A new research study conducted by Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) (plastictechnologies.com), a global leader in plastic package development, uncovers significant performance and barrier differences in capsules used for coffee and other applications.

The company found that that the Barrier Improvement Factor varied as much as 380 times across the 18 capsule samples tested. The capsules selected represent most of the major commercially-available systems currently available.

With growing consumer use of capsules and pods for a wide number of beverage and other liquid-based applications, PTI wanted to research the base materials being used, the structures they were assembled into, the resulting barrier (oxygen, water vapor transmission rates) attributes and the impact on taste to produce comprehensive analysis on the package type. (For more information on the research findings, please visit this link.)

“It’s important to understand, however, that just because a capsule type has a lower barrier, this doesn’t necessarily translate to bad taste. It really comes down to preference, oftentimes determined by specific cultures or geographic areas. Climatic storage conditions may also decrease barrier levels,” said Thierry Fabozzi, managing director of PTI’s European business unit. “But what is important is an understanding of how each performs to make sure that target audience criteria are being met in the most cost-effective way possible.”

The other significant finding from the research is the way in which the capsule’s individual structural components are assembled to create the final container also impacts barrier characteristics.

The study included samples from the following brands: Autobar Barista, Bestpresso coffee, Bialetti coffee system, Cafissimo coffee, Dallmayr™ Capsa, Delizio coffee, Keurig® K-Cup®, Keurig Rivo® coffee, Keurig® Vue® coffee and milk, Lavazza, Nespresso®, Nestle® Dolce Gusto coffee and milk, Starbucks® Verismo coffee and milk.

Oxygen and water vapor permeation, overall dimensions, minimum wall thickness, 3D scan to determine active barrier surface, identifying the manufacturing process, layer-structure analysis and summary mapping were characteristics reviewed for each coffee capsule type.

About Plastic Technologies
Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) is recognized worldwide as the preferred source for preform and package design, package development, rapid prototyping, pre-production prototyping, and material evaluation engineering for the plastic packaging industry.