Over the years, coffee bags have evolved from simple paper structures, offering little to no protection from moisture, light and oxygen, to today’s high barrier films that are often comprised of three to four layers.
Founded in Milan in 1850, Goglio has ridden the wave of changing packaging materials to be recognised today as one of the leaders in flexible packaging, rigid plastic accessories and packaging machines that have combined both traditional concepts and refined solutions.
When Goglio came up with a one-way degassing valve in the 1960s, they couldn’t have foreseen that it would not only change the way coffee is packaged internationally, but that it would not be rapidly superseded. This often unnoticed component is a little plastic addition inserted into the inside top face of a packet of coffee, where the supplier is intent on providing the freshest possible product. There are more than 1 billion a year produced by Goglio for the global market. Through an evolutionary process, the product that was invented 50 years ago has greatly contributed to the growth of Goglio and continues to be an important component in the company’s line of coffee packaging materials.
Designed to release carbon dioxide gasses while eliminating the entry of any external atmosphere, the concept of the one-way degassing valve may be simple, but its creation, however, was far more complex. Firstly, the product needed to ensure that packaging remained airtight. Once coffee beans are roasted, essential oils travel to the surface of the bean, becoming sensitive to oxidisation. Secondly, the product had to provide an outlet to avoid over-pressure within the packaging. As roasting expands the size of the coffee bean, micro-cells continually release carbon dioxide and aromas become trapped within the packaging once it is sealed. If the valve wasn’t one way in its design or the bag was designed to permit atmosphere inside, the result would be the spoiling of the coffee’s natural aroma, oxidising of the natural oils and beans and stale or poor quality coffee. While both of these aspects may seem easy enough in isolation, tackling the combination of the two proved far more complex. Initially, when any product is packed, the inner and outer pressures are equal, but airtightness doesn’t allow carbon dioxide and aromas to escape from the bag, thus causing it to inflate and possibly burst. Before Goglio, many coffee packagers were forced to puncture a hole in the gusset, which allowed for the natural degassing of the coffee beans. The problem, though, that once complete, external contaminants were able to enter the bag, resulting in negative oxidising action and affecting the freshness of the beans. Thanks to Goglio now people can buy bags and be sure that all coffee properties are preserved. Developed and manufactured in Milan, the patented Goglio one-way degassing valve solved the problem by allowing natural gasses to pass through in one direction only – from inside the bag without any atmosphere entering. The degassing process causes pressure from within the package, thus causing the flexible rubber washer to deform, allowing the trapped natural gasses to escape. When the degassing phase is complete, the inner-outer pressure balance is re-established and the rubber washer returns to its original flat configuration, sealing the package. Goglio also manufactures valve appliers that can be installed on any packaging equipment. Once the valves are loaded into the machine, they are automatically positioned and heat-sealed on the inside laminate of the package. A manual alternative is also available for laboratories and low volume production of pre-made bags. This packaging innovation quickly developed international acclaim and was awarded the Italian Packaging Oscar and Eurostar in 1968 and the World Packaging Organisation ‘World Star’ in 1970.
Since its initial introduction, the one-way degassing valve has continued to evolve and several variants are now available, including the original outer valve, the inner valve, a thinner and smaller variant, and the revolutionary USS, high pressure, hi-flow valve. The Goglio valve is comprised of five components: a polyethylene cap, a rubber elastic disc, a silicone oil viscous layer, a polyethylene plate and a paper filter. These components are manufactured and assembled on high speed lines at Goglio’s machine division in Zeccone, Italy. In the same period that the one-way degassing valve came to life, Goglio gave rise to the Fres-co System® – a complete packaging solution to integrate a flexible, high-barrier container with a degassing valve, packaging machine, technology and technical assistance. This service represents the solution to the problem of packing, whereby the characteristics of the machine and the packaging is synergistically enhanced to the benefit of the presentation and preservation. The Fres-co System® was integrated to The Netherlands, Spain and the United States throughout the 1980s and now offers a wide-array of packaging solutions for various product types, including coffee, sterilised food, aseptically packaged foods and detergents. Alongside Goglio’s valves, the company branches into other service arms, including packaging and machines for a range of food and beverage products. In particular, Goglio continues to develop packaging solutions to ensure coffee aroma and fragrance is upheld in its whole state, ground, instant coffee and pods. Goglio’s range of coffee packaging includes the Double Wall bag, for wrinkle-free vacuum packs, the Conor “flexible can”, and the bag with four sealed edges. Goglio has taken a strong commitment towards innovation and respect of the environment, with full control of emissions created during the production process and reuse of materials, meaning a sophisticated solvent recovery system. Evidence of their commitment to sustainability, in addition to winning the 2011 Italian Packaging Oscar, Goglio won the World Star Awards 2011/2012 for the EcoTruck. Representing the Fres-co System® concept, proposed by Goglio, the 4-litre stand-up pouch is a car-additive that reduces toxic emission from truck engines. It’s made out of high barrier multilayer laminates and thanks to its light weight, the new EcoTruck is considered Goglio’s “environmental best friend”, because of its easy disposal. It has as a flexible spout with opening tear notch, practical handle for safety, handiness and cleanness. Goglio is now operational across the world in the US, Europe and Asia through its manufacturing facilities and sales and services offices. With a significant presence in Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Poland, the US, Brazil, China and Japan, the future is promising for this universal packaging company, with the expectation that Goglio concepts and solutions will withstand at least another 50 years in the industry.