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Norwegian milk tastier, easier on environment with Korsnäs board

“By improving the quality of the light barrier, we were able to minimise the risk of off-flavours and spoilage,” says TINE Dairy Cooperative engineer Ragnar Solgaard. “For consumers, flavour means everything.”TINE, Norway’s largest dairy group, was experiencing problems with shelf life and off-flavours in its milk, and asked its packaging partner Elopak to develop a milk packaging solution with a better, more environmentally sound light barrier. Elopak studied the entire concept, evaluating various cartonboard materials for their Pure-Pak® carton with a screw-cap.

The material they chose was Korsnäs Liquid, which has a brown reverse side that acts as a natural light barrier. To meet Elopak’s requirements, Korsnäs developed two custom grammages. “Our primary goal in switching materials was to eliminate the off-flavours; we also wanted to improve environmental performance,” says Brian Raastad, Norwegian Market Unit Manager at Elopak. “Korsnäs board with a brown reverse side generates 8 grams less carbon dioxide (CO2) per pack than the board we were using previously. There is a growing awareness of environmental issues in Norway, and we are always looking for solutions that cut CO2 emissions. When we introduced the new packaging solution, we printed information about the improvement right on the pack.”

Korsnäs cartonboard is coated to ensure a good printing surface. “After a long period of testing and analysing various board alternatives, we ended up with a simple solution offering many advantages,” says Raastad. “They include a more efficient light barrier that eliminates off-flavours, a whiter board surface with better printing properties thanks to the coating, and less environmental impact.”

“Having developed Korsnäs Liquid for Elopak’s Gable Top packs, Korsnäs can now offer a serious board alternative in the fresh foods segment,” says Mikael Alexandersson, LPB paperboard business manager at Korsnäs. “The fact that Korsnäs succeeded in designing an alternative that provides both quality- and environmental benefits gives us a golden opportunity to make something very positive out of this business.”

TINE is owned by over 16,000 dairy farmers, who supply 1.4 billion litres of cow’s milk and 19 million litres of goat’s milk annually to its five domestic dairies. This dairy cooperative is also Norway’s largest foodstuffs producer, with 5,540 employees and annual sales of NOK 15.9 billion (2007). The nationwide cooperative was established in 1881.

Elopak was founded in 1957 and is one of the world’s leading liquid packaging companies, with 2,500 employees at over 40 sales offices and 16 production facilities. It currently operates in over 100 countries around the globe. Elopak constantly develops its packaging to meet the world’s requirements for packaged foodstuffs. Environmental issues are a central part of the company’s strategy and a natural focus of its business culture.

Brand: Tine, Norway
Converter: Elocoat, Holland and Elopak, Denmark
Cartonboard supplier: Korsnäs AB
Product: Korsnäs Liquid LC 360 mN
Korsnäs AB