Hot Fill is a bottle filling process in which the contents of the plastic bottle to be packaged are heated – up to 194 degrees F (90 degrees C) – in order to sterilize the product prior to being poured into the bottle. Products packaged using Hot Fill technology include fruit juice, vegetable juices, flavored water and sports drinks. Hot fill is usually restricted to high-acid products with a PH less than 4.5.
Benefits of using Hot Fill technology include sterilizing the interior of the packaging container, preventing the growth of microorganisms inside the container when packaged and extending the shelf life of the product, which usually ends up in the six to twelve month range.
After filling, the container is cooled immediately; an important factor is preserving the product taste and the nutritional properties, which is paramount for fruit and vegetable products.
The Hot Fill process typically uses PET bottles, the end product being a very attractive alternative to heavier and more expensive glass bottle solutions. Lower packaging AND shipping costs are the result.
If you are unsure whether Hot Fill packaging is a viable alternative for your product, or need help determining which PET bottle or jug is right for your product, contact All American Containers Northeast for an expert consultation with one of our staff. We are happy to help.