When every sip is, a promise kept
Everytime the consumer puts faith in a beverage bottle manufactured by HCCB, it is also an endorsement of an extensive process that goes into manufacturing each bottle. The meticulous sourcing of ingredients and raw materials, the world class processes and hundreds of quality control procedures ensure that what people are drinking is absolutely safe for consumption.
Here is an overview of the various steps that the ingredients go through, before the bottle reaches the consumer.
Treatment of Water: The main ingredients in carbonated drinks are water, sugar and beverage base/concentrates. Water is passed through Multiple Barrier Treatment Systems to ensure that every beverage bottle conforms to the IS 14543 (Packaged Drinking Water), WHO drinking water guidelines and The Coca-Cola Company’s global standards.
The Multiple Barriers System consist of macro and micro level purification of water, including processes such as sand and carbon filtration, chemical coagulation/ultra-filtration/reverse osmosis/ nano-filtration to eliminate chemical and bacteriological impurities, reduce alkalinity of the water, and remove dissolved solids. Additional disinfection processes like UV treatment and chlorination of water are also undertaken. After processing, the water is ready for the next stage.
Treatment of Sugar: Simultaneously, the treatment of sugar also takes place. Sugar procured from suppliers undergoes tests from an independent 3rd party - NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) certified - and Coca-Cola India approved laboratory. This is followed by several in-house quality checks and treatment processes to bring its purity at par with our international standards. Hot Carbon treatment is applied to remove any turbidity, off odour from the sugar. To achieve this, powdered activated carbon is used which adsorbs the impurities and the colour in the sugar, which is further pasteurised with heat treatment to destroy microbes.
The beverage base is then added to the treated sugar syrup. During this, several in-process quality checks on the colour, concentration and sedimentation are conducted. Further, routine micro-biological tests are also conducted for the syrups. The preparation of ready syrup is followed by the mixing and proportioning of the same into the final beverage for filling.
Treatment of Juice Pulp: The sugar syrup preparation and water treatment process remains the same for juices. Juice pulp is checked for quality and appearance before being added to the sugar syrup. The beverage is then homogenised and pasteurised before filling.
Returnable Glass Bottles (RGBs): Returnable Glass Bottles are inspected, cleaned and inspected again before being re-filled. Even the most slightly damaged RGB is rejected, and the remaining are cleaned through a 6-7 step process using caustic, water and other cleaning additives. Subsequently the bottles are passed through online electronic inspection device to eliminate undesirable bottles. Only the remainder go to the filler for filling and crowning.
PET bottles: PET bottles are blown from preforms, which are made from resins approved for use by Coca-Cola India. These undergo several quality inspections before making it to the next stage. Before filling, either the preforms are cleaned with filtered air or the blown bottles are cleaned with chlorinated water.
Beverage and Process Quality:
Several physicochemical and bacteriological quality checks during and after manufacturing of each lot of beverages and during and after cleaning and sanitation, are a part of the process. Frequent unannounced audits at the bottling plants are conducted by third-party professional like ISO-certification agencies, the Coca-Cola India Corporate Quality team and The Coca-Cola Company Global Audit teams to ensure compliance and adherence to highest quality manufacturing practices. And finally, after undertaking this exhaustive journey, the beverage reaches the consumer, refreshing them with a clean, cool sensation as it percolates their taste buds. That’s the journey to tasting a beverage manufactured by HCCB.
Nitro Hot Fill: A manufacturing process sensitive to environmental needs
HCCB factories are now using nitrogen gas as a counter pressure gas to provide stability to Kinley PET bottles – an effort to use less PET resin, thereby minimising environmental impact. Here is the how and why of nitro-fill, manufacturing process.
Many juices, sports and ready-to-drink tea beverages are filled hot, into the respective packages (glass/PET/cans) to ensure quality and a longer shelf life of the products. Until now, special bottle designs with vacuum compensation qualities along with a heavier-weight PET were required to minimise the de-shaping of filled bottles. The negative pressure of the gas is used to change the shape of the bottle. These vacuum panel bottles are also needed to be covered with shrink sleeve labels to improve the aesthetics of the bottles. But this isn’t the best use of resources.
It was time for HCCB to introduce the Nitro hot-fill process. In the Nitro Hot Fill process, liquid nitrogen is injected precisely at a predetermined rate between the filler and the capper into each container, which pressurises the container adding to its rigidity. Immediately after this, the bottle is capped. The nitrogen in the bottle becomes gaseous and increases the inner pressure. In the chiller, the temperature of the hot filled beverage is lowered again.
The nitrogen compensates for product volume shrinkage at chilling and prevents bottle distortion with a stabilising residual pressure that remains in the bottle. Thus, the bottle is stabilised through the interior pressure and keeps its shape even when cooled down.
Why is nitro hot-fill a good solution?
- Nitro Hot Fill keeps containers stable without vacuum panels. This gives the opportunity for a completely new product design.
- Nitro Hot Fill enables the combination of light weighting with hot filling. This way, use of materials can be reduced significantly.
- Hot Fill bottle blow moulds are made of steel and require hot oil circulation. Nitro Hot Fill bottles use aluminium mould and requires no hot oil circulation and less compressed air. This results savings in energy of up to 40 percent when compared to the traditional hot fill process.
- The panel-less bottles do not require special shrink sleeve labels and can be labelled with the same label type as soft drink and water bottles, which is another way of minimising the use of material resources.
Not only is the use of Nitro Hot Fill a more economical process, it is also more convenient and environment-friendly. And at HCCB, we are always happy about following the most efficient processes and finding the most optimum solutions.