Global Processing

Dutch company develops self-heating baby bottle

May 13, 2013
baby bottle
The bottle stores powdered baby formula and vitamins in one compartment and spring water in another, so that the formula can be prepared immediately before consumption.

An innovative self-heating package specifically designed for semi-liquid food like baby formula has been developed by Dutch company Aestech, Food Production Daily has reported.

The start-up firm, located in Eindhoven, has initially designed a bottle that stores powdered baby formula and vitamins in one compartment and spring water in another, so that the formula can be prepared immediately before consumption. The technology combines three different, comparatively new trends. On the one hand, there is the dispensing cap for controlled doses of vitamins. On the other hand, the bottle also has self-heating packaging and is designed to be as convenient as possible.

According to the manufacturer, self-heating technology has so far been used for heating coffee and tea in various types of beverage cans. However, the latest development of the technology allows the storage and self-heating of semi-solid and solid food. The new bottles will spare parents the inconvenience of carrying around boxes of baby formula, measurement spoons and a baby bottle, while looking for ways to warm the food up. Instead, they can now take advantage of the convenience of having baby formula prepared and kept in an optimal condition while they are on the go, Aestech said.

The secret of self-heating lies in an aluminum heating element, placed at the bottom of the chamber containing the spring water. It is put on small columns to make sure that water surrounds it from all sides and allows even distribution of heat for the entire amount of liquid. The fact that it is elevated and does not touch the sides of the bottle also ensures that the plastic would not be melted during the heating process, which can be started by pressing a button at the top of the bottle.

RELATED: Researchers develop method to elimnate bactera in food products

The heating element is filled with calcium oxide, which reacts with the water and turns into calcium hydroxide that generates heat. The water needed for the exothermal reaction runs through a tube from the activating button to the heating element. The button is protected from accidental activation by a cover seal. When pressed, the button ruptures the film seal between the two separate chambers holding the powdered baby food and the spring water, thus allowing the powder to drop into the compartment below. Meanwhile, by pushing the button, the water in the tube is pushed toward the heating element and the heat gets transferred to the mixture of powder and water.

Aestech explained that the technology is also energy saving because baby formula only needs to be heated to 37 degrees Celsius, whereas self-heating packaging for coffee, for instance, requires energy to heat the liquid to 62 degrees Celsius. The new technology takes about two minutes to heat the baby food to the required temperature, the company added.