H.P. Hood’s installation of an 81-valve rotary filler (see page 11) from Shibuya is significant because Hood is the first in the U.S. to receive a letter of non-objection (LONO) for a low-acid product on a rotary filler. Two other manufacturers of aseptic filling equipment have the FDA LONO: Stork and Tetra. But in both cases the LONO is for an in-line system. Stork has a notable low-acid aseptic installation in Mount Crawford VA at Morningstar Foods a Suiza unit and Tetra Pak has one at Jasper Products in Joplin MO.
The difference between in-line and rotary is primarily a matter of complexity. Smaller and slower in-line systems are designed for lower output which makes it inherently easier to maintain sterility in the aseptic filling and capping chamber.
At H.P. Hood no low-acid products are being produced at this time but there’s no reason they couldn’t be says Shibuya. Shibuya also indicates that a new installation now underway in Japan will soon produce 1 16-oz plastic bottles of low-acid products/min.