To help beer producers and consumers alike make the switch from glass to PET more easily, Sidel has created a PET bottle that utilizes a 'champagne' base more traditionally found on glass beer bottles. The innovative bottle also supports a crown cap, which together with the non-petaloid base gives the bottle the appearance of glass, but with all the advantages of PET. This includes the lightweight and increased mechanical properties of PET. Most notably, the new bottle weighs only 28 grams, which is up to 86% less than an average equivalent glass bottle.
The bottle is suitable for use with flash or tunnel pasteurised beer, and also micro-filtrated beer. For tunnel-pasteurised beer, a PET bottle usually requires a petaloid base, but the unique base of Sidel's new bottle combined with other design technologies mean it can resist the pressures created by the prolonged high temperatures during this production process, while still retaining the appearance of a more traditional glass bottle.
To prove the benefits of its technology, Sidel packaging experts have blown a 330 millilitre (ml) version that can achieve a six-month shelf life (with less than 1 parts-per-million (ppm) of oxygen ingress and less than 17% of carbon dioxide loss). We can also provide versions up to 600 mls and are developing sizes even bigger. When packaging beer it is critical to prevent oxygen entering and carbon dioxide escaping the package. The new bottle design can achieve this with different solutions, such as single-layer material blends and Sidel's proprietary Actis™ gas-barrier technology. As a result, the beer bottle can protect beer qualities for up to a six-month shelf life.
For many years there have been misperceptions around beer in PET. For example, some mistakenly think beer in PET gets warmer quicker. In fact, in our studies, the PET beer bottle kept beer cold for the same time duration as an equivalent sized glass bottle, with much less wall thickness and much less material weight. Taste is also another misperception, with some consumers falsely believing beer tastes better, for example, in cans instead of PET bottles.
Sidel ran its advanced packaging optimisation and qualification tests on the bottle, including finite element analysis and feasibility testing to evaluate bottle stability, liquid quality protection and rigidity. Finally we ran full industrial production tests to prove the bottle's performance, both during production and across simulated supply chains.