Innovation in a bottle
Fonterra has revealed what it claims is its ‘‘greatest ever’’ milk innovation – light-proof plastic bottles to keep milk fresher.
The dairy co-operative will roll out new matt white bottles for its entire Anchor range of milk and cream from April 8.
Heat and light can degrade milk quality and lead to the sour milk taste familiar to a generation who drank warm milk in schools, Fonterra said.
While supermarket chillers and refrigerated trucking kept the temperature regulated, exposure to fluorescent lighting still took its toll.
It caused chemical reactions that could change the proteins and fats, and create unsavoury flavours, including cardboard, metallic and burnt protein, Fonterra said.
Its response had been to design a 100 per cent lightproof milk bottle made of three layers of plastic – white interior and exterior sheets sandwiching a black.
Managing director Peter McClure said that as far as Fonterra knew, the innovation was a world- first. The company said its market research found that seven out of 10 people preferred the taste of the light-proof milk.
Consumer reaction has been similarly mixed. Many said the opaque plastic would lead to unwittingly running out of milk.
Others suggested a truly ground-breaking innovation would have been a return to glass bottles, perceived to be more sustainable.
Environmentalists will at least be pleased that the new bottle uses the same HDPE recyclable plastic as the existing bottle.