Retort pouch is one of the means of packaging of this sort. The ‘thermo-stabilized flexible packaging’ used for it ensures the preservation of foods for a long period of time and convenience in storing and carrying them.
After being filled and sealed, the foods are retorted at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or above. The foods packed in this way can be preserved long at a normal temperature outside a refrigerator, just like canned foods.
Let me explain briefly the Production Processes step by step in the sequence order;
Kitchen Utensils and Food Preparation equipments such as blender, frozen cutter, cube cutter and others are the main equipments required.
At this stage, there are 3 type of cooking. Boiling, Steaming and Roasting. For sauces and gravy we will be using Boiling. Main ingredient such as beef, chicken, fish or vegetable, we will be using Steaming or Roasting process. The main equipment required is Steam or gas Kettle.
- Filling & Sealing
Under this stage, the solid (beef or chicken etc) and liquid (sauces or gravy) will be filled into aluminum pouch according to weight required. After the air in the pouch is vacuumed out, the pouch will be sealed accordingly. There are 8 processes under this stage namely bag loading, date and product coding, bag top opening, first filling (solid), second filling (liquid), Preheating, Sealing and finally, Cooling & Discharge. There is special equipment for these stages.
After Filling and Sealing, the batch of pouches will be have to undergo Retort process i.e. the pouch packaged foods to be cooked (final), sterilized and cooled using High Temperature and High Pressure Retort System. Under this system, the foods will be cooked on high temperature (max 125 degrees C) sterilization.
- Cleaning & Packing.
After the Retort Process, the pouches will be cleaned and packed for storing. The batches will have to undergo quarantine process before distribution.
While the batches are being quarantined, QC personnel will carry out QC checks to ensure that the batches comply with the QC standard adopted by the company so as to ensure that the products are safe for human consumption as specified by the Food Safety Department of the country. Equipment required: Relevant QC equipments and apparatus.
In order to implement the system, the company must have the reasonable processing area that will allow the installation of such Retortable Pouch Food Processing Line. This Retortable Processing Line requires reasonable Boiler System to operate.