GEA launches new filling technology for ESL beverages

GEA has launched its new Whitebloc Filling System Aero for the bottling of extended shelf life (ESL) beverages.

The GEA Whitebloc Aero’s design is optimised for the treatment time required in ESL applications; this allows bottle decontamination with dry H2O2 and subsequent activation with warm air to be performed on a single carousel, hence keeping the layout compact. The decontamination, filling and capping processes are performed in a hygienic cabin with a top-down laminar flow of sterile air with a slight overpressure to maintain a clean and protected environment.

The ESL market frequently requires producers to run small batches and fill a variety of products on the same machine. As such, the GEA Whitebloc Aero offers the production rate of fresh and ESL applications, using both polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers with plastic caps or aluminum foil closures, and using neck or base handling. The machine can be supplied in a standalone configuration or, for PET bottles, combined with a stretch blow moulding machine.

It is further integrated with a product recovery system, which eliminates product waste during the start-up cycle, at the end of production, and during changeovers. Filling valves can be equipped with a load cell or flow metre to meet the various requirements of the liquid dairy product market.

As part of the newly launched Aero platform, GEA has also developed a dedicated filling system designed for fresh beverages – the Aerobloc Fresh. Designed as a hygienic filling platform for milk and liquid dairy products, the Aerobloc Fresh allows the option of adding synchronised stretch blow moulding machine or an air rinser or neck trimmer to meet the requirements of the product and container material.