Aseptic filling and packaging mean to carry out production in an aseptic environment. The process involves using chemicals and air to sterilize the packaging container. And fill containers under aseptic conditions to ensure the safety of the beverage.
According to my research, I found that aseptic packaging began in the 1960s.
But, its development was slow because of the limited technology and other reasons.
Until the 1990s, the aseptic packaging has made improvement and perfection. By then, the aseptic entered a period of rapid development.
The aseptic filling has strict requirements for the filling and packaging process. So it needs to proceed under the application characteristics and specific requirements.
You may think that this is a very complicated process. What exactly are aseptic filling and the difference between it and ordinary filling.
Do not worry, and I will lead you to unravel the answers to your questions step by step.
How to apply aseptic filling and packaging in the production of beverages
The aseptic filling equipment uses a piping system for liquid beverages. For specific process requirements, it is necessary to master its handling process.
If you pay a little attention, you will find a wide range of low-acid foods on the market. Their pH is higher than 4.6. Thus it provides the ideal environment growing disease-causing microorganisms.
If not handled or packaged on time, it can lead to bacterial growth and even spoilage. Thus, the use of aseptic filling can maximize the shelf life of beverage products. They can include milk and other dairy products, juice drinks and carbonated beverages. Etc. After reasonable filling treatment can enhance their shelf life.
For more information about the aseptic filling machine, please click here.
How much economic benefit can aseptic filling bring to your production?
Simply put, aseptic filling maximizes the life span of beverages. Besides, it has lower production costs, ensures beverage health and has outstanding benefits.
The following is a general analysis of the production benefits it brings.
The first benefit, of course, is the ability to extend the shelf life of the product greatly.
Aseptic filling is currently the ideal filling process. It can avoid airborne microorganisms from entering the package. Including bacteria, mould and yeast etc. They were then avoiding chemical reactions.
If you pay attention, you will find that the drinks at home expire soon, even if you keep them in the refrigerator. Most beverages have a short shelf life, and you have to consume them within a short time. The use of aseptic filling can have a significant sterilizing effect. It will prevent microorganisms from entering the package. Also, maintain the original flavour of the product.
In the food analysis stage, the use of aseptic filling can extend the product’s shelf life. Whether highly acidic, acidic or low acidic. Especially for a beverage with high preservation cycle requirements. So, the aseptic filling has a broad application prospect.
The second benefit is the low cost of production.
The aseptic filling uses room temperature filling. Comparing to other hot filling methods, it can save you energy consumption effectively. And for the packaging material, such as PET bottles, the wall thickness need is lower. This reducing the bottle weight and directly reduces your raw material costs.
Can guarantee the health of the consumer.
You know the end user is who determines the reputation of your product.
So making sure they are safe to drink is the key to your brand winning the market.
In recent years, food safety accidents have occurred frequently. Moreover, aseptic filling and packaging can play a significant protective role.
The aseptic filling will carry out production materials in a sterile environment. It dramatically reduces the chance of infection.
By adjusting air filtration equipment, we can avoid microorganisms entering into the beverage. Thus achieving the effect of aseptic packaging, also protecting food hygiene and safety.
Another benefit is the ability to increase the shelf life of the beverage.
The most crucial advantage is to ensure the quality of beverage products. The instant high-temperature sterilization method can meet the packaging requirements.
Also, by using hot filling and sterilization as the basis, we can reduce the impact on product and colour. Avoiding loss of nutritional factors and improving product quality.
Now that we know that aseptic filling has so many benefits, let's learn more about what aseptic filling is.
The aseptic filling includes sterilization of package, material, medium, and environment.
The sterilization of package materials includes:
- empty bottles & caps,
- liquid pipelines,
- air pipelines,
- empty bottle transfer tracks,
- and clamps.
Usually use Peroxyacetic acid (PPA) with a concentration of 1500-2200 ppm for sterilization.
To dilute concentrate, you should follow the instructions for using the disinfectant solution.
Ensure the detergent’s concentration and temperature is within the range of the process. Not only after dilution but also in production.
The equipment has its own SIP, CIP function. Sterilization intensity needs to be greater than 5Log.
It is crucial to fill aseptic nitrogen gas to the tank. Which can provide constant pressure protection.
Not Aseptic material UHT, but also tank and material feed tube, they all use pure steam for SIP. Sterilization intensity should be greater than 5Log.
The sterile medium means sterile gas. Including clean instrument gas, sterile compressed air, pure compressed nitrogen.
Clean instrument gas is used for below systems:
- precision instruments,
- pneumatic regulators,
- manual or automatic COP, SOP work stations,
- sterile water UHT,
- superheated water tank backpressure, etc.
Aseptic compressed air is used for below equipment:
- cap sterilization machine to wash caps,
- bottle washing machine to flush bottles,
- aseptic isolation system spray fumigation,
- empty cap sampling inside the filling machine
- aseptic buffer filling in the CIP process backpressure.
Aseptic nitrogen is used for the backpressure of the material buffer tank。
The SIP system sterilizes the material UHT, aseptic buffer tank and pipeline automatically.
The sterility of the environment includes the COP/SOP system：
COP/SOP is to clean (COP) and sanitize (SOP) of the equipment surfaces with diluted detergent.
The steps and cleaning time must be under the process requirements.
The foam cleaning includes manual and automatic cleaning.
First, add the foam solution to the high-pressure water in the right ratio. The solution mix with compressed air in the mixer to make it foam. Spray the foam cleaning solution on the surface of the equipment by a particular device.
After soaking for about 10-15min, and then wash the surface with high-pressure water. Then the dirt can be removed.
For the specific requirements of aseptic filling, must to understand the detail fully.
Product quality and packaging are intrinsically linked. It needs to change the management concept and do a good job of equipment transformation.
- To know more about “Aseptic Manufacturing and Sterile Fill-Finish for Complex Drug Products”, please click here.
- To know more for “Aseptic Fill/Finish Manufacturing”, please click here.
- To know more about “Aseptic Processing and Packaging for the Food Industry”, please click here.
- To know more about all kinds of filling machine, please click here.