Dr. Lee's Teaforhealth® Launches Health-Oriented, Organic Tea Line in Amcor's Powerflex(TM) PET Bottle
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Amcor PET Packaging
10521 S. Highway M-52
Manchester, MI, 48158
Press release date: June 27, 2006
Trumbull, CT - (June 27, 2006) - Dr. Lee's TeaForHealth® has selected 16-ounce, PowerFlex(TM) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from Amcor PET Packaging to launch a new organic tea line which touts health benefits.
Founder and cancer pathologist, Dr. Sin Hang Lee explains, "Most tea marketers do not use EGCG [epigallocatechin gallate] as a standard when referring to health benefits. They refer to flavonoids and antioxidants, however, those are not chemical specifications." [EGCG is considered the most powerful antioxidant in the catechin family.]
He points out that the National Cancer Institute's recommended level of cancer fighting tea antioxidants is at least 710 micrograms per ml of EGCG-which is the amount contained in each of TeaForHealth®'s four green tea varieties-Natural (unsweetened), Lemon, Honey and Diet. Dr. Lee says that the company has received permission from The Food & Drug Administration to use a health claim on its label, making it the first tea to do so.
"This level of EGCG is 34 and 56 times higher than the levels found in two of the most popular tea lines. As a result, our green tea has 3400 to 5600 percent more antioxidants than most other commercially available alternatives," Dr. Lee says.
In order to achieve these results, the process starts with the selection of the right tea leaves coupled with an anaerobic production process. "We need to minimize oxidation as much as possible. We worked with our contract packer to modify the production process so that the brewed tea is subjected to as little air as possible to minimize the oxidation rate," he explains.
But before Dr. Lee's TeaForHealth® could be commercialized, Dr. Lee had to find the right bottle.
"We wanted a bottle that could be transported easily and wouldn't break, so that led us to explore a plastic alternative. Because EGCG is oxygen-sensitive, we needed a bottle that would give us the necessary barrier levels," Dr. Lee says.
Initially, he looked at ribbed bottles, but quickly discovered that there were labeling challenges. His search ultimately led him to PowerFlex(TM).
Dr. Lee selected one of two stock PowerFlex(TM) bottles-a 16-ounce, long-neck design with a 38mm finish. (The other stock option is a dome-shouldered bottle.) This allowed the company to launch quickly without incurring any additional tooling costs. Optional customization features, such as embossed logos or patterns, can be added in the future, if Dr. Lee chooses.
Amcor's PowerFlex(TM) bottle features a revolutionary patented panel-less design which takes hot-fill (185° degrees Fahrenheit) bottle options to a new level. Amcor's structural design not only eliminates the panels, but unlike recently launched competitive containers, PowerFlex(TM) has a large, completely smooth label panel - free of any kind of ribbing.
PowerFlex(TM) features a vacuum absorbing base. Previously, sidewall panels were necessary to absorb the distortion that occurs as a hot-filled beverage cools to room temperature. (After the bottle is capped, the filled liquid cools, which, in turn, pulls an internal vacuum that must be dissipated structurally.)
"Bottles with panels create constraints that dramatically limit design options and therefore a brand owner's ability to use the container to creatively market the product," explains David Andison, vice president, business strategies, Amcor PET Packaging.
Up until now, many beverage bottlers did not have a PET alternative that met both their hot-fill and their aesthetic requirements, thereby forcing their premium brands (juices, teas, isotonics, etc.) to stay the course in glass containers. However, the launch of PowerFlex(TM) permanently changes the playing field.
Amcor's technical staff, through a combination of design and manufacturing innovations, has created a patented bottle that absorbs vacuum via a specially designed base. A unique diaphragm within the base draws upward as the liquid cools. It has the geometric characteristics to enable the inverted cone shaped diaphragm to deflect upward as the vacuum is created.
"Because you no longer have panels in the sidewall, this makes the bottle easier to label. You don't have to worry about mislabeling-missing the vertical bars in applying labels. Nor do you have to worry about the ripple effect labeling over panels can cause," Andison explains.
Additionally, the geometry of the straight wall design gives PowerFlex(TM) great top load characteristics. The straight wall has no points of stress concentration which removes the potential of bending.
The bottle is being filled by Castle Copackers, New Kensington, PA who has worked with Dr. Lee to develop a proprietary filling system that minimizes the tea's exposure to oxygen. "We wanted to do as much as possible to preserve the active ingredients and exclude oxygen from the bottled product," Dr. Lee says.
In addition to providing health benefits, Dr. Lee also hopes that the tea will inspire more people to adopt a different way of enjoying the beverage.
"Here in the States, the majority of the population is part of the 'coffee culture.' You drink coffee on the run. In Asian cultures, drinking tea ties into the Taoist philosophy of using the ritual to forget about things. The gratification of the tea is not on the taste buds; it is mental. But one has to learn that culture," Dr. Lee explains.
He recommends drinking at least two bottles of the tea per day to gain maximum health benefit. Dr. Lee also acknowledges that drinking the unsweetened Green Tea variety is an acquired taste to the Western palate. And appealing to U.S. taste buds was one of the reasons behind the introduction of three additional flavors (honey, lemon and diet).
Dr. Lee also points to a recent review article published by the Yale School of Medicine which refers to green tea and the "Asian Paradox." The article notes a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer in Asia where people smoke heavily. Current theory is that a high consumption of tea, particularly green tea, is positively impacting health.
Dr. Lee's TeaForHealth® is currently available in limited distribution on the East Coast. Initial response has been positive and Dr. Lee is expecting wider distribution in the near future.
Born in Hong Kong, Sin Hang Lee, M.D., a practicing pathologist in New Haven, Connecticut, graduated from Wuhan Medical College, China, in 1956 and is qualified to practice medicine in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. He is certified as a medical specialist in pathology by the American Board of Pathology and by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He founded Dr. Lee's TeaForHealth® in 2004, as a way to bring high potency green teas to the U.S. market. For more information: www.teaforhealth.com.
Amcor PET Packaging is the leading manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging for the global food and beverage industries, with 70 manufacturing sites in 20 countries. Its parent company, Amcor Limited, offers a broad range of packaging solutions and ranks as one of the top three packaging companies in the world. Amcor's extensive operations have grown in 2005 to include 240 plants in 39 countries. It is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, had sales revenues of US$8.5 billion. For further information, visit www.amcor.com and amcor-powerflex.com
Ruth Ann Church Marketing Director Amcor PET Packaging 935 Technology Drive, Suite 100 Ann Arbor, MI 48108-8919 Phone: (734) 302-2272 Fax: (734) 302-2810 Email: email@example.com
Dr. Sin Hang Lee Founder TeaForHealth 160 Hawley Lane, Suite 205 Trumbull, CT 06611 Phone: (203) 385-3836 Fax: (203) 385-3832 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia Dilberakis SD Communications (312) 787-5800 email@example.com