Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Heat sterilisation system dramatically reduces sterilisation times

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Heat sterilisation system dramatically reduces sterilisation times
First industry scale version of a heat sterilisation system that rapidly shakes products to result in reduced processing time and improved food quality
In Use – On a commercial scale, this is still a relatively new technology. Steriflow brought their first industrial scale machine to market in October 2010 for a premium fish soup manufacturer in France.

Resource efficiency (e.g. filling line efficiency)

Product Categories

Relevant Materials
Glass, Liquid Beverage Cartons or other composites, Metal, Plastic – Flexible, Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars, Cans, Cartons, Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Filling, Processing


The technology involves exposing a batch retort of products to high temperatures inside a cylindrical autoclave while simultaneously subjecting them to 150 shakes per minute. Due to the shaking motion, the time needed for the sterilization process can be cut by between five and ten times compared to a static retort, this means typical sterilisation times can be reduced from around 66 minutes to 18 minutes. The process and equipment can be used with many canned, flexible packed and bottled food products and is most applicable to soups and sauces, ready meals, spreads and dips, beverages, chopped vegetables and baby foods. Due to the machine capacity and fast retort times, users may need to purchase an automatic filling / loading system.
The technology was first developed four years ago by UK company Zinetec and is known as the SHAKA process. Steriflow is the first producer to bring a machine to market that could process industrial volumes of product. The autoclave has a diameter of 1300mm with a useful length of 1400mm. The process also preserves far more of the micronutrients than static heat sterilization processes. According to Steriflow tests on soups using the Shaka process show a 40%  preservation rate of vitamin C – almost double the level that occurs when using a static process. In addition, more than 80% of polyphenols remain after using the SHAKA process, compared to about one third when using the static method.
Using the Shaka system also allows processors to add less salt in the soup recipe for an equivalent aromatic balance, and a better product texture is achieved.
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

This technology could offer food packers significant energy (and therefore cost) saving opportunities.

Intellectual Property

The patented Shaka® process is available under licence from Zinetec Ltd. Pilot plants are available for trials at Campden BRI (formerly Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association, CCFRA) laboratories in the UK and at the licenced French and US manufacturers of Shaka® process retorts, Steriflow SAS and Allpax Products Inc.
Company Comment: "process is now commercial in continental Europe and will shortly go commercial in the US and the UK with important food manufacturers. The special Shaka process retorts, produced under licence from Zinetec, are available from Steriflow and from another leading retort manufacturer, Allpax Products, in the US."

Consultant View

This is an exciting new retort technology which could offer both significant cost and environmental benefits and improve production efficiencies. Interested readers are encouraged to search the REID database and the Internet for other processing and sterilisation technologies that could provide similar benefits. Searches using key words such as sterilisation and pasteurisation are recommended.

Contacts and Further Information

Company details:
Service commercial
32, rue de Cambrai
Tél. : +33 1 40 37 08 45

Technology contact details:
Factory & Head Office
9-13 Rue St Claude
42334 Roanne
Tel: +33 (0) 477 44 22 10
UK Contact:
John D Emanuel
Licensing Advisor to the Board
Zinetec Ltd, London Office
20, Regent's Park Road
London NW1 7TX, England
Tel - +44 (0) 20 7482 4226 
Mobile - 00 44 (0) 7956 46 05 11

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