Container sterilization Aseptic Filling Bloc Whitebloc

Specifically designed for the dairy industry, Whitebloc is the ideal solution for the aseptic bottling of products in HDPE and PET containers.

Whitebloc uses an hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-based sterilization technology to meet the special requirements associated with treating bottles for milk-based drinks and sensitive beverages to preserve their shelf-life.

H2O2 bottle sterilization with Whitebloc

Detail of H2O2 based treatment for PET or HDPE containers
Detail of H2O2 based treatment for PET or HDPE containers

During the dosing phase, the internal and external surfaces of the bottles are sprayed with an H2O2 solution. In a subsequent carrousel, the bottles are flushed by hot, sterile air – to activate the H2O2 – which also provides a purging action and ensures a final residual peroxide level of less than 0.5 ppm.

Maximum sterilization efficiency is ensured by the use of penetrating nozzles and carefully analyzing and monitoring the critical control points. A ‘Smart Sensor’ compares the force and the spray angle of the sterilant jet in real-time with a pre-calibrated value to confirm that each surface of every bottle is properly treated.

When handling HDPE bottles, the Whitebloc is supplied in a standalone configuration that receives bottles from air conveyors. For PET bottles, it is combined with a traditional blowing machine and equipped with a dedicated temperature holding system that’s positioned between the blower and the treatment carrousel. This ensures that, during the dosing phase, an ideal temperature profile is provided for the bottles.

A microbiological isolator encloses the sensitive area

Filling and capping are performed inside a microbiological isolator that guarantees a high level of hygiene, owing to an overpressure of sterile air that prevents contamination after the H2O2 treatment. All surfaces in the microbiological isolator zone are designed to be accessible and very easy to clean.

Benefits:

  • Versatile production: the Whitebloc is ideal for a wide range of applications, including both high and low acid products, PET and HDPE bottles, flat and sport caps as well as foil aluminum closures
  • Easy to use and manage: low maintenance (no moving parts or valves on the two treatment carrousels) and less wear and tear
  • Compact design
  • NeckFlex handling system to handle both PET or HDPE containers, from 0.2 to 2.5 liters, at any speed

Performance

VHP sterilization treatment with penetrating nozzle ensures a B. atrophaeus reduction of up to 5 log for PET and up to 6 log for HDPE containers. Whitebloc is capable of production speeds of up to 31,500 bottles per hour on 500 ml bottle and allows a line availability of 165 hours without the need for intermediate SOP cycles during production.

Sterilcap VHP L: H2O2 technology for cap sterilization

Sterilcap VHP L: dry H2O2 technology for cap sterilization
Sterilcap VHP L: dry H2O2 technology for cap sterilization

Sterilcap VHP L technology relies on the sterilizing effect of H2O2 vapor at the correct concentration and temperature. Both flat and sports caps can be treated on the same machine. Rapid changeover from flat to sports cap can be done without any mechanical intervention or loss of sterility.

GEA’s VHP-based sterilization technologies ensure an effective and gentle closure treatment that meets the highest required levels of aseptic processing while avoiding any deformation or the removal of the slipping agent.

Sterilfoil VHP L: H2O2 technology for foil sterilization

Detail of Sterilfoil VHP L

With Sterilfoil VHP L, it’s also possible to handle and sterilize aluminium foil closures for HDPE or PET bottles. Sterilfoil is a simple, linear system that’s mounted on top of the capping area and integrated within the microbiological isolation area of the machine.

The system uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) technology to provide a highly effective microbiological sterilization solution for aluminum foil caps (a B. atrophaeus reduction of more than 6 Log).