Packaging solutions provider SIG and AnaBio Technologies, a global name in micro encapsulation technology, have jointly launch a long-life probiotic yogurt – said to be a major breakthrough for probiotic beverages and aseptic packaging. This development creates a new product category; probiotic beverages packed in aseptic carton packs and spouted pouches that are shelf-stable for prolonged storage periods without refrigeration.
Consumers around the globe, associate probiotics with health benefits, and in particular improved gut health and strengthened immunity.
Until now it has not been possible to incorporate probiotics into aseptic beverage packaging due to their inability to survive common heat treatments used in processing. Probiotics can also be unstable during storage, typically restricting their use to refrigerated beverages with a short shelf life.
The combination of AnaBio’s encapsulation technology and SIG’s gentle aseptic filling technology overcomes these restrictions, enabling food and beverage companies to produce probiotic beverages containing live probiotics that are packed in carton packs and spouted pouches and can be kept at room temperature for extended periods without refrigeration.
This represents a completely new consumer offering, fulfilling the need for healthy, tasty, and nutritious probiotic beverages, in sustainable and convenient packaging.
Sinéad Bleiel, founder of AnaBio Technologies, said: “Our innovative patented ‘encapsulation’ technology coats probiotic cells, such as Lactobacillus strains, with a protective layer. This allows the strains to withstand high temperatures during processing. When the probiotic product is consumed, the coating is naturally broken down by digestive enzymes releasing the probiotic to colonize the small intestine and deliver their health benefits. Together with the expert team at SIG, we’re not only able to offer consumers probiotic products with unique health benefits, but also a longer product shelf life for greater convenience. It’s a real step-change innovation in the field of probiotic beverage products.”
As an industry expert in aseptic filling, SIG has applied specific filling and processing parameters that ensure a homogenous suspension of probiotic cells per pack. This ensures the safe filling of probiotics into SIG’s aseptic packaging solutions at highest quality levels.
Christoph Wegener, Chief Markets officer at SIG, said: “With the creation of a new product category, both SIG and AnaBio are providing beverage and food manufacturers with a pioneering solution to overcome the current limitations of fresh probiotic beverages. Our innovation offers lower distribution costs as no refrigeration is required, longer shelf life, increased reach and less food wastage for both retailers and consumers. Aseptic probiotic yogurt drinks demonstrate our continuous drive to innovate to rapidly meet changing consumer needs, while offering high product quality and longer shelf life in sustainable packaging. Our aseptic carton packs are proven to be one of the most sustainable packaging solutions in the market.”
The opportunities that arise from this groundbreaking innovation and partnership are manifold: including creating new product segments in emerging markets where highly nutritious products are urgently needed; to combining sustainable packaging solutions with healthy probiotic concepts previously only available in the fresh aisle.
Switzerland-based SIG has a portfolio of aseptic carton, bag-in-box, and spouted pouches for food and beverage products.
AnaBio Technologies is a global name in micro encapsulation technology. Micro encapsulation involves coating fragile bioactives in a protective coat at microscopic level enabling them to survive the stresses of processing, storage, and digestion.