E-beam could be on the way

The emergence of electron-beam sterilization could transform hot-fill operations like Plum Organics into aseptic filling operations instead.

The benefits gained would be better taste and nutrition profile because the high temperature/short time processing that is at the heart of aseptic packaging doesn’t compromise flavors and nutrients as much as hot filling or the retort process.

Why use E-beam sterilization on the pouches rather than the more conventional methods of sterilization—hydrogen peroxide or paracetic acid—used on brick packs and plastic bottles? Because the pouch has too many inside edges and hidden spots compared to the flat board of the brick pack or the relatively uncomplicated sidewalls of a plastic bottle. Guaranteeing that the hydrogen peroxide or paracetic acid is thoroughly spread throughout the pouch is difficult. E-beams, on the other hand, can penetrate more reliably into the remotest corners and crevices of a pouch.

A leader in E-beam technology that has already launched food and beverage packaging applications is AEB. At the May 11-13 Global Pouch Forum, Gualapack’s Stefano Tamarindo described how his firm in Italy is building aseptic pouch filling equipment. Gualapack hopes to have the equipment installed in a customer plant in early 2011

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