a light revolution in aseptic packaging
Our ambition is to make it utterly reliable and at the same time easier for dairy and liquid food producers to manage the aseptic filling process. The food treatment, the filling equipment and the package need to form a contamination-free chain where risks are controlled or avoided.
Ecolean's choice of a non-chemical alternative, using e-beam technology for package sterilisation ensures that food contact surfaces are never exposed to any chemicals. We've also separated sterilisation from the filling machines, which allows it to be handled under controlled conditions at our own plants.
Aseptic packaging is designed to protect liquid food from production all the way to the consumer, with taste and texture as unaffected as possible. Ambient packaging also has a lower environmental impact, since no energy is needed to keep dairy products or other fresh beverages cool during distribution.
The material of each package is a multi-layer structure that protects the content. The packaging material used in the Ecolean® Air Aseptic packaging consists of part plastic part calcium carbonate (chalk), one of nature’s own materials and is completely aluminium free.
The Ecolean packages are hermetically sealed and sterilised using electron beam treatment or e-beam, at the Ecolean manufacturing plant, bringing the complexity from the dairy or beverage producer back to Ecolean. The ready-to-fill packages are distributed on reels. The finished rolls can be transported and stored without special arrangements for temperature and humidity control.
THE FILLING MACHINE
The filling lines follow Ecolean's philosophy of keeping it simple and provides reliable and lean operation.
The sterilisation process of the filling machine, preparing it for production, is fully automated and recorded. During this cycle, all chamber openings are closed and the chambers are filled with peroxide gas. After sterilisation, any remaining peroxide gas is removed by a catalytic converter. The aseptic valve cluster, the filling system and the CIP (Cleaning In Place) connectors are sterilised with steam.
As there is always a risk of the packaging material being contaminated on the outside during transport, the material is fed through a sterilisation chamber before it enters the filling chamber, removing any microorganisms. An air system protects the filling chamber by creating a constant, positive flow of sterile filtered air from the chamber entrance and exit.
Package integrity is a crucial and integral part of any aseptic packaging system. At Ecolean, monitoring systems for strength and integrity are an integral part of all steps in the production of ready-to-fill packages.