Interview with Jacques Granger*, consulting experts in capping
*chairman of the working group for the "Revision of Cetie Bottling Guide No.6 Metallic screw capping for still wines".
L & C: The revision of Cetie Bottling Guide No. 6 was announced exactly two years ago in this publication. What is the state of progress of the revised document at present?
JG: The document is being finalised by the dedicated working group and is to be submitted in December to the formal consultation by Cetie, which lasts two months. Taking into account any remarks further to this consultation, the revised document should be published in March 2015. It will then be available for downloading from the website www.cetie.org.
L & C: A revision that lasts over two years must be more than an update. What were the objectives and what approach was used?
Effectively, this revision formed part of a more comprehensive approach by Cetie to this closure system in response to demands from industrial users. After the standardisation work on the "BVS" glass finish which resulted in the publication of standard BS EN 16293
, it was obvious that to ensure the reliability of closure in practice, it was also necessary to have specifications for the caps and more complete information on cap application. Thus, in parallel with the revision working group, another Cetie working group comprising a cap and liner manufacturers developed a Cetie specifications sheet, EC4, for the BVS caps, and this document is also ready for consultation and publication. The revision of Bottling Guide No. 6
was also carried out with the aim of providing information to help identify and correct conditions that could lead to cap application defects, as these aspects had not been developed in the first edition. In addition, it was deemed appropriate to remove some information of a general nature from the guide, such as the physical principles involved in determining the required headspace, and the test methods. The group has thus produced four new Cetie documents on these subjects which become references external to this guide and potentially the other guides in the series. The revised Bottling Guide No. 6
is therefore both more closely targeted and more comprehensive, with numerous images illustrating the new chapter on defects to facilitate its use.
L & C: Who took part in this work?
JG: To begin with we reactivated the Cetie working group that drew up the first document published in 2007, with the representatives of the cap manufacturers, the glass manufacturers, the capping machine suppliers and the packer/fillers. We were able to extend participation to the liner manufacturers, as they are obviously essential for ensuring leak-tightness and the required level of barrier to gas exchanges. The group met 13 times following its activation in July 2012, with 10 to 20 participants at each meeting. The setting up of the Cetie Extranet at the end of 2013 also facilitated the circulation of information, particularly for the persons registered in the group who were unable to travel to the meetings; the group thus comprises a total of some fifty members who were able to follow the progress of the work. As always, there is in practice a central core of direct contributors, followed by a larger number of persons who are active in the discussions and peer-reviewing, and finally an even larger group of persons who follow the process from a greater distance but nevertheless represent the different branches of the sector and can intervene if they consider it necessary. The aim is to produce a document based on the widest possible consensus and which is potentially useful to as many people as possible.
L & C: Will the publication of the revised Guide mean that the work of this group will draw to a close?
Definitely not. Bottling Guide No. 6
is specific to still wines. At the start of this work, there were lively discussions on the definition of "still", knowing that in practice there is a whole range of wines that naturally have a significant carbonation level without being qualified as sparkling, and that screw caps have already successfully used these markets. This utilisation does necessitate some specific precautions, and to avoid any potential problem it has been agreed to maintain the scope of application of this guide to carbonation levels of less than 1.2 g/l, which corresponds to a maximum partial pressure of CO2 of about 1 bar relative, compatible with the performance of standard BVS caps, bottles and cap application. The group will therefore continue by writing an additional guide detailing the additional precautions for the bottling of "non-still" wines in accordance with this same criterion. Subsequently, the revision of Cetie bottling Guide No. 2
"BVP finishes" would have to be updated with the same objectives. So all offers of help are still welcome!
* Jacques Granger is a packaging consultant (JG Packaging Consult) and Court-appointed Expert. After working for 22 years in process development for glass bottles at SGE, he continued his career for 24 years in the R&D and Technical Assistance Department for all types of caps (closures and capsules) and aerosols at Cebal which became PEA then Alcan then Amcor Flexibles Capsules. He has in particular been involved in the development of screw caps for wine since they were introduced. He still represents Amcor Flexibles Capsules in the activities of Cetie.
By N. Harris Cetie General Secretary