Exposure to air and other potential contaminants can make the product hazardous, putting consumers at risk of foodborne illness.
Not only does product packaging need to be airtight to preserve products, but products need to avoid contamination during the packaging process itself. The best way to ensure bottled food products remain free of contaminants throughout packaging and processing is to use sanitary bottling machinery. With the right bottling equipment in production lines, foods and sauces will be able to stay clean until consumers access them.
One of the biggest health risks associated with foodborne illnesses is bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella. Potentially deadly bacteria such as these can result from unsanitary packaging processes as much as they can from spoilage and undercooking, which is why bottled foods and sauces should undergo bottling through machines that are easily cleaned and avoid buildup.
Another potential health hazard is outside particles such as dust and metal fragments. When these get into bottled food and sauce products, they can be virtually impossible to see, rendering the product unsuitable for consumption unbeknownst to the manufacturer. While metal detectors are available for production lines to prevent contaminated products from passing, there are also ways to effectively prevent this contamination altogether.
Proper sanitary bottling equipment helps avoid these risks in every step during the packaging process, keeping the production line both clean and efficient.
There are several specific types of bottling equipment that production lines should utilize.
Foods and sauces tend to be high-viscosity liquids, requiring equipment that can sufficiently pump the product into containers. The thicker the product is, the greater the chance of buildup, which means that more thorough cleaning is required. Thankfully, many types of food and sauce bottling machines include features such as quick disconnect valves, sanitary pumps and tubing, and tri-clamp fittings that allow staff to easily disassemble machine parts for sufficient cleaning.
Machines that use breakdown construction keep cleaning quick and efficient, and clean-in-place systems can further maximize cleaning efficiency by assisting the operator with cleaning inline fillers. Easy-to-clean machinery also helps prevent potential breakdowns and downtime in production lines.
Stainless steel and anodized aluminum parts improve the ability to clean bottling machines and maximizes the life of the machinery. These materials also avoid rusting and other types of deterioration that can cause pieces to break off and contaminate the food products passing through them. Volumetric fillers, start/stop fillers, overflow filling machines and other types of bottling machines are typically made with these metals.
Using a combination of sanitary equipment can greatly reduce the risk of contamination and spoilage of food. With machinery that promotes sanitation during the bottling process coupled with high-quality containers that prevent exposure to outside elements, liquid food products can benefit from improved production and maximized shelf life.’
Krys Beal, sales and marketing, E-PAK.