AseptiWave pilot plant installation at contract packager Wright Foods in Troy, NC.
At Aseptia’s booth, which was focused on aseptic processing using microwave energy, I spoke with cofounder and science advisor Josip Simunovic and Samir Masri, manager of R&D. Commercial for five years, AseptiWave is available in three configurations from 1L per minute to 40 gallons per minute for benchtop, pilot or commercial operations.
AseptiWave’s continuous process “is appropriate for any pumpable product,” explained Masri, “including juices, smoothies, salsa and refried beans.”
Versus conventional heat exchanger thermal processing, microwave claims faster heat-up times, improved run time, increased yields and less fouling, all without consumables or wear parts.
Some of the atypical foods being tested include mashed potatoes and hummus, Simunovic disclosed. AseptiWave systems have been particularly optimized and validated for processing of complex particulate aseptic products like fruit pieces in juice, salsas, stews and chunky soups.
Four AseptiWave production lines and a pilot scale line are operating at contract packer Wright Foods, Troy, NC.
Packaging formats at Wright Foods include CombiBloc cartons and Sealed Air Flavour Mark flexible aseptic pouch packaging.
Simunovic said there is tremendous interest in aseptic flexible packaging by brand owners and others in the wake of continuing concerns related to bisphenol-A (BPA) linings found in cans.
The above graphic is part of Aseptia rebranding and design done by borderlandllc.com
Besides AseptiWave, Aseptia also promoted AseptiSense technology that uses pea-sized or other shape of BioPod sensors to simplify validation of customers’ aseptic processes. These “bio-implant carriers” contain a sealed bacterial spore suspension within a customized and calibrated enclosure that mimics any particulate. BioPods are designed to match the sizes, weights,thermal characteristics, and densities of the particles they are simulating. Aseptia maintains a BioPod “library” to match various shapes, sizes and densities of simulated particles.
Once individually tagged and released into the test or customer aseptic processing system, they are monitored and captured just prior to filling for incubation and analysis. During their journey, the BioPods reveal real-time data that permit researchers and engineers to “see” what’s happening thermally at any point within the brand owner’s processing system.
“The BioPods are applicable for direct, tube, ohmic or microwave processing,” explained Simunovic, “and were FDA validated to a 5/8-inch particle size in late 2015. Our customers for AseptiSense include several of the top five global food companies with more testing currently under way.”
Next: A new development in e-beam technology