A retort is used to sterilize food products in hermetically sealed containers using a predetermined thermal process. Various harmful microorganisms are present in food products, and it’s important to fully complete a heating process prior to releasing the product for commercial sale. Inadequate thermal processing of a shelf-stable food product can result in serious illness or death for the consumer of the food product.
Process temperatures in most retorts range from 190°F to 275°F (88°C – 135°C). In retorts that employ overpressure, the maximum pressure applied inside the vessel is approximately 70 psi. Process times can range from 30 minutes to 6+ hours.