Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Bury has created lids for capsules used in a new tea machine from Unilever.
Made out of alufoil, the perforated lids are available in different sizes for different tea blends as the machine is capable of sensing the different lid sizes and adapt its settings accordingly.
The perforations on the lids are punctured using the machine's prongs, allowing water to be injected through one side and forcing the tea leaves out of the other side into the brewing chamber to infuse.
The tea and infusion flavors can be differentiated by individual colored lids.
Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Bury managing director John Chadwick said: "We needed to create lids of the highest quality which were easily perforable by the machine, yet robust enough to protect the integrity of the capsule, including the aroma and freshness of the product inside. We also had to manufacture the lids to a very tightly controlled tolerance, as the exact position of the perforations determines the functionality of the machine and the brewing process.
"We also had to produce five different colours of material that could be totally immersed during the brewing process and be guaranteed safe for human consumption. To ensure this, our materials underwent a rigorous external testing and certification process at the Intertek chemical testing laboratory, in The Netherlands."
Unilever's new T.O by Lipton tea machine uses loose tea-leaf capsules which release tea into a visible brewing orb in order to create the optimum brew, with different water temperatures and brewing times that are tailored to its individual tea variants.
The tea and infusions are available in 33 specially blended varieties including Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Ceylon, Red Africa Rooibos, Luscious Lemon Verbena and Havana Lime.