Introducing a light revolution in aseptic packaging
Our ambition is to make it utterly reliable and at the same time easier for dairies and other liquid food companies 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.
New to the industry is Ecolean's choice of a non-chemical alternative for package sterilisation, which 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 the source of 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. Likewise, it involves less waste and less product spoilage.
The material of each package is a multi-layer structure that protects the content consisting of polypropylene, EVOH, carbon black, Polyethylene and mineral fillers (calcium carbonate) for our white aseptic packages.
The packaging material is folded, shaped and sealed in proprietary Ecolean machines to produce roll stock of individual ready-to-fill packages. Each package is hermetically sealed and sterilised, and the process is monitored and traceable down to individual packages. The finished rolls, which are shrink-wrapped for hygiene and distributed on pallets, can be transported and stored without special arrangements for temperature and humidity control.
Sterilising the inside of the package at the Ecolean production plant moves a considerable part of the aseptic process from dairies and other beverage companies back to Ecolean.
The sterilisation is performed with electron beam treatment, which is a safe method with a low environmental impact.
The Ecolean EL3 (shown in picture) and EL4 are modern filling machines with a small footprint and high efficiency, designed for the aseptic filling of low-acid food products into Ecolean Air Aseptic packages.
It takes just over one hour for the filling machine to be sterilised and made ready for production, a process that 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.
A weak peroxide solution, working in synergy with UV light, efficiently kills 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.
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