To assist in the discussion of aseptic processing and packaging systems, some definitions are presented here.
Aseptic describes a condition in which there is an absence of microorganisms, including viable spores. In the food industry, the terms aseptic, sterile, and commercially sterile are often used interchangeably. Aseptic system refers to the entire system necessary to produce a commercially sterile product contained in a hermetically sealed container. This term includes the product processing system and the packaging system. Aseptic processing system refers only to the system that processes the product and delivers it to a packaging system.
Aseptic packaging system refers to any piece of equipment that fills a sterile package or container with sterile product and hermetically seals it under aseptic conditions. These units or systems may also form and sterilize the package.
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