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Closures, containers focal point of IVIF 2010


October 5, 2009
By Fruit & Vegetable

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Oct. 5, 2009 – In 2010 the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre next door to Stuttgart Airport will play host for the first time to INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA, the world’s leading trade fair.

Oct. 5, 2009 – In 2010 the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre next door to Stuttgart Airport will play host for the first time to INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA, the world’s leading trade fair.

There are already indications that the latest trends in closures and packaging will be the focal points of the trade fair and the special accompanying program. What innovations can visitors expect to see between the 24 and 28 of March, 2010?
 
“The perfect closure does not exist”, says Dr. Rainer Jung from the Geisenheim Research Centre.

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He and his colleagues have intensively examined the subject of closures over the last few years. Their research was triggered by serious problems with corks, which primarily had a negative sensory effect in filigree German white wines, whereas the problems with cork taint caused by TCA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole) were perhaps less conspicuous elsewhere. A large number of German winegrowers, who felt they were at the mercy of cork firms, became annoyed with the changes in the taste of wine and began looking for alternatives.
 
Plastic corks initially enjoyed success and now have a considerable market share. However, there is also strong demand at present for screw-type caps, especially the so-called BVS variants with an integrated cap.

“High-quality BVS screw-type caps with multi-coloured print variants are clearly in vogue”, say Peter and Joachim Reis from Reis Flaschengroßhandel GmbH, which will present its new product range at IVIF 2010.

The trade fair will naturally be influenced by the fact that demand has also recently been seen for BVS bottles for sparkling wine. There has been a fair amount of activity on the closures market, meaning a whole range of innovations can be expected at IVIF 2010.
 
Due to the increasing demand for alternatives to natural cork, cork manufacturers are now acting for the most part as suppliers of complete closure solutions.

“Nowadays, bottling companies have a large selection of properly functioning closures”, says Dr. Jung.

Suppliers attach great importance to a wide range of products. However, natural cork has once again acquired a good reputation, due to enormous investments in cork production. Practically every company uses a special selection process, washing process or cleaning process. Amorin, the market leader from Portugal, uses ROSA for example. This is a steam distillation process that, according to the company, is capable of extracting TCA from the cork material.

“We are planning to extend this process to all our natural cork batches by the end of 2009. We will present the new industry standard based on this process at INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA 2010”, said Gert Reis, managing director of Amorim Deutschland.
 
What innovations can be expected in the area of containers? German bottling companies are still primarily using glass bottles. However, the current difficult supply situation on the glass bottle market, high prices, more design options for alternative containers and environmental considerations mean that companies are now increasingly moving towards alternative packaging systems. Bag-in-box containers (BiB), which have long been the preferred system for milk or juices, are now also a topic of discussion in the wine industry and will undoubtedly become the focus of even more attention during IVIF 2010. Cardboard packaging and BiB containers are already very important on the Scandinavian market and a similar development is expected on other markets in future.
 
Wine in cans or aluminium bottles is also being discussed. Market insiders regard PET bottles in particular as another interesting alternative. PET wine bottles are currently enjoying great success in the U.S. and Canada. It is quite conceivable that interest in PET wine bottles will continue to grow and become very strong in other parts of the world. It can therefore be expected that PET containers for wine will be one of the main points of discussion during INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA 2010. Heinrich Gültig Korkwarenfabrikation will be presenting a long, screw-type cap for PET bottles at the trade fair.
 
The Geisenheim Research Centre not only conducts research into closures, it is also looking more closely at new container variants. According to Dr. Jung, both the BiB solution and the PET solution “are generally suitable for holding wine.” Although the tests are still ongoing, it is already clear that bag-in-box packaging is well suited as a partial package.

“Even with opened containers, the quality of the wine is retained over a longer period of time”, said Dr. Jung.

Due to the possible packaging size of over 10 litres, this is not only an interesting aspect for private consumers, but also in particular for restaurant owners.
 
The robust KEG barrel is also being increasingly well received by restaurant owners. Development is also continuing in this respect: as an alternative to the returnable solution, Schäfer Werke will exhibit a 30-litre disposable variant made of steel at IVIF 2010. “In terms of its cost-effectiveness, handling and environmental friendliness, the disposable KEG is an attractive alternative to plastic solutions or returnable KEGs, especially when it has to be transported over long distances or in the case of wine exports”, said Sebastian Hilpisch, also with a eye on the carbon footprint: “The longer the journey, the better the total CO2 balance of every individual KEG. Less water is also used because there is no need to clean the KEG.”


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