Our Offer for Retort Processing Applications

OUR OFFER FOR RETORT PROCESSING APPLICATIONS

Offer for Retort Processing Package

Your Requirement:-
pouches-web-1
To set a high class retort processing plant to produce retort processed ready to eat food ( vegetable curries ) in Pouches and other containersProducts : Retort Processed Rice, Vegetable, gravies, soups, meat, fish, diary products etcAverage quantity of products : About 250 to 300 grams per pouch upto 1 kg / pouch

Containers : Retort Pouches, Cans, Plastic Trays, Bottles, Cups, Glass Bottles etc

Processing Temperature : upto 121 deg C

Expected Shelf Life : 1 to 3 years

Production Capacity : About 10,000 to 30,000 pouches per day

Market : Indian domestic market and export to USA, UK, Europe and other countries

Special Requirement : The plant and machinery should comply with FDA, USFDA and other international regulatory agencies

What we offer :We, along with our world renowned international associates, M/s. ELLAB A/S Denmark, M/s. LAGARDE France and HPM Global Inc. Korea, could offer you a very good package for the retort food processing applications, which include the world’s best retort ( from LAGARDE France) , Fo value monitoring and validation system from ELLAB A/S Denmark, which is the one and only equipment in the world which gives you 100% perfection in retort process monitoring, controlling and validation applications and also high class retort pouches ( from HPM Global Inc Korea) .We provide onsite installation, commissioning and training.We also provide you technical assistance and application support to develop high class retort food in pouches and other different types of containers.

We help our customers with FDA validation assistance, to those who wanted to export to US and European countries.

We can offer a retort food production plant  package, which is  fully compliant to FDA requirements and meet all the international regulatory norms.

You can export the product produced from the offered package to any countries including the  US market without any problems as it will meet all of their quality norms and requirements.

What are the important points to be taken care while selecting the retort for a particular product ?

The most important points to be taken into consideration while selecting the suitable retort for processing a particular product are :-

1. The retort should be able to sterilise the products properly within shortest time.

This is very important, because when the food is exposed to high temperature for long time, there are chances that the food may lose its color, texture, taste, vitamins and nutrients. So it is very important to select the retort which will be able to sterilize the food in shortest time.

2. The retort should have very good uniformity inside the chamber.

This is important, because all the products processed from a batch should be equal in all respects. So the retort should have the facility to evenly distribute the temperature through out the chamber and all the products should get equal amount of heat.

3. Energy consumption should be minimum

Saving energy means saving money. The energy savings include the valuable process time, steam, water, air, electricity, maintenance cost etc.

So the retort should be selected based on the amount of energy which it consumes for the processing. Also the maintenance cost should be calculated as a apart of energy saving.

4. Trouble Free Operation

It is very important to select the retort which has less chances of maintenance required for the smooth operation of the unit. Some types of retort needs regular maintenance including the cleaning of the nozzles, plate heat exchangers etc. This should be avoided.

Here are the questions which you wish to ask . You can fine the answers also here. .

What are the important points to be taken care while selecting the retort for a particular product ? 

What are the different types of retorts and why there are different types of retorts ?

What are  the difference between Steam Air  Retorts and Hot Water Spray Retorts ?

What types of products are targeted for Hot Water Spray Retorts and Steam Air Retorts ? 

What type retort is better for processing in Retort Pouches ? 

What types of retorts are more economical and easy to operate ?

You can view the detailed answers of all the above questions here.

What are the important points to be taken care while selecting the retort for a particular product ?

The most important points to be taken into consideration while selecting the suitable retort for processing a particular product are :-

1. The retort should be able to sterilise the products properly within shortest time.

This is very important, because when the food is exposed to high temperature for long time, there are chances that the food may lose its color, texture, taste, vitamins and nutrients. So it is very important to select the retort which will be able to sterilize the food in shortest time.

2. The retort should have very good uniformity inside the chamber.

This is important, because all the products processed from a batch should be equal in all respects. So the retort should have the facility to evenly distribute the temperature through out the chamber and all the products should get equal amount of heat.

3. Energy consumption should be minimum

Saving energy means saving money. The energy savings include the valuable process time, steam, water, air, electricity, maintenance cost etc.

So the retort should be selected based on the amount of energy which it consumes for the processing. Also the maintenance cost should be calculated as a apart of energy saving.

4. Trouble Free Operation

It is very important to select the retort which has less chances of maintenance required for the smooth operation of the unit. Some types of retort needs regular maintenance including the cleaning of the nozzles, plate heat exchangers etc. This should be avoided.

What are the different types of Retorts and what are its applications ?

The different types of retorts available in the market are

1. Rotary Retort 

2. Steam Retort

3. Steam Air Retort

4. Water Immersion Retort

5 Hot water Spray Retort

6. Water cascading Retort

5. Continuos  Retort  

6. Shaking Retort 

All the above reorts are targeted for specific products, specific recipes and specific containers. The user should be very careful in selecting the suitable retort based on their application.

Out of the above listed retorts, we offer Steam Retort, Steam Air Retort, Rotary Retort and Hot Water Spray Retorts

What are the difference between Steam Air Retort and Hot Water Spray Retorts ?

Steam Air Retort :-

 

The steam air retort is the universal type retort which can be used to process any type of products in any type of containers. The operational and maintenance cost are  less which make it welcomed by most of the processors .

pouh-in-steam-air-retort

In Steam Air Retort, steam and air are directly injected into the retort.A large fan located at the rear side of the retort, mixes the steam and air properly and make a homogeneous distribution through out the chamber.

 

Since the steam is freely allowed to pass through the entire chamber, all the products get temperature, cooking effect and sterilization effect uniformly.

 

There is option to choose a heat exchanger for cooling the water or the processor can directly inject water into the chamber from an external cooling tank.

The come up time, holding time, sterilization time and cooling time will be much faster in steam air retort compared to Hot Water Spray Retort.

The energy consumption will be very less ( less than 50% ) compared to Hot Water Spry Retort.

The maintenance and running cost also are also less in Steam Air Retort.

Hot Water Spray Retort

 

Hot water spray retorts are mainly used for processing in containers which does not withstand sudden change in temperature, either heating or cooling. E.g. processing in glass bottles.

 

When the processor process the products in glass bottles, it is recommended to heat and cool very slowly. A sudden change in the temperature affects the containers like glass, which breaks.

So hot water spray retorts are specially designed for processing in such specialized containers. But it can be used to process other types of containers also, but will be less effective due to the slowness in the processing cycle.

 

Umbrella-effect-web-4In Hot water Spray Retorts, water is collected at the bottom of the retort . At the beginning of the cycle, steam is applied into the water( pre heating ) .

The water gets  converted into super heated water and then it will be sprayed into the products from the top and sides.

 

During the spray, the products gets heat slowly from the top to bottom and from sides to the center. After a certain time ( come up time) all the products gets uniform temperature. Then holding time starts. The sterilization happens during the holding time.

 

At the time of cooling, the same water will be taken out and then pass it through plate heat exchanger to cool it and then again sprays into the chamber to cool the products.

Due to this spray technology, the come up time, holding time and cooling time are very slow and so it is much longer compared to steam air retorts.

The Hot water spray retorts use very narrow holes in the nozzles of the sprayer in order to spray the water properly. So there are chances that some minute particles may block the nozzles and so it needs regular cleaning.

Moreover Hot water spray retort uses Plate heat exchanger for heating and cooling and so the energy consumption is much higher.

Due to the spraying of hot water, the products positioned at the top layer and side layers gets more temperature compared to the products at the middle. Getting more temperature means, getting over cooked. So the uniformity of the products through out the chamber will be less compared to steam air retort.

Please refer the enclosed photo indicating the change in the temperature during the initial come up time.

What types of products are targeted for Hot Water Spray Retorts and Steam Air Retorts ?

What type of retorts are good for processing in pouches.

Steam Air Retorts are universal retorts which can process any type of products in any type of containers.

But Hot Water Spray retorts are mainly designed for specialized containers ( like glass bottles)  which needs special care like slow heating and slow cooling.

But it is not good for most of the other products and containers due to the slowness in the processing .

So you may choose Hot water spray only if you are planning to process the products in glass bottles.

Since you are planning to process the products in pouches, then steam air retort will be the better choice to make better products, save energy and to have a hassle free operation of the retort.

 

Normally the processing time of 300 grams of Indian vegetable curries is 90 minutes in Hot Water Spray where as it will be only 55 minutes when process in Steam Air Retort.

Here the time difference is 30 minutes which is more than 50% time.

The products definitely gets overcooked when processed in Hot water spray compared to the steam air process.

The energy loss is also very high to process 50% extra time in Hot water spray.

 

So we strongly recommend you for Steam Air retort for your application of processing in retort pouches.

Which Processing is more economical ? Hot water spray or Steam Air ?

Energy Consumption

Saving energy means saving money.

 

In Hot water Spray Retorts, the technology involves in collecting water at the bottom of the retort and then apply steam into the water ( pre heating ) .The water will be converted into superheated water and then it will be sprayed into the products from the top and sides.

During the spray, the products gets heat slowly from the top to bottom and from sides to the center.

After a certain time ( come up time) all the products gets uniform temperature.Then holding time starts. The sterilization happens during the holding time.

At the time of cooling, the same water will be taken out and then pass it through plate heat exchanger to cool it and then again sprays into the chamber to cool the products.Due to this spray technology, the come up time, holding time and cooling time etc of Hot Water Spray Retort are much longer compared to steam air retort.

 

In steam air technology, there is no need to do pre heating of water. The steam will be directly injected into the retort.

 

A large fan located at the rear side of the retort, mixes the steam and air properly and make a homogeneous distribution through out the chamber.Steam&Air process you reduce the cycle time due to faster heating (we don’t need to pre heat water in the bottom of the vessel previous to heating the product) and faster cooling (the amount of water in the bottom of the vessel is less for steam and air than for water cascading as the pump of water cascading needs to be bigger to insure high pressure flow rate and reduce temperature deviation).

 

Steam and air process: Steam –> Product

 

Water cascading:Steam –> Plate heat exchanger –> Fresh water in the bottom of the vessel, piping, plate heat exchanger –> Product

Figure after results from a study leaded by Ruik Bruins of Rutgers University specialists, and presented at the Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists in March 1996, of the comparative of energy costs for a thermal treatment of 66 cans.

 

M. Bruins demonstrated that steam and air process was 33% cheaper than water cascading for cans application. It is even more for flexible or semi rigid packaging applications.

Technology Electricity Water Steam Total Unit cost / can
Immersion 0.443$ 0.474$ 1.446$ 2.363$ 0.0358$
Hot Water spray 0.346$ 0.330$ 1.205$ 1.881$ 0.0285$
Steam and air 0.177$ 0.305$ 0.724$ 1.206$ 0.0183$

 

In summary, Lagarde Steam and Air retort offers following real advantages compared to any water-based process:

–          Energy saving between 30% to 80% compared with water cascading or water spray process

–          Utilities of water reduced by 30%

–          Come-up-time shorter from 20% to 40%

–          Sterilization time reduced by 10% to 20%

–          Surface of Thermal Exchange of the packaging higher from 2 to 5 times

–          Boiler installed capacity lower from 30% to 50%

 

Retort from LAGARDE France :-

lagarde-retorts-main-webWe are the exclusive representatives of M/s. Lagarde Retorts in India and Sri Lanka.

Lagarde offers world’s best retorts which helps the processor to produce high quality retort food.

Lagarde is the Inventor of the Steam/Air retort system. Patent Nr. FR2225702 in 1974.

 

Lagarde offers a comprehensive range of standard retorts and can also design solutions for a wide range of special applications.

 

The standard types of retorts includes Steam/Air, Water Spray, Water Immersion and Rotary retorts etc.

Here we wish to offer Steam / Air Retort for your application as it is the best system suitable for your application as well as it is more economical and cost effective.

Lagarde Steam / Air  Retort

Steam & Air PROCESS DESCRIPTION :Sterilising Step – Temperature Come-up and Holding Time :Steam-Air-Retort-webSteam is automatically & directly injected into the retort chamber and is distributed evenly; an efficient agitating fan ensures a uniform steam/air distribution throughout the entire retort chamber in order to guarantee good temperature accuracy during the holding time.Cooling step :The cooling is obtained using re-circulated water, cooled by the addition of fresh water or via a Plate Heat Exchanger (option).
The re-circulated water comes from retained steam condensate to which is added an amount of pre-cooling water.The gradual addition of cold water is automatically controlled and eliminates the risk of “thermal shock” and ensures the temperature is ramped down.Throughout the Heating & Cooling steps, the electronic process controller monitors temperature and pressure inside the retort chamber.

 

Retort Control System :SAMANTHA©, the LAGARDE® control system, is based on an industrial. PC
Developed by LAGARDE® under Linux, a stable operating system that is not sensitive to virusFrom the outset Samantha© has been designed to meet European and FDA/USDA Standards. It is Accurate, Secure, Flexible and User-Friendly and enables you to meet your expectations

samatha-control-web

Specail SAMANTHA controls in the retort controls the processing properly

The Specification of the offered Retort

STATIC RETORT diameter 1300 MM –Process : Steam & Air
Capacity : 2 Baskets of internal dimensions : L. 820 x W. 910 x H. 784 mmIncluding :
• 1 Horizontal Shell diam. 1300 mm
• 1 Horizontal hinged Door on the left side manually operated.
? Safety device preventing the unlocking when the door is still under pressure
? Air pushed Door gasket
? Door Safety devices in accordance with rules in force
• 1 Ventilator fan installed in the geometric axis of the retort
• Steam distribution pipes
• 1 Process Water recirculation Pump for the cooling phase
• Water distribution header with spray nozzles
• Automatic valves for On/Off control of heating – cooling – pressure – vent – drain
• 2 Rails and wheels to receive and to guide baskets
• 1 Access ramp for guiding and holding trolleys
• 1 Pole for pulling baskets out of retort
• 1 Anodised aluminium cladding on the cylindrical shell, 50 mm thickness glass-wool
• Technical documentation and manuals on CD : 2 Copies in English
Translation of technical documents and manuals: (excluding the 3 following common languages : English, Spanish, Italian), any other language requested by the customer will be invoice extra.Design Conditions :
• Maximum Working Pressure : 5 Bar relative
• Minimum Working Pressure : 0 Bar relative
• Maximum Working Temperature : 158 °C
• Voltage : 400 Volts
• Frequency : 50 Hz
• Construction : CODAP 2000 and European Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/CE
• Materials of construction : Stainless Steel 304L (except valves, pump and motor)Automatic Control Panel :

  • Two separate panels

–       Operator terminal located in the front, swivel aluminium box.

–       Hardware panel at the rear of retort, stainless steel panel.

 

 Process Controller :

PC architecture with a 15″ TFT Touch screen operator interface

  • SAMANTHA©  Retort Control Software
  • Interface with the machine via Ethernet link.
  • This control system supervises the following functions: Logic, control, recorder and the “man-machine” interface in a unique structure.
  • Prompts on data entry gives the operator a description of the parameter being entered
  • Graphs of data (temperatures, pressures, F0 calculation etc…) are displayed in current time to allowing the operator to follow up the detailed running of a programmed recipe.

Accuracy :

  • Independent control of temperature and pressure
  • Temperature accuracy: +/- 0.2°C in static as well as dynamic phases
  • Pressure accuracy: +/- 15 mbar in static as well as dynamic phases
  • Display of set points, measures and variation values
  • Control in real time

Security :

  • Full back-up of all data
  • The entire system is fully immune against virus attacks due to the virus-free operating platform.
  • Traceability is reinforced by the requirement of an end-user authentication. (in full compliance with the FDA Standard CFR 21 Section 11)
  • Calculation and back-up of sterilising values (option)

Flexibility :

  • The amount of programmes/recipes controlled is only limited by the size of the hard disc (virtually unlimited); back-up of recipes and batches is to USB key.
  • Designed for all types of retorts and applications.
  • Multilingual Operator interface

Manual or automatic operation

 ADVANTAGES OF LAGARDE® : * Direct Steam Heating, without any intermediate fluids, the consumption of energy is limited to the heating of the products and retort (i.e. no need to heat any water)* The steam flow rate is then limited to the minimum, which enables the use of a smaller boiler.* In the same way, the cooling flow rate and the consumption of water are limited to the minimum level.The Steam & Air process enables cooking and thawing of raw products, which is impossible for any water spray or water immersion system.* The Steam/Air Process, developed by LAGARDE® (Patent N° FR 2225702 – Publication of 08th November 1974) ensures a considerable reduction in energy  consumption (Steam, water, electricity) resulting in  a very low unit cost of production (warranted by calculation and experience) compared with sterilisation process such as Water Spray/Shower or Full Water Immersion.

 

The pouches could be positioned properly in the trays to get uniform sterilisation throughout the process

Trays-for-Pouches-

The pouches could be positioned properly to get uniform sterilisation throughout the process

 

 

 

The Trays and Baskets are designed for processing the products in retort pouches.

trays-and-trolley-web

The Trays and Baskets are designed for processing the products in retort pouches.

 

 

 

 

fan-inside-the-retort-webA powerful fan located at the rear side of the retort create a forced circulation of Steam across the baskets.The fan enables as well to accelerate the exchange of heat between the steam and the package. The steam is homogenised properly using this fan.This eliminates the presence of air pockets in the retort resulting better uniformity through out the chamber.

For Product  and Process Development, Process Monitoring and FDA Validation Applications

 

Eval-Flex-module-web:-Eval Flex is a stand alone reader station  can run as a stand alone unit or can be connected to the computer and operate through computer.The highest quality electronics were incorporated into the design greatly improving efficiency and accuracy. With 8MB of memory and a battery backup, data will never be lost due to a power outage.Pt-1000 sensors are installed on each individual thermocouple channel eliminating gradient errors through the cold junction dramatically improving accuracy.The case is made in 316 stainless steel ensuring durability and reducing noise in the electronics which makes the unit ideal for the harsh environments on a factory floor.
The E-Val Flex system reduces the need for frequent calibration saving a tremendous amount of time. .
ValSuite Process Monitoring and Validation Softwareellab-software-webThe ValSuite™ software documents and guides you through the complete thermal validation process. The database structure i n the software enables complete documentation and procedural control for the operators.The Fo value, Co value, come up time, holding time, cooling time, process time, heat penetration, heat distribution etc can be estimated from the data.
Graphical and tabular data are available.
The processor get the total process history which helps them to develop the process technology. .

 

Ellab-Accessories-webELLAB offere perfect fittings and fixtures for any types of containers including pouches, plastic trayscups, bottles, cartons etc.Here we offered the fittings and fixturrs for processing in pouches
Thermocouple ProbesELLAB uses specially designed thermocouple probes with needle type sensors for the heat penetration applications.The E-Val Flex modules are designed for Ellab premium grade type T, 7 strand thermocouples. The Ellab thermocouples are equipped with an electronic ID and memory for calibration values.The total accuracy of the ELLAB thermocouple probes after calibration is +/-0.05 deg CThermocouple-Probes-webThe internal chip identifies specific thermocouples with a serial number and contains calibration offsets that can now travel with the thermocouple. This enables easy management of thermocouple locations, historical calibration data and easy replacement during process runs.The software database keeps a complete record of usage which is a tremendous advantage in keeping track of NIST traceability and calibration history for compliance. The serial number is displayed on the jack plug and probe tip making it extremely easy to identify where each thermocouple is positioned resulting in tremendous time savings during setup.ElectrodesThe material of the electrode can be stainless steel, polyxymethylen, or PTFE. Stainless steel electrodes are more durable and preserve better stability than standard thermocouples, reducing maintenance time and replacement costs. Depending on the application, it is possible to choose the design of the electrode to be either round, sharp or conic.Cables
The cables are generally sold as a standard 7 meters long, but the length can always be customized for a specific application. The cable can be delivered with silicone, PTFE or mineral insulated stainless steel. The user can select based on their application.
pouches-fittings-web
pouch-with-probe
Retirt-fittings-webThe Retort Connection Kit :- This accessory could be connected to the retort to insert the cables of the probes properly into the retort.
 SERVICES 

Validation of Retorts and Process as per FDA guidelines

We offer validation assistance to our customers ( to the users of our equipment ) as per FDA guidelines. We have experts to perform this work.

We perform the Heat Distribution studies, Temperature Distribution, Heat Penetration studies etc using ELLAB validation equipment and ValSuite Software which is fully compliant to FDA 21 CFR Part 11.

We also help the processor to estimate the cold spots inside the retorts and define the validation points. Our service also includes the fine tuning of the process parameters based on the validation data .i.e. estimate the come up time, holding time, sterilization temperature and time, cooling time, total process time, pressure profile etc.

This guarantee the processor to produce high quality retort food as per international norms and also helps them to establish the correct processing parameters.

 

 

Assistance on Product Development

To become successful in retort processing field, it is important that the processor should be very careful in developing the perfect process technology for each products and make sure that it is applied to each production batch.

The processor should define the processing parameters after carefully studying the characteristics of the products ( solids, liquids, semi-solids, viscous, amount of chunks etc), containers ( pouches, cans, plastic trays, bottles etc), type of retort ( steam air, water spray, rotary, water immersion etc).

We help our customers to perform Research and Development and analyze the characteristics of the products by

  • –  studying the Cook value ( cooking effect on each ingredients during processing),
  • –  maximum temperature and time which each ingredients can withstand before it loses its characteristics,
  • –  pressure developed by the products during retort processing,
  • –  the required overpressure to protect the containers during processing
  • –  required Fo values for providing safety to the products,
  • –  required sterilization time and temperature, require come up time, cooling time etc.
  • –  define the cold spots inside the containers and inside the retort etc.

 

 Online Technical Support

We have a consortium of food technologists and experts who are willing to offer application support to our customers. We provide online technical support to various customers across the world.

To support the retort food industries, we developed a dedicated web site called www.RETORTprocessing.com which offer a to z about this valuable technology. The customers can log on to this site to get any clarifications related to retort processing. A group of experts in this filed will clarify your queries and will provide you the application support.

Other Services to the Retort Food Industry

Apart from the above mentioned services, we also offer the following services to the Retort Food Industry

– Project Report – covering the costing of the production plant, equipment, machineries, packaging materials, specifications etc

– The production plant layout design as per HACCP requirements with the basic requirements to make it suitable for the commercial production of RTE Foods in pouches with provisions for future expansions

Documentation :- We help our customers to document the total processing properly and help to protect the valuable documentation from theft or from unauthorized copying.

Synchronization of the Thermal Process Technology (which might have obtained from the authorized food technologists) to your production facility.

Onsite Training :- we offer the complete training program to the customer at their site including the training on product development, process parameters setting, validation of the process, cold spot estimation, container selection and routine quality check ups, handling, storage, documentation etc.

Why JOELTECH ?

The given below pictures shows similar retort processed foods processed under two different processing conditions. The first picture shows the product processed properly with optimized conditions and with proper processing technology. The second picture shows the similar product processed without optimizing the processing and without applying the technology properly.

Technology

We intended to help our customers to produce ready to eat retort processed foods closer to its fresh equivalence in all respects including color, taste, flavor, vitamins, proteins etc. We also help them to produce the products with highest level of safety and meet all the international quality standards. We guarantee 100% approval on quality and reach the intended shelf life without any change in the quality.

From our experience, we can confidently inform you that we can guarantee 100% FDA approval to your products, if they are processed in Lagarde Retort, validated using ELLAB validation system, packed in HPM pouches and follow our processing procedures.

 

 

 

 

Here are the questions which you wish to ask and also the answers for the same.What are the important points to be taken care while selecting the retort for a particular product ? What are  the difference between Steam Air  Retorts and Hot Water Spray Retorts ?

What types of products are targeted for Hot Water Spray Retorts and Steam Air Retorts ? 

What type retorts is better for processing in Retort Pouches ? 

What are the disadvantages of of Hot Water Spray Retorts ?

Energy consumption comparison of Hot water spray and Steam Air Retorts

You can view the detailed answers of all the above questions here.

What are the important points to be taken care while selecting the retort for a particular product ?

The most important points to be taken into consideration while selecting the suitable retort for processing a particular product are :-

1. The retort should be able to sterilise the products properly within shortest time.

This is very important, because when the food is exposed to high temperature for long time, there are chances that the food may lose its color, texture, taste, vitamins and nutrients. So it is very important to select the retort which will be able to sterilize the food in shortest time.

2. The retort should have very good uniformity inside the chamber.

This is important, because all the products processed from a batch should be equal in all respects. So the retort should have the facility to evenly distribute the temperature through out the chamber and all the products should get equal amount of heat.

3. Energy consumption should be minimum

Saving energy means saving money. The energy savings include the valuable process time, steam, water, air, electricity, maintenance cost etc.

So the retort should be selected based on the amount of energy which it consumes for the processing. Also the maintenance cost should be calculated as a apart of energy saving.

4. Trouble Free Operation

It is very important to select the retort which has less chances of maintenance required for the smooth operation of the unit. Some types of retort needs regular maintenance including the cleaning of the nozzles, plate heat exchangers etc. This should be avoided.

What are the difference between Steam Air Retort and Hot Water Spray Retorts ?

Steam Air Retort :-

 

The steam air retort is the universal type retort which can be used to process any type of products in any type of containers. The operational and maintenance cost are  less which make it welcomed by most of the processors .

pouh-in-steam-air-retort

In Steam Air Retort, steam and air are directly injected into the retort.A large fan located at the rear side of the retort, mixes the steam and air properly and make a homogeneous distribution through out the chamber.

 

Since the steam is freely allowed to pass through the entire chamber, all the products get temperature, cooking effect and sterilization effect uniformly.

 

There is option to choose a heat exchanger for cooling the water or the processor can directly inject water into the chamber from an external cooling tank.

The come up time, holding time, sterilization time and cooling time will be much faster in steam air retort compared to Hot Water Spray Retort.

The energy consumption will be very less ( less than 50% ) compared to Hot Water Spry Retort.

The maintenance and running cost also are also less in Steam Air Retort.

Hot Water Spray Retort

 

Hot water spray retorts are mainly used for processing in containers which does not withstand sudden change in temperature, either heating or cooling. E.g. processing in glass bottles.

 

When the processor process the products in glass bottles, it is recommended to heat and cool very slowly. A sudden change in the temperature affects the containers like glass, which breaks.

So hot water spray retorts are specially designed for processing in such specialized containers. But it can be used to process other types of containers also, but will be less effective due to the slowness in the processing cycle.

 

Umbrella-effect-web-4In Hot water Spray Retorts, water is collected at the bottom of the retort . At the beginning of the cycle, steam is applied into the water( pre heating ) .

The water gets  converted into super heated water and then it will be sprayed into the products from the top and sides.

 

During the spray, the products gets heat slowly from the top to bottom and from sides to the center. After a certain time ( come up time) all the products gets uniform temperature. Then holding time starts. The sterilization happens during the holding time.

 

At the time of cooling, the same water will be taken out and then pass it through plate heat exchanger to cool it and then again sprays into the chamber to cool the products.

Due to this spray technology, the come up time, holding time and cooling time are very slow and so it is much longer compared to steam air retorts.

The Hot water spray retorts use very narrow holes in the nozzles of the sprayer in order to spray the water properly. So there are chances that some minute particles may block the nozzles and so it needs regular cleaning.

Moreover Hot water spray retort uses Plate heat exchanger for heating and cooling and so the energy consumption is much higher.

Due to the spraying of hot water, the products positioned at the top layer and side layers gets more temperature compared to the products at the middle. Getting more temperature means, getting over cooked. So the uniformity of the products through out the chamber will be less compared to steam air retort.

Please refer the enclosed photo indicating the change in the temperature during the initial come up time.

What types of products are targeted for Hot Water Spray Retorts and Steam Air Retorts ?

What type of retorts are good for processing in pouches.

Steam Air Retorts are universal retorts which can process any type of products in any type of containers.But Hot Water Spray retorts are mainly designed for specialized containers ( like glass bottles)  which needs special care like slow heating and slow cooling.But it is not good for most of the other products and containers due to the slowness in the processing .So you may choose Hot water spray only if you are planning to process the products in glass bottles.

Since you are planning to process the products in pouches, then steam air retort will be the better choice to make better products, save energy and to have a hassle free operation of the retort.

 

Normally the processing time of 300 grams of Indian vegetable curries is 90 minutes in Hot Water Spray where as it will be only 55 minutes when process in Steam Air Retort.

Here the time difference is 30 minutes which is more than 50% time.

The products definitely gets overcooked when processed in Hot water spray compared to the steam air process.

The energy loss is also very high to process 50% extra time in Hot water spray.

 

So we strongly recommend you for Steam Air retort for your application of processing in retort pouches.

Which Processing is more economical ? Hot water spray or Steam Air ?

Energy ConsumptionSaving energy means saving money.In Hot water Spray Retorts, the technology involves in collecting water at the bottom of the retort and then apply steam into the water ( pre heating ) .The water will be converted into superheated water and then it will be sprayed into the products from the top and sides.

During the spray, the products gets heat slowly from the top to bottom and from sides to the center.

After a certain time ( come up time) all the products gets uniform temperature.Then holding time starts. The sterilization happens during the holding time.

At the time of cooling, the same water will be taken out and then pass it through plate heat exchanger to cool it and then again sprays into the chamber to cool the products.Due to this spray technology, the come up time, holding time and cooling time etc of Hot Water Spray Retort are much longer compared to steam air retort.

 

In steam air technology, there is no need to do pre heating of water. The steam will be directly injected into the retort.

 

A large fan located at the rear side of the retort, mixes the steam and air properly and make a homogeneous distribution through out the chamber.Steam&Air process you reduce the cycle time due to faster heating (we don’t need to pre heat water in the bottom of the vessel previous to heating the product) and faster cooling (the amount of water in the bottom of the vessel is less for steam and air than for water cascading as the pump of water cascading needs to be bigger to insure high pressure flow rate and reduce temperature deviation).

 

Steam and air process: Steam –> Product

 

Water cascading:Steam –> Plate heat exchanger –> Fresh water in the bottom of the vessel, piping, plate heat exchanger –> Product

Figure after results from a study leaded by Ruik Bruins of Rutgers University specialists, and presented at the Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists in March 1996, of the comparative of energy costs for a thermal treatment of 66 cans.M. Bruins demonstrated that steam and air process was 33% cheaper than water cascading for cans application. It is even more for flexible or semi rigid packaging applications.

Technology Electricity Water Steam Total Unit cost / can
Immersion 0.443$ 0.474$ 1.446$ 2.363$ 0.0358$
Hot Water spray 0.346$ 0.330$ 1.205$ 1.881$ 0.0285$
Steam and air 0.177$ 0.305$ 0.724$ 1.206$ 0.0183$

 

In summary, Lagarde Steam and Air retort offers following real advantages compared to any water-based process:

–          Energy saving between 30% to 80% compared with water cascading or water spray process

–          Utilities of water reduced by 30%

–          Come-up-time shorter from 20% to 40%

–          Sterilization time reduced by 10% to 20%

–          Surface of Thermal Exchange of the packaging higher from 2 to 5 times

–          Boiler installed capacity lower from 30% to 50%

 

What are the Disadvantages of Water Spray Retorts

Umbrella Effect :-  

 In Hot Water Spry Retorts, the products gets the sterilisation temperature through  the spraying  of the hot water through the nozzles which are located at the top and sides of the retort.

The pre-heated water stored at the bottom of the retort will be sprayed through the thin holes in the nozzles.umbrella-effect-1-webThe products located at the top layer and side layers get the heat first because they are located more closer to the spay nozzles.

 

It takes much longer time to penetrate the heat to the middle part of the retort.So the come – up time will be much longer in Hot water spray retorts.

 

Moreover the products kept at the top layer act like an umbrella which prevent the free fall of the water spry to the pouches located below it. ( please refer the photo given here). This effect is called umbrella effect.

Due to umbrella effect, there will be very big Fo value difference between the top layer products and middle layer products. Fo value is a combination of time and temperature which indicated the sterilisation effect of the products.

2. Big difference in Fo values between the layers

As explained above, due to the spray technology, the heat penetration will be much slower in Hot water spray retorts. This slowness affect the Fo values of the products.

Umbrella-effect-web-4Fo value indicates the sterility of the products. It is a combination of time and temperature achieved by the core of the products packed in sealed containers.

A difference of 1 deg C at 121.1 deg C changes the Fo value by 26%. The products which achieved more temperature shows higher Fo value ( at the top and sides) and the products which achieved less temperature shows less Fo values ( at the middle).

This difference in Fo value indicates the poor uniformity of heat penetration inside the retort chamber.

Please refer the enclosed photo which indicates the difference in temperature inside the retort trays.

Problems with the Spray Nozzles

In order to perform strong spraying, the nozzles of the sprays are made with very small holes. So even small dust particles in the water may block the spray holes.

umbrella-effect-web-2Such a situation blocks the flow of steam into the products at those places near the sprays where the sprays are blocked. This results in non achievement of proper heat penetration at some area inside the retort chamber, resulting unexpected failure of the products.

 

So regular maintenance and cleaning of the nozzles is mandatory to get the desired effect.

 

Where as the nozzles of Steam air retorts are big and so such a blockage never occur.

 

The enclosed photo shows the effect of the sterilization inside the retort when the spray nozzles blocks.

 

CONCLUSION

The most important  thing in retort processing technology is :-To achieve the sterilisation effect to the packed food within shortest possible time.The safety and taste should be compromised properly in order to make a high quality retort food.The  important qualities of RTE Foods are :-Safety – should be free chemical additives and preservatives

 

High Nutritional value – proteins, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals etc.

 

Good TasteFood Appeal – is the sum of sensory characteristics: appearance, flavor, smell and texture.

 

Suitability and Consumer Value :- freshness, shelf stability, suitability for the intended purpose and convenience.

 

Reasonable price. – the production cost should be as less as possible 

So the retort processing technique should be defined in such a way that the processing should be completed within shortest time as well as the energy consumption should be minimum.

The standard processing time to process a product in Steam / Air Retort is about 50 minutes, where as the processing time to process the same product in Water Spray retort is 90 minutes.

This indicates that the processing time, which in turn the time of exposure of products to high temperature in Hot Water Spray Retorts  is 54% more than in steam air retort. This additional time badly affect the taste of the finished processed products.TechnologyThe more the products are exposed to high temperature, the more the chances of over sterilization resulting overcooking . So products processed in Steam / Air Retorts have better taste compared to Hot water spray Retorts because such products achieve sterilization faster than the other.

Over exposure of the products to the higher temperature leads to the loss of color, taste, texture,  flavor, vitamins, proteins etc. So the processing should be completed within shortest possible time .

Please find the enclosed photos of two products. Both are similar products, done by two different companies. One was processed with optimised processing conditions and the other was done without doing proper optimization, resulting the production of junk food. This indicates the importance of proper optimization of the processing.

 

 

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