Retort pouches are flexible plastic pouches which are packed with already cooked or semi-cooked food, sealed and subsequently sterilised to create food pouches that have a shelf life of up to 18 months with no preservatives and zero refrigeration. Retort pouches were invented by the US Army for storing military rations in the 1970s and have since revolutionized food and beverage packaging in the Ready-to-Eat packaged food segment.
Retort pouches are as durable as metal cans. They are four-layered pouches and manufactured with retort-specific films.
Retort is a processing method that uses heat and pressure to sterilize food. It is one of the most commonly used methods of thermal food processing and is popular with food producers across the world.
The sealed pouch can also be re-heated in hot water or in a microwave before consumption.
The Retorting process arrests any microbial growth, deactivates any enzyme action and ensures the shelf-stability of your product. The reduced processing time ensures that any food packed in a retort pouch retains maximum nutritional value, taste, aroma and flavour at the time of consumption.
Products processed in retort pouches were found to be fresher and have better taste and texture attributes (chewiness, firmness and hardness) compared to conventional canned products (Mohan, Ravishankar, Gopal & Bindu, 2005 in Retort Technology in Malaysian Food Industry, UTM 2012)