Food Processing Methods – Ways To Keep The Food Safe

When you look at the food packaging you know it has to be appealing, but at the same time, it needs to be safe as well. The processing methods that are used for the foods being in the package is going to make a huge difference in how the food should be packaged. Here you will find a quick look at the food processing methods as to how it is going to impact the packaging of the foods.

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Retort Sterilization

This is a method that has its origins in space exploration at Nasa, but it is a method that is being used commercially today. This is where the food is going to be vacuum-sealed. This is going to then be heated up to a very high temperature to sterilize the food and remove any chance of it causing harm. The retorting method will help guarantee the food will be fresh for years to come, even if you do not have access to a refrigerator. A key point to consider with this food processing method with regards to the packaging is the package has to be able to withstand being exposed to extremely high temperatures and even some pressure. Some of the options you may find that will work will be glass jars, pouches that are made from metal or plastic, and even cans or trays that are made from the same materials.

Aseptic Food Processing

This process is going to take and expose the foods to heat that would be considered ultra-high and then after the heating is done they are going to be instantly removed and cooled to the ambient temperature. After this, the food is going to be placed in a sterilized package and then sealed in a location that is going to be considered sterile as well. The downside is the food packaging that is used in this has to be made on site and sterilized at the same time, which means the food producers have a tendency to use rectangular cartons or bottles because they are going to take up only a little bit of space.

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Thermal Sterilization Using A Microwave

This is a fairly new method of the retort sterilization and that is because it is going to use a microwave to help with the thermal sterilization. The method has a tendency to have the food placed in pressurized hot water, which is then heated up even more by a microwave form of heating and then cooled down rapidly. When you compare this to the first type of retorting food processing method, it has been shown to save the important aspects of the food that people consider quite a bit better than the other methods. Obviously with this method of food processing because of the high heat and cooling, with microwave radiation, you will want to use some type of high-barrier material and that often is going to come in the form of plastic pouches or trays.

Pressure Processing Using Ultra High Pressure

This is where the foods are going to be placed in a high-pressure container that is filled with water and then has the pressure cranked up to the right pressure amount. What is really amazing is unlike your grandma canning on the stove this is going to blast the pressure up to an amazing 145,023 pounds per square inch and it will keep this pressure for about five minutes. Shrinkage is a major issue when the foods are exposed to this type of pressure as a lot of foods have been shown to shrink by 20% or more at times, so any packaging that is used has to be ready for this. This often means you have to check out the flexible packaging rather than something that is rigid like glass.

Pulse Processing Using High-Intensity Light

This is a method that is going to use light that is out of the normal width you would see to inactivate the microorganisms that are on the surface of the food and package, but the light that is usually used is going to be UV light. When you are going to have foods packaged using this method it is very important that the package be transparent otherwise the light will not be able to get through to sterilize the food.

As you can tell there are multiple ways for properly processing the food. However, all of these food processing methods will make an impact on the type of packaging that is being used. So you will want to make sure you know about the methods and the packaging needed for each to ensure they match.