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1. (WO1999008934) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE STERILIZATION OF A CARTON

Pub. No.:    WO/1999/008934    International Application No.:    PCT/US1998/016203
Publication Date: Fri Feb 26 00:59:59 CET 1999 International Filing Date: Wed Aug 05 01:59:59 CEST 1998
IPC: B65B 55/08
B65B 55/10
Applicants: TETRA LAVAL HOLDINGS & FINANCE, S.A.
PALANIAPPAN, Sevugan
SWANK, Ronald
ERICKSON, Terry
LEES, John
CICHA, John
ROBERTSON, Michael
Inventors: PALANIAPPAN, Sevugan
SWANK, Ronald
ERICKSON, Terry
LEES, John
CICHA, John
ROBERTSON, Michael
Title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE STERILIZATION OF A CARTON
Abstract:
The present invention discloses a method and apparatus for sterilizing cartons with vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet radiation on a packaging machine (22). A partially formed carton (20) is first sprayed at a bottom forming station (10) with a sterilant. Then, the carton (20) is transported to a sterilization station (28) where the carton (20) is sprayed with gaseous hydrogen peroxide thereby allowing the gas to condense on the packaging material. The carton (20) is then conveyed to a UV radiation source (38) for irradiation of the carton (20). The carton (20) is then dried with heated air to flush/remove any residual hydrogen peroxide. The present invention sterilizes the carton (20) allowing for filling with a desired product such as milk, juice or water. The invention allows for the efficacious use of hydrogen peroxide having a concentration of up to 53 % while providing a carton (20) having less than 0.5 ppm hydrogen peroxide. The method and apparatus of the present invention allows for the fabrication of a shelf-stable food product.