What Is Retort Packaging?

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: December 20, 2019

Retort Packaging

A retort pouch is a thin, lightweight, flexible laminated plastic package used to hold processed foods. It's essentially a can and glass jar replacement product that combines the longevity of traditional food preservation methods with the convenience and benefits of a thin, relatively malleable container.

Processed food stored in jars and cans offers several advantages. It doesn't require refrigeration and has an extremely long, stable shelf life. The problem comes not from the preservation process, but in the cost and inconvenience associated with the packaging. Cans and glass jars are bulky and heavy. They take up a fair amount of storage space, increasing your transportation and warehousing costs. Retort pouches are lightweight and provide packing efficiencies. As a result, they deliver substantial cost savings when it comes to transportation and shipping. Because these pouches lay flat when empty, they require less storage space before filling — reducing warehousing costs.

The lightweight packaging also provides cost savings and production efficiencies when it comes to the sterilization processes. The retort sterilization process involves first filling the pouch and then exposing the sealed package to ultra-high heat. The thin packaging quickly transmits heat, permitting content sterilization to occur up to 40% faster than with jars and cans. Faster sterilization requires less energy and therefore costs less money. It also increases your company's production capacity and improves the overall taste of your product.

Retort pouches come with a variety of features, giving you the opportunity to choose packaging solutions that work well with your products and most directly meet the needs of your customers. Pick between several design options, including easy-open, resealable and spout pouches. With long, relatively flat fronts, these pouches also provide more space for front-facing marketing materials. Retort packaging also offers several benefits to consumers and retailers. The tear-open design of easy-open and resealable selections makes them user-friendly, eliminating the need for can openers or sufficient hand strength to open jars. They also require less disposal space after use. Gusset packaging permits pouches to stand upright and makes product display easier for retailers. It saves shelf space and creates an overall attractive product display.