ArcelorMittal steels for packaging are protecting infant formula around the world
Parents around the world want to be sure that the baby formula they use for their infant children is safe and free from contaminants. And steel is answering these concerns. Safe for food – and baby – steel provides a secure barrier against contamination, moisture, and light. And with demand for formula from countries with high food-safety standards growing rapidly, steel is able to withstand the rigours of long distance shipping better than any other packaging material.
Consumer demand for baby formula produced in Europe, Australia, and the United States peaked after recent contamination scares in other parts of the world. While various packaging solutions are used for infant formula, steel cans remain the preferred container in developed countries and key markets such as China, Africa, and Latin America.
Premium products use steel
“We mainly sell our can solutions to European fillers and producers, but the final products mainly end up in Asia (mostly China) and Africa,” says Michele Amati, food division sales director and member of the executive board at ASA Group. “The steel can is perceived as a premium product, and it offers great benefits for consumers. Steel preserves the contents perfectly and delivers a safe product with longer shelf-life.”
Consumers in emerging markets have very high standards as Pascal Fabregue, packaging product development manager at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products explains: “In the consumer’s mind, a can of infant formula with a poor surface leads them to question the quality of the product. Similarly, if the packaging is vulnerable to perforation, consumers doubt the purity of the product. Steel is a perfect solution as it can’t be perforated easily, tampering is immediately evident, and you need high-quality steel to achieve the correct finish.
Chinese market values quality
Chinese consumers in particular are very discerning. “They require cans with a very shiny finish or they immediately suspect it is a counterfeit product,” says Pascal Fabregue. “That’s why we pay special attention to the surface homogeneity of our packaging steel, and its brightness. ArcelorMittal works closely with leading canmakers in this market segment to develop high quality and consist steels and surfaces to prevent counterfeiting.”
This is particularly important for ArcelorMittal customers such as the ASA Group, a canmaker for leading infant formula brands which are exported from Europe to the world. “Our goal is to achieve a risk-free can using the highest hygienic standards available,” notes Michele Amati. “That requires us to continuously improve our production processes, and for our suppliers and customers to do the same.”
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products has made a strong commitment to deliver the quality packaging steels this market segment expects as Hugues Oberle, technical director for packaging explains: “All of our processes – from initial pickling, through rolling, annealing, tempering and electrolytic tinning – are carefully controlled and monitored. That enables ArcelorMittal to deliver quality tinplate with a perfect level of cleanliness and optimised roughness, tin weight, gloss, and scratch resistance.”
Reliable steel supplier required to meet market needs
“We started working with ArcelorMittal because we need reliable suppliers who can meet the demanding needs and standards of this market,” says Michele Amati. “A supplier that can deliver ASA Group state-of-the-art packaging solutions.”
All of ArcelorMittal’s packaging steel lines are assessed using the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach. HACCP offers a methodology which ensures ArcelorMittal’s steels present no biological, chemical, or physical risk to consumers. ArcelorMittal’s facilities are also regularly audited by customers who make infant formula cans to ensure our facilities meet their specific standards.
More info on ArcelorMittal’s packaging offer visit: packaging.arcelormittal.com
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