Sterilizer_Hydrostatic_FMCHydrostatic Sterilizer – Canned Products, Retort System, Continuous/ Batch

Industry: Fruit and Vegetables (3114) Meat (NAICS 3116)

NAICS process:


311421 Canned Fruit and Vegetables

311422 Canned Specialty Products

311612 Meat Processed from Carcasses


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. Hydrostatic sterilizers use a column of water to maintain the pressure in the sterilizing zone. The conveyor line of cans enters the sterilizer at the top of the water column and travel downward to the bottom of the steam dome, which is the heart of the sterilizer. Once in the steam dome the cans make several passes through the steam zone before being conveyed again to the bottom of the steam dome, into the exit water column and out of the sterilizer. The water column keeps steam inside the steam dome and provides the necessary pressurization. The height of the water column, approximately 35 feet, means that the equipment is often located outdoors.


The hydrostatic sterilizer accommodates a wide range of can sizes because it uses a water column instead of a complicated transfer valve as in the rotary cooker. As with other retort systems, the most common source of thermal energy for the process is saturated steam.




FMC FoodTech Chicago

200 East Randolph

Chicago, IL 60601

Telephone: 312-861-6000

Web site:




Stork Food and Dairy Systems, Inc.

P.O. Box 1258

Airport Parkway

Gainesville, GA 30503

Telephone: 770-535-1875

Web site:

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