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Hot Fill Hold and no Inversion?


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#1 Barnacle

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 06:59 PM

I own a small scale food manufacturer and we hot-fill-hold for many of our products. We fill above 180F, cap, and then invert the container to sterilize the lid in accordance with our process authority. I want to see if there is a way to hot fill without inverting. I have watched videos of some production lines where there is not an invert step. Our process authority does not focus on this type of production and is not aware of other methods. 

 

Thanks! 



#2 Simon

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 07:39 PM

It may help to let us know what products you are making Barnacle.

 

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#3 Barnacle

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Posted 20 July 2020 - 08:07 PM

Thanks Simon. We make hot sauce, salsa, and jams/jellies. The hot sauce is on the thicker side and the salsa and jams/jellies have chunks in the them.



#4 SQFconsultant

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 02:56 AM

Get a new process authority.


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#5 Ted S

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Posted 21 July 2020 - 09:57 PM

Hello. For your type of product mix (i.e. low pH), airborne yeast and mold (from the air in your production room) can enter the headspace of the product during the filling activity and grow out during shelf life unless the headspace is "heat treated" at the point of fill which is the reason for inverting a hot filled product. Unless you are using a steam capper (i.e. steam is injected into the headspace of the filled container immediately before the cap is applied), you must invert the product for a minimum of two minutes (pH dependent) so that you can use the heat of the product to sterilize the headspace/underside of the cap. In addition, since the caps are not sterile, the inversion also sterilizes the underside of the cap in the event that it has any type of yeast, mold or other bacteria growth from employee handling, caps sitting in an open hopper, open cases of returned caps sitting in the warehouse, etc... so that nothing can grow out during shelf life. Hope this helps. 



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#6 Barnacle

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 01:27 AM

Ted, Thanks for the explanation. Looks like a steam capper is what I need if I want to stop inverting! 



#7 HCFtech

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 07:59 AM

A site I worked at doing soups recently were hot filling with inversion initially, but we found the vacuum created on cooling was making the lids difficult to remove by the customer so we started using a six start cap and put an in line UV system between the unscrambler and the capper. We were filling at >75C if this helps. pH of product was right on the cusp (4.5 - 4.8) being predominantly tomato base, but the steam from the product was determined to sterilise the head space. Obviously shelf life validation helps alleviate any questions.



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#8 Barnacle

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 06:32 PM

HCFtech, Thanks for sharing. Definitely interested in that type of process. I will look more into it. Thanks!



#9 Charles.C

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 05:30 AM

Not my area but a considerable amount of investigation has been done regarding yr OP query. Hot fill is an apparently simple process but theoretical validation is less simple.

 

A detailed study of internal/external options regarding headspace/inner surfaces and an overview of process validations are described here (Campden) -

 

Attached File  Surface decontamination in hot filling,Campden,2015.pdf   4.01MB   4 downloads

Attached File  validation Principles of continuous thermal processes,2018.pdf   657.62KB   5 downloads

 

Steam capping is now obviously big business, eg -

 

https://www.profoodw...ping-technology


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Charles.C





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