See-Through Aseptic Packaging
Tetra Pak, Vernon Hills, Ill., claims to have produced the world’s first clear, high-barrier aseptic package. Called Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear, the 6.75-oz packaging is being used by Jumex in Mexico for its Nautix fruit drinks. Consumer benefits include 100% transparency to see the product, a patented barrier technology to protect the product, and aseptic processing which seals in taste and nutrition.

“The initial response in Mexico to this new product, distributed initially through Wal-Mart, has been great,” said Jeff Kellar, Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Tetra Pak. “And the initial response from consumers surveyed in the U.S. has been equally promising, with the most common reaction among kids being ‘Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this.’” The technology allows for high-and low-acid applications, making pouch-style shelf-stable packaging a new possibility for the dairy and soy industries.

Boosting Prune Juice’s Appeal
Well known for its digestion-aiding properties, prune juice is getting a modern makeover from Old Orchard Brands, Sparta, Mich. The company recently introduced Healthy Balance prune juice cocktail with added calcium and fiber and reduced sugar. The drink contains Splenda brand sweetener. Each 8-oz serving has 65% less sugar and 25% more fiber than the leading brand of 100% prune juice. A serving also provides 10% of the daily value of calcium and 130% of the DV for vitamin C.

Many consumers drink prune juice solely for the health benefit, with flavor being a secondary consideration. Old Orchard Brands addressed this taste issue by removing the pulpy consistency that is often associated with the 100% juice version. “A majority of consumers are drinking prune juice for the health benefits, not necessarily because they enjoy the taste,” said Mark Saur, Founder of Old Orchard Brands. “Our new Healthy Balance prune juice cocktail is lighter, crisper, and more refreshing than typical 100% prune juice, yet offers a greater amount of fiber and 65% less sugar, calories, and carbohydrates.”

Yogurt with Added Benefits
While many beverages tout their health-promoting additives and play a large part in the growth of functional foods and beverages, yogurt may be poised to take the crown as the perfect functional food. Here are two new products from Groupe Danone that illustrate this point.

In Canada, Danone markets Cardivia fat-free yogurt with omega-3. Each 113-g or 4-oz serving is enriched with 300 mg of omega-3 from marine and vegetable sources. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. supplies the marine omega-3. “In Canada, Danone ranks ahead of all other yogurt producers, notably because of its many high-quality innovations,” stated Laurent Huynh, Danone’s Vice President of Marketing. “It’s important for us to maintain this leadership role by offering consumers yogurts that go beyond traditional nutritional functions and in doing so play a significant role in the proper functioning of the body’s organisms.”

Last month, Dannon, part of Groupe Danone, launched Activia probiotic yogurt in the United States. Each 4-oz serving contains billions of beneficial cultures, including the exclusive Bifidus regularis. The yogurt is clinically proven to help naturally regulate the digestive system in two weeks, when eaten daily as part of a healthy and balanced diet. It works by helping to reduce long-intestinal transit time—the time it takes food to pass through the digestive system.