The handle is then attached and becomes integrated with the cap to allow for easy opening by the consumer.
For high-acid offerings like juices, companies can use the hot-fill method to sterilize their products.
In low-acid areas, with foods with a higher pH level, options included either retort or aseptic processing. But if the product was in a pouch, companies didn't have that choice, Bellamore said.
"In the spouted pouch area, there was never a low-acid aseptic offering for premium pouches," Bellamore said.
The retort method fills and seals a package before the application of extremely high heat to sterilize the product.
Aseptic packaging uses products sterilized before packaging, sterilized filling and sterilized packaging to render the contents safe.
"The spouted pouch has really dominated the high-acid space — juice and other more acid liquids. It really didn't have a strong presence in low acid," he said. "The only option was to retort. So that's filling the pouch, sticking it in a retort chamber and letting it cook.
"That extended heat really damages the taste. So that really blocked a lot of the low-acid products from wanting to get into that package type. So we created the first of its kind," Bellamore said.
Another finalist for the award highlighted during the conference organized by Plastics News was the first hinged closure made from post-consumer recycled resin for Seventh Generation's dish soap. The project brought together injection molder Weener Plastics Inc. and resin supplier Envision Plastics.
The third finalist was Aptar Group Inc.'s EZ Pour one-piece dispensing spout for stand-up pouches. The spout features a flip-lid for easy access, resealability and directional pouring, the company said.
"I think it's cool that Plastics News is able to shine a light on the real innovation taking place in the caps and closures market through our annual award," said Plastics News Publisher Brennan Lafferty. "Congratulations to this year's winner, Scholle IPN, as well as to our other finalists, Aptar Group and Weener Plastics."
This is the third year Plastics News has given the award at its annual caps and closures conference, held this year in Chicago.