Even though aseptic packaging has been utilized since the 1920s, this method of extending the shelf life of perishable foods is growing rapidly in the U.S.
In fact, aseptic packaging is growing at such a rate in the United States that, according to a packaging research firm, the global market is projected to grow at a rate of 7.9 percent over the next five years, while the demand for aseptic packaging expands annually at a rate of 8 percent. A key factor driving this market growth is the increasing demand for aseptic packaging in the food and beverage industry. The growing number of eco-friendly products is also contributing to this growth. Here is a list of reasons behind this renaissance.
Cultural Acceptance — For many years, American consumers have clung tightly to the notion that foods need to be kept cold to stay safe and fresh. However, the modest little juice box taught parents that drinks thought to be perishable could be safe for their kids – and they could also be stored easily. Over time, consumers came to understand that a whole range of foods, in addition to fruit juices, could be shelf-stable.
An Alternative to Refrigerating Food — When packaging aseptically, the product, the package and the machine are all brought together in sterile conditions. As a result, aseptic packaging helps protect perishable products like fresh produce, frozen food or seafood, in locations that do not have suitable “cold chains” (i.e., a controlled supply chain that maintains a given temperature range).
Evolution of Consumer Preferences in their Foods — U.S. consumers are tending to avoid added chemicals in their products, which translates to a preference for fresh food over foods processed with preservatives. Aseptic packaging allows buyers to have “fresh” foods, with few preservatives, if any, available for consumption at their convenience. (Note that while other effective processing methods, such as hot-fill or retort, may also preserve food, the heat in those processes is more likely to affect taste and/or nutrition value. On the other hand, aseptic packaging, which is performed at a lower temperature level, is better at maintaining flavor and nutritional value better.)
Increasing Versatility and Applications — Though the equipment and processing methods for aseptic products have been around for decades, recent advancements and refinements have made them pertinent to a broader array of food products.
Topics: Aseptic Packaging
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