Aseptic technology keeps food safe and flavourful for at least six months — without refrigeration or preservatives. It allows food to retain more colour, texture, taste and nutrition. Our aseptic packaging offers a variety of package shapes, consumer convenience and economies in energy and packaging materials.
Our aseptic process ensures that both food and packaging materials are free of harmful bacteria when food is packaged. Everything in the production chain must be commercially sterile. That includes food and packaging materials, all machinery and the environment in which the packaging takes place.
An aseptic package has been sterilised prior to filling with UHT (Ultra High Temperature) treated food, resulting in a product which is shelf stable for over 6 months.
Our aseptic packaging method passes flat, unformed packaging material through a heated hydrogen peroxide bath. A hydrogen peroxide concentration of 30% is heated at 70°C for six seconds. Hydrogen peroxide is then eliminated from the packaging material using pressure rollers or hot air.
The environment where food is handled and sealed must also be free of potentially contaminating bacteria. That means filling and sealing machinery must be sterile before packaging and during the production process. This can be achieved using hot air and steam or by combining heat treatment with hydrogen peroxide chemical sterilisation.
Commercially sterile food needs to be heated to a prescribed temperature for a prescribed time period. The specific temperatures and times depend on the food involved. Low-acid, liquid food products such as milk are more prone to microorganisms and pathogenic bacteria than high-acid products such as fruit juices.
UHT, or Ultra High Temperature treatment takes place in optimized heat exchangers before packaging. This process minimizes heat penetration problems and allows very short heating and cooling times, at the same time minimizing unwanted changes in the taste and nutritional properties of the product.
Even before Louis Pasteur proved over a century ago that microorganisms caused fermentation and disease, Nicolas Appert, a Parisian confectioner, first succeeded in preserving certain foods in glass bottles that had been kept in boiling water for varying lengths of time. This happened in the first decade of the 1800’s and by 1839, tin-coated steel containers were widely in use. Thus began the birth of high heat treatment and canning as a means of preserving food.
Today, a combination of continuous heat-treatment and aseptic packaging produces high quality food in a cost-effective way.
Retorting is an in-container sterilisation process where both the package and its food contents are exposed to high pressure, high temperature in a humid environment for a longer period of time. The time and temperature exposure is dependent on which food product is being sterilized and will vary also between different producers with the same type of food product.
Retorting is a tough process for any package type and has traditionally mainly been used with metal cans and glass jars. With Tetra Recart® it is now possible to have a carton based package managing the tough retort process. The major challenge when developing Tetra Recart was to find a packaging material structure that would be able to withstand the conditions inside a retort and manage a shelf-life up to two years. Each layer in the package has its own specific purpose and together they keep the food inside the package safe.