Industry: Fruit and Vegetables (3114) Meat (NAICS 3116)
Process Brief: Canned products are sterilized by heat after they are sealed
Energy source: Steam/Natural Gas
Energy Intensity: 100-300 Btu/lb
Retort systems sterilize canned products after they are sealed. In crateless systems, the cans are dumped into the top of a retort oven, which is filled with water to cushion the fall. After the oven is fully loaded and sealed, steam is injected to displace the water and to begin the retort process. Typical retort temperatures are around 250°F and processing times are 5 to 30 minutes. The retort furnace is pressurized to about 1 atm to help stabilize the cans during heating. At the end of the heating cycle, the oven is again filled with water and the cans are dumped from the bottom of the oven into trough of cooling water.
The crateless retort system is relatively simple and flexible. The loading, retorting, and unloading processes can be automated and a system can be reprogrammed to handle almost any canned product. Steam and water flows for the oven are recycled and energy consumption is somewhat higher than rotary cookers or hydrostatic sterilizers.
FMC FoodTech Chicago
200 East Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601
Web site: www.fmctechnologies.com
P.O. Box 50183
Tulsa, OK 74150
Web site: www.maloinc.com
Source: Overview GRI-03/0075; Overview photo from http://www.fmctechnologies.com/FoodTech/BeveragesJuiceandMilk/InContainerSterilizers/SuperAgi.aspx 3/2007;