Thermal Processing



The purpose of the heat process is to preserve the pack contents by destroying the microorganism and enzymes capable of activity in the food during subsequent normal storage. Additionally the process may be designed to cook the food, thus developing the required characteristics of flavor, texture and colour.

Establishment of the scheduled heat process

There are five key steps in the establishment of the scheduled heat process for foods in flexible packs:

I. Consideration of the degree of lethal heat required to achieve commercially stable products.

2. Establishment of heat distribution throughout the heating vessel (retort)

3. Execution of heat penetration rate studies into the product. under simulated production conditions, in order to determine the critical factors and the approximate heat process cycle conditions required to achieve commercial sterility.

4. Consideration of the coldest spot in the container

5. Final checking of the preliminary heat process schedule using the production heat processing equipment.