Interfood is extending its range of equipment with the announcement of a new partnership with French company Steriflow to supply its range of retort machines to food processors in the UK and Eire.

The retorts, also known as autoclaves, are designed to both pasteurise and sterilise pre-packaged products. They employ a process in which heated water cascades over the products while the vessel is subjected to pressure. This means that products such as ready meals can be either pasteurised or sterilised without any adverse effects on the packaging.

A wide range of machines are available to meet the requirements of different capacities and different products. Diameters from 900mm to 2,300mm can be accommodated with capacities ranging from 1 to 12 baskets. The most popular model is the Steriflow Static, the company’s flagship model, which can accommodate foodstuffs in pouches, jars, glass or plastic bags. Also popular is the Shaka, a novel approach which adopts a shaking process to ensure improved preservation of the food’s natural texture. In addition to standard models, adaptations are available to meet specific needs. New developments include the introduction of air/steam models to the Steriflow range, along with the potential to retrofit modern Steriflow panels on existing air/steam autoclaves which are not manufactured by Steriflow.  

Consistency is ensured through automated cycles based on settings memorised in the programmer. Counter pressure is controlled throughout the process via two automatic valves which inject or bleed compressed air from the vessel, dependent on the packaging type and pre-defined filling settings. Attention has also been paid to operating costs, with shorter cycles compared to other retorts on the market and reduced energy consumption through recovery of the steam condensates.

Steve Naylor is Manager of Interfood’s Cooking & Cooling/Pasteurisation Division which will be responsible for the Steriflow range. He comments – “we are always very careful in selecting new partnerships as we want to foster long-term relationships which really complement our existing product offering. Steriflow has been manufacturing autoclave/retort systems for over 40 years. Its excellent reputation, coupled with the industry knowledge and expertise of UK food processing that we bring from Interfood, we feel will be a winning formula. This new venture builds on solid foundations, with more than 100 Steriflow autoclaves already operating successfully in the UK. We look forward to introducing Steriflow as an option to many of our customers who have a need for pasteurisation and sterilisation in their food processing operations, supporting the sales and commissioning of the machines with the high service levels for which Interfood is renowned. We pride ourselves on our ability to match the equipment to the specific needs of our customers and with the flexibility afforded by the Steriflow range, including the potential for adaptations to meet special requests, we will be able to do that.”