Revolutionary Retort Pouches
What is a Retort Pouch?
A retort pouch is a sterilizable flexible pouch constructed of a thin, bonded film that can withstand processing a product inside at 250 ᵒ F (120 ᵒ C) for a minimum of 50 – 55 minutes. It is probably most familiar to the public for tuna fish in a pouch, one of the industry’s earlier adopters.
Retort Pouch Standard Sizes
IMPAK has customers of sufficient volume that we maintain inventory on product for retort pouches on a regular basis.
Why is the Retort Pouch Revolutionary?
Many consumers may not be aware that the product within a retort pouch is cooked right in the sealed pouch. This revolutionary packaging process is called retorting and is the same process as autoclaving, which is the ability to heat and sterilize the packaging and contents. Both these heating and sterilization methods are used in the food and non-food manufacturing industry to commercially sterilize instruments or packaging and components, or cook product after it has been placed into its package. The retort pouch is filled with the product to be heated, is then hermetically sealed (airtight), and processed according to industry guidelines for time and temperature. Usually, this is a minimum of 50 minutes at 250◦F
The construction of layering various types of plastics and thin metal foils takes the place of traditional cylindrical metal cans or glass jars, and the flexible retort pouches are then processed in a heated pressure vessel.
Retort food canning removes all the air from the container. Commercially, this is done by filling a large chamber with steam and then cooling the steam, creating a vacuum. Chamber vacuum sealers are an alternate way of creating the vacuum, though they do not heat the contents. The commercial version of the retort process also cooks the food in the pouches at the same time; home process will see the food cooked in a pressure cooker instead, much as if you were doing regular canning, except with the vacuumed pouch instead of a mason jar. Read more for regulatory and safety information on acidified foods and low-acid hermetically sealed foods.
Retort Pouch Production
The key to retort pouch production is excellent and high-quality lamination. IMPAK understands the technology and methodology required to bond the layers of a retort pouch together with a secure seal and a polished look.
Our machines can produce retortable and autoclavable flexible packaging from small sizes to larger options. Retort pouches can include other design considerations such as having tooling available to create a dispenser tip, 55-gallon drum liners with integrated round bottoms, stand up pouches, and other custom shapes and fitments. The layers of plastic and thin foils create a barrier impervious to gases and moisture entering or exiting the packaging.
Standard Sizes, Custom Sizes and Printing Available
IMPAK can customize the retort pouch design using the raw materials in various sizes or shapes. We can produce retortable pouches, from 1” x 3” to 30” x 68” and more. Call now for more information about your product requirements.
RETORT TO THE RESCUE!
How is retorting and asceptic processing different than traditional industrial canning methods?
Retorting differs from traditional canning methods using metal cans or glass jars as it takes considerably less time to heat the contents to temperature. Retort pouches allow more surface area and even distribution of heat, rather than waiting for the contents to heat from the outside walls to the center through a cylinder.
Retorting technology’s goal is to produce ambient-temperature, shelf-stable, high-water activity, low-acid foods with higher quality than traditionally canned contents.
Why Choose Retortable packaging?
- Cost Savings – contents do not have to be blanched or pre-cooked prior which reduces manufacturing and processing time and cost as well as reduced energy and water use
- Material Handling – reduced packaged weight and dimensions eliminates heavy, bulky cans/jars during handling / waste easy to handle, ship, store, use and dispose of. Bulk waste is reduced, making clean up and disposal a fraction of the space and processing taken up by traditional cans, glass jars or semi-rigid thermoformed containers.
- Convenient – Consumers find pouches easy to handle, store, and dispose of, as well as retort pouches are easy to open versus needing to puncture metal or require additional tools.
- Safety – heating liquids in cans can produce dangerous pressure, and opening cans leave raw edges that are sharp, whereas retort pouches are easily and safely handled
- Better branding – and consumer visibility with larger branding and labelling surface area and product placement
- Quality - Foods cook safely and evenly, and since overcooking or uneven cooking of canned foods can be avoided.
- Design Options - Retort packaging comes in multiple sizes and configurations shapes, printable surfaces, with various hanging or standing methods. Packages can be flat, oval, truncated, conical or almost anything that can be imagined and designed, whereas canned or bottled foods have obvious limitations. For more information on over 62 standard and special flexible film options.
What can Retort Pouches be used for commercially?
- Packaged foods
- Re-packaging foods for shelf-stable long-term storage
- Fully cooked ready-to-eat meals (MRE’s)
- Field Rations
- Camping, boating, hiking or backpacking rations
- Space program rations
- Fish products
- Pet foods or snacks
- Emergency Preparedness - Using flexible packaging for your emergency supplies
Need more information? Call us now! We have a technical representative available on stand-by to answer your questions!
IMPAK Makes Millions
IMPAK Corporation has produced tens of millions of bags and pouches over the last 27+ years!
If you have had issues with a product that has been a challenge in flexible packaging, such as subjecting the film structure to delamination, we are well-versed in combatting these types of challenges.
- Stand up Pouch with no zipper and two tear notches
- Designated for Hot Fill, Retort and Autoclave applications
- Suitable for food and pet food packaging as well as non-food products
- Silver dispenser tip pouch with tear notch, Hot Fill and autoclave ready
- Can be custom printed for a professional, high-end look
- Suitable for liquids, gels, pastes, essential oils, chemicals and more
- Silver pouch with tooled dispenser
- Can be custom printed for a professional, high-end look
- Suitable for liquids, gels, foods, oils, chemicals, lotions, and more
- Integrated round bottoms
- Food-grade and FDA Approved material
- Suitable for: foods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, adhesives and more
- IMPAK is a leading innovator in the production of custom shaped bags
- Food-grade and FDA Approved materials
- Suitable for: oils, gels, liquids, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and more