Bag-in-box filler can be a wise investment if you are thinking about your juice production business.
The fruit juice you make can be kept for up to 18 months in a closed bag. Up to 2 months in the opened bag. This piece of equipment is lightweight, stackable, and easy to carry. Easy handling of this machine also lets you use it even if you are only a hobbyist.
Bootle hygiene problems and bottle cleaning are also eliminated. Because there are no bottles!
What Is Bag-In-Box Packaging?
The so-called bag-in-box is packaging for liquids, especially food. The English bag-in-box, BiB for short, literally means “bag-in-box”; other names are bag-in-box, bag in a box, or bag-in-tube.
The packaging consists of an inner bag made of composite film material (e.g., aluminum/HDPE or polyethylene (PE)) in combination with ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH), which is mechanically sealed by an outer packaging (cardboard box) made of corrugated cardboard or wood or a tube (English tube) is supported from cardboard.
With this technique, the manufacturer fills the inner bag with the non-pressurized liquid, closes it with the tap, and then puts it in the outer carton.
Compliance with filling hygiene and the high peak load (flow rate) during the filling process might be problematic. Therefore, the product is usually temporarily stored in a germ-free (aseptic) buffer tank. Hot filling is also an option with the appropriate bag material.
The consumer opens a pre-cut window in the carton and can either take the drink from a simple tap or connect the bag to a dispenser for further distribution.
What Is The Bag Filler?
The Bag-In-Box filler might be a manual or semi-automatic filling machine that can be used for filling single bags and bags from the belt.
It is equipped with the quantity measurement, which means that 0.8 gal (3 l), 1.3 gal (5 l), 2.6 gal (10 l), and 5.2 gal (20 l) bags can be filled very quickly, and the containers can be set up very quickly.
It is worth mentioning that most bag-in-box fillers are extremely versatile and can be perfect for filling various liquids: from juice, wine, and oil to puree, cream, and even soap.
The machine is suitable for both – hot and cold filling and can usually fill bag-in-box and pouch packaging in sizes from 0.2 gal (0.75 l) to 8 gal (30 l). It is also possible to fill 58 gal (220 l) bags with a special filling gun.
As you see, a bag-in-box filler is a very versatile machine.
Manual Bag In Box Filler – Example Specifications
Below is an average example of bag-in-box filler that can be found on the market:
- The complete filling process of a 0.8 gal (3 l) bag takes about 7 seconds.
- The filler can optionally have interchangeable filling heads. You can use a filler to fill bags with different closures, such as taps, milk hoses, screw caps, single closures, etc.
- The laser safety mechanism protects the limbs by automatically stopping and aborting the inflation process in the event of an accident.
- The high-quality automatic filling head ensures a stable and smooth filling process.
- Optionally, the filler can be equipped with a removable buffer tank for hot filling. It conveniently mounts on the side of the machine for better control and an easier wash cycle. The buffer tank also reduces liquid foaming during the hot fill process.
- The buffer tank has an integrated liquid level control on the inside to regulate overflow and filling levels in the tank.
- The buffer tank might also be supplied with a connection to a pasteurizer.
- The filler is easy to clean after work with external and CIP cleaning.
Semi-Automatic BIB Filler – Example Specifications
Semi-automatic bottler with calibratable weighing system:
- The bag-in-box semi-automatic filler has a calibratable scale for filling 0.8 gal (3 l), 1.3 gal (5 l), and 2.6 gal (10 l) bags.
- This machine is specially designed for hot filling up to approx. 186°F (80°C).
- A thermometer for checking the working temperature is integrated into the reservoir.
- The level indicator shows the amount of juice in the container. The built-in level switch controls the pasteurizer’s juice pump before the storage tank overflows.
How to operate it?
- Insert bag into the gripper (manually).
- Open the bag closure (manually).
- After pressing the start button, the swivel arm moves to the filling position and begins to fill the bag (automatically).
- Fill the bag with an automatic filling quantity via a calibrated weighing system until the set weight is reached (automatically).
- Close and remove the bag from the gripper (manual).
Bag In Box Filling Line
Let’s have a quick look at the parts of a bag-in-box filling line. Such line should at least consist of the:
- fruit press
- pasteurizer (optional)
- bag-in-box filler
- labeling machine (optional)
This is a more straightforward setup compared to a juice bottling line. You don’t need to have a washing and sanitizing machine for the bottles.
Additional equipment for filling pasteurized fruit and wine juices can include:
- outer packaging made of cardboard
- bag holders made of stainless steel
- filling funnels for cardboard boxes
In order to label the fruit and wine juices you have created yourself, you can use a simple labeling machine with stickers in different sizes.
Bag-in-box is considered to be more environmentally friendly packaging for your drinks. This is especially the case if you buy bag-in-box packaging made from food-safe and environmentally friendly polyethylene, which is incinerated in a pollutant-free and energy-recovery manner.
A bag-in-box is used for the long-term storage of liquids such as wine, must and sweet must, fruit juice, liqueurs, distillates, cooking oil, soups, milk, water, or vinegar.
Since the juice bag is filled under a vacuum, the liquid can be kept for up to 18 – 24 months. The sturdy carton can be reused up to 40 times and protects the product inside from solar radiation (UV radiation) – another reason for the long shelf life.
The bag-in-box carton is precisely matched to the bag-in-box and has cut-outs for the VITOP outlet tap (closure). The bag-in-box can be easily transported using the handle holes. In addition, the cardboard ensures a stable stand and an attractive look.
With the bag-in-box, you get a very efficient transport option for liquids. Due to its light and compact packaging, this packaging system requires little storage space when not filled.
For this reason – and also when it comes to transport – bags in boxes have significant advantages over a glass or plastic bottles.
Thanks to the stackable cuboid shape and the optimal use of space, a bag in a box can be transported and stored in a space-saving manner.
Closing is also quick and easy – no packing tape is required! Filled bag-in-box units can also be stacked and are, therefore, extremely space-saving when stored.
Bag-in-box packaging is gaining more popularity compared to traditional glass, cans, and tetra-pack filling systems. Probably because it’s a simple and relatively cheap option.
From a taste point of view, it is advantageous that, for example, wine packaged in BiB is not subject to the risk of developing a cork tone, as is the case with bottles closed with natural cork.
After opening the packaging, the shelf life of the packaged products is better since no air can get into the product remaining in the packaging when removed from the outside so that oxidation processes or contamination can be avoided.
The drinks can, therefore, usually be kept at room temperature for at least several weeks after opening. Of course, the shelf life is reduced at higher temperatures.
On the other hand, the long-term shelf life of the unopened product is presumably lower than that of glass packaging.
In a study by the University of California, Californian Chardonnay’s taste changes when stored in different packaging were examined in long-term tests.
Wine bottled in bag-in-boxes and stored at 104°F (40°C) had a higher amount of vinegary aromas than wine bottled at the same temperature. The difference was significantly smaller when stored at lower temperatures (room temperature or below).