Home/FAQ/What is aseptic packaging?

What is Aseptic Packaging?

Aseptic packaging allows you to fill products that are shelf-stable without preservatives. Learn how aseptic packaging works and its advantages.

Aseptic filling is a processing technique that makes it possible to package items that are shelf stable without preservatives. Items that are packaged aseptically do not need to be refrigerated and can be safely consumed for up to twelve months.

The FDA has developed a set of standards for aseptic filling because it is used for so many products, particularly food and pharmaceuticals.

How Does Aseptic Filling Work?

Aseptic filling works by introducing a pre-sterilized product into a pre-sterilized container. Items are sterilized using ultra-high temperatures for a few seconds at a time.

By keeping all parts of the filling process sterile, harmful microorganisms are kept out of the final package and there’s no need for refrigeration. This is done in four steps:

The Aseptic Process for Flexible Packaging

  • One: The product to be packaged is sterilized, cooled, and put into a filling machine
  • Two: We send pre-sterilized packaging that is safe and ready for you to use
  • Three: External package surfaces are re-sterilized using our Vapor Sterilant Technology™
  • Four: The package enters a pre-sterilized environment and is filled and hermetically sealed

Some examples of items that are commonly packaged using aseptic technology are milk, coffee, and fruits and vegetables. Items retain their original flavor, color, and nutritional value while retaining their freshness.

Is Aseptic Flexible Packaging Sustainable?

Yes! From the initial filling process to preserving freshness, aseptic packaging proves to be sustainable on a number of fronts:

Source Reduction

Aseptic flexible packaging requires fewer raw materials than other packaging solutions. We take things a step further by utilizing flexible packaging like bag-in-box and pouches that are lightweight and protect items from oxygen and other contaminants. Since less materials are needed for packaging, so less waste ends up in landfills.

No Cold Storage

Because aseptic packaging is shelf stable, products don’t need to be refrigerated. Items can be shipped anywhere around the globe without cold storage. This both reduces the environmental impact of aseptic packaging and increases accessibility—aseptic packaging has given people access to necessary products regardless of where they’re located.

Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that people can obtain food and other vital resources safely. Aseptic packaging has made it possible for companies to reach their customers via ecommerce solutions.

Reduced Product Waste

The worst possible outcome is that an item gets to a consumer and it’s unusable. Aseptic filling ensures that items stay safe and fresh for up to twelve months, without refrigeration or preservatives. Distributors don’t have to worry as much about product turnover and buyers can safely know their products will stay fresh for longer.

What are the Advantages of Aseptic Filling?

Aseptic filling offers a safe, shelf-stable packaging solution that preserves the taste and nutritional value of what’s inside.

It’s different from hot-fill and retort processing because it doesn’t expose products to high temperatures for prolonged periods of time. Exposing something to high temperatures for a prolonged period deteriorates the quality of the product and negatively impacts its nutritional value.

Processing Effects on Product Quality

For years, aseptic packaging was limited to small containers and used primarily for dairy products. In 1970, we developed the technology that allowed for aseptic filling for bag-in-box and pouches. We’ve made it possible for a wide variety of items—and more of each item—to be packaged aseptically.

Our aseptic packaging technology has evolved over time and we’ve developed a total packaging solution designed to meet the demands of any industry. We provide our clients everything they need—from films to fitments to equipment, we can engineer an aseptic filling system tailored to keep your products safe.

ScholleIPN Simply Flexible

Your total flexible packaging solution from idea to execution.

LEARN MORE

Packaging for the circular economy

LEARN MORE
ScholleIPN Circular Economy Icon