Thermal Pasteurisation in a Bag or CPET tray

In brief thermal pasteurisation is generally the process of heating food to a specific temperature and for a set time that will kill certain but not all bacteria, when used in conjunction with the right packaging this process can provide a much longer refrigerated shelf life.

The pasteurisation process differs from sterilisation which refers to a much higher temperature process which will render a product “sterile”, but can often also have the detrimental effect of denaturing the food and therefore undermining the products “eat-ability”.

When assessing the practicality of a product to be pasteurised then there are certain factors to consider such as:

  • Required refrigerated shelf life
  • Components (ingredients) that make up the product and how they will react to other components within a dish through the pasteurisation process
  • Desired packaged presentation
  • Required minimum pasteurisation temperature and times for differing food types
  • The ability to verify the thermal processing of a product to ensure correct core temperatures are reached and maintained as well as correct cooling parameters are met
  • Ability to maintain a correct refrigerated storage temperature
  • How the end user will reheat or use the product
  • Microbiological parameters and validation requirements

Thermal Pasteurisation can take differing forms a couple of examples of these are as follows:

  1. Product is heated in a vessel to the correct pasteurisation temperature and time, then filled into a container or bag at a set minimum temperature and sealed, then rapidly cooled.
  2. Product is placed either cooked or uncooked into a CPET tray or vacuum bag, vacuum sealed to remove as much atmosphere as possible then cooked and pasteurised for a set time and temperature once the required core temperature is met and pasteurisation process complete, the product is then rapidly cooled.

Here at Pac Food we not only provide the packaging that will allow you to pasteurise your product but we can also assist in the how to.