Shaker Protects Supplement Flavor, Freshness

A packaging firm designed and fills a spiral-wound paper container that preserves a calorie supplement.

Last year, Scandipharm Inc. (Birmingham, AL), a provider of pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and nutritional products, developed the calorie booster ScandiCal for patients with malabsorptive disorders, such as cystic fibrosis. These patients cannot digest gluten. The firm wanted to package the powder in a shakerlike canister so users could easily add it to foods. In addition to ease of use, other package design criteria included providing protection for flavor and aroma.

In order to facilitate market introduction of the product, Scandipharm needed to find a firm that could not only design and develop the package, but also fill the containers with the supplement. Because the supplement was classified as a kosher dairy product, Scandipharm looked for a company that complied with kosher processing requirements. It also faced a tight deadline in launching ScandiCal, so it needed to find a firm that could design, develop, and fill the the package quickly.

The firm hired Niemand Industries (Marion, AL) to complete the project. Niemand is a custom producer of spiral-wound paper packages for the medical, cosmetic, food, and industrial product industries. According to John Justice, president of Niemand Industries, the engineers at Niemand worked closely with Scandipharm's product development group to design a container and complete the filling specifications, enabling the supplement's producers to compress product development time. "Niemand stayed on top of the job so we could focus our efforts on other details of the product launch," says Bob Booth, corporate director of technical development for Scandipharm.

For the spiral-wound composite container, Niemand used proprietary laminates, top and bottom closures, and an overlabel that would help protect flavor and aroma. In response to product information provided by Scandipharm, Niemand specified container components to limit the migration of vapors and flavor contaminates through the container wall and closures.

To maintain flavor and aroma during filling, Niemand used an isolated, positive-pressure filling room in their food packaging area. By using physical separation, an isolated HVAC system, and a positive-pressure room air supply, they were able to meet Scandipharm's rigid standards for preventing possible cross-contamination. Kosher guidelines were also strictly followed during all phases of production. According to Merrell Ketchum, Niemand's vice president of operations, the filling operation exceeded all applicable GMPs for this type of processing. "The product, which is manufactured on the West Coast, was shipped to our facility in Alabama for filling. We did the rest," says Ketchum. In addition to providing the standard, full-size package, Niemand also developed and fills a sample-size package for ScandiCal.


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