PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, Fall 2016

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40 NEW TECHNOLOGY // FALL 2016 www.PackagingDigest.com Unique aseptic packaging developments surface The Institute of Food Technologists show in July proved fruitful, YIELDING BREAKTHROUGH DEVELOPMENTS, METHODS AND OPTIONS related to aseptic packaging. Rick Lingle, Technical Editor Several weeks prior to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, there were several f rsts recorded during IFT16, the annual tradeshow of the Institute of Food Technologists. T ere, in Chicago's McCormick Place, packaging was to be found scattered among the hundreds of ingredients-laden booths. Not just packaging, but truly innovative packaging centering on a common theme that connected several booths: aseptic packaging. Examples stretched across the production, development and container branches of packaging, including the f rst aseptic laboratory f llers in the world for research and development, introduced at the show by MicroT ermics (www. microthermics.com). T e f llers are available in two models, the X250 and X500, for 250 and 500 bottles per hour respectively; both can f ll high-acid products into 250milliliter or 500ml bottles and off er options such as semi-automatic or automated capping. "T ese f ll a huge gap between benchtop and production," says vp David Miles. "It's an aseptic packaging machine for R&D that doesn't rely on an operator." T e f llers can be paired with any small-scale High Temperature Short Time (HTST), Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) or aseptic processing systems. T e booth also had a new two-stage AseptiWave microwave energy processing system that reduces nutrient degradation and increase processing time versus conventional heat exchanger systems. Customers are testing high-acid foods including fruit purees, smoothies and f llings, Miles says. Microwave power It was a natural next step or two to visit the booth of Aseptia (www.aseptia. com), where I spoke with cofounder and science advisor Josip Simunovic and Samir Masri, manager of R&D, about aseptic processing using microwave energy. Commercial for f ve years, AseptiWave is available in three conf gurations from 1 liter per minute to 40 gallons per minute for benchtop, pilot or commercial operations. AseptiWave's continuous process "is appropriate for any pumpable product," explained Masri, "including juices, smoothies, salsa and refried beans." Versus conventional heat exchanger thermal processing, microwave claims faster heat-up times, improved run time, increased yields and less fouling, all without consumables or wear parts. Some of the atypical foods being tested include mashed potatoes and hummus, Simunovic disclosed. AseptiWave systems have been particularly optimized and validated for processing of complex particulate aseptic products like fruit pieces in juice, salsas, stews and chunky soups. Four AseptiWave production lines and a pilot scale line are operating at contract packer Wright Foods (www. wrightfoods.com), Troy, NC. Packaging formats at Wright Foods include Combibloc cartons and Sealed Air Flavour Mark f exible aseptic pouch packaging. Simunovic said there is tremendous interest in aseptic f exible packaging by brand owners and others in the wake of continuing concerns related to bisphenol-A (BPA) linings found in cans. Do you know exactly what's going on inside your aseptic or other processing system? BioPod sensors inserted into the process collect and monitor real-time conditions. New aseptic f llers for high-acid products operate at rates as fast as 500 bottles per hour for 250- and 500-ml sizes to f ll a huge gap between benchtop testing and production trials. The systems also have options for semi-automatic or automated capping.

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