Reciprocating Retorts Improve Shelf-Stable Food Processing Time, Taste, Texture, and Appearance

Oct 09, 2014
  • A Shaka® retort and the results of extensive shelf-stable-food quality testing will be featured by Allpax at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago, November 2-5. (Allpax Booth # N-5317)

COVINGTON, LA - Allpax, powered by ProMach, will feature at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago the results of taste and appearance tests conducted on a range of low-acid foods made shelf stable in high-and low-speed reciprocating retorts. (Allpax Pack Expo Booth # N-5317)

Allpax found that Shaka® high-speed reciprocating retorts are ideal for processing hard to retort foods and producing shelf-stable premium foods, abilities which can help companies achieve product differentiation. Gentle Motion lower-speed reciprocating retorts are optimal for increasing retort room throughput and quality. Research results, including comparative photos, tasting notes, and processing times, will be showcased at the Allpax Pack Expo booth along with a Shaka retort.

Compared to static retorts, reciprocating retorts such as Shaka and Gentle Motion distribute heat faster and more evenly in pouches and semi-rigid plastic trays that are oriented horizontally in a retort basket.

Shaka Test Results

A shrimp pasta and tomato cream sauce dish processed in a Shaka retort produced shrimp with an outstanding stove top texture. The flavor and appearance were excellent. A pasta and cheese dish was also judged superior when processed in a Shaka retort. A béchamel white sauce and guacamole dip, notoriously difficult low-acid foods to sterilize, also showed exceptional results. Allpax found during its testing that Shaka is ideal for producing purees. A split pea and ham dish packaged in a pouch had, like the shrimp dish, superior taste and appearance.

“Brand owners frustrated with the introduction of unique new products or engaged in efforts to differentiate products packaged in trays and pouches should strongly consider running tests on an Allpax 2402 multimode R&D retort which has Shaka and Gentle Motion capabilities or having Allpax run tests in our facility,” said Adam Reichert, Thermal Processing Technician/Process Engineer at Allpax. “The results may be quite encouraging.”

Gentle Motion Sterilization Increases Throughput and Retort Room Capacity

Gentle Motion decreased sterilization time by 20 to 60 percent on the six foods tested. In every case the taste, texture, and appearance were equal or superior to dishes processed in a static retort. Shorter sterilization time made dishes look fresh, more natural, and less processed. “Beef stew, for example, processed in 48 minutes compared to the static retort’s 82 minutes and demonstrated comparable taste and texture,” Reichert said.

Pack Expo attendees will have access to complete test results. For more information on R&D options for Shaka and Gentle Motion, call 1-888-893-9277 and visit

About ProMach

ProMach is a family of best-in-class packaging and processing solution brands serving manufacturers of all sizes and geographies in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, and household and industrial goods industries. ProMach brands operate across the entire production line: filling, bottling and capping, decorative labeling, flexibles and trays, pharma, handling and sterilizing, labeling and coding, and robotics and end of line. ProMach also provides systems and integration including turnkey solutions, design/build, engineering services, and productivity software to optimize production line design and deliver maximum uptime.

ProMach designs, manufactures, integrates, and supports the most sophisticated and advanced packaging and processing solutions in the global marketplace. Its diverse customer base, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller, privately-held businesses worldwide, depends on reliable, flexible, technologically advanced equipment and integrated solutions. ProMach is headquartered near Cincinnati, Ohio, with manufacturing facilities and offices throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. For more information about ProMach, visit and for more information on ProMach Careers, visit