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THE BEVERAGE CAN CELEBRATES ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY Whether beer, cola, energy drinks, coffee-mix drinks, green tea, exotic cocktails or wine, there is hardly a drink which is not sold in cans today. Seventy-five years ago, however, the news that a beverage such as beer was being offered in “tin containers” was positively revolutionary. Since then the beverage can has captured a fan community which grows year by year worldwide. In 2008 some 53 billion beverage cans were sold in Europe alone, 5% more than in the previous year. Since it was invented, research into how to improve the cylindrical packaging even further has been carried out right up to the present day. And it is primarily the environment which benefits from the innovations of the past 75 years.

the Englishman Peter Durand was granted a patent for the use of tinplate to produce cans. The tinplate packaging was born. Canned food subsequently preserved the vitamins urgently needed by sailors and members of expeditions. The period of prohibition in America in the 1930s finally gave manufacturers the idea of filling beverages in cans. In 1933 the Gottfried Krueger Brewery in New Jersey signed a contract with the American Can Company which had in the meantime developed a practical beer can. Finally 24th January 1935 was the big day, world premiere for the first canned beer: “Krueger’s beer” was launched in a cylindrical tinplate can in Richmond, Virginia, and in the same year

200 million cans were sold. The “original can” weighed 100 g at the time. “EASY LIFE - WITH BEER FROM CANS” The German packaging producer Schmalbach-Lubeca which was taken over by Ball Corporation in 2002 was involved right from the start when it came to developing can enhancements. The first beer can produced by the company, a three-piece bottle can with crown cork seal, didn’t take hold because it was too complicated to produce. Things were different for the threepiece black-plate can with which Schmalbach-Lubeca restarted production in 1951 after the war years. The simpler design comprising base,

FROM ZERO TO 200 MILLION IN THE FIRST YEAR The discovery of heat sterilisation first made it possible to use steel as packaging material: In the year 1810, exactly 200 years ago, the Frenchman Nicholas Appert was granted a patent by Napoleon. He had recognised that the lack of a means to preserve food for his soldiers posed a problem and he offered a prize for an appropriate solution. In the same year,

Historical cans from the USA which are now collector’s items. They used to be opened with so-calles “church key” which punched a triangular hole in the can end.

body and end only weighed 83 g and was the first beer can to be launched on the market in Germany. “Easy life with beer from cans” was the slogan which the Henninger Brewery used to promote its product. Two years later tin-plate was used, being less susceptible to corrosion but just as recyclable. In 1958 the first aluminium cans appeared in the shops. These could be produced in just two pieces: the base and the body were made from one piece using the extrusion process and the end was seamed on later. PRESS INSTEAD OF TEAR The breakthrough came at the beginning of the 1960s: The development of the so-called lift-tab - a metal strip integrated in the can end – made it possible to open beverage cans without any additional aid. The American, Ermal Fraze, had the technique patented in 1963. Since then research in the can making industry has been constantly focused on improving the closure technology. An invention from the year 1974 represented first significant progress: Dan Cudzik designed the stay-ontab, also called ring-pull tab. In this case the opening tab was not torn off but pressed inside. This process is still usual today and it ensures that the small opening tab is recycled together with the can. The

Italian Food & Beverage Technology - LX (2010) march -

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ITALIAN BEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY 60/2010  

Rivista esclusivamente in inglese, sviluppata a supporto di tutte quelle aziende italiane che vogliono puntare sull’export di macchine, prod...

ITALIAN BEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY 60/2010  

Rivista esclusivamente in inglese, sviluppata a supporto di tutte quelle aziende italiane che vogliono puntare sull’export di macchine, prod...