This latest development using pulsed light technology opens the way for 100% chemical free ultra-clean packaging lines for beverages
The Puls’Combi PET – preform and cap steriliser, a unique technology from Claranor
Claranor first introduced the Pulsed Light sterilisation technology for the beverage and dairy industry in 2010.
This technology enables rapid surface sterilisation without the need for chemicals, with low energy use, operating costs and capital expenditure.
The company has installed more than 200 cap and cup sterilisation units throughout the world on PET lines as well as on linear cup fillers, adapted to ultra-clean and ESL requirements.
However, despite having the Claranor chemical free solution for cap sterilisation, owners of PET lines had no way to decontaminate preforms without chemical sterilants.
In collaboration with 1Blow, a French manufacturer of blow-moulding machines, Claranor has performed a series of microbial testing demonstrating a high killing rate on preforms while flashing the preform just after the oven.
In the growing fruit juice, soft-drink, bottled water and low carbonated soft drink markets, products are mainly filled on PET ultra-clean-filling lines, where the packaging decontamination is performed with H2O2.
The reference micro-organism for these low pH products is the mould Aspergillus brasiliensis.
Claranor inoculated 0.5l transparent preforms with Aspergillus brasiliensis at levels of more than 10E4, and then checked the decontamination levels obtained with: - the heat of the oven of a blow-moulding machine - a pulsed light treatment - a combination of heat of the oven and the pulsed light system.
The test has been performed on a 0.5L preform format as it reflects the current global trend for small format on the beverage market, driven by consumer demand for convenience.
The results are presented in the following table:
Table 1 : The results
The company says that with this combination of treatments there is no heating effect on the neck which remains cold, but the pulsed light rays inside the body increase the effect of the heat.
The industrialisation of this process is possible, as the pulsed light reflector can continuously and instantly treat preforms with a 50cm straight section as they pass from the oven to the blowing machine. The treatment can reach speeds of 100,000 bottles per hour.
The external surface of the preform is also decontaminated, body and neck.
This innovation opens the way to 100% chemical free ultra-clean lines with the Puls’Combi PET – preform and cap steriliser with pulsed light.
This innovative, patented solution was previewed at the Petnology conference in Nuremberg on 8 November and presented in Bangkok at the Aseptipak forum on 30 November and the company says OEMs have shown great interest.