What are the critical parameters in Retort Processing ?

When ever the processor develop retort processing technology, he should consider the following important parameters :-

  • Container type ( cans, pouches, plastic trays, glass bottles)
  • Container Size
  • Container Material ( transparent or aluminium foiled pouches)
  • Orientation of the containers inside the retort ( vertical or horizontal)
  • Selection of Secondary packages
  • Type of Retort available ( steam/air, water immersion, water spray, rotary or shaking retort)
  • Type of products, recipes and ingredients, formulation
  • Quantity of products and structure
  • Head Space
  • Pre-Processing methods
  • Cooling water temperature
  • Target Bacteria for destruction
  • Required Shelf Life
  • Ambient Storage conditions
  • Transit conditions


The processor should develop the processing technology based on the above mentioned factors. He should find out the required Food Sterilization values ( Fo values) , Cook values ( Co values), filling temperature, come up time, holding temperature and time, sterilization time, cooling time etc to obtain the optimized retort processing to achieve safe products with high quality.