As said in my previous article we continue our overview of dispensing caps today with the ViCap of Vicap Systems, the BioGaia or Lifetop Cap of Bericap, the Cedevita cap made by Teamplast, and the PowerCap of Liquid Health Labs.
To drink from the bottle, after the consumer has activated the cap to release the supplement into the liquid, most dispensing caps have to be removed from the bottle. There are only a few which feature a drinking spout.
At first glance, ViCap looks pretty much like a conventional sport bottle cap. But ViCap is much more than that. It can discharge 12.5 millilitres of liquid concentrate or 7 grams of powder to create a flavoured drink, a nutritional supplement or an energy booster.
In 2005 Renè Wilhelm started the development of ViCap when the idea to develop a functional sports cap came up as Aqua Nova launched a drink which contained Q12. The problem with this drink was its short shelf life due to vitamins and other sensitive ingredients losing effectiveness over time when mixed with water.
Renè Wilhelm conceptualized the idea to separate the active ingredients from the liquid until the time of consumption and thus the world’s first dispenser sports cap system was born and Vicapsystems Ltd in Lütisburg, Switzerland was founded.
The BioGaia or Lifetop Cap
Global manufacturer of plastic closures Bericap and Swedish biotechnology company BioGaia entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with the aim to promote probiotics for beverages packed in a plastic closure system under the name: Lifetop Cap.
Probiotics are extremely delicate and difficult to keep alive. As a result, most probiotic products today are dairy-based because probiotics tend to stay alive longer in a dairy environment. The problem with these products is that the probiotics will die off over time and it is difficult to determine how many probiotics the consumer actually gets down at the time of consumption. Therefore BioGaia decided to develop a system that dispenses the probiotic strains at time of drinking the beverage.
The dispensing cap, made from LDPE, consists of a plastic screw closure to be used on standard neck finishes (30/25, 38 mm), sealed inside the plastic closure sits a blister, made from full barrier aluminium laminate, containing the ingredients up to 200 µl in liquid form or 200 mg in powder, offering an unique solution against humidity, supporting a long shelf life of the sensitive ingredients.
A flexible dome, protected by a hinged overcap, should be used to press on the blister, to tear off the lower part of the blister and to deliver the ingredients into the liquid in the bottle.
Boston-based company Mass Probiotics was one of the first major customers using LifeTop for its “phd (probiotic health daily)” flavoured water. The Ready to Drink or Ready to Go – phd probiotic line of 16 oz (474 ml) enhanced flavoured water features the LifeTop push-button cap. Each flavour contains a total of 20 billion cfu of 6 different probiotic strains, or about 10 times the amount in most dairy-based probiotic products.
There is one problem with the LifeTop cap. It is designed for (very) small quantities or volumes of supplement.
The LifeTop Cap, initially developed and patented in one format by BioGaia, will be further developed by Bericap to cover all the needs of the beverage industry in term of sizes and functionalities and it will be industrialised by Bericap to be commercially available to Brand Owners.
The Cedevita cap
Cedevita is in Croatia a well-known quality brand for healthy vitamin drinks. For its product, Cedevita Go!, the company asked the Dutch designer Luc van den Broek and Dutch injection moulder Teamplast to develop a dispensing bottle cap. The result: with a simple, rotation of the dispensing cap 26 gr vitamin powder is dispensed into the liquid of the bottle, creating a fresh, healthy, on-the-go multi-vitamin drink.
The developed system transfers a rotating movement into a linear one. The movement is activated by a handle which is connected to an oval disc with at the bottom a sharp knife-like point pinching the seal foil when the handle is moved.
The dispensing cap features two pieces: the, with an aluminium foil sealed ‘vitamin chamber’, including the handle with the pinching knife and the bottle cap itself.
The system works as follows: A device which picks up the top of the handle when rotated is located inside the cap. Moving the handle anti-clockwise (opening the bottle) pushes the knife down. The beauty of the system is that activating the vitamin drink the consumer has only to exercise the common doings of opening a bottle, namely to turn the cap anti-clockwise to operate the ‘vitamin-system’ and to get access to the vitamin drink.
The PowerCap of Liquid Health Labs
PowerCap-Liquid Health Labs, in Manchester, NH/USA, offers three different styles of dosing caps under its PowerCap brand. The company claims a lot, as you will see here below, but doesn’t supply any technical information. Judging the workability of the dispensing caps is consequently not possible.
The company claims, that the PowerCap has distinct advantages over traditional hot-fill preparations of functional drinks. The PowerCap is said to have shown in a major university study that it is less energy intensive due to it supporting cold filling, and therefore, is a ‘greener’ technology and it can be utilized on lighter weight plastic bottles, further reducing the environmental impact. Additionally, the company claims, that the newly introduced PowerCap Universal fits on any traditional bottled water neck finish. This allows the consumer to conveniently transform standard bottled water into a functional beverage, and get multiple uses out of their water bottle throughout the day while still getting great-tasting functional drinks.
In addition to licensing its PowerCap solutions to beverage-makers, PowerCap-Liquid Health Labs developed its own products. Last Shot, a hangover protection drink, and Fresh Healthy Stuff…In the Cap!, a health and wellness drink, both use the PowerCap Universal push cap, which snaps onto 26.7 mm to 28 mm bottles. The twist PowerCap fits on 26.7 mm and 28 mm bottles, and the push PowerCap fits on 28-mm bottles. The caps have a 4cc chamber for storage of the supplement.
Marketed to be sold as a cap alone or in multi-packs, the Universal is claimed to fit onto most bottled waters in the world. The Universal line will be expanded to include larger sizes designed to fit on sports and fitness standard size bottles.
That’s it for today. Still 5 to go: the Yoli Blast Cap, the Mojo organics cap, the Karma cap of Karma Wellness Water, the Tap-The-Cap, and the Delo Cap from France. I know there are many more dispensing caps designed, developed, patented, but only a restricted number penetrate the market. I can write a book about all the developments in dispensing caps.
Segment market overview in a nutshell!
Anton- still looking forward to your review of my patented ASPIN tm CAP. The great advantages of my cap over others in the field include its ability to contain a high volume of stored contents and the ease of filling /sealing these contents into the cap.
Thanks again for your excellent coverage of cap technology.
Yes, you are right. Sorry. The Aspin is still on my list. I promise you to write about it somewhere this month. Thanks for the reminder.
it was a joy to read your articles on despensing caps. As i could see, the differences between the caps are very little. does that mean, that the system is basically the same but the companies have built little differences into their caps in order to not pay any patent-fees to others. What do you think?
Nima, nice to hear that you enjoyed reading my dispensing caps articles. Indeed basically they use an identical technique. Without doubt did the inventors look into each other’s patent details, not only to avoid claims but certainly also to improve the system, as any and all inventors have the impression that their design is the best and solves the presumed shortcomings of the competition. The technical difference is often minimal, it is either in the way they cut or remove the membrane or the way to are operated by the consumer (pushing, turning).
In the near future we will see more new developments in this area, as the dispensing cap will be (in my opinion) move from bottle cap to dispensing cap for other packaging formats (flexible pouches etc).
Anton, thank you for the quick response. Could you describe what you mean with flexible pouches? Like what kind of packaging or products do you have in mind that could be improved by a dispensing cap or pouche?
Read my blog. There are many articles in which I write about pouches. Particularly stand-up pouches have a functional possibility for dispensing caps. Any product (liquid) at this moment packed in a bottle with a dispensing cap, can be packaged in a stand-up pouch with a dispensing cap.
I’m currently working on dispensing cap technology and trying to make a kind of technical watch. I find your articles very interesting and If you have time I would be interested in discussing you. You can use my e-mail address to contact me.
Thanks in advance.
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Hi my name is Ronald Junior Vilbon and I’m really interested in a twist cap flavor for specific bottles and I need for information regard this product. And I was wondering if it was possible to custom make a twist cap according to my specifications.
Ronald, you have 2 possibilities. Either you go to my articles about dispensing caps and click the links of the companies, included in the article. Contact them and discuss your requirements. I doubt they are interested to start a new development as they have their own design, but you never know.
Or, if you are looking for a co-inventor, or company interested in your ideas, you send me more information in detail and I will see whether it’s interesting enough to write an article about it. But writing a special article, is not free of charge.
Anton, I’m blown away with your knowledge of the packaging industry, esp dispensing caps category. Have you come across dispensing caps that allow custom amount dispension of liquid/powder ? Rather than emptying the whole container, a consumer might decide to use just some of the flavour and discard the rest. It looks like all the caps dispense the whole amount stored. Is it correct?
Kamila thanks for your positive review of my blog. And no i~m not aware of any multi-chamber dispensing cap. They all dispense, as you say, the whole lot of powder or liquid. Not even in the dual-chamber pouches. There is always one chamber with the supplement and one with the liquid.