Aseptic processing allows for the food to be properly sterilized outside the container and then placed into a previously sterilized container, which is then sealed in a sterile environment. Most systems use ultra-high temperature (UHT) sterilization to sterilize the food product before it is packaged. UHT sterilizes food at high temperatures usually above 135 C for 1–2 seconds. This is advantageous because it allows for faster processing, usually a few seconds at high temperatures (130–150 °C) and better retention of sensory and nutritional characteristics. Aseptic products have a non-refrigerated shelf-life of a few months to several years.
In commercial processing, the film is removed automatically or by an operator handling the film in a light proof bag from which it is fed into the processing machine. The processing machinery is generally run on a continuous basis with films spliced together in a continuous line. All the processing steps are carried out within a single processing machine with automatically controlled time, temperature and solution replenishment rate. The film or prints emerge washed and dry and ready to be cut by hand. Some modern machines also cut films and prints automatically, sometimes resulting in negatives cut across the middle of the frame where the space between frames is very thin or the frame edge is indistinct, as in an image taken in low light.