bottles-jars Hot Filling with Plastic Bottle

Hello! 
 
I'm hoping to gather more information on what people are doing in order to package hot sauce into LDPE or HDPE bottles. We've been using glass, but for looks and function, we're hoping to make the switch over to a plastic cylinder bottle. Our process authority has given us a lower limit temperature of 180F for bottling our sauce. The issue I'm running into is that all the packaging companies I've spoken to recommend a hot limit for HDPE of 179 or 180F. Bottling right at the limit seems ok, but in practice it is still to hot for the plastic and is causing the bottles to become misshapen. It also doesn't allow for any wiggle room. Has anyone else run into this issue? Is there a method of "hot packing" that isn't as hot?
 
I've noticed Secret Aardvark and Lucky Dog are in a similar bottle to what we would like to use - wondering if anyone knows how they do it? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
 
Six Acre Team!
 

salsalady

Business Member
:welcome: to THP!
 
LDHS and Aardvark use copackers.  I haven't spoken to them specifically about the packing process, but I would guess that the equipment used has much tighter tolerances and controls regarding temperature control and they can dispense the sauce at exactly 180F.  That's really tough to do with hand filling. 
 
Believe me, there are a LOT of us out there waiting for a plastic bottle with a 190F temp rating!!!
 
Good Luck with your venture, and let us know if you find something or maybe a copacker you can work with for plastic bottles. 
 
salsalady
 
Six_Acre_Sauce said:
Hello! 
 
I'm hoping to gather more information on what people are doing in order to package hot sauce into LDPE or HDPE bottles. We've been using glass, but for looks and function, we're hoping to make the switch over to a plastic cylinder bottle. Our process authority has given us a lower limit temperature of 180F for bottling our sauce. The issue I'm running into is that all the packaging companies I've spoken to recommend a hot limit for HDPE of 179 or 180F. Bottling right at the limit seems ok, but in practice it is still to hot for the plastic and is causing the bottles to become misshapen. It also doesn't allow for any wiggle room. Has anyone else run into this issue? Is there a method of "hot packing" that isn't as hot?
 
I've noticed Secret Aardvark and Lucky Dog are in a similar bottle to what we would like to use - wondering if anyone knows how they do it? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
 
Six Acre Team!
I've abandoned the plastic squeeze bottles.

Too many were "paneling" (sucking in due to the vacuum)

The way around that is to hot fill, invert, then use a water bath to cool the product so that the plastic cools and hardens. Note: it's not melting, it just gets softer when filled with 185 degree liquid.

Different states have different hot fill temperature regulations. Some folks with their own kitchens may be filling a little cooler than required or using the water bath technique.

Since I have a copacker, neither option was attractive. So I moved back to glass.

Good luck!
 
Ps - check around on that fill rating. HDPE has a higher temp limit than 180, though some "recommend" not exceeding 190. But it has a "hold temp" toleranceof 190, so you can run hot liquid through it at that temp and it won't melt or leech.

But as you said - they can become misshapen, because the plastic softens - combined with the vacuum = ugly bottles.

Save yourself the headache - stick with glass. ;)
 
salsalady said:
:welcome: to THP!
 
LDHS and Aardvark use copackers.  I haven't spoken to them specifically about the packing process, but I would guess that the equipment used has much tighter tolerances and controls regarding temperature control and they can dispense the sauce at exactly 180F.  That's really tough to do with hand filling. 
 
Believe me, there are a LOT of us out there waiting for a plastic bottle with a 190F temp rating!!!
 
Good Luck with your venture, and let us know if you find something or maybe a copacker you can work with for plastic bottles. 
 
salsalady
 
Exactly this! You've got to be dead on 180-181F for those bottles not to melt! Anything higher and that's all she wrote! Very tough doing it by hand!
 
We'll stick with glass ;/
 
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