allow aluminium
capping foil in household waste to be extracted
and recycled. Even in cases where the
Milk and cream cartons metal is uneconomic to recover directly,
its high energy content can be efficiently
Yoghurt and cream recovered in the form of heat.
● Heat resistance and conductivity:
Heat sealed milk bottle Alufoil can be heated to high
closures temperatures without distorting or
Dairy desserts in melting – ideal for autoclaving and heat-
alufoil containers sealing processes.

Key: Essential/important Advantageous

Lidding for milk and cream
Applications portion packs
For the caterer, portion packs with a reliable
seal coupled with a complete barrier to all
contaminants and the facility for ease of
opening, simplify the storage and serving of
Milk capping Lidding for cream, yoghurt these sensitive foods. An alufoil closure
completely eliminates spoilage due to
The well-proven method of bottle capping and dairy desserts exposure to the atmosphere, over-serving
using aluminium foil introduced hygiene and Much has been quietly evolving over recent and deterioration during storage.
high speed mechanisation to milk packaging years in the materials and techniques for
and contributed to one of the most efficient dairy product lidding. Foil thicknesses have Dairy desserts in alufoil
forms of re-used pack. The used glass been steadily reduced thanks to greater containers
bottles are collected and re-filled again sophistication in the selection of alloys and
and again – so saving valuable material The ideal package for heat-processed dessert
in their conditioning prior to printing, products, the alufoil container has several
resources. The aluminium used for the cap embossing and cutting. Traditionally
can be recovered economically by recycling. advantages. The entire pack is opaque. No
embossed to ensure reliable handling on the deterioration due to UV light is possible. The
This apparently ‘simple’ alufoil cap does lidding machinery, lids can now also be conductivity of the alufoil allows rapid
several jobs. It can be printed or lacquered supplied without embossing. The separation heating, minimum processing time and rapid
to identify the milk. Embossing by the characteristic is provided by a pattern of cooling.
bottling machine allows date-coding and ‘dots’, messages or logo designs printed on
identification. The inside surface of the foil the inner sealing side. The decorative potential of the container can
may also be printed for special sales be seen from some of the examples on the
promotions. market. In the case of the smoothwalled
container format, pre-distorted printing
Crimping the capping foil onto the rim of allows for excellent graphics on the shaped
the bottle provides a secure closure. dish. In a similar way to yoghurt or cream,
Also, aluminium’s intrinsic ‘deformation- lids can be decorated and either embossed
hardening’ adds a high degree of grip where with a pattern or entirely smooth.
the maximum deformation occurs. Once
opened, the foil cap provides a temporary Milk and cream in cartons

Heat-sealed caps and

diaphragms for liquid milk
The compatibility of aluminium foil with Surface decoration has developed
heat-seal lacquers coupled with the metal’s significantly over recent years to enable lid
excellent heat conductivity and stability suppliers to combine comparatively low runs
makes it the ideal material for capping and with very high grade multi-colour designs
heat-sealing of all types of plastic milk for competitive prices. This appeals to
containers. Whether the milk is fresh, companies wishing to test market new
aseptically filled products. Now even hotels and
or sterilised in restaurants can have their own ‘brands’
the container, the of dairy products – breakfast yoghurt,
foil/coating cream portions, butter etc. without the
combination can cost barrier associated with lid printing. UHT sterilised milk packaged in alufoil lined
be designed to Advances in heat-sealing lacquers have flexible cartons is in very strong demand. In
meet the demands also brought the consumer the France, for example, the consumption per
of processing and convenience of peelability combined head of population is around 43 litres. An
distribution. with the security of a reliable and attitude study*** has shown that consumers
A foil diaphragm temperature-controlled rim seal – which see the carton as easy to store and keep in
solves the problem only a metal closure can offer. the refrigerator, good protection and
of achieving a Scientific studies* have shown that environmentally friendly.

Designed and produced by Integrated Marketing Services – 04I

reliable screw-top opaque lids for dairy product containers The preference of consumers for UHT cream
closure for blow- can help to extend shelf life by in foil lined cartons was illustrated recently
moulded milk protecting the sensitive contents from by figures showing that cartons dominate
bottles. This is direct exposure to the strong with over 85% of a market worth more than
heat-sealed to the fluorescent lighting in refrigerated ¤150 million in 2002.
bottle opening supermarket display cabinets.
using an induction For the milk or cream packer, the one-way
heating technique. Following a study into the comparative carton has several advantages: minimum
Only the metal merits of lidding materials**, a major handling and storage of packaging materials,
foil becomes American producer of organic yoghurt no cost of glass bottle processing, minimum
heated by a high products recently found that switching weight, space and transport needs for the
frequency electro- to alufoil from plastics reduces packed product and excellent graphics and
magnetic field packaging waste at source by 270 tons. display characteristics.
applied after filling and capping. Although
reliably sealed, the foil can be peeled away *A review entitled The Effects of Light on Food by Miray Bekbolet of the Tubitak-Marmara Research Centre, Department of Nutrition
cleanly thanks to coatings that combine seal and Food Technology, Gebze-Kocaeli, Turkey, and published in the Journal of Food Protection (Vol. 53, No.5) in May 1990 cited 176
references to published studies, articles and papers. Fraunhofer Institute for Food Technology and Packaging (FhILV) comparative
strength with peelability. study into the effect of light on cream packed in plastics containers and lidded with foil or plastics materials.
‘Light spoils milk’ Prof. Edmund Renner, Giessen University: Comparative study by, into the effect
of light on vitamin B2 content of milk packaged in foil-lined cartons v. glass.
**Study commissioned by Stonyfield Farms from University of Michigan Center
See the rest of the Alufoil File for Sustainable Systems, USA, 2002.
***Tetra Pak/GfK Sofema study 2002: The milk market
at – study into usage and attitudes.

EAFA European Aluminium Foil Association

The international body representing foil rollers, converters and container manufacturers