The machine's 100% aseptic blower can produce shelf-stable low acid (LA) beverages, free from preservatives, for distribution at ambient temperature in the US market.
Alessandro Bellò, head of Blowing, Filling and Packaging applications, GEA, said the FDA clearance confirms its ABF 1.2 technology ensures maximum sterilization and reliability during every step of sensitive beverage bottling.
“The FDA certification is an accolade for the ABF 1.2 technology – the world’s first fully aseptic blow-fill-cap system,” he said.
“The GEA ABF 1.2 erases the risk of recontamination of any drinks during filling through fully automated operations. With ABF, we achieve a full decontamination process control unique in the market.”
The validation tests were carried out on an ABF 1.2 system in the US, which now produces shelf-stable liquid dairy products to the North-American market.
GEA now supplies PAA- and H2O2-based sterilization technologies that are FDA approved.
According to Massimo Nascimbeni, product manager, GEA, it maintains ‘complete sterility during operations’ by placing the aseptic blowing wheel in the same sterile zone where the filling and capping processes are performed.
GEA Smart Sensor
“The newly blown sterile bottles are transferred to the filling and capping carousels without leaving the sterile zone. That’s why we don’t need any unnecessary H2O2 carry-over in the following modules,” he added.
Beverage producers can monitor and control the preform sterilization process with the GEA Smart Sensor, which checks the spraying performance of each sterilization nozzle just before the preforms are treated.
“The higher the production volumes, the higher the desired production quality and the higher the need for flexibility in bottle design, the clearer the advantages of aseptic systems become when compared to other solutions,” Bellò said.
“With our ABF 1.2 FDA certification we can finally service customers with VHP based sterilization platforms in the US,” he added.