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The loading and unloading of bottles may differ with some using automated equipment and others using manual labor and the water treatment used may vary depending on the source. But the rinse fill cap and label applications will almost always be similar to those noted above. Using this basic bottled water system as the norm we can look at some other popular beverages and the differences that are required when it comes to packaging machinery. CARBONATED DRINKS Carbonated beverages may present the biggest deviation from what we term the norm for this article. The unique filling machine used for carbonation is known as a counter pressure filler. In general terms the counter pressure filler will pressurize the container being filled and replace oxygen with CO2 to keep a beverage fizzy. Adding carbonation to a beverage will normally require a carbonator and a chiller as low temperatures are also a necessity for carbonation. Other packaging machinery may vary as well as carbonated beverages are more likely to use a variety of different bottle or can materials come in various sizes and use different closures.
Americans want to be healthier and also discover the fountain of youth and longevity. The food industry is rushing to fulfill this new desire. The new buzzword is "functional health beverages and foods." Functional beverages (also known as "neutraceuticals") are beverages fortified with dietary supplements and herbal medicines. And they are becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. Experts predict Americans will buy more bottled water than coffee or beer. Artificial flavors are losing ground to drinks with "all natural" claims. Antioxidant tea products are now the rage. And at least one brand of coffee is adding herbs and minerals to its beans. Energy drinks are the fastest growing supermarket category -- with sports drinks right behind.
From bottled water to sports drinks juices spirits and soda there are a multitude of thirst quenching products on the shelves from which consumers can choose. But the way those products make their way into the bottles can vary depending on a number of different factors. Below are a few of the beverage choices available to the thirsty consumer along with a brief explanation of some of the common machinery used to package the products. BOTTLED WATER Arguably one of the simplest packaging lines to create is the bottled water line. This is in part because almost all bottled waters are packaged in a nearly identical manner. A typical bottle of water will be packaged in a 16.9 ounce clear plastic bottle with a flat screw on cap and a wrap label. Repetition leads to simplicity and efficiency so that many bottled water packaging systems will look nearly identical. Bottle rinsers will be used to remove dust and debris from containers before the filling process in most applications.