Krones to unveil new aseptic sterilisation process
process for the aseptic filling of sensitive beverages.
One of the advantages of using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) combined with dry sterilisation is the significantly reduced use of water. As the bottles and closures sterilised with this method need not be rinsed with sterile water, effluent levels are also lowered. The "new concept" is designed for fruit-juice filling, the company said. Aseptic filling requires separate sterilisation of the product, bottles or cartons, and their closures. The sterilised product is then packaged in a sealed-off sterile environment and the container sealed under aseptic conditions. It has become an increasingly popular method for extending the shelf life of existing product, allowing companies to consolidate operations and extend their distribution chain. Hydrogen peroxide can be used for sterilising packaging material in a liquid form, or more commonly, by condensing vaporous H2O2 on containers or closures. In the second method high temperatures are required and for a heat-sensitive packaging material like PET, this can quickly lead to bottle shrinkage, according to Krones. The company said it chose a third method, dry sterilisation, as a means of using hot air with a hydrogen peroxide content. The bottles are pre-warmed to the treatment temperature of 50C to 60C, and then sterilised internally using hot air containing hydrogen peroxide while avoiding any condensation. "This process featuring vaporous sterilisation without condensation has long since proved its worth, for example for sterilising cleanrooms and isolators in the pharmaceutical industry," the company said. Krones said it plans to showcase the new process at the the five-day Intervitis Interfructa show, which begins in Stuttgart on 22 March. In related news Krones' subsidiary Kosme will also be presenting three different labellers at the show. The Compact Adhesive machine is able to apply a maximum of three pressure-sensitive labels to a container, and can be used for production outputs of up to 2,500 containers an hour, the company claimed. The Extra Fix is a multi-combinable cold-glue labeller, achieving speeds of up to 9,000 containers an hour, the company claimed. Meanwhile the Star series is available in four different basic models, designed for production speeds of between 10,000 and 21,000 containers an hour, the company claimed.