Consumers are demanding healthier foods that are minimally processed, while at the same time concerns and regulations have about food safety risks, two trends that may often conflict with each other in the manufacture of food products.
To address the demand for foods without synthetic or chemical preservatives manufacturers are exploring new preservation methods, such as aseptic processing and packaging. The method can also help to extend the shelf life of foods, opening new opportunities for processors by allowing them to consolidate operations and extend their distribution chains.
Wild, based in Heidelberg-Eppelheim, Germany said it recently acquired the Italian company, Next Engineering to further strengthen its technology division. The company, located in Colecchio near Parma, develops and produces aseptic filling technology for the food and beverage industry. Parma is Italy's centre for mechanical engineering for the food and beverages industry.
The product portfolio of the Italian company also includes filling facilities for flexible packaging and transport systems for PET bottles. Wild said it would work with Indag, a machine manufacturer based in Germany, to develop a facility for the aseptic filling of spouted pouches.
"The goal is to offer the world's first high-performance facility with this technology," Wild stated in a press release.
Next Engineering has 13 employees, who are experienced in the development of facilities for aseptic filling. The name of the company will change to Wild Parma Advanced Technologies.
By buying the Italian company, Wild said it hopes to strengthens its expertise in the pouch technology segment of the market. The move would allow Wild to further expand its activities in the areas of food and pet food.
Indag manufactures stand-up pouch technology, under the Capri-Sun brand name.