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Anuga FoodTec 2024 review: Food processing machinery and aseptic filling take center stage

#Anuga FoodTec 2024 review: Food processing machinery and aseptic filling take center stage

Visitors at Anuga FoodTec 2024.
(Image credit: Anuga FoodTec).

25 Mar 2024 — Anuga FoodTec took place in Cologne, Germany, last week (19-22 March), highlighting technology-enabled food quality improvements. The latest machinery enables optimized processing, slicing and aseptic filling, while food packaging providers strive for sustainability. 

Multivac presented Multivac Line Control (MLC), a solution that enables efficient, central operation of the company’s processing and packaging lines. 

Dr. Tobias Richter, Multivac’s group president, tells Food Ingredients First on the show floor that MLC is realizing the group’s strategy of being a one-stop supplier for whole lines. “It is possible to run the 34-meter machine with one person only.”

One of Multivac’s main topics at Anuga FoodTec was new processing and slicing solutions. Richter says the company’s R&D team achieved progress with the new slicing portfolio presented at Anuga FoodTec.

“We listened to our customers and kept what was best in class: the slicing quality results. And what we did was we extended the portfolio to be fully scalable to accommodate all output regimes customers have and it could be integrated at the smallest footprint in lines, but best is to see it live.”

Blueberries in plastic and paper packaging.The new Multivac Top Close system for blueberries.Mulivac furthermore presented a range of compact solutions for the food industry, serving small and medium-sized customers and larger ones. “We have a bunch of small solutions here, like small tray sealers. But one highlight I would like to mention is our Multivac Top Close concept, where we apply a label on top of cardboard for the fresh produce industry, such as the packing of blueberries,” says Richter.

“This is solving our customer’s problem, meaning low footprint, high output of up to 300 packs per minute of blueberries could be packaged with this small and compact solution.”

Filling technology
Syntegon subsidiary Ampack showcased its new bottle-filling machine branded Ampack FBL.

The new bottle filler is based on the company’s existing FCL machine. “Our FCL machine is a cup-filling machine, introduced several years ago. It’s an aseptic filling machine and based on this concept, Ampack designed a new bottle filling machine,” Oguz Karcier, Syntegon’s head of Product Management for Food Liquid, tells Food Ingredients First.

Ampack is an aseptic filler for dairy and non-dairy applications. “We are filling cups and bottles on our machines.”

When asked how the Ampack FBL compares to previous solutions, Karcier says the old machine is a “market leader” in its field, especially for baby food and clinical nutrition applications.

“Based on this know-how, we developed our new FPL machine. The difference between the old machine and the FPL machine is the neck handling transport system of the machine, where the bottles are caught on the neck,” he explains.Bottle filling machine.Syntegon subsidiary Ampack’s new bottle-filling machine Ampack FBL.

“This gives our customers much more flexibility than we had before. The old machine was a bottom-handling machine, and in case of format changes, the handling efforts were much higher on the old machine than on the new machine,” says Karcier.

The new machine allows for increased customer flexibility. “Customers can run different bottle sizes, with one format on the machine. Furthermore, the format change on the machine is easier than it was before. The customer can save time and increase the productivity of the machine.”

Ampack fills HDPE bottles, suitable especially for clinical efficient applications. “That’s the right material to use in that field. We also fill PP material and PET materials on the new FBL machine,” asserts Karcier.

This means for standard dairy applications, PET is used. For high-end, clinical or baby food applications, HDPE is preferred by our customers. “The big advantage of our machine is that we can handle HDPE and PET bottles on the same machine. That’s the big advantage that we can offer our customers now with a new machine.”

KHS booth at Anuga FoodTec.The new KHS Plasmaxx system.

Aseptic bottle filling
KHS exhibited its latest rotary InnoPET BloFill ACF-R aseptic block. Stefan Knappmann, sales director at KHS, tells Food Ingredients First that the KHS linear aseptic filler is well known “and it’s a proven technology and we are now rolling out the rotary aseptic filling.”

“With the new filler, we concentrate on bottle sterilization which allows for high impact, high quality on the filling because sterilization happens prior to the filling and not for example, with a pre-formed sterilization,” says Knappmann.

“The advantage is it can be combined into a block. We can offer a dual block, which means it can be combined with a blow molder which has high energy impacts, saving costs. On the other hand, we can also offer a try block and combine it with KHS Plasmaxx technology.”

Linear fillers’ capacity on the other hand are more limited. “With linear fillers we only can offer a capacity below 20,000 bottles per hour and with the rotary system we can more or less go up to 48,000 bottles per hour,” he explains.

KHS has offered Plasmaxx technologies for 20 years. “With the new Plasmaxx system, we can offer the same product safety as before. We can reduce oxygen intake into your product otherwise we can also ensure that the CO2 of your product won’t get out of the container,” says Knappmann.

“The main advantages of the new generation of the Plasmaxx are that we reduce a lot of parts. This will lead to energy consumption savings and maintenance for customers will be much easier.”

By Natalie Schwertheim reporting from Anuga FoodTec 2024

This feature is provided by Packaging Insights’s sister website, Food Ingredients First.

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