Tetra Pak today claimed world leadership in the processing of carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) after buying Swiss beverage processing firm Miteco.
Miteco's especial strength is in CSDs, but the company also has processing technology - much of which is patent protected - for fruit juices and liquid food.
Founded in 1982, it is a private company that employs 70 staff across sites in Switzerland, Italy, UK and South America.
Miteco will form center of expertise for CSD's
Asked why Tetra Pak chose to buy Miteco, a spokewoman told BeverageDaily.com that the acquisition "enables Tetra Pak to strengthen its position with several important beverage customers, while Miteco will be able to extend its global reach through Tetra Pak sales channels...around the world".
Tetra Pak said Miteco would expand its expertise in processing carbonates, while its knowledge of inline blending, sugar handling and dissolving "are also applicable to many other areas of liquid food processing, and will enhance Tetra Pak's ability to provide greater efficiency and effectiveness for customers".
Miteco will form a standalone business and the "center of expertise for carbonated soft drinks" within Tetra Pak, the latter's spokeswoman told this website.
"The current employees will continue to be based in their current locations in Switzerland and Italy and Guillermo Fernandez, currently MD of Miteco, will continue to lead the daily business as sales and operations director," she said.
'Tetra Pak has some overlapping products, but not the complete range...'
Explaining what Miteco will bring to Tetra Pak's portfolio that it does not already possess, the spokeswoman said: "Tetra Pak has some overlapping products, but not the complete range that Miteco has in sugar treatment, blending and carbonation."
According to Tetra Pak, beverage carbonation takes two forms - covering CSDs with a CO2 content of 5-8g/liter and still drinks with only slight carbonation (up to 1g/liter) to improve flavor and mouthfeel, and to provide a more exciting taste experience.
Accurate CO2 injection and a high consistency of finished product is vital, and Tetra Pak's existing Tetra Alcarb carbonation unit doses still drinks and CSDs with CO2 using hygenic mixers that create micro bubbles to dissolve gas into drinks, prior to filling.
"Tetra Pak has supplied processing solutions to the carbonated soft drink industry for many years, including production solutions up-stream of packaging systems such as PET, glass or cans," the spokeswoman said.
"This acquisition [of Miteco] is part of our strategy to grow in core areas of the food and beverage industry, and to ultimately support customers’ growth," she added.