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China Beverage Filling Machine manufacturer

Sunswell Machinery Co., Ltd.

Bottling machines for water, juice, carbonated drinks, milk and oil with 12 years of global market experience and more than 50 countries presence.


January 4, 2024

Hot Filling VS Sterile Cold Filling


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20000BPH Aseptic Filling Machine

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24000BPH 500ml PET Juice Filling Machine

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27000BPH 300ml PET Juice Hotfill Combibloc


Sterile cold filling is the cold (normal temperature) filling of a beverage product under sterile conditions, as opposed to the usual hot and hot filling under normal conditions.


When filling under aseptic conditions, the parts that may cause microbial contamination of the beverage shall be kept in aseptic state. Therefore, there is no need to add preservatives in the beverage, and the subsequent sterilization process is not necessary after the beverage is filled and sealed, which can meet the requirements of long shelf life, and can also maintain the taste, color and taste of the beverage.


Differences between cold and hot aseptic filling:


Different filling process


Hot filling: sterilize the bottle and cover of the product. After the product is filled into the PET bottle, measure the central temperature of the product to be 88 ° C. After sterilization in the pouring link, the high-temperature product enters the cooling tunnel and is cooled to normal temperature;


Cold filling: sterilize the product, bottle and lid respectively, fill the product in a sterile environment, and leave the sterile environment after the product and bottle are completely sealed.


Difference of process flow


The biggest difference is the heating time of the product.


Sterile cold filling: UHT ultra-high temperature instantaneous sterilization process is adopted for the product, and then the product is quickly cooled to normal temperature and stored in a sterile tank for use during filling.


Hot filling: UHT high-temperature instantaneous sterilization is adopted for the product, and then the product is cooled to above 90 ° C; The temperature of the product is 88 degrees after pouring. As the product is heated for a long time, it has a certain impact on color, taste, nutrition, etc.

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Aseptic Flow Chart

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Hotfill Flow Chart


Different production line configuration


Hot filling:

1) When the filling machine is shut down due to failure, the product will return in the sterilizer, and repeated sterilization will damage the flavor and nutrition of the product to a certain extent;

2) Large cooling equipment is provided to cool the filled product to room temperature.


Sterile cold filling:

1) After sterilization, the product is temporarily stored in the sterile cylinder, without repeated sterilization;

2) The product is filled at room temperature without cooling equipment.


Difference of PET bottle


Hot filling: the process requires that the PET bottle can withstand the high temperature above 92 ° C. Therefore, the PET bottle used shall have the following characteristics: the bottle wall is thick and has clear wall stiffeners to prevent thermal shrinkage and crystallization of the bottle mouth. During the filling and cooling process, the bottle mouth shall not be deformed


Sterile cold filling: the maximum heat-resistant temperature of 60 ℃ is enough, so PET light bottles and standard lids can be used, greatly reducing the cost of bottles and lids.


Note: PET bottle production process: blanking - shaping - loading (embryo feeding - heating - pre-blowing - high pressure blowing - exhaust - unloading - sterile air duct


Different production line costs


Hot filling: the bottle blowing machine is slow and the power consumption is large. Under the same production capacity, the investment is much higher than that of the cold filling bottle blowing machine (excluding bottle blank equipment);


Sterile cold filling: the bottle blower used for the aseptic cold filling is fast in blowing and low in power consumption, but the aseptic cold filling process is complex and the filling auxiliary equipment is more. Overall, the initial investment of a sterile filling line is higher than that of a hot filling line.


Different raw material costs


Hot filling: the bottle body and mouth are required to be resistant to high temperature (low heat shrinkage rate), so the quality requirements for bottles and lids are very high;


Sterile cold filling: There is no requirement for high temperature resistance of bottles and lids, so lightweight bottles and lids can be used. Comparatively speaking, the packaging material cost of aseptic cold filling is lower than that of hot filling.


Different operating costs


Hot filling: in the production process, the consumption of bactericide solution is relatively small, but the production line is slow and the production capacity is relatively low.


Sterile cold filling: during the production, the consumption of sterilization liquid is relatively large, but the production speed is fast and the production capacity is high. By comparison, the operation cost of sterile cold filling is lower than that of hot filling.


Outstanding advantages of PET aseptic cold filling compared with hot filling


Ultra-high temperature instantaneous sterilization technology (UHT) is adopted, and the heat treatment time of the material is not more than 30s, which ensures the taste and color of the product to the maximum extent, and reserves the content of vitamin (thermosensitive nutrients) in the material to the maximum extent.


The filling operation is carried out in a sterile and normal temperature environment, and no preservative is added to the product, so as to ensure the safety of the product.


The production capacity is improved, raw materials are saved, energy loss is reduced and product manufacturing cost is reduced.


The advanced technology can be widely used for filling various products.


Sterile filling technology environment


At room temperature (≤ 30 ℃), aseptic products are filled into aseptic packaging containers under aseptic environment and then sealed.


Sterile environment: the filling and sealing of the whole product are completed in a sterile environment, so the sanitary requirements for the filling environment are very high. The filling is generally completed in a closed filling equipment. It is required that all media and packaging materials entering the filling equipment must be subject to aseptic treatment. Meanwhile, the surface of the filling equipment must be subject to aseptic treatment to ensure the sterility of the entire filling environment. The media entering the filling equipment include air, water and feed liquid; Packaging materials include bottles and lids.


Air treatment: it is completed by air filtration system, generally composed of primary filter, medium efficiency filter and high efficiency filter. The primary filter mainly filters the dust particles in the air; The medium efficiency filter is mainly used to filter large individual bacteria and some dust particles in the air, and the filtration efficiency is more than 85%; High-efficiency filter can filter almost all kinds of bacteria in the air, including the smallest bacteria, and the filtration efficiency is above 99.97%. The treated air is called sterile air, and the sterility of the sterile air shall be verified regularly during the production process to ensure the product quality.


Water treatment: at present, there are two ways: the first way is to use UHT equipment to disinfect the water entering the filling environment; The second way is to use the sterile filtration system of purified water. The treated water is called sterile water. The water mentioned here is not the water we use to prepare drinks. Sterile water is mainly used to flush sterilized bottle caps and bottles in the filling environment and the surface of the filling environment after disinfection.


Packaging material treatment: the packaging material refers to the bottle cap and bottle. The bottle cap and bottle are disinfected by the disinfectant. Due to different sterilization methods of the production equipment, the Tetra Pak, Tetra Pak Pillow, black and white film and other packaging methods in the dairy industry are generally subject to immersion sterilization, and the PET bottled drinks are generally subject to injection or spray sterilization. The disinfectants used to disinfect the packaging materials are mainly peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide.


Feed solution treatment: UHT equipment is used to disinfect the feed solution, and the water entering the filling environment is disinfected.

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Comparison of Production Cost


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