(Tetra) Packs of goodness

by Geraldine Rullan-Borromeo
(Manila City, Philippines)

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
May 23, 2012

Thinking of things I grew up with that are still around, juice in Tetra Pak is in my top 10 list. It was in my lunch box every single day. I still miss the pyramid shape when I now shop for milk and juices in Tetra Pak cartons for my kids’ lunch box. At that time I never really put much thought on the packaging beyond the fun pyramid shape, and to be honest, as a grown-up, I thought the Tetra Brics were designed for easy stacking in groceries.

Tetra Pak, an innovative processing and packaging solutions company established by Dr. Ruben Rausing in 1952, is more than just processing and packaging food and drinks. Tetra Pak, because of its technology, has made good tasting and nutritious food and drinks available commercially and worldwide.

Tetra Pak cartons are made from wood fiber. Thus, it is 100 percent recyclable. Its six-layer packaging material protects the food products from spoilage without adding any preservative. The technology keeps oxygen, light and bacteria from getting through the six layers, ensuring a fresh produce as close to the point of harvest. What’s more, wood fiber is a renewable resource that the company sources from sustainably managed forests. Tetra Pak is unique in its advocacy for environmental protection in that every step of its procurement and production is monitored for
environmental compliance.

Milk processed with the UHT (ultra-high-temperature) treatment and packaged in Tetra Pak cartons with six layers delivers ready-to-drink milk that tastes fresh, still contains its natural nutrients and has a shelf life of up to 12 months without any added preservatives.

Recently, Tetra Pak pioneered the production and packaging of coconut water for export, a feat never done before as the spoilage rate of coconut water has remained a challenge until now. The health benefits of coconut water has been the center of much attention as it provides five types of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous and magnesium.

“Tetra Pak’s innovation has also been applied to produce coconut water packed in aseptic Tetra Pak cartons with an extended shelf life of 12 months, which makes it suitable for export in markets like the United States, where it is rapidly growing in popularity due to its various health benefits. Tetra Pak Philippines is at the forefront of this innovation, working with leading brands of coconut water such as Vita Coco and O.N.E.,” shares Anders Wester, managing director for Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines. He adds that this technology has allowed the year-on-year rates of coconut water export to rise by an impressive 315 percent in the first semester of 2011 with figures going up from 1.8 million to 7.5 million liters.

While O.N.E. Coconut Water was originally developed in Brazil, it is now also produced in the Philippines through a partnership between a processing plant in Quezon and Pepsi, Co. Using Tetra Pak technology, their plant can produce 21.25 million liters of ready-to-drink coconut water a year in one-liter containers. Even President Noynoy Aquino was proud to announce that when he last visited the United States, Vita Coco’s brand owners expressed their intention to invest around $15 million in the Philippines in the next four years.

“When we think about innovation, we tend to think of a brand new type of package, with a sexy new opening. But innovation just means coming up with creative solutions to help customers,” said Wester. Tetra Pak packages for dairy and beverage products for Alaska Milk Corp., Fonterra Brands Philippines, Hunt-Universal Robina Corp., Magnolia, Nestle Philippines, Nutritive Snack Food Corp. and RFM Corp. Next time you reach for a carton packaged food product or drink, take a moment to look under the packaging. When you see the Tetra Pak seal, you
get the assurance of strict sanitation and advanced packaging methodologies that promises “Nutrition Protection.”

More information about Tetra Pak is available at Tetrapak

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