How important is 1 deg C in Retort Processing applications ?

Even 1 deg C is very important in Retort Processing. An error of 1 deg C during sterilization time ( at 121 deg C ) will change the Food Sterilization value ( Fo value) by 26%.

 

For example, if the processor is planning to process 5 minutes at 121 deg C for a specific product. The Fo value at 121 deg C for one minute is 0.974 and Fo value at 122 deg C for one minute is 1.227.

 

For 5 minutes at 121 deg C is 5 x 0.974 = 4.87.

For 5 minutes at 122 deg C is 5 x 1.227 = 6.135

 

Here if the processor is using unreliable equipments for the validation or monitoring applications, you can observe that an error of 1 deg C at 121 deg will spoil the entire products. Instead of 4.87, the equipment might display 6.135 which is 26% higher than the actual values, and the result will be the spoilage of the entire process. .

 

So it is highly recommended to use only high accurate and reliable equipment for the validation and regular monitoring applications. Special care should be taken for mounting the probes exactly at the cold spots of the containers. Repetitive tests should be conducted to make sure that the measurement is accurate and correct.