Baby milk on-the-go: turn, mix and drink
By Canadian Packaging staffDesign & Innovation Bottling BBB Projects Mix2Drink
Mix2Drink is a dosing system for sensitive products that mixes powders and liquids in one bottle.
BBB Projects has designed a new dosing concept which will mix powders or liquids with drinking water, in one bottle.
The crucial difference from existing systems being that Mix2Drink complies with hygiene requirements and can be aseptically filled and accept inert gas flushing, making it suitable for sensitive products such as baby milk.
“Dosing systems for sensitive products are not yet on the market,” says BBB Projects’ Luc van den Broek. “So far they have proved too complex and difficult to manufacture. However, after more than three years of development, we have now designed a concept which guarantees food safety. This is, for example, of great importance in areas where clean drinking water isn’t available. Using this on-the-go product, mothers can make baby milk, instantly, anywhere. Mix2Drink guarantees a long shelf life and is suitable for tropical areas with high temperatures and high humidity.”
Mix2Drink is built around a capsule with a high barrier resistance to oxygen and/or moisture, which is filled with a concentrate (powder or fluid). The simplest production method for the capsule is plastic injection molding, however a deep drawn aluminum capsule will also work.
The capsule is filled with the powder or liquid concentrate, if necessary under strict hygienic conditions. It is sealed with a high barrier film on the top and bottom. If powder is used, any excess externally adherent powder can be blown off so that no bacterial growth can take place on the outside. Then the capsule is fitted into the closure, which is fixed to the bottle of drinking water.
As the consumer unscrews the closure, in the normal way, the opening mechanism is activated, which cuts the barrier film above and below. The rotational movement makes sure that a plastic knife moves down by 8mm and cuts through the top film. At the same time, the capsule is pushed down and the bottom film barrier is cut by a knife at the base. The powder falls into the water and after a couple of shakes a fresh, nutritional, drink is ready to be consumed.
Variable neck diameters for drinking
On most drinking systems, the concentrate is filled into the top of the screw cap, where the available volume is low. Before the consumer can start drinking, first the closure has to be pushed down to activate the dosing and mixing operation. Then the cap, which also contains the part which held the concentrate, must be unscrewed.
The systems for bigger amounts of concentrate need a relatively large pouring aperture from which it can be hard to drink. The designer has to bear in mind the diameter of the neck, to create enough space to contain the volume of concentrate. If a small diameter neck is required then the closure has to be very tall.
However, with Mix2Drink the bottle neck diameter is not dependent on the diameter of the reservoir containing the concentrate. The internal dosing system is under the neck.
For example, for a 250ml bottle with 35ml of concentrate, the customer can choose for a standard teat connection neck finish or select the small 28mm diameter neck/thread diameter with a drinking spout. This gives the client a free hand with pack design.
BBB Projects’ Rinze Willemsen says: “As well as baby milk powder, Mix2Drink is, suitable for medical, health drink and sports products, for example protein shakes for body builders, among other things.
“Apparently, up to now, there have been no dosing solutions for these sensitive products. It has been a tricky issue, but we have created a unique answer,” adds Willemsen. “This is further confirmed following the examination for a patent. We have established 51 innovative patent claims for the closure, which is not often achieved.”
Company information available at www.mix2drink.com.