What is the Difference Between Aseptic and Retort Packaging?


Sterile items such as medicine and foods are to be kept far away from the reach of contamination and bacteria. Such items can’t be packaged in ordinary and must be kept in conditions that are favorable for it. Usually, such items are medical tools and medicines and baby products. It falls in the duty of the industry to bring a relevant solution to the needs of sterile. Thus, the formation of aseptic and retort came into being. Many aseptic and retort are used in day to day lives.

Since aseptic and retort isn’t two categories, they can’t be put parallel to each other for comparison, and they are in fact two steps out of many to make the sterile product further safe. 

Aseptic Packaging

Moving on to aseptic packaging, this is a whole process of pharmaceutical, or food products are typically packaged in containers that are safe and can keep the product sterile. Such ensures that no contamination reaches the item, and it remains clean and clear. Aseptic increases the shelf life once the item is packaged in the safe and aseptic containers.

The aseptic packaging process is usually based on the following steps:

  • First, the product is sterilized 
  • The custom packaging materials are sterilized, containers and their closures are sterilized 
  • The machines and units involved in the process of filling are sterilized 
  • Taking care of sterility in this whole process

The aseptic packaging process is a whole lot of work that involves highly responsible and efficient, well-trained staff as well as resources like plants and their maintenance. This process is very unlike the manufacturing of the usual. 

In the light of above information, aseptic packaging is type where the product (mainly medical items and medicines and baby care products) are packaged and sealed in aseptic conditions to increase its shelf life without having to keep it in a refrigerator.

Retort packaging

Retort is given this name because of the natural purpose of the ‘retort’ process, and its actual meaning Retort is a bag that is very unlike the traditional industrial methods for sterile items while maintaining the sterility and increasing the shelf life of the item. Retort is normally used for food, and some examples are cat foods, ready to cook fish and processed foods etc. This is based on flexible plastic and metal layers processed together into one thin sheet. This type of packaging can be easily seen in grocery stores etc.

‘Retort’ is a process or a distillation device made of glassware that is being utilized in distilling items and substances of a wide variety. Thus retort packaging is the process in which food and drinks are securely packaged to keep them away from contamination, and they are safely kept in clean sealed from all sides. This is different from canning methods and is usually based on layered pouches.

Difference between Aseptic and Retort

  • These two types are somewhat the same if not compared, technically. Where aseptic is highly sterile, also retort is keeping the item away from air and contamination
  • Both of these standards are for retail industry, but one slight difference is that where aseptic is mainly used for medicines and medical industry, aseptic is used for food and drinks to increase their shelf life.
  • There are less manpower, unit and resources used in retort; however, uses highly skilled task force and sterile conditions for the material, items as well as the unit of a plant used in the medicines etc.
  • Retort uses thin, flexible layers of plastic and metal, and aseptic differs from retort in this aspect.

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