A range of soups from the traditional Unox brand is now available in aseptic carton packs for the first time. Unilever’s Unox-brand soups, in SIG Combibloc’s (www.sig.biz) combibloc Standard 1,000 ml carton packs, are now available in the Netherlands. They represent an innovation on the Dutch soup market, where most ready-to-eat soups have previously been available only in food metal cans and pouches.

Daniëlle de Jager, brand manager Unox, and Helger Reitsma, trade category manager for Unilever Benelux, are convinced: “By providing quality soups in handy family packs, we are setting a new trend in the area of ready-to-eat soups. The soups are of excellent quality. The gentle aseptic process ensures unique product quality that you can taste. The process involves heating the soups only very briefly, which enhances the consistency and the color of the soups.”

The Unox soups in carton packs are available in tomato, chicken, pea, cream of tomato, Chinese tomato, vegetable and pumpkin varieties.

De Jager and Reitsma believe that the new soup specialties in carton packs will not only reach those who are already keen consumers of ready-to-eat soups but will enthuse new consumers as well. “Soups are on the rise, as a meal in themselves and as an entrée or easily digestible snack.”

To fill its products, Unilever invested in a food filling machine from SIG Combibloc that makes it possible to pack food containing extra-large pieces into carton packs. The key to fill these products is the sleeve system of SIG Combibloc. This means that manufacturers receive the packaging materials to be used for their products as pre-fabricated blanks, printed with the required design, precisely marked with fold lines and pre-sealed as sleeves.

These sleeves are opened into shape on SIG Combibloc’s filling machines and sealed at the base. The soups, sterilized using the UHT process, are filled into carton packs that are open at the top. Only when the filling process is completed is the packaging sealed above the filing level – not through the product. This prevents parts of the product from being caught in the sealed seam, and means that the Unox soups – containing extra-large pieces of vegetable, sausage and meat – can be filled into the carton packs gently and safely.

SIG Combibloc’s state-of-the-art filling machines for food products enable products containing solid chunks up to 25 millimeters in size to be processed into aseptic carton packs. In fact, individual fibers can be up to 40 millimeters long, and the proportion of particulates can be as high as 50%.