Tetra Pak has introduced the Tetra Pak E3, a new filling machine with electron beam technology to sterilise packaging material.
Developed in partnership between Tetra Pak and COMET, the eBeam sterilisation technology works by focusing a controlled beam of electrons onto the surface of packaging material as it runs through the filling machine, killing any bacteria or micro-organism present.
When used as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide, the eBeam is said to increase carton packaging speed by allowing beverage manufacturers to produce 40,000 portion packs an hour.
The company plans to launch Tetra Pak E3 in three versions, including Tetra Pak E3/CompactFlex Extended Shelf Life, Tetra Pak E3/Speed Portion Packages and Tetra Pak E3/Flex Extended Shelf Life.
According to the company, an eBeam kit will allow manufacturers to switch between pasteurised and extended shelf life production orders on the same Tetra Pak E3/CompactFlex filling machine.
Tetra Pak product management and commercial operations executive vice-president Charles Brand said: "Tetra Pak E3 not only delivers significant cost and environmental benefits to our customers, it also marks the start of a new era in the world of carton packaging.
"The efficiency and effectiveness of filling equipment has just taken a major step forward."
Slovakian dairy producer Rajo has tested Tetra Pak A3/Speed machine with the new eBeam sterilisation system, which produced 110 million packages of UHT milk in Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Slim between 2011 and 2014.
Tetra Pak E3 machines are also claimed to lower operational costs, improve environmental performance and increase production flexibility.
The Tetra Pak E3/Speed machine presented at Fispal will be capable of producing 15,000 packs of Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge with LightCap 30 an hour.
Image: Tetra Pak E3 filling machine. Photo: courtesy of Tetra Pak.