Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aseptic Packaging

Aseptic Packaging
The first invention was likely a device for carrying food. Hunters and gatherers needed to lighten the burden of bringing food back to a central camp.

These early camps were undoubtedly located near water, because the means of transporting liquid was still long way off.

As population grew and were forced to move father away from a secure source of water, the need to carry liquids became urgent. Skins and shells, followed by pottery and ceramics and then glass, metals and plastics, became the materials needed for storing, preserving and transporting liquids.

In 1989 the Institute of Food Technologist an organization of food scientists devoted to improving the production and distribution of food, selected aseptic packaging as “the most significant food science innovation in the past fifty years”.

Most consumers do not recognize the term “aseptic packaging,” but they instantly recognize this packaging concept as the familiar “juice box.”

This revolutionary packaging system first appeared in US supermarkets in the 1970s. Aseptic packaging is defined as “the filling of a commercially sterile product into sterile containers under aseptic conditions and sealing of the containers so that the reinjection is prevented”.

Aseptic packaging is more than just as container; it is a system that allows food manufacturer to fill a sanitized package with a sterile food product in a hygienic environment.

The word “aseptic” means that unwanted organisms have been eliminated from the packing system.

Ruben Rausing in Sweden reportedly conceived the concept for holding milk in a container made form a paperboard composite.

The original package had a tetrahedral shape and was called a Tetra Pak.

This new technology was married to aseptic technology, and a new industry was born. The box-shaped package that is so widely available is a laminate of six layers of three materials: paperboard 70% polyethylene 24%, and aluminum 6 %.

Each layer of material serves a specific purpose. The single layer of paperboard provides mechanical rigidity.

The aluminum foil layer acts as a gas and light barrier.

The outer polyethylene layer protect the ink layer and enables the package flaps to be sealed.

Two inner layers of polyethylene provide a liquid barrier and another layer binds the aluminum to the paperboard.

When it is sealed, the container can preserved milk, soy beverages, juice, soup, sauce, wine, tea and many other products for months without refrigeration or artificial preservatives.

Aseptic processing is not limited to retail food items. Aseptic bulk storage and transportation systems that can hold up to 1 million gallons of products such as orange juice have been designed.

These large commercial systems allowed food manufacturers to harvest fruit and vegetables at optimum growing periods, partially process the food, and store it for final processing at a later time.

Innovations in plastic technology and plasma discharge silica coating technology offer the promise that more foods will be packaged in efficient septic packages during the twenty first century.
Aseptic Packaging
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