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Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

What is Aseptic Packaging and How Does It Work?

The definition of aseptic packaging is actually quite easy to understand. It is a manufacturing procedure related to different goods like food, medicines, vegetables, milk, and similar products. All these contents are sterilized separately from the packaging itself. After that, the goods are placed in the package/container that is sterilized as well. 

So, how does the aseptic packaging process work? The purpose of this packaging type is to ensure a high temperature that will maintain the freshness of the goods inside. Apart from that, it has the purpose of killing all the microorganisms that can negatively impact the quality of food and beverage. 

6 Advantages of Aseptic Packaging

We do not want to say that everything around aseptic packaging is perfect. Certain challenges and considerations also exist. Yet, it is worth mentioning that the number of advantages of aseptic packaging is much larger. All those advantages can help you improve your overall business success. There are six of them we would like to highlight, and they are:

 Preserving Product Quality: multiple factors can reduce the quality of the products. Thanks to the properties of aseptic packaging and a sterilized environment, the quality of those products will remain untouched. It will remain the same from the moment it is packed in the warehouse until the moment it reaches the final destination. 

 Expanded Shelf Life: the same type of packaging can also increase the product's shelf life. Believe it or not, these products can remain outside of the refrigerator for between 6 and 12 months. Businesses will have enough time to sell them before their quality reduces. It will be unnecessary to replace them with new products and experience additional costs because of that. 

aseptic packaging

Credits: Derrick Lin

 Ensuring Safety: damage to all sorts of goods can appear during the transportation procedure. These products can’t be reused or fixed, which is why they need to have appropriate protection. Aseptic packaging has a strong structure which ensures enough-strong layer of protection. Due to its properties, it can resist different weather conditions and protect the products from any microorganisms. 

 Reduced Shipping and Distribution Costs: aseptic packaging reduces shipping expenses in multiple ways. First of all, aseptically packaged products can be maintained and stored at ambient temperature. More precisely, they will need to be stored in a place that is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit warm. That does not cause any additional costs. Apart from that, all the aseptic packages are compact and lightweight. That especially counts when we compare them with traditional packaging. Because of that, more goods packed this way can be transported at once, resulting in lower transportation fees. 

 Ne Need for Preservatives: preservatives are used for all products of this type that are not aseptically packaged. On the other hand, aseptic packaging is completely sterilized and safe for the products. Entrepreneurs do not have to spend additional money on them. Plus, they can use real ingredients that an average consumer in the world prefers more. 

• Eco-Friendly: are you willing to support the green world? Using sustainable packages is one of the options to do such a thing. Fortunately, aseptic packaging is always made out of sustainable materials. Plus, their production does not require a lot of energy, which is another sustainable method that green businesses practice. 

Challenges and Considerations of Aseptic Packaging

We must admit that there are not many challenges that entrepreneurs need to pay attention to. Yet, that doesn’t mean they can completely relax. There are a couple of things that require more attention, and they are: 

• Compatibility of the Product: unfortunately, it is impossible to pack every single product in this type of packaging. Multiple sensorial changes appear after the entire procedure, which makes this packaging incompatible with certain products. We will later explain which ones are a perfect match. 

aseptic packaging

Credits: Futura Photography, Rodrigo Chapa

 Equipment Complexity: using equipment necessary for the aseptic packaging process requires knowledge and skills. Apart from that, we must highlight that these machines cost a bit more. The best possible solution is to hire a manufacturer to create these packages in larger quantities. 

 Upfront costs: despite machines, some other things require higher upfront costs. Some of them are training the staff, purchasing additional instrumentation, ensuring that packaging complies with all regulations, etc. Ultimately, your aseptic packaging must also be compatible with secondary and tertiary packages. That means you must spend more time, money, and effort designing these packages.  

Aseptic Packaging Process and Techniques 

The entire aseptic packaging process is pretty easy to understand. The entire process is focused on the sterilization of the packaging and containers. It contains 5 different steps that have to be made. Otherwise, the benefits mentioned above are not going to be present. 

Pre-Sterilized Containers

The first essential step of the procedure is the pre-sterilization of the containers. Examples of containers that need sterilization are cartons, pouches, bottles, and many others. This step ensures that neither of the microorganisms that can harm the safety and quality of packaging survive. Also, it ensures that the entire space is completely sterilized until the moment of filling. 

containers

Sterilization of Packaging Materials

The second crucial method of the aseptic packaging process is sterilizing packaging materials. There are two methods used - heat-based and chemical sterilization. In the first case, some of the techniques used are dry heating and steam sterilization. On the other hand, chemicals used for sterilization are peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Without these methods, the expanded shelf life cannot be guaranteed. 

packaging material plastic

Credits: Visipak by Sinclair & Rush

Aseptic Filling

This method is the most advanced on this list. Packaging manufacturers are filling the containers that are previously sterilized with sterile products. The entire procedure must be done in a strictly controlled environment. The equipment used for aseptic filling is high-tech, ensuring the prevention of contamination. This method separates packaging materials and products in different sterile environments. The purpose is to ensure a prolonged shelf life for the product! Products compatible with this aseptic packaging method are different types of beverages, pharmaceutical products, and even some types of food. 

aseptic filling for juice

Credits: Struck

Hermetic Sealing

This method aims to ensure complete isolation of the product from any external impact. Manufacturers must ensure a leak-proof seal for the containers after the filing. The hermetic sealing ensures that microorganisms can’t enter the package after the product is placed inside. Plus, it keeps the quality of the product by protecting it from air and moisture. 

hermetic sealing

Credits: apecusa.com

Packaging Inspection

Everything done by the aseptic packaging manufacturers must be controlled by experts. If there are certain defects or leaks, they must be detected before the packaging leaves the warehouse. Some of the tests done are pressure testing, visual inspection, and x-rays inspection. All packages with certain damage will be rejected with no excuse. On the other hand, those approved by inspection can be distributed to the consumers. 

packaging inspection

Credits: Jason Goh

Aseptic Packaging Materials 

Inspection of aseptic packaging is really strict. We completely support that! There is no place for mistakes when businesses work with food and beverage. These packages must be made of strong and durable materials to ensure the mentioned benefits. Some of the most popular types of packaging today are: 

• Paperboard

• Plastics

• Metals

• Laminates

• Polyethylene

• Film foil, etc.

paperboard aseptic packaging

Credits: Derrick Lin

Aseptic Packaging Examples and Applications in Industries

One of the main benefits of aseptic packaging is its versatility. They can be used for a variety of different goods. However, these products are mostly focused on some basic needs of people and health. On the other hand, the usage of these packages is mandatory in some cases by the regulations. You can use them for:

• Beverage (juices, soups, sauces, different dairy products, and baby food)

• Pharmaceuticals

• Cosmetics

• Chemicals

• Different industrial products

aseptic packaging for dairy

Credits: Derrick Lin

We once again need to repeat that regulations for these packages are extremely strict. Imagine that you do not sterilize the environment for baby food appropriately. The consequences would be fatal. Because of that, if you can’t handle aseptic packaging on your own, you should ask for help from packaging manufacturers like Arka. We have enough experience to ensure larger quantities of aseptic packages for a very affordable price. Working with us will ensure your peace of mind and better profit margins. 

Final Thoughts 

We are glad that people now understand what aseptic packaging is and why it benefits various businesses. Get familiar with all the aseptic packaging processes to understand how things work. Don’t forget strict regulations that must be respected. 


If you need help, you can always contact Arka, and we will supply you with the necessary packages. We have packaging solutions for any niche; whether you need custom mailer boxes, shipping boxes, or retail boxes, we are here to help! Let’s create your perfect packaging today.

FAQs on Aseptic Packaging

What foods are packed in aseptic packages? 

Some of the foods packed in aseptic packaging are liquid eggs, tomatoes, soups, whipping creams, fruits, etc. 

Does aseptic packaging require refrigeration?

Aseptically packaged products can remain outside of the refrigerator for between 6 and 12 months (depending on the product type).

How long can products packaged using aseptic packaging remain fresh? 

The freshness of the products packed in aseptic packages can remain for at least 6 months. In some cases, it can go up to 1 year. These pieces of information are stated on the packaging surface. 

Does aseptic packaging affect the taste of products?

Aseptic packaging preserves the nutritional value and overall taste of the goods stored inside. It is a completely safe packaging solution that ensures prolonged shelf life. 

Meet Ilija Milosevic, a seasoned content writer & entrepreneur, excelling in diverse industries like sustainability & digital marketing. Read more on Arka!

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