Flo, a major European food packaging producer, is proud to introduce Gea, an industrially compostable coffee capsule created in partnership with NatureWorks, a leading company in the production of functional biopolymers. Flo’s Gea capsule is the result of a two-year joint development process that created a compostable capsule aimed to deliver on the high-performance requirements of the most demanding roasters.
“Gea represents a new generation of capsules, designed to meet the needs of coffee roasters and coffee lovers, but also to address environmental issues related to the management of waste,” says Erika Simonazzi, marketing director of Flo. As food packaging producers, we are very careful to study the right materials for their use, based on environmental requirements and the dictates of the new rules of the circular economy.”
Gea is entirely composed of Ingeo™ PLA, which is a renewably sourced polymer that is certified for industrial composting systems according to global standards such as EN-13432 (EU) and ASTM D6400-04 (USA). The new capsule technology platform is fully approved for food contact and is now in final testing by TÜV Austria and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC) for compostability certification.
“A fully compostable capsule provides an elegant and simple system for delivering the valuable used coffee grounds to industrial compost. Thanks to the collaboration with Flo and their unique capability and dedication to developing improved packaging technologies, we are proud to support the commercialization of the first compostable coffee capsule made from 100% Ingeo,” said Steve Davies, commercial director, NatureWorks Performance Packaging. “The results demonstrate that delivering a superior taste and brewing experience to the consumer does not have to sacrifice sustainability.”
Compared to compostable capsules currently on the market, the new Gea capsules address market requests for material ageing stability in an industrially compostable format. “Being able to count on a capsule that does not show signs of ageing in a few months, but is shelf stable for years, is a huge value for coffee roasters,” explains Erika Simonazzi. “Roasters should be focused on their coffee, not the packaging it is packed in. NatureWorks’ unique analytical and engineering capabilities together with Flo’s know-how in thermoforming technology, were critical to developing this solution.”
Gea capsules also are an excellent barrier to oxygen, which protects the organoleptic qualities of the packaged coffee. The taste and aroma of the coffee are preserved, satisfying the needs of coffee roasters while ensuring an enhanced brewing experience for consumers.
Initially targeting the demanding requirements of high pressure, single serve coffee systems, the Gea capsules have successfully passed the industrialization and filling tests at Flo’s major partner coffee roasters and will be available on the market starting in October 2018.
To learn more about the technology behind the new Gea coffee capsules, join Flo for their presentation at Innovation Takes Root, NatureWorks’ Advanced Biomaterials Forum, in San Diego, CA, September 2018.
About Flo S.p.A.
Flo is a historic brand in the production of food packaging and cups for automatic distribution. The company, based in Fontanellato (Parma – Italy), was founded in 1973 by Antonio Simonazzi. While maintaining a strong link with the territory it belongs to, Flo is today one of the major European players in the sector.
Over the years it has invested beyond the Alps by transferring the typically Italian quality culture to the production and commercial sites it has developed in Europe. The head office has 270 employees, with an additional 80 at its Ruiz production plant in France, the strategic heart of the Flo market in North and Central Europe. In partnership with an Italian player in the sector, Flo is the owner of Nupik, Isap packaging, Benders UK and I & D, important companies in the sector that allow to complete the product range and expand the coverage of the international market. Today, more than forty years after its birth, Flo is a well-recognized, and respected multinational company in the retail, vending, hotel, restaurant, and café sectors. Despite being a family-owned business, Flo has achieved considerable growth via their dedication to developing innovative, efficient and sustainable solutions.
NatureWorks is an advanced materials company offering a broad portfolio of renewably sourced polymers and chemicals to the packaging, polymers, fibers, and chemicals markets. With performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers, naturally advanced Ingeo™ polymers are valued for their unique functional properties and used in products from coffee capsules and electronics to diapers and wipes. Creating performance through chemistry, Vercet™ lactide-based solutions help innovators realize significant, measurable performance and cost advantages in products such as CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers), toners, and surfactants. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest ASEAN leading integrated petrochemical and refining company, PTT Global Chemical, and Cargill, which provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world.