Bottling machines: how important is the quality of the bottles and bottle caps?
How important is the quality of the bottles and bottle caps used in bottling processes? And what are the most common accidents that can occur during the rinsing, filling and capping operations?
The most important element to be taken into account during bottle filling operations is linked to the fact that the beverage must be kept away from any potential sources of contamination.
In this sense, in addition to the quality of the bottling machines themselves, the bottle caps and bottles utilized are also important for ensuring the optimal preservation of the bottled product.
Let's start with the bottles
There are various types of glass bottles on the market, with different shapes, sizes, weights and colours. In terms of size, for example, the most common beer bottles have capacities of 33cl. and 66cl.
Choosing the right bottle means maintaining the beverage's original properties. In the beer brewing industry, for example, bottles with dark glass are popular because they offer the beer greater protection. The use of dark bottles is also quite widespread in the wine sector. In fact, wine tends to age or oxidize faster in a transparent bottle with respect to a darker bottle.
Another fundamental element to bekept in mind for the bottles before they are used for production, is that they must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. One of a producer's most important tasks, in fact, is to make sure that there are no impurities that could potentially contaminate their product.
Regarding the bottle caps
Bottle caps play a major role in bottling operations.
This is one of the reasons for which there are different types of closure systems for bottles.
Glass bottles, for example, can be sealed using crown caps or mechanical caps with airtight or clip closures. Corks are used less frequently, and are mainly employed for niche markets. For obvious reasons (above all price and availability), bottlers tend to prefer the former models.
Regardless of the type of cap selected for the bottling operations, it must absolutely guarantee an airtight closure. In this sense, even the slightest imperfection could affect the final result.
The wine industry is much more complicated. In this case, the caps are even more important because of the famous "cork taint" problem; winemakers often use cork, a porous and elastic material that's derived from the bark of the cork oak.
Finally, whatever type of capping you intend to use, always remember that the caps must be in perfect condition in order to ensure the quality of the bottled product.