Container Handling Methods

Retorts may be designed to use discontinuous (batch) container handling or continuous container handling. Generally, batch container handling systems require the processor to place the containers into metal crates or baskets to facilitate loading the retort. In a few systems, referred to as crateless, the cans are loaded directly into the retort. Batch retorts require an operator to close and tighten a door or lid to seal the pressure vessel prior to introducing the heating medium and/or bringing the retort up to the required temperature and pressure.

Continuous container handling systems have two self-sealing openings, which allow the retort to be constantly at the required temperature and pressure and still allow the introduction and discharge of containers. The self-sealing openings are either mechanical valves or columns of water depending on the system. The containers travel through the retort during the thermal process by either a rotating reel or a carrier chain.

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