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aseptic packaging

Pronunciation: [uh-SEHP-tihk; a-SEHP-tihk]

A system of packaging food and drink products so the contents are exposed to a minimal amount of air; such products are typically vacuum-packed. Because oxygen is the major contributor to spoilage in most foods, aseptic packaging can retain a product's freshness for several months, even years. Milk, juices, chopped tomatoes and even inexpensive wines are packaged aseptically in plastic bags within cartons or boxes. The bags collapse as the contents are poured out, keeping the remaining food or drink relatively free of air contamination.