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What Makes Aseptic Different from Hot-fill and Retort Processing?

Aseptic processing and packaging is the filling of commercially-sterilized products into pre-sterilized containers. 

The Aseptic Process for Flexible Packaging

  1. After you process, commercially sterilize, and cool your product, it’s ready to deliver to the filler.
  2. We pre-sterilize incoming flexible packaging, so when it arrives at your location, it’s safe and ready for aseptic filling.
  3. The external surfaces of the cap and spout are then re-sterilized with our patented Vapor Sterilant Technology™ (VST).
  4. Your flexible package then enters a pre-sterilized, enclosed atmosphere that is free of microorganisms, where the cap is removed to begin the filling process. Filling takes place through the spout. The cap is then hermetically sealed onto the spout, creating a contained sterile package for your aseptic product.

Hot-Fill Processing

Hot-fill takes place when you fill heated, commercially-sterile product in non-sterile packaging. The product is held for a predetermined time and temperature in order to sterilize the packaging prior to the filling process. The longer hold time at high temperatures reduces quality of the product. Only high-acid products can be hot-filled and held at ambient temperatures without refrigeration.

Retort Processing

Retort takes place when you fill non-sterile product in hermetically-sealed, non-sterile packaging. The packaging is loaded into a retort pressure vessel and subjected to pressurized steam.  The product is also exposed to high temperatures for a much longer period than in hot-filling. The additional time can significantly deteriorate the overall quality and nutritional content of the product.

Aseptic Processing

Aseptic is a desirable alternative to hot-fill or retort processing because it doesn’t expose products to extended periods of high thermal temperatures, which can lead to vitamin, color, taste, and texture degradation. The aseptic process ultimately ensures a better quality product that can still maintain shelf-stable distribution.

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