Q: What is a Retort?
A: The Retort is a food and beverage sterilizer that is primarily used for heating, cooling and sometimes agitating the product and its container to kill harmful organisms and produce safe shelf stable products.
Q: Why do you need to sterilize?
A: The Retort process time and temperature is designed to neutralize Clostridium botulinum. This potent toxin is a bacterium with the ability to produce the neurotoxin botulinum. Botulinum toxin can cause death in humans and animals, and it is the most potent toxin known to humankind. Clostridium botulinum spores are difficult to kill and can remain dormant for extended periods of time.
Q: Why should you use a Retort?
A: It is critical to apply thermal processing to increase the shelf life and commercial sterility of food and beverage products. At 212 Degrees Fahrenheit the Clostridium botulinum toxin is destroyed, but not the bacteria itself. Retorts provide elevated temperatures (typically 250 Degrees Fahrenheit) needed to kill Clostridium botulinum and deactivate its spores.
Q: How does a Retort work?
A: In brief, the Retort heats and cools product filled containers to pre-determined temperatures for a pre-defined amount of time in order to ensure the product is safe for consumption and can be stored in an ambient environment (shelf stable).