Vento packaging captures flavor and aroma of freshly roasted coffee
Amcor (amcor.com) introduces an advanced packaging system with built-in venting control for ground coffee and whole beans. For coffee roasters, freshness is key. To deliver full flavour to consumers, most coffee producers prefer to package their product right after roasting. For decades the solution for degassing freshly roasted coffee has been to apply hard valves that allow carbon dioxide (CO2) to escape the pack, however this added parts, machinery, complexity and costs to the packing process.
Vento™ is the only coffee packaging system delivered to roasters with the degassing system already applied. It’s ready to run on their filling machines. Coffee can be packed immediately after roasting with no additional equipment or steps, preserving its fresh flavour and aroma.
Peter Hansen, R&D and product development engineer for beverages at Amcor says, “Vento just makes life so much easier for roasters and offers more flexibility. Having worked with coffee and valves for a few years, I could see roasters faced a lot of issues with coffee packaging systems, and believed there was an opportunity to design a better solution.” Peter and a team of Amcor developers started work on a concept that became Vento™, a high performance degassing system that is integrated directly into the packaging laminate.
To ensure Vento could deliver on the promise of ease and simplicity, Amcor tested it with six pilot customers. The customers analysed how well the material ran on their machines, and how well it protected their coffee’s freshness using shelf-life tests.
“We agreed to participate in the pilot because the idea of eliminating hard valves was very appealing. The process of applying hard valves always created some difficulty in production, so Vento™ came at just the right time,” says Søren Sylvest, co-owner of Copenhagen Roaster, a leading Danish coffee producer. “The pilot ran smoothly and the performance of the system is impressive; it does the job perfectly. We also loved that it allowed us to move our venting system to the back of the pack.”
Some of the biggest benefits pilot customers saw from switching to Vento were reduced downtime and less production waste. Based on data gathered during the pilots, roasters running three shifts on one machine could save on average 280 hours of downtime and up to 10% cost savings annually thanks to increased production efficiency, depending on machine model and the type of hard valve being replaced.
Following successful pilots, coffee packs using the Vento system are already sold in stores around Europe.
Simplifying the packaging process brings obvious advantages to coffee producers, but ultimately it is the freshness of their product that matters most.
“Danish people know coffee,” says Søren Sylvest . “Denmark is among the top five nations for coffee consumption, so people who buy our products are looking for quality. We are pleased with how well our new Vento packaging preserves the taste and aroma of our coffee.”
A coffee venting solution must release CO2 and at the same time keep oxygen from entering. Faulty application of hard valves can cause oxygen retention, making coffee become stale. Vento removes the risk of faulty application for roasters. Additionally, a high barrier coating on the Vento system prevents oxygen from entering the pack. As coffee starts to degas, the pressure inside the pack pushes a small venting layer open and CO2 flows out. As soon as degassing is complete, the venting layer returns to its original position, preventing oxygen from entering and keeping the coffee fresh.
In addition to freshness and process efficiency, Vento offers sustainability advantages. It is up to 87% lighter weight than hard valves and allows energy savings by eliminating the need to power an applicator machine. This results in up to 8% decrease in overall carbon footprint for a 250 gram pack.
Vento can be integrated on any of Amcor’s typical triplex laminates for coffee soft packs, and adapted to customers’ specifications.