Graham Packaging (www.grahampackaging.com) is launching a high clarity, 24-ounce hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) jar for food applications, such as salsa, red sauces, etc. The 63mm, round, wide-mouth stock jar also incorporates the company’s new, patent-pending StarFlex™ base technology and its Monosorb® oxygen barrier system.

“The new size gives food manufacturers a smaller than ever before ‘PET with barrier’ jar option for pourable or spoonable products. Food processors will now be able to convert their 24-ounce glass jars, joining larger sizes which have previously made the switch,” says Jay Arnold, vice president and general manager, specialty food and beverage division, Graham Packaging. 

Manufacturing smaller PET containers, which provide adequate barrier properties for food applications, has traditionally been challenging. “Surface to volume” ratios of smaller containers negatively impact shelf life by allowing a larger amount of oxygen to migrate through the sidewall and into the product.

Graham, however, has been able to address those performance issues with Monosorb® monolayer PET barrier technology which was pioneered for beverage applications. This barrier system, one of several offered by Graham, features a scavenger which absorbs oxygen passing through the side walls, providing longer shelf life for food products.

The 24-ounce jar also features Graham’s new generation StarFlex™ base technology.  Improved material distribution in the jar’s standing ring and heel makes it resistant to dents and vacuum creasing. The new design elements, including inverting the fluting in the base, trap less food and improve product evacuation by allowing a spoon to neatly travel around the entire heel. Additionally, a stacking feature allows one container to be stacked on top of another on the retail shelf by locking the cap of the bottom jar into the base of the top jar.

The round container also features ribs to resist ovalization during the cooling period which follows hot-filling (195 to 200°F.).

“The geometry of the structural elements in the base and the ribs in the sidewall have been specifically designed to facilitate evacuation. A spoon can flow over both with ease minimizing the chance of the food product ‘hanging up’ in the jar. This is a desirable consumer attribute,” says Arnold.

Converting 24-ounce food products from glass to PET also opens up new merchandising for food retailers and usage opportunities for consumers. For example, the shatter-resistant jars can be placed into end-of-aisle barrel displays, which are discouraged with glass. Smaller volume PET containers are also more desirable for recreational uses such as outdoor events, boating, etc.