The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Constar (OTC: CNRN.PK) the green light for its new DiamondClear® oxygen scavenging technology for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers. Effective today, under this Food Contact Notification (FCN), Constar will begin selling DiamondClear for packaging virtually all oxygen sensitive food and beverage products, including tomato ketchup, salsas, pasta sauces, table sauces, jams, jellies, ready-to-drink teas, juices, dairy, wine, and other alcoholic beverages.
The FDA approved Constar's original DiamondClear oxygen scavenging technology in January 2007. Constar submitted for a new FCN after developing new chemistry for DiamondClear technology to further enhance its barrier performance, clarity and recyclability. The new DiamondClear material exhibits a huge capacity for scavenging oxygen, enabling packaging features such as extreme light weighting, multi-year product shelf life, robust empty bottle life, and a step change improvement for recycling.
Developed by Constar, DiamondClear is a proprietary technology that substantially elevates the barrier performance of PET containers, while maintaining clarity, rendering Constar's PET containers a more attractive and sustainable alternative to glass containers, other forms of plastic packaging and even metal containers in some cases. As concerns about the environmental impact of packaging and transportation mount, the demand for better performing rigid plastic packaging continues to accelerate; and this new DiamondClear technology contributes to reduced energy per package.
Constar CEO and President Mike Hoffman said that, “the FDA's approval validates the effectiveness of DiamondClear technology and solidifies Constar's position in high barrier PET packaging. It also reflects well on the capabilities of Constar's technology team to create and prove a barrier technology that answers the market’s needs from both environmental and food safety perspectives.”
The FDA's approval of DiamondClear is a testament to the creativity and commitment of Constar's people. We have developed a PET technology that can deliver longer shelf life without compromising the clarity of the container. It mirrors the clarity and gloss of glass, and allows for the reduction of packaging weight to as little as one-tenth that of a comparably sized glass container. DiamondClear gives the marketplace a truly sustainable alternative; I am very pleased that the FDA has approved its use, Hoffman says.
Constar's Vice President for Corporate Technologies, Donald Deubel, says that Constar has continued to improve its barrier technology since the initial introduction in 2000. The chemistry has been developed so that a monolayer barrier can now be used with virtually all oxygen sensitive food and beverage products. It also delivers the desired clarity and improves the recyclability of used containers—a highly desirable benefit of DiamondClear technology.
Advancing barrier performance has been an imperative for Constar. The company has conducted extensive shelf life tests that compare DiamondClear to both glass and competing PET containers. At 24 months, PET containers with DiamondClear technology experienced little oxygen ingress—much like glass—while plain PET and many monolayer scavengers demonstrated substantial ingress. The ability to tightly control oxygen ingress enables PET containers with DiamondClear to keep products fresher, more vibrant in color and tasting better longer.
DiamondClear's attractiveness as an alternative to glass containers is further advanced by its exceptional clarity, light weight and a robust monolayer structure that eliminates the risk of delamination, a common performance flaw of multi-layer PET containers. This toughness allows for faster filling and labeling speeds.
ConAgra Foods was an early adopter of Constar's DiamondClear technology. Their conversion of 46-ounce bottles of Hunt's Ketchup to PET bottles with DiamondClear technology earned two Ameristar Awards in 2007, including the prestigious 3M Sustainable Package Award, and a 2008 WorldStar Award.
Constar's Hoffman says the timing of the FDA approval could not be better. Constar is receiving increasing interest in our packaging barrier and design technologies from companies throughout the world. Because of this interest, we are making DiamondClear commercially available to packaging companies everywhere.”
Senior Manager, Marketing Services