SIG and AnaBio Technologies jointly globally launched a long-life probiotic yogurt.

"This game changing development creates a new product category; probiotic beverages packed in aseptic carton packs and spouted pouches which are shelf-stable for prolonged storage periods without refrigeration," the companies stated. "Until now it has not been possible to incorporate probiotics into aseptic beverage packaging due to their inability to survive common heat treatments used in processing. Probiotics can also be unstable during storage, typically restricting their use to refrigerated beverages with a short shelf life."

The combination of AnaBio’s encapsulation technology and SIG’s gentle aseptic filling technology overcomes these restrictions, enabling food and beverage companies to produce probiotic beverages containing live probiotics that are packed in carton packs and spouted pouches and can be kept at room temperature for extended periods without refrigeration, the companies noted.

“Our innovative patented ‘encapsulation’ technology coats probiotic cells, such as Lactobacillus strains, with a protective layer. This allows the strains to withstand high temperatures during processing. When the probiotic product is consumed, the coating is naturally broken down by digestive enzymes releasing the probiotic to colonize the small intestine and deliver their health benefits," said Sinéad Bleiel, Founder of AnaBio Technologies. "Together with the expert team at SIG, we’re not only able to offer consumers probiotic products with unique health benefits, but also a longer product shelf life for greater convenience. It’s a real step-change innovation in the field of probiotic beverage products.”

SIG has applied specific filling and processing parameters that ensure a homogenous suspension of probiotic cells per pack. This ensures the safe filling of probiotics into SIG’s aseptic packaging solutions at highest quality levels, SIG claimed.

“With the creation of a new product category, both SIG and AnaBio are providing beverage and food manufacturers with a pioneering solution to overcome the current limitations of fresh probiotic beverages, said Christoph Wegener, chief markets officer at SIG. "Our innovation offers lower distribution costs as no refrigeration is required, longer shelf life, increased reach and less food wastage for both retailers and consumers. Aseptic probiotic yogurt drinks demonstrate our continuous drive to innovate to rapidly meet changing consumer needs, while offering high product quality and longer shelf life in sustainable packaging. Our aseptic carton packs are proven to be one of the most sustainable packaging solutions in the market.”