What's Next in Aseptic Packaging?

Over the years we've seen aseptic cartons become an important packaging format for juice and, more recently, for soup and broth. Going forward, what products will make a stronger push, or perhaps an initial foray, into aseptic packaging?

By Kate Bertrand Connolly, Packaging Editor

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Research firm Frost and Sullivan cites several growth markets:  liquid eggs, sauces, puddings and meal replacement drinks. Tetra Pak adds to that list evaporated milk, yogurt and smoothies, coffee drinks, tomatoes, olive oil, prebiotics and wine. Tetra's novel Aptiva, a plastic bottle-paper carton hybrid, will be examined in next month's packaging story.

In the plant, bulk aseptic bag-in-box packaging is eliciting more interest as processors look for bulk containers that provide distribution economies.

Contract aseptic filler American Purpac Technologies LLC (www.purpac.com), Beloit, Wis., which does bulk ingredient blending and aseptic filling into industrial-size flexible packages, has found processors appreciate the distribution costs savings the ambient packages provide versus 55-gal. drums.

"You can get more liquid product on the same pallet in a bulk disposable tote than you can in four 55-gallon drums. Just in the simple pallet configuration there's a benefit," notes Dave Madden, co-founder and co-owner of American Purpac.

In addition, the ambient quality of the packaging eliminates the need for cold chain distribution. Savings on fuel and freight charges add up quickly.

The same concept, on a smaller scale, applies to the 3- and 5-liter bag-in-box packages of juice and tea products that Purpac aseptically fills. End users of these products include foodservice customers and retail consumers.

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