2024 Jul: Enjoy special discounts when you order a FTL (22 pallets) of single or mixed SKUs!

The Finish Line: Exploring Matte, Gloss, Tactile, and Retort


The world of aluminum cans isn't just about shapes and sizes, it's also about the finish. The finish on a can affects not just its appearance but also its feel and, in some cases, its functionality.

We're diving into the world of Matte, Gloss, Tactile, and Retort – each bringing its own unique character to aluminum cans.

At a glance - Can you make it pop?

Aspect Matte Varnish Gloss Varnish Tactile
Characteristics The matte finish is known for its non-reflective, soft, and smooth texture. Gloss finishes are shiny and reflective, catching the eye easily. This adds a physical texture to the can's surface, such as a raised or embossed feel.
Application Ideal for brands looking for a sophisticated, understated look. Suitable for brands aiming to stand out on the shelf with a vibrant look. Used to enhance the consumer's handling experience or to convey brand elements through touch.
Consumer Appeal Offers a modern aesthetic and is often associated with premium products. The shiny surface can give products a lively and attractive appearance. Provides a unique sensory experience that can enhance brand recognition and consumer interaction.

There's no one-size-fits-all formula for making your cans "pop". You can mix and match matte and gloss finishes to create a one-of-a-kind brand experience. It's all about finding what suits your unique style and can design. Just like your brand, your cans should stand out in their own special way.

Wait... What's retort?

Retort is used for cans that undergo high-heat processing. It is applied to the interior of cans that are destined to undergo high-heat processing, such as in the case of canned foods that are sterilized through retort processing.

Retort processing involves cooking food in the can at high temperatures (usually above 116°C or 240°F) to kill harmful bacteria and other microorganisms, ensuring the safety and extending the shelf life of the canned product. The primary purpose of retort varnishes is functional rather than aesthetic. They are applied to the interior surfaces of cans to:

Protect the Food
They act as a barrier to prevent direct contact between the food and the metal, thus avoiding potential chemical reactions or contamination.

Endure High Temperatures
These varnishes are formulated to withstand the extreme temperatures of retort processing, which is essential for sterilizing the canned food.

Maintain Can Integrity
They help in preserving the can's structural integrity under the stress of high heat and pressure during the retort process.

And what's retort ink?

Retort ink is a specialized type of ink used for printing on packaging materials, including labels and cans, which will undergo the retort process.

This ink is specially formulated to endure the high temperatures and steam pressure of the retort process without smearing, fading, or transferring to the product. The durability of retort ink is essential for maintaining legibility and visual appeal of the packaging after the retort process. It's used for printing labels, logos, nutritional information, and other graphics or text.

What are the most common beverage that will need retort cans?

The most common beverages that require retort cans are those that need to be sterilized for safety and shelf stability. This typically includes:

Low-Acid Beverages
Beverages with low acidity, such as certain vegetable juices, are more susceptible to bacterial growth and thus often undergo retort processing to ensure safety and extend shelf life.

Dairy-Based Drinks
Some dairy-based beverages, like certain milk-based coffee drinks or protein shakes, may undergo retort processing to maintain freshness without refrigeration.

Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Teas and Coffees
These products, particularly those that contain milk or are low in acidity, often require sterilization to ensure safety and prolong shelf life.

Specialty Drinks
This includes certain energy drinks, nutritional shakes, or health drinks that might not have preservatives and thus need retort processing to stay shelf-stable.

Some Alcoholic Beverages
Certain craft beers or mixed alcoholic drinks that are canned might also undergo retort processing, particularly if they contain ingredients that are less acidic or more prone to spoilage.

Contact Us >Back to All Articles

Related Products

The Making of a Can