1. Aseptic is a term that describes the absence of microorganisms and may be used interchangeably with commercial sterility.

2. An aseptic processing system consists of a timing pump, a means to heat the product, a hold tube, and a means to cool the product.

3. The processing system from the hold tube past the fillers is brought to a condition of commercial sterility before the introduction of product into the system.

4. The thermal process occurs in the hold tube where flow rate, or residence time, and temperature are critical factors.

5. In the event of a process deviation, flow-diversion devices are used to prevent potentially inadequately processed product from reaching the filler.

6. Aseptic packaging machines create and maintain an aseptic zone (sterile environment) in which sterilized containers are filled and sealed.

7. Sterilization agents such as heat, chemicals, high-energy radiation, or a combination of these, can be used to sterilize packages or machine surfaces.

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