Aseptic packaging of the hottest food and beverage

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Aseptic packaging of food (including dairy products and beverages)

when I met Secretary General Li Shuliang at the beginning of this year, he was busy organizing the formulation of acceptance specifications for liquid food packaging equipment in China, including the standardization of all liquids, sauces, packaging equipment containing granular liquids and sterilization equipment except secondary sterilization and filling equipment. As a veteran of the aseptic packaging industry in China, Secretary General Li Shuliang has been paying close attention to the development of aseptic packaging in China. He has successively participated in the formulation of the national standard for paper-based composites for aseptic packaging, the national standard for composite plastic bags for aseptic packaging, and the national standard for paper-based composites for fresh-keeping packaging (which has been submitted for approval). While introducing in detail the progress of the development of horizontal bacteria packaging without first checking the installation of laboratory machines in China, we are also encouraged to report more on the experience and achievements of the development of sterile packaging in China. This newspaper specially published a speech by Secretary General Li Shuliang for the readers

aseptic packaging of food refers to the packaging of sterilized food (beverages, dairy products) in a sterile environment and closed in sterilized containers, in order to obtain a longer shelf life without preservatives and refrigeration. It can also be simply said that aseptic packaging is sterilization before packaging, non sterile packaging is packaging before sterilization, or only packaging without sterilization

the main advantage of aseptic packaging is that it can retain the original nutritional components and flavor of food to the greatest extent and reduce losses under the condition that there is no bacteria after the experiment. Because it is more convenient to use ultra-high temperature instantaneous sterilization method to disinfect the food before packaging, while other packaging methods are quite difficult

aseptic packaging can be divided into large packaging and small packaging according to the packaging capacity. The packaging capacity of the former is 5-220 liters, up to 1000 liters. It is mainly used for packaging thick pulp and base materials for sub packaging and sales by food manufacturers. Among them, 5-20 liters can also be directly supplied for household consumption. The latter has a packaging capacity of 70-1200 ml, which is for market sale and directly supplied to consumers

small packages can be divided into brick bags, roof bags, plastic cups, plastic bags, plastic bottles and other packaging forms

a complete sterile packaging production line includes material (food) sterilization system, sterile packaging machine, supply and sterilization system of packaging materials or packaging materials, automatic cleaning system, equipment pre sterilization system, sterile environment maintenance system and automatic control system. So far, the sterilization of materials mainly adopts thermal sterilization. According to the viscosity, thermal sensitivity and production scale of materials, plate type, tube type (coil type or tube type), scraper type or mixed type heat exchangers can be used respectively. In order to further shorten the heating and cooling time of materials, the manufacturer has developed and produced direct heating methods such as steam injection, steam mixing, superheated water mixing, ohmic heater, etc

at present, chemical drugs are mainly used for sterilization of packaging materials or packaging containers, but after sterilization, they should be thoroughly cleaned and dried to reduce chemical residues to the minimum (1ppm). The characteristics are: hassia uses steam heating method to sterilize the container, evarca uses a layer of peelable PP film to protect the clean surface in contact with the material, and automatically removes the protective film before the packaging material enters the sterile channel, so that the clean surface directly enters the bacterial channel without sterilization. The sterile packaging bag used for large bag packaging is sterilized with the radiation produced by cobalt 60 after sealing. The mouth of the bag is sterilized with steam before entering the sterile filling room

most sterile packaging systems use superheated steam or dry air for pre sterilization. Sterile air or nitrogen is mostly used to maintain the sterile environment of the system. Overpressure method or laminar flow method can be adopted according to different requirements

the current situation and existing problems of aseptic packaging at home and abroad

aseptic packaging technology was born in the late 1940s. Since the 1960s, due to the rapid development of packaging plastics, it has provided a broad development world for the development of aseptic packaging. As the advantages of aseptic packaging were soon recognized by the majority of consumers, the market expanded rapidly. Aseptic packaging technology, equipment and materials have developed rapidly. By the early 1990s, aseptic packaging accounted for more than 80% of food packaging, and more than 50% of small packaging. By the mid-1990s, there were more than 30 foreign companies producing various sterile packaging equipment, and many supporting manufacturers producing sterilization systems, packaging materials and components. Domestic research and production of sterile packaging equipment and supporting sterilization systems, packaging materials units are also gradually increasing

manufacturers of large packaging equipment include Italian evalpo company, astevpo company, Swedish Tetra Pak company, German KF Company, Finnish evalevacstevar company, etc. The manufacturers of brick type bag and roof bag equipment include Tetra Pak of Sweden, international paper company of the United States, pkl company of Germany, KF Company, etc. Manufacturers of plastic cup packaging equipment include gasti company in Germany, Bosch Company, hassia company, evarca company in France, etc. Manufacturers of plastic bag packaging equipment include KF Company in Germany, evalevacstevar company in Finland, Chengnan company in Japan, etc. Manufacturers of plastic bottle packaging equipment include Swiss company tommevalag, French company sevarac, Italian company sipa-procomac, Dutch company stork, etc

in addition, some companies have formed groups in order to enhance their competitiveness. For example, Tetra Pak company and Alfa Laval company jointly formed Tetra Pak Laval company, and evarca company joined jagevanbevarg group. Some large group companies have developed and produced sterile packaging equipment. For example, American international paper, German Bosch, Dutch stork and other companies all produce sterile packaging equipment

the relevant leading authorities in China have attached great importance to the development of aseptic packaging technology from the beginning. During the "Seventh Five Year Plan" period, the Ministry of light industry (now the Light Industry Federation) included the development of aseptic packaging technology in the national "Seventh Five Year Plan" key scientific and technological research projects. China Packaging Technology Association and China Food Industry Association have established aseptic packaging committees to promote the development of aseptic packaging technology. China Dairy Association and China Beverage Industry Association all pay special attention to aseptic packaging

more and more domestic units are engaged in the development and production of sterile packaging equipment, materials, processes, components and parts. Beijing Institute of aeronautical technology has developed and produced a large bag sterile packaging production line, which has passed the national appraisal and won the National Award. Shenyang Automation Instrument Research Institute and Guangdong Far East food packaging machine company have developed and produced aseptic packaging equipment for large bags and brick bags respectively. Ningbo light industrial machinery factory has developed and produced coil heat exchangers. Yangzhou Changlong aseptic packaging company, Longxi composite flexible packaging material factory and Guangzhou jinweilong Industrial Company have developed and produced large bags for aseptic packaging respectively. Beijing Changkong company sheet factory and Hebei Eka packaging materials company have developed and produced composite sheets for aseptic packaging of plastic cups, standard materials and top cover materials, and can store, print and indicate values with a relative error of ± 1%

however, the majority of consumers do not have enough understanding of sterile packaging. Generally, they only know the difference between iron cans, plastic cups and carton packaging, but do not know the difference between sterile and non sterile packaging. While the manufacturers of sterile packaged food, equipment and materials often ignore the publicity of emphasizing the advantages of sterile packaging, only talking about how our products are, and ignoring the publicity of commonalities. At the same time, the publicity about plastic pollution in the society has been strengthened day by day, leading consumers to doubt the sterile packaged food using plastic and cartons. At present, many large beverage manufacturers are converted from Cannery, so they continue to use the original packaging equipment and packaging methods. In short, there are many objective reasons for the slow development of aseptic packaging in China's food industry

from the perspective of the development of aseptic packaging itself, at present, most domestic aseptic packaging equipment for food is imported from abroad, and many packaging materials and spare parts also rely on imports. The price is too high, and the depreciation fee and bank loan interest put great pressure on the manufacturers. On the other hand, imported aseptic packaging equipment has advanced technology and complex use and maintenance, and the personnel quality of some small and medium-sized enterprises cannot improve in a short time, which also leads to insufficient operating rate

from the perspective of the overall level of aseptic packaging in the world, its development is still not perfect, the production scale of single machine is not large enough, and the steamed drinks, beverages with granules cannot be packaged, and solid foods cannot be packaged. The solution of these problems still needs the further development of aseptic packaging technology. New materials for aseptic packaging need to be further developed

the development of aseptic food packaging will gradually change with the understanding of consumers, and people will consider more and more about the nutrition, hygiene and performance price ratio of food. In the next few years, the existing well-known manufacturers in the food industry will have the requirements to expand production and update equipment. A number of new large, medium and small food enterprises will be built, and the cultural and technical quality of enterprise personnel will be greatly improved. All these are the material basis for the great development of sterile packaging. 2. Because the jaws of the hydraulic universal material testing machine are often used, sterile packaging has obvious advantages, and this technology will gradually be developed in the dairy industry, wine making industry, condiment industry, pharmaceutical industry, cosmetics industry and other fields

III. application of high-tech in sterile packaging industry

1) ohmic heating sterilization technology: ohmic heating technology has entered the stage of industrial application abroad, and some manufacturers have produced ohmic heaters that can be used by food manufacturers. Its advantage is that it can process liquid food with high viscosity or large particles. The particle diameter can reach 2.5 cm. At present, the main problem is that the pre sterilization of the system still needs to use superheated steam. Therefore, the configuration of sterile system should be mixed. At present, the domestic research and development work has a considerable foundation, and we hope relevant manufacturers can cooperate with them

2) microwave continuous sterilization technology: the main difference between microwave sterilization and ohmic heating sterilization is that the former uses high frequency (about 2500 MHz) while the latter uses power frequency. Besides heating effect, microwave sterilization also has considerable non thermal sterilization effect. Polar molecules in organisms produce a strong rotation effect in the microwave field, which makes the vegetative cells of microorganisms inactive or destroys the enzyme system of microorganisms, resulting in the death of microorganisms

at present, the research on the industrial scale of microwave sterilization is not sufficient, such as power consumption, microwave protection, the heat death coefficient of microwave on common bacteria, the influence of microwave on beneficial amino acids, and so on. Therefore, the data of microwave heater for industrial application has not been found abroad. It can be predicted that microwave sterilization will be first applied in solid food

3) radiation sterilization technology: put the product into the radiation chamber with cobalt 60 as the raw material, and the γ X-ray sterilization. At present, this method is mainly used for batch sterilization of sterile large packaging bags. As the direction control of radiation is very difficult and the requirements of protection technology are very high, it is expected that it is unlikely to be directly used in sterile packaging production line

4) ultra high pressure sterilization technology: fill food raw materials into plastic or other soft containers for sealing, and then put them into 1000-6000 atmospheric pressure high-pressure devices for pressure treatment. It leads to protein denaturation and enzyme loss of microorganisms

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