Global plastic packaging manufacturer Retal is actively working with a leading food and agri-business to manufacture a PET preform that helps to extend the shelf life of its popular refrigerated drinking yoghurt in Africa. To achieve this, Retal is adding ColorMatrix Lactra SX Light Blocking Additive to its monolayer PET bottles for the multi-national producer’s refrigerated drinking yoghurt specifically for the Nigerian market. The PolyOne additive is claimed to block 99.9% of light, thus protecting the dairy product.
Jiri Nydrle, Sales manager at Retal Czech, is working directly with the customer, and said “Light blocking is a particularly hot topic in the African dairy market and, at present, we only export this monolayer PET preform with the Lactra additive as there is not the current demand for dairy milk in PET bottles in Europe as cartons have a clear dominance in the UHT sector.” He continued “The brand owner in Nigeria had a break in their supply chain so we were asked to help by our valued long-term partner Caraway Africa Nigeria Ltd. Our sales director got the initial contact and he was able to quickly close the deal. The whole offer was discussed online and we were able to agree prices and arrange for 10 containers to be sent to Nigeria. It was a very effective method of communication and kept everything moving quickly; it shows a new way of working.”
With all the constituents of the solid masterbatch ColorMatrix Lactra SX Light Blocking Additive certified as food safe, it offers a good way to extend shelf life without impacting the product quality; drinking yoghurt in Lactra preforms has a six month refrigerated shelf life. Lactra does not need to be dried before processing; it is solid state pellets that are added as close as possible to the extruder entrance, and it creates an opaque white preform with an almost total light block.
Retal expects to see continued demand for preforms with Lactra in other countries as it delivers good refrigerated shelf-stability for dairy products without adding weight as monolayer PET is used.