Thermal processing in retorts needs optimisation


In today’s world, cost reduction becomes more and more daily routine than a special project. Ingredients quality issues and its availability, product development and procurement cost saving initiatives, change thermal behaviour of products processed in the retorts. In many cases retort cycles become very long, what makes them bottle necks of the whole production.

Cutting down thermal process time in most of the cases means product treatment in a very high temperatures. What then leads into increased usage of cooling water… Everything has its consequences in product quality or impacts packaging and many other aspects specific to the type of food. Thermal process optimisation is therefore “a must have” when producing thermally preserved food. It’s about energy efficiency of your plant and cost competitive of your company. It’s not only about food quality and its safety.


What our clients want, is:

  • To reduce retorts cycle times
  • Preserve quality of their products
  • Be able to develop and launch good quality new products in short time
  • Reduce energy, media usage
  • Use new, fragile packaging formats


Right from the start

Our process technologists understand, that what has to happen in the retort is also the consequence of what happens earlier in the production process. Preparation of ingredients, cooking, mixing, heating, pumping, filling, all of that and many more specific points for each factory or production line within the factory, changes worst case parameters of your thermal process. That means, optimisation of thermal process, in many cases should be done before product lands in the retort.

One of the important aspects, which has to be kept in mind is knowledge of hygiene regime impact on the thermal process. Food machinery hygienic design, cleaning and disinfection procedures, cleaning and disinfection validations and personnel training. Our team is capable to take care of this aspect as well.

Tweaks in parameters of specific production steps leading to optimisation of thermal process not only changes situation for current portfolio and production cost. It changes perspective for new product development, opening windows which were seen impossible, because of retort processing parameters.


Thermal process design and optimisation – practical approach

Thermal process covers many aspects, starting from the ingredients and finishing on storage and preparation method of finished goods by the consumer. List of worst case conditions for your thermal process has to be evaluated and validated carefully.

If you work with pasteurisation tunnel, batch retorts, continuous sterilisation cookers or hydrostats, you always must achieve required F0 or P0 for your product safety and quality. Experienced process technologist knows that there are several ways to achieve required F0/P0. Working with microbiologist and product developer enables us to design optimal thermal process for your product and validate it accordingly to the highest industry standards.

How we work:

  1. We discuss with the client assumptions and requirements for the product or process optimisation/design.
  2. Verification of all currently available data. If any data is not available or its amount/quality is not sufficient, we discuss the way how to get it.
  3. Data analysis and preparation of proposition/s of the new or optimised thermal process, accordingly to industry standards requirements or client internal specific requirements as agreed upfront.
  4. We run validation and implementation trials with you. We want to stay with you until first production runs are completed. Data analysis and proposition of next steps into further optimisations are integral part of the project.

We run trainings on in-pack pasteurization and sterilization of products. We will conduct training for employees responsible for: supervision over retorts used for thermal processing of products, development of product recipes, supervision over ongoing thermal processing.


No shortcuts

What we want to do for our clients, is to take a holistic look at the production and portfolio. We want to understand deep reasons of current situation. We want to spend time in your factory with your personnel, both to observe their ways of working and to discuss the process data. We report to our clients observations we have, followed with ideas to improve. We will focus on your specific topic if you have one. And we will make a list of ideas, that we see as potential options for improvement for your thermal process, having in mind our broad perspective and experience gained in projects already realized in many different factories in Europe. We also provide hands on support for implementation of every your idea.


Who will be involved in thermal process optimisation in your factory


You will mainly work with our experienced Thermal Process Expert, who has good understanding of food engineering and production organization aspects. Thermal Process Expert will be supported by our Hygienic Process Design Specialist and Microbiologist. Depending on the scope of your project, at some stage of project realization you may also work with our Nutrition and Product Development Technologist and Utilities Management Engineer.


Contact us



You may drop us an email at:


Skype Meeting (SKYPE FOR BUSINESS) with our Thermal Processing Expert

Do you want to present / discuss your project in a broader team? Use the callendar below and request 30 mins long Skype Conference with our Thermal Processing Expert. By default, we propose you a meeting between 15.00-15.30 pm Central European Time (UTC/GMT +1h). Once we accept your request, you will receive a link to join Skype Meeting (you can share that link with colleagues within your company). The meeting will open in your Internet browser – you will not need any special program installed on your computer/mobile device to join the meeting. You can also use Skype for Business / Lync application, if you prefer so.


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thermal process optimisation, thermal process design, optimisation of pasteurization process, optimisation of sterilization process