Retort Packaging – Pouches, Cans, Plastic Trays, Bottles

retort packaging

Different types of Retort Packaging – Cans, Pouches, Plastic Trays, Cartons etc. Tips to select the best retort packaging suitable for your specific products, quality norms and product testing procedures, Database of main retort packaging suppliers and many more.


A retort pouch is a type of food packaging created by aseptic processing, made from multiple layers of flexible laminate, allowing for the sterile packaging of a wide variety of food and drink, ranging from water to fully-cooked, thermo-stabilized (heat-treated) high-caloric meals such as Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs) which can be eaten cold, warmed by submersing in hot water, or through the use of a flameless ration heater, or through microwave heating .

retort pouches and trays

Retort pouches are used in field rations, space food, camping food, and brands such as Kohinoor, Uncle Bens, Chicken of the Sea, Tasty Bite, etc.

A retort pouch is a plastic and metal foil laminate pouch that is used as an alternative to traditional industrial canning methods.

A pouch is a bag with 3 or 4 wide seals, able to contain food inside, sometimes has a bottom gusset and its name is Stand Up Pouch.

A retort pouch is constructed from a flexible metal-plastic laminate which is able to withstand thermal processing via sterilisation.

The food is first prepared, even raw or semi-cooked, and then sealed into the retort pouch. The pouch is then heated to 240-250°F (116-121°C) for several minutes under high pressure, inside retort or autoclave machines. The food inside is cooked, similar to pressure cooking. This process reliably kills all commonly occurring microorganisms (particularly Clostridium botulinum), preventing it from spoiling.

pouchThe packaging process is very similar to canning, except that the package itself is flexible.

The lamination structure doesn’t allow permeation of gases from outside into the pouch.

The particular retort pouches used for several products consist of four layers bonded in a lamination machine. Starting from outside, the layers are:

polyester PET Provides a gloss and rigid layer, may be printed inside.

nylon Bi-Oriented Polyamide, provides puncture resistance.

aluminum Al Provides a very thin but effective gas barrier.

food-grade cast polypropylene or CPP Is the sealing layer.

This layering method renders the packaging un-recyclable. After use, it must either be incinerated or disposed of in a landfill. The weight of a pouch is lighter than regular cans or bottles, and the energy required to convert is less than that of metals, paper and glass.