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Minimising risk, maximising quality

Established 17 years ago, Bag in Box Consultants specialises in wine dispensing, bag-in-box systems for liquid products and packaging for fruit concentrates, coffee and nuts. Emma Rowberry met with Cecco and Andrea Giovannini to discover what they offer locally, particularly in terms of aseptic packaging.  

Bag In Box Consultants is far more than just a distributor of imported products and machinery – it’s a packaging consultancy, offering expert advice, operational planning, equipment installation and maintenance. Being independent, the proprietors, Cecco and Andrea Giovannini, are able to source tailor-made packaging solutions for their customers and they’ve devised formats for local industry using products developed by international companies for bag-in-box packaging.  

Much of Bag in Box Consultants’ focus is on aseptic packaging for juice and fruit pulp. Aseptic bulk packaging in 220-litre and 1 000-litre sterile bags has gained the ascendancy over frozen product packaging, particularly in the field of fruit purées and concentrates, largely because of increasing energy costs impacting on storage and shipping. Aseptic packaging allows products to be processed and stored at ambient temperature for long periods, eliminating controlled temperature storage and refrigerated transportation. In this way costs are greatly reduced by bypassing the cold-chain distribution system.  

Bag in Box Consultants is the South African agent for Goglio, a well-known Italian industrial manufacturer that, for over a century, has been synonymous with innovation, service and quality in flexible packaging, packaging equipment and plastics components. Goglio is widely accepted as the world leader in its field.  

Since the early 1970s, Goglio has pioneered industrial aseptic packaging and is dedicated to enhancing the benefits it provides to the food industry – something Bag in Box Consultants actively promotes in South Africa. Goglio has two aseptic bag manufacturing plants, one in Italy and the other in China. It produces over 20-million aseptic bags/year and its quality standards are the industry benchmark internationally. Its aseptic factories are purpose-designed and feature machinery built in-house with operations undertaken in a totally clean-air-controlled environment.  

In southern Africa, Goglio aseptic products dominate the market.  

Superior systems

Goglio has over 30 years’ experience in aseptic packaging and exports to many countries. Its products fulfil a wide range of customer needs, including popular high-barrier (mango and deciduous fruit) and low-barrier (tomato and guava) bags with laminations in metallised polyester. Also supplied are aluminium bags for super-delicate fruit and for storage requirements up to two years.   

Goglio also manufactures bags for frozen non-aseptic packaging. These are not irradiated but provide a clean if not sterile pack that’s more acceptable for export than open-top bags with cable-tie closures. Bag sizes range from 2,5 to 1 500-litres.  

Goglio also produces its own laminations, fitments/spouts and films for liners, thus ensuring total control of manufacturing quality and eliminating the risk of compromising the end product. The company does not operate an assembly line where products are bought in from suppliers and put together on a bag-making machine.   

The cost of the end product is substantially more than the cost of its aseptic packaging and, if something were to go wrong, the entire cost of the product and its packaging is borne by the processor. Goglio’s objective is to minimise the risk of anything going wrong throughout the chain, from processing to filling or sterile packaging.  

Research and development

Over the years, Goglio has been at the forefront of aseptic R&D. Developments include multi-liner bags and the concept of spout protection for aseptic bags.  

The company has been involved in the whole gamut of flexible packaging from ready-meals and meat packaging to coffee, pet foods, detergents and industrial chemicals. There’s little in flexible packaging that Goglio hasn’t tackled.   

A speciality is developing tailor-made packaging for customers – involving filling machinery and packaging materials. Goglio’s latest continuous high-speed filling equipment – G Nova – fills stand-up or pillow pouches from 100g to 10-litres of product in liquid, liquid and solid or solid-only formats. These can be filled cold, hot or aseptically, depending on requirements.  

Goglio’s vertically-integrated production process, from film extrusion to printing and laminating, provides a wide range of barrier strength characteristics in the final laminate, specifically designed for each product application. Constant research and improvement, combined with in-depth product and market knowledge and unparalleled quality is key to the company’s constant evolution and emergence as a market leader in aseptic industrial packaging.   

Protection and appeal

Goglio’s focus on sustainability centres on material improvement, downgauging and shelf-life extension, with special multilayer structures constantly redesigned to offer increased performance with less material.  

‘There’s no local technology to match Goglio’s aluminium bag,’ Cecco Giovannini maintains. ‘It’s used for sensitive and high-value fruit where the risk of anything going wrong must be minimised. The packaging is cheap compared to the loss of 220-litres of product or poor safety standards,’ his son Andrea interjects.  

Whether producers require 220-litre multilayer bags for conical or cylindrical drums, multilayer aluminium bags with special structures for high-mechanical resistance, single or webbed bags for bag-in-box (three to 50 litres), or big bags up to 1 500 litres for large containers such as IBCs, Goglio offers a solution. ‘Material and process traceability ensure the bag’s entire lifecycle is recorded and that the highest possible quality standards are guaranteed,’ Cecco stresses.  

‘An enormous amount of technology goes into manufacturing these bags produced with different spout types to suit various aseptic fillers,’ comments Andrea. Adding to this he notes: ‘The bags have spout protection to withstand high temperatures and Goglio has also developed a K-seal for larger bags to protect them from bursting while filling hot products at high speed.’   

In conclusion, Cecco happily highlights: ‘During the 16 years Goglio’s aseptic products have been available in South Africa we’ve not received one recall or complaint that could be attributed to a faulty bag.’  

[Ed’s note: Look out for the March issue where we’ll feature other Goglio products for coffee packaging. ]
Bag in Box Consultants  
T +27 021 7943992  

A healthy partnership  

THE healthy lifestyle trend is helping to grow aseptic packaging in South Africa. Nampak Flexible claims to be leading the way in this sector as the only manufacturer of aseptic packaging in the country thanks to its enduring and dynamic partnership with Aran Packaging, a world leader in the supply of aseptic packaging.  

Demand for aseptic packaging is driven by South Africa’s exports of large volumes of fruit and vegetables in puréed form for the global juice industry. High-quality packaging is a necessity, especially since it needs to travel long distances and ensure product integrity over extended periods of time. To simplify the export process, packaging must meet country-specific health and safety standards and Nampak Flexible’s strategic partnership with Aran Packaging ensures South African farmers and food processors have all this and more right on their doorsteps.   

In terms of an agreement signed in 2006, Aran Packaging supplies its world-class aseptic material in reel form to Nampak Flexible. Conversion is managed at Nampak Flexible’s Ndabeni (Cape Town) factory, and finished bags are irradiated to ensure commercial sterility.   

The range includes 210-litre bags, as well as two-litre bags for sampling and testing. While specifications vary from customer to customer, standard barrier bags with three layers and high-barrier bags with seven layers are offered. A coextruded polypropylene or composite layer construction is also available. They’re also suitable for cold and steam sterilisation.  

Nampak Flexible and Aran Packaging are committed to growing aseptic packaging in South Africa and the rest of Africa, an intention that’s facilitated by Nampak’s R&D facility in Epping, where, among other things, shelf-life studies are conducted.   

Global growth for aseptic packaging  

THE world market for aseptically packed products amounted to 123-billion litres in 269-billion packs during 2011, according to the Global Aseptic Packaging report, published by food and drinks consultancy, Zenith International, and packaging experts, Warrick Research.  

White drinking milk accounts for 39% of aseptically packed products, beverages for 37%, with other dairy or food products making up the remainder. Aseptic filling has yet to make a significant impact in food markets but there are some established niche applications such as sauces, tomato products and baby food.  

According to a report published by Freedonia, advances in the aseptic sectors are being driven by the increasing number of applications and the cost and convenience benefits associated with aseptic packaging (especially in terms of ambient storage and transportation). Strong growth is expected in developing countries where the lack of cold chain infrastructure continues to fuel demand for aseptically-packed shelf-stable products.  

‘During the last four years, and at a time of economic recession in much of the world, the aseptic packaging market has grown at over 5% per year. The technology is well positioned to supply the needs of new markets and applications,’ explains Esther Renfrew, market intelligence director at Zenith International.  

Other findings in the Zenith/Warrick report reveal there are 13 000 operational aseptic filling systems worldwide and more than 40 companies supplying aseptic filling systems. The largest regional markets for aseptic packaging are China and South/South East Asia, both overtaking Western Europe as the former largest region. World use of aseptic packaging has reflected global economic trends and value-added dairy products are a fast-growing area of demand for aseptic filling systems. In some regions fillers are used for both ambient and chilled products.  

Zenith and Warrick estimate that the world market for aseptic packaging will reach 153-billion litres in 333-billion packs by 2016. Most demand will come from South/South East Asia and China where growth is forecast at 11% and 3,5% per year respectively.  

Closer to home, the news on aseptic packaging is in the form of bulk packaging, where two major manufacturers, Goglio (locally represented by Bag in Box Consultants) and Aran Packaging, in partnership with Nampak Flexible, share their news and technological advances for this sector.

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