How to produce High quality Retort Processed foods with highest level of safety ?

First and foremost the processor should understand the behavior of the product to be processed. He should know the following important factors about the product, pouches and retort.


  1. The pH value of the product
  2. The maximum temperature which the product can withstand before it loses its basic qualities and nutrient values. (holding temperature)
  3. The maximum time of exposure of a particular product at high temperature ( holding time)
  4. Fo value for safety of the product
  5. Cook value – Co value – for the quality and taste of the product
  6. Heat Penetration data
  7. Effect of Water activity value on the product
  8. Methods to optimize the thermal processing
  9. Intended Shelf Life
  10. Pre-cooking methods
  11. Pressure developed by the products during retort processing
  12. Deflection / Deformation occurring on the pouches during the processing
  13. Type of available retort – steam/air, water immersion, spray, rotary and Shaking retort
  14. Uniformity and quality of the available retort
  15. Safe area inside the retort within the tolerance limits
  16. Available cooling water source and temperature
  17. Quality and Speed of the available filling and sealing machines
  18. Type of containers available – cans, pouches, plastic trays, bottles


Based on the above data, the processor should develop the processing technology and find out the optimized method to reach the required Fo value and Co value. Under sterilization will spoil the product and over cooking will reduce the quality and taste of the product.


The success of the Retort Processed Foods depends on how smart the processor could develop the technology to optimize the processing and reduce the exposure of the product to high temperature.