Hot Fill bottle processing

Hot Fill Packaging: A Comprehensive Guide to Process and Choices Hot Fill bottle processing on a factory line

In today's environmentally conscious world, sustainability has become a significant focus across various industries. One solution gaining momentum is the use of Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) plastic in packaging. PCR plastic, as its name suggests, is made from recycled materials, specifically consumer waste like plastic bottles and containers. 

By embracing PCR plastic, businesses can significantly reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and raw materials in production, minimizing their environmental impact and footprint. In this article, we explore the applications of PCR plastic, its benefits, considerations, and the resources TricorBraun offers to meet sustainability goals.

What Is The Hot Filling Process?

The Hot Fill Process:

  1. Heat Treatment: The product is heated to a specific temperature, anywhere from 180° to 203° F (82° to 95° C) depending on the product’s requirements, eliminating harmful microorganisms and preparing it for packaging.
  2. Bottle Preheating: The container is preheated to accommodate the hot product without compromising the packaging.
  3. Filling: Once the temperature decreases to about 180° to 185° F (82° to 85° C), the product is precisely filled into the preheated container and immediately capped for closure creating a vacuum seal.
  4. Cooling: The filled container undergoes controlled cooling to stabilize the product and complete the packaging process. This stage helps preserve the product’s taste and nutritional properties.

Why Use Hot Fill Packaging?

Unlocking the Benefits:

The FDA has manufacturing requirements when it comes to processed foods and beverages. A product must be considered commercially sterile: the result of disinfecting both the product and bottle of microorganisms capable of growing in non-refrigerated environments.

Hot fill packaging offers several advantages, making it an ideal choice for various businesses. Here's why:

  • Extended Shelf Life: The hot fill process enhances product preservation, leading to a longer shelf life.
  • Versatility: Suitable for a wide range of products, from juices and soups to sauces and condiments.
  • Enhanced Flavor: Maintains product freshness and flavor without the need for additives.

Products That Can Benefit From Using Hot Filling

Hot fill packaging finds its utility across a spectrum of products, with notable benefits for both beverages and liquid foods.


  • Juices
  • Iced Teas
  • Functional Drinks


  • Salsa
  • Sauces
  • Soups

Things To Consider When Choosing Hot Fill Packaging

When opting for hot fill packaging, key considerations ensure a seamless process:

Container Size: Choose a size that suits your product volume.

Bottle Type: Select bottles compatible with hot filling to avoid distortion.

Closure Options: Opt for closures that complement the hot fill process.

Our Hot Fill Process-Ready Containers



Plastic, such as PET or PP, is an excellent choice for hot fill packaging due to its versatility and durability. Polypropylene (PP) is known for its inherent ability to endure elevated temperatures without necessitating heat treatment, rendering it an excellent choice for hot fill packaging. Its thermal tolerance typically extends up to 165°F (73.9°C). Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) stands out as a prevalent plastic for hot fill applications due to its clear and streak-free appearance. Unlike PP, PET lacks innate heat resistance and requires a heat-set process to maintain its shape under high temperatures. Depending on the specific heat treatment employed, PET can withstand temperatures of up to 185°F (85°C) while retaining clarity and form. Explore our shoppable products for a range of plastic options.


Glass containers add a touch of sophistication to hot fill packaging. Learn about the benefits of glass and discover shoppable items that suit your hot fill needs. They undergo no additional processes when exposed to heat and can endure extremely high temperatures without distorting or impacting the contents. Shop glass options here.

TricorBraun provides a comprehensive range of stock and custom options for both plastic and glass hot fill packaging. Whether you're a beverage manufacturer or a producer of liquid foods, our containers are designed to meet your specific needs. Visit our Design and Engineering page to explore more options or talk to a packaging consultant for personalized assistance.


Whether you’re looking for a stock package or a groundbreaking custom design, TricorBraun’s proven process will guide your packaging decisions from napkin sketch all the way to the retail shelf.

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