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Retort packing of foods in flexible pouches has become the one of the most accepted method food preservation.
A little about retorting, pouches and products
Retort pouching of foods in flexible packing systems is the most acceptable form of food preservation. It represents a unique combination of package, process and product technology with potential economic benefits.Traditionally, tin containers have contributed to a large extent in building the confidence in processed foods. The increasing awareness and aversion to accept other methods of food preservation, irradiation and the like, have created a vast scope for retort processing of foods. Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has done pioneering work in the field of retort pouch processing of various Indian foods using indigenous materials and equipment.
A number of different virgin, multiplayer and co-extruded packaging materials such as polpropylene nylon, polyester cast polypropylene, and polyester aluminium foil cast polypropylene have been evaluated for their mechanical strength to withstand retort conditions at temperature up to 135oC, optimum barrier properties, compatibility with the food products and required a shelf life of 12 months under ambient conditions. DRDO has developed various vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for the services. Some of the products include sooji halwa, upma, channa curry, chicken curry, mutton curry, fish curry, vegetable pulav, chicken pulav, potato-peas curry, mushroom curry and much more. The technology for retort pouch processing of food has been transferred to 17 firms. Some of them are already supplying processes food to armed forces. It is also being exported to the developed countries to cater to the food requirements of the ethnic populations from Indian sub-continent.