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Energy efficiency measures for batch retort sterilization in the food processing industry

The purpose of this study is to highlight the energy saving potentials of a batch retort sterilization process operated by steam and to develop concepts for improving its energy efficiency. By using the methodical approach of the Onion Diagram and the recovery of low grade heat sources, four comprehensive improved energy efficiency concepts have been developed. Two concepts increase the initial product temperature resulting in lower transient steam consumption rates and a decreased energy demand. The other two options transform the waste heat and the energy for product cooling into heat streams for supplying nearby heat sinks or other processes in the plant. Results show that the total energy demand can be reduced by more than 23 % and 42 % of the energy injected into the system can be recovered. The scope of the study focused on a single, independent retort to ensure the transferability of the concepts. This study also shows, using a practical example, the importance of a comprehensive process understanding and analysis prior to application of Pinch Analysis, which is needed to ensure that the correct waste heat stream temperatures are defined, necessary processing constraints are appreciated, and all possible heat sinks in the process are considered.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Peesel, R.-H., Philipp, M., Schumm, G., Hesselbach, J., & Walmsley, T. G. (2016). Energy efficiency measures for batch retort sterilization in the food processing industry. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 52, 163–168. https://doi.org/10.3303/CET1652028
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