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Retort pouches vs. retort cans


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#1 Zeeshan

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:11 AM

Dear members,

 

Do somebody have authentic data or information regarding following:

 

I have a project to collect the comparative data to identify benefits and issues of using retort cans instead of retort pouches. Currently the party is using retort pouches for producing ready to eat rice, meat curry, cooked veg, bbq and deserts. Meat used as boneless. Avg process parameters are 9~12 min sterilization at 121~122 deg Celsius giving Fo value b/w 9~12 depending upon product category.

 

The party wants to get maximum knowledge before shifting towards retort cans. They primarily want to get benefits of using meat with bones and rigid packaging for some deserts food.

 

Prior thanks for any help.

 

Regards.

M.Zeeshan.


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#2 philip

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:30 PM

Could you a little more explanation regarding the bones?  Are you discussing sterilisation of bones or potential foreign body complaints by consumers?


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#3 campbell

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:01 PM

Changing from pouches to metal cans will increase overall processing times but mat also make process control simpler with no need for specialised retort systems requireing over pressure control.  other issue is bones.  sharp bones can piuncture the pouch while are fully protected in can.  need to understand what you mean by bones!  animal bones are sharp while fish bones may cook and go soft so not a problem.


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 03:53 PM

Dear campbell,

 

Thks yr input.

 

Changing from pouches to metal cans will increase overall processing times

 

 

I predict the next query from OP will be why ? :smile: I'm curious also, not my field but intuitively thought the opposite, eg metal vs plastic.

 

I would imagine it also depends on geometry, eg big cans are different to small ones. Unfortunately Zeeshan gives no data to justify his chosen Fo range.

 

Presumably one also has to separate "total"  process times from "lethality" related requirements. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#5 Bawdy01

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:53 PM

Hi Zeeshan,

 

A few things come to mind regarding cans vs pouches. I have little experience with pouches, but a lot with cans. Just before I left my previous role as the TM for a cannery we were looking at getting into pouches and these were some of the issues we faced.

 

As previously mentioned cans are more robust so can be retorted without over pressure, and generally can withstand more variances in the retorting process and general handling by the operators/line staff.

 

Cans can be filled and sealed faster than pouches, so greater throughputs per hour.  They can also be moved around and the factory easier and faster, they stack on top of each other without the need for cartooning first etc and they can be stacked higher than pouches. Allows you to maximise the storage space available, we had a very tall warehouse, it was not unusual for canned goods to 3 or 4 pallets high, no way could you do that with cartooned pouches.

 

Cans have a much longer shelf life than pouches. Pouches are usually restricted because of oxygen transfer rates affecting the quality of the product.

 

Cans are labelled post production so you can have a variety of labels for the one product dependant upon the customer base, exporting for example as opposed to a local market. So you can make now and label to order later, handy for seasonal products or for product that does not quite conform. Have a label that is lower spec (i.e lower percentage meat/fruit or whatever the typical non conformance is) and sell it to the "not quite right" type outlets. Better than dumping, at least it could recoup the costs. I suppose this is along way of saying you cannot relabel pouches.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Bawdy.


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#6 Zeeshan

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:06 AM

Could you a little more explanation regarding the bones?  Are you discussing sterilisation of bones or potential foreign body complaints by consumers?

 

I meant "sterilisation of bones".


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#7 Zeeshan

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:09 AM

Changing from pouches to metal cans will increase overall processing times but mat also make process control simpler with no need for specialised retort systems requireing over pressure control.  other issue is bones.  sharp bones can piuncture the pouch while are fully protected in can.  need to understand what you mean by bones!  animal bones are sharp while fish bones may cook and go soft so not a problem.

I meant bones of animals for better taste profile, ease in preparation and cost saving.


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#8 Zeeshan

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:04 AM

Dear campbell,

 

Thks yr input.

 

 

I predict the next query from OP will be why ? :smile: I'm curious also, not my field but intuitively thought the opposite, eg metal vs plastic.

 

I would imagine it also depends on geometry, eg big cans are different to small ones. Unfortunately Zeeshan gives no data to justify his chosen Fo range.

 

Presumably one also has to separate "total"  process times from "lethality" related requirements. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

Thank you for giving me hints for asking further questions.

 

@ Charles and Campbell: Am I right in thinking that processing time would increase due to increase in cross sectional thickness for heat penetration but I am also confused that how heat penetration would increase in only-metal can as compared to metal-plastic pouch???

 

@ Charles: What type of data you are talking about to justify Fo range?

Regards.

Muhammad Zeeshan.


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#9 Ratchet

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:38 PM

The heating data for both pouches and cans are generally determined at the geometric center. Pouches are usually held to a .75" profile by racking, especially in the 8-12 oz fill sizes. Thus, the heating rates are most always longer in cans with the same product. As for as bones, the cross-sectional profile will determine the heating rate. I, for one, would be reluctant to confirm a Thermal Process for a product containing whole bones. One would have to replicate the most severe conditions that would possibly be encountered during heat process determination. It is nice to have all .75" in cubes as the most severe condition, but bones! Rigid containers would be the most appropriate container for products containing bones, but the theoretical conditions still apply in any container. What is the most severe testing condition needed to apply the required thermal process, bones or not? One has to determine this. I worked 30 years in retort pouches and cans, primarily as a Thermal Process Specialist, acting as a Process Authority, recognized by the FDA and USDA.


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#10 Zeeshan

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 06:18 AM

The heating data for both pouches and cans are generally determined at the geometric center. Pouches are usually held to a .75" profile by racking, especially in the 8-12 oz fill sizes. Thus, the heating rates are most always longer in cans with the same product. As for as bones, the cross-sectional profile will determine the heating rate. I, for one, would be reluctant to confirm a Thermal Process for a product containing whole bones. One would have to replicate the most severe conditions that would possibly be encountered during heat process determination. It is nice to have all .75" in cubes as the most severe condition, but bones! Rigid containers would be the most appropriate container for products containing bones, but the theoretical conditions still apply in any container. What is the most severe testing condition needed to apply the required thermal process, bones or not? One has to determine this. I worked 30 years in retort pouches and cans, primarily as a Thermal Process Specialist, acting as a Process Authority, recognized by the FDA and USDA.

Dear ratcht!

 

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowlege.

 

1- On what basis you are reluctant for retort of product with bones? Do their thermal process is non reliable during each production as compared to pouches?

 

2- What would be the advantages or disadvantages for using cans instead of pouch with regard to:

     a) taste and aroma profile - better or same or less?

     b) shelf life - better or same or less.

     c) container cost - same or lower or higher?

     d) technical issues - somewhat similar, more severe or less severe.

 

3- What would be the procedure to get core temperature of the product in case of using meat with bones?

 

Regards.


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#11 Charles.C

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 08:49 AM

Thank you for giving me hints for asking further questions.

 

@ Charles and Campbell: Am I right in thinking that processing time would increase due to increase in cross sectional thickness for heat penetration but I am also confused that how heat penetration would increase in only-metal can as compared to metal-plastic pouch???

 

Dear Zeeshan,

 

Sorry for delay. i never saw yr reply.

I believe ratcht has just answered the above quote.

Unfortunately i have absolutely no idea as to the meaning of the reply since I have zero knowledge as to the meaning of "0.75 in. profile by racking". :smile:

Anyway, it appears that you did understand which is the important thing. :smile:

 

 

@ Charles: What type of data you are talking about to justify Fo range?

 

(Avg process parameters are 9~12 min sterilization at 121~122 deg Celsius giving Fo value b/w 9~12 depending upon product category.)

 

 

The reason for my query was the complexity of the theoretical / practical interrelationships involved in, for example,  a "simple" canning process. I assume yr Production team have similarly deliberated for yr existing pouch system. To illustrate some possible factors determinimg the choice of  Fo values such as you mention, can see this worked example -

 

http://www.fao.org/d...7e/t0007e02.htm

 

I presume you will have to similarly validate an appropriate process for any changes such as you are contemplating.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


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#12 Ratchet

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 01:53 PM

Dear ratcht!

 

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowlege.

 

1- On what basis you are reluctant for retort of product with bones? Do their thermal process is non reliable during each production as compared to pouches?

 

2- What would be the advantages or disadvantages for using cans instead of pouch with regard to:

     a) taste and aroma profile - better or same or less?

     b) shelf life - better or same or less.

     c) container cost - same or lower or higher?

     d) technical issues - somewhat similar, more severe or less severe.

 

3- What would be the procedure to get core temperature of the product in case of using meat with bones?

 

Regards.

Zeeshan,

1. Product with bones pose product variables which may not be covered in the establishment of Thermal Processes, whether cans or pouches.

2.  Product variables of pouches versus cans.

     a. Pouches can have better taste and aroma and in most cases will.

     b.  The shelf life is comparable at normal shelf life of products, i.e., the amount of time on shelf.

     c. In theory, the slowest heating point is at the geometric center of the pouch and the predetermined slowest heating point of a can, which may differ from the absolute center due to convection versus conduction heating. Then the test thermocouple is placed in the center of the largest particle of product. maybe bone in this case, that can be determined to be the largest found in normal production. Never having detemined the micro load in a bone or marrow center, I can not speak to the test parameters when large bone particles may be encountered. My whole objection to product containing bone centers around large bone parts. There may be scientific data that I am unaware of that is available for the establishment of Thermal Processes in product containing bones.

I believe Charles has spoken to the complexity and care that must be taken to establish any Thermal Process by your Recognized Thermal Process Authority.

Note: Having said all of that, I believe product with bones would taste better and easier to prepare for canning in pouchs or cans.


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#13 Ratchet

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:01 PM

Zeeshan,

Further information for the Establisment of Thermal Processes. PDF.

http://www.iftps.org...es_02_13_14.pdf

This a Procotol developed by the Institute of Thermal Processing Specialists, of which I am a Charter Member.

Jim


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#14 Charles.C

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 05:36 AM

Zeeshan,

Further information for the Establisment of Thermal Processes. PDF.

http://www.iftps.org...es_02_13_14.pdf

This a Procotol developed by the Institute of Thermal Processing Specialists, of which I am a Charter Member.

Jim

Dear ratcht,

 

Thanks for the link. Maybe it's my PC or my misunderstanding of the content's objective but it seemed to have a few limitations (for me) -

 

(1) Lack of theory.

(2) Lack of representative data.

(3) Hyperlinks non-functional.

(4) Latest reference appears to be for 1995 (although the canning basics may be much the same today).

 

Again, It's not my area but how does it compare to something like -

 

Attached File  FDA_21CFR_Part_113.pdf   424.27KB   21 downloads

(I can see this has similar criticisms for (1,2), maybe intended to be read with texts like I can recall using a long time ago such as bulletin 26-L (NCA), eg as per the set of manuals referred here -

 

http://www.fda.gov/I...s/ucm074992.htm

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

 

PS - added  @Zeehan - here are a few documents with some basic process theory to read alongside the practical stuff from ratcht-

Attached File  thermal processing for sterilization-preservation.pdf   4.41MB   22 downloads

Attached File  Food sterilization,preservation by heat.pdf   65.62KB   17 downloads

Attached File  thermal process design.pdf   1.76MB   32 downloads

 

(i assume yr production team will already have carried out similar procedures to the above for yr retort pouch products  although as ratcht has elaborated, the introduction of substantial bone content will probably require a large re-think of the process conditions)


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#15 Ratchet

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:36 PM

Charles, thank you for your comments. The Protocol quoted, or linked, is indeed somewhat dated, but as you mentioned, the theory is the same. It was intended to be a draft and could use substantial rewriting, I'm sure. I think my whole thought process, thus the comments,  was based on the introduction of bones in the product. I am not experienced with the establisment of thermal processes with bones. Sorry the links were not working, I will work on that. Thank you again for your learned comments as the Moderator on this Forum.


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