The filling of sensitive products is like a precise balancing act. On the one hand, absolute safety for consumers must be ensured. On the other hand, many products react sensitively when preservatives are added or they are subjected to high thermal exposure. Aseptic filling manages precisely this balancing act, but only with the right know-how and proven technology.
Basically, aseptic filling refers to the packaging of food under sterile conditions. The process consists of sterilization of the product, sterilization of the packaging and filling under sterile conditions.
What are the advantages of aseptic filling?
Customers are increasingly paying attention to whether artificial preservatives or other additives are present in products. The trend is moving more and more in the direction of natural products. This form of filling means that no further additives are needed to offer a completely germ-free product.
Sterilization is not enough
The term "asepsis" refers to a state of absolute sterility. The term "sterilization" simply means that no germs capable of reproduction are present. In aseptic filling, both terms have a decisive role. In the first step, the product to be packaged is sterilized. This is done either by thermal exposure over a certain period of time or by supplying sterile steam. The packaging is also sterilized. This usually happens during filling or during the packaging process.
The big problem here, however, is that the product has numerous opportunities to become contaminated with germs. Therefore, it is necessary that the environment is aseptic so that the product remains sterile. The environment is kept aseptic by appropriate sterilization equipment. Accordingly, the terms "aseptic" and "sterilization" cannot be clearly distinguished from each other, as there is an interplay between the two properties.
Where is aseptic filling used for?
Whether fresh milk, yogurt, or fruit juices - the market for beverages that have to be filled aseptically continues to grow. Manufacturers must therefore pay even more consistent attention to hygienically perfect conditions.
It is not only the beverage industry that has to work under aseptic conditions. The pharmaceutical industry also has strict requirements when filling medications or other sterile products. Depending on whether food or medical products are being filled, there are different guidelines that must be followed. It is critical for filling operations to consistently adhere to these guidelines. The products to be packaged must be sterile and also processed under conditions that are always sterile.
Translation. Image: Manfred Schindler / Pixabay.