Retort Pouch Foods
Retort pouch foods are a specific application of batch thermal processing, in which the basics still apply, but the means of achieving a specified time and temperature treatment are different from those previously described. Developing the first commercial application of the technology in the United States was the occasion for learning some significant lessons about complex machinery. The retort pouch is a good example of an apparently great idea never quite achieving its expected potential. In many ways, it was the right answer to the wrong question.
The retort pouch package was developed at the US Army Natick Laboratory, where rations, uniforms, and other supplies are developed for all the armed forces, as a replacement for the metal can. It is interesting to note that the metal can and the technology of preserving by heating under pressure were developed by Nicholas Appert in France in response to a challenge by Napoleon Bonaparte for a safe and nutritious means of feeding...