Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Bericap and BioGaia develop LifeTop

Have the dispensing caps I recently described in my previous posts been products of small research or packaging companies, it is clear that the introduction of them have aroused the interest of the ‘big boys’ in the game. Here is number five: a dispensing cap for probiotics.
Recently Bericap, a global manufacturer of plastic closures with 20 factories in 18 countries and well-known Swedish biotechnology company BioGaia entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with the aim to promote probiotics for beverages packed in a plastic closure system under the name: Lifetop Cap.

BioGaia’s proprietary probiotic strains (such as Lactobacillus reuteri or Reuteri) and other ingredients (minerals, vitamins, flavours, colours, trace elements) are to be dispensed at time of drinking the beverage.
Probiotics are extremely delicate and difficult to keep alive. As a result, most probiotic products today are dairy-based because probiotics tend to stay alive longer in a dairy environment. The problem with these products is that the probiotics will die off over time and it is difficult to determine how many probiotics the consumer actually gets down at the time of consumption.

According to Bericap, they spent several years in search of the best compromise between an efficient system of protection of the ingredients against humidity and a simple and cost effective solution, that is easy to fill and to apply on the bottles without significant changes of the capping lines, and that is easy to understand and to use by consumers.

LifeTop Cap, initially developed and patented in one format by BioGaia, will be further developed by Bericap to cover all the needs of the beverage industry in term of sizes and functionalities and it will be industrialised by Bericap to be commercially available to Brand Owners.

The dispensing cap, made from LDPE, consists of a plastic screw closure to be used on standard neck finishes (30/25, 38 mm), sealed inside the plastic closure sits a blister, made from full barrier aluminium laminate, containing the ingredients up to 200 µl in liquid form or 200 mg in powder, offering an unique solution against humidity, supporting a long shelf life of the sensitive ingredients.
A flexible dome, protected by a hinged overcap, should be used to press on the blister, to tear off the lower part of the blister and to deliver the ingredients into the liquid in the bottle.

I just received the information from Bericap that Mass Probiotics will be one of its first major customers using LifeTop for its “phd” flavoured water.
phd - “probiotic health daily” is a line of probiotic beverages and beverage mixes made by Boston-based company Mass Probiotics.
Mass Probiotics is launching the first Ready to Drink or Ready to Go - phd probiotic line of 16 oz (474 ml) enhanced flavoured water in the predominantly dairy-based probiotic category. The bottles feature the innovative LifeTop push-button cap, as described above, which protects the live probiotics and then delivers them to the water at the time of consumption. Each flavour contains a total of 20 billion cfu of 6 different probiotic strains, or about 10 times the amount in most dairy-based probiotic products. It also contains 4g of probiotic fibre which helps to maximize the probiotics’ effectiveness.


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