It all started in the 1940s, with the search for a better way to package milk.
Something that could protect what was inside—and the people who drank it—by keeping it safe and stable, even when refrigeration wasn’t available. Something efficient, with a minimized impact on the environment.
“Doing something that nobody else had done before is actually quite hard.”
What we set out to do had never been done, and it took a decade of development to create the first paper-based package that could do what we had in mind. Even the way we planned to fill it (and keep it safe, healthy, and free of bacteria in the process) presented a puzzle that eventually became one of our hallmarks.
Our aseptic cartons were considered one of the most important food innovations of the 20th century.
It was an enormous challenge. But it’s how we created the first Tetra Pak carton package, the distinctive tetrahedron-shaped packaging that inspired our name with its simple, efficient design.
For over half a century, we’ve been creating carton packaging that can safely and sustainably hold liquid food—including milk, of course—to meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people every day.
Today, we’re able to get food to people everywhere, protecting them by protecting what’s inside, with only minimal impact on our environment.
At Tetra Pak, we protect what’s good.
We still abide by our founding philosophy, the idea that packaging should save more—food and resources—than it costs. It's a way of thought that matters even more today than when we started
out—and one which will matter even more tomorrow.
All over the world, people are hard at work in small ways on the things that matter to all of us most, from the environment around us to the food that fuels us.
They’re changing how we raise, consume, and think about food, how we care for ourselves and our resources, and they’re sharing the kind of ideas that will change our future for the better.
They’re doing it at the grassroots, quietly and without fanfare.
We’re sharing their stories.
At Groundwork, we’re giving them the attention they deserve: yours. We’re sharing their stories so you can, too.
It’s just one small way you can make an impact. Because when it comes to innovation, inspiration, and changing the world, sometimes one good idea, shared, is all it takes.
Spread the word.
Know someone who’s doing their part to change our world from the ground up?
When Dr. Ruben Rausing invented a new way to package milk, he probably didn’t realize he’d just changed the world.
It didn’t take long to figure out that these cartons were perfect for packaging more than milk. Today, airtight, shelf-stable Tetra Pak® cartons are used around the world to keep juice, water, soup, olive oil, nutritional shakes, vegetables, and more safe and sound.
Tetra Pak cartons use multiple layers of materials to ensure nothing gets in or out of the package. The cartons are made mostly of paperboard, with thin layers of plastic and aluminum working together to keep light, oxygen, and bacteria out, meaning no contamination and no preservatives needed. Ever.
By protecting the integrity of the product, the carton preserves both the taste of the food and all the essential nutrients stored inside.
In fact, Tetra Pak cartons have a better package-to-product ratio than an egg. By using just the right amount of material, Tetra Pak can ensure maximum product protection while using minimal resources.
Protecting our environment, our food sources, and our natural resources is an essential part of preserving our shared future. That’s why Tetra Pak is committed to using renewable materials—natural resources that replenish over time—and meeting environmentally friendly manufacturing standards.
100% of the paperboard in Tetra Pak cartons is Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certified, meaning all of it can be traced back to responsibly managed forests.
And after they’ve been recycled, the cartons can be turned into tissue, paper products, and green building materials.
Lab, meet kitchen. Kitchen, meet lab.
For foodies following cuisine’s cutting edge, molecular gastronomy isn’t anything new. Defined as the study of culinary phenomena—like why soufflés rise in the oven, or why Hollandaise curdles with too much heat—molecular gastronomy is nearly 30 years old.
The basic idea is to determine what happens when food cooks, how its physical and chemical properties change, how different methods modify its taste, smell, and texture, and then use these findings to create novel formats, processes, and dishes.
challenges the traditional
ideas we have about
cooking and eating.
This collaboration between scientists and chefs has not only helped drive avant-garde cuisine, but has also opened up fresh ways of studying something many of us take for granted: a good meal.
From molecular gastronomy to “note-by-note”
Heralded as the father of molecular gastronomy, Hervé This (pronounced “Tees”) is an internationally renowned French chemist, a longtime collaborator with famed French chef Pierre Gagnaire, and the first to hold a Ph.D. in the field he pioneered.
With a passion for cooking and a lifelong love of science (he got his first chemistry set at age 6), it seems like Dr. This was born to disrupt the dining room. For over 30 years he’s been at the forefront of changing the way we cook—unboiling eggs, turning apples into foam, and investigating the complexities around the perception of taste—and is now focused on what he claims to be the future of food itself.
“There’s nothing new
in the kitchen—except
He calls his latest culinary innovation note-by-note (or NbN) cooking, a concept that involves assembling molecular compounds to create specific sensory experiences. And he believes it could revolutionize the way that we eat, move, and provide nourishment to those in need.
All foods are composed of compounds that help make up flavors, textures, and smells. See what compounds make up a strawberry’s color, aroma, and sweetness.
Source: Chemical and Engineering News
This compares the technique to an orchestra, where individual food compounds are like single instruments; when they’re isolated, they’re simpler and easier to comprehend.
But when you put three or four particular instruments or ingredients together, the result is a more complex experience. That’s why This calls this art of handpicking compounds to create a certain taste, texture, and mouthfeel note-by-note cooking.
He calculates that there are almost 1,500 distinct types of “simple” gels that could be used in note-by-note cooking. By experimenting with the consistencies of these gels and adding in different compounds for flavor, texture, and mouthfeel, chefs could go beyond just re-creating foods to creating wholly new edible experiences.
A solution to the global food crisis?
According to This, we’re currently struggling to feed 1/7 of the world’s population, and the single greatest cause of food insecurity is transportation—specifically when it comes to “wet” produce.
By separating a food’s flavors and moist nutrients into dry powders, gels, and liquid forms, foods become easier to transport over increasing distances. (Think a bottle of vanilla extract, but instead of vanilla, it’s peachy hexyl acetate.)
A good amount of produce shipped by farmers is subject to spoilage during transit, because the weight of fresh produce is largely water. By employing note-by-note principles, farmers could sell the extractable parts of fruits and vegetables, cutting down on both shipping and energy costs.
Do try this at home. Eventually.
You don’t need a lab to try note-by-note; if you’ve got a stove and a microwave, you’re all set. But the knowhow and the compounds required to make these dishes aren’t quite so available…yet.
“Take mowing your lawn, for example,” This said. “Imagine, instead of throwing out your cut grass, you [could] extract the sugars and other nutrients such as amino acids from it. These are more nutrients you can incorporate into note-by-note foods.”
Of course, This knows his vision won’t become a reality overnight. What he’s proposing is a radical shift from what people are used to seeing on the menu.
But with time, he believes that molecular gastronomy and note-by-note cooking could help feed the world.