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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Retort pouch is a thin, flexible, lightweight laminated heat-resistant packaging used to keep food. It is a type of flexible packaging product that is made of multiple layers of plastic and aluminium. Retorting refers specifically to a type of food processing. This alternative packaging replaces traditional cans made of rigid metal cans or /and glass jars. Through retort process of high-temperature sterilization, the food wrapped with aluminum-plastic composite film can be stored at normal temperatures and increases the food durability period up to one year. The pouch is hermetically sealed so that it can withstand thermal processing during the sterilization process.

The retort packaging is ideal for food storage be it processed, pre-packaged, ready-to-eat and it has been designed with convenience in mind. Retort packaging can basically take all types of foods be it dry food, semi-dry food, or even liquids. Foods such as chili, chicken, meat, and fish are one of the normal foods being kept in retort pouches.

Retort pouch is made from aluminum-plastic composite film or layered polyester, aluminum foil, and polypropylene.

Polyester is a material that is found in the outer layer of the pouch; it provides strength and is also a great printable surface. Aluminium foil is the second outer layer or barrier layer of the pouch; it provides protection for the food from light, gases, and odour, as well as extents the food’s shelf life. Polypropylene is the innermost layer of the packaging materials and it is the layer that is physically in contact with the food; this layer provides flexibility and strength, as well as heat seal surface. For every pouch, it has to go through a sterilization process which will increase the durability of the packaging material.

One of the functions of this retort pouch is that it has high heat tolerance; which means if you have foods that are wrapped using retortable pouch, your food will highly likely last longer than foods packaged in normal containers or cans.

Yes. The one good thing about flexible packaging materials is that it is so easy to customise compared to packaging options like glass jars and metal cans; due to their rigid structure and limited printing area. In cases like this, flexible packaging like a retort pouch has great advantages.

The base of the retort pouch can be designed into various kind of bases; the choices are between stand-up, spout, flat, and square bottom pouches. However, for Qpack Sabah, the choices of bases are between stand-up and flat.

Easy printing on retort packaging – the outer layer of the retort pouch materials can be printed directly onto the entire surface. This process will give customers the ability to customize their brand logo,brand name, design the bag, and more, according to their liking. Communicating your brand is important, hence this can be one way to create brand awareness of who you are, what your product is, and why consumers should make the purchase of your products.

Retort pouch is one of the best inventions in the food industry. It solves a lot of problems faced by consumers, especially in the food manufacturing and distributing sectors.

One of the benefits is being able to maintain the durability of food for a long period of time; retort pouch products or foods can normally last longer, without changing the original taste of the food. It means, food that has been sterilized with high heat can be kept fresh with resistant packaging, and it can last longer.

These retortable pouches were also invented for convenience for the user; food products kept in retort pouch can simply be heated in hot water or microwave without having to be removed from the sealing layer. Compared to traditional packaging material like cans, the retort pouch can heat to sterilization temperature 30% less heat up-40% faster than cans, which means it can save more energy.

In addition, if you are a business owner selling food products, there are many advantages to using these retort pouch packaging, and one of them being it is easy to sell them to your customers.

Simple, because retort pouch is a sterile packaging solution. Retail foods and beverages need to be sterilised within the packaging to make sure their product is safe for consumption, sterile, and does not need to be refrigerated upon consumption. Food product are kept away from external contamination due to their barrier properties and how it is being sealed.

The flexible feature of the retortable pouch makes them easier to be stored in large quantities in retail shops like supermarkets and warehouses. The flexibility of the packaging saves space as well as improves efficiency in handling and transportation, unlike packaging products such as glass jars and metal cans among others. Finally, food products in retort pouches often do not require refrigeration or freezing, hence making them easier to store and display for retailers, as well as reducing food wastage.

This alternative packaging uses lightweight materials hence resulting lower transport cost. Comparatively with glass jars and metal cans, the cost of transport and logistics would highly likely be higher due to the need of more space and more trips. Its consumer-friendly approach in terms of the usability of the product is also something that interests the market and industry practitioners; unlike what is required to open glass jare or metal cans, consumers can open retort pouches through tears or caps.

  • Retort pouch is also known as thermally processed foods in flexible packaging or flexible packages. It is also called a flexible pouch or, a flexible or semi-rigid package made from heat-resistant laminated plastic.
  • Depending on your manufacturer, retort pouch can be customized into different shapes, materials used, and options to include features such as a spout or euro-punched handle.
  • Packaging goods using retort pouch can increase efficiency by 40% compared to the traditional options for example glass jars and metal cans.
  • The flexible packaging or pouches allows more storage space.
  • It is considered a cheaper option in comparison with metal cans and glass jars because the amount of energy required to heat the retort pouch is lower.
  • Retort pouch offers the same duration of shelf life as food products being packaged in metal cans.

Choosing the right product is important, and choosing the right product that saves the environment is crucial. In the food and beverage industry, the push towards a greener choice is nowadays essential to prevent worse impacts on the environment. Our little act of saving the environment by being a wise consumer goes a long way. Not only business owners, consumers are also becoming smart buyers; consumers prefer products that are more sustainable, greener, taking into account everything from where it is being sourced to how it is being developed. Here are reasons why retort pouches are a sustainable choice for you:

  • Less heat is required during the process of sterilization because of its packaging feature: flexible material
  • Packaging retort pouch products are more time efficient, increasing their efficiency and reducing any resources required during product assembly
  • The flexible packaging feature makes it easier to store, saving a lot of space and storage costs
  • Retort pouches are generally lightweight and this positively impacts the transportation need
  • If you are a business owner or individual looking for a flexible packaging solution to sell food and beverages in retail shops, then retort pouches might be the solution for you.
  • If you are working in the food manufacturing industry and looking for pouch packaging solution to package your goods in a sterile packaging, then retort pouches may be the best choice for you.
  • If you’re considering pouch packaging but do not need to heat, cook or sterilise the goods in this way, then a retort pouches may not be the best choice.
  • If you are looking for an alternative packaging to metal cans for ease of storage of your food and beverage product, then this might be a better choice for you.
  • If you are from the food industry that manufactures food products and you are looking for alternative packaging that is durable and able to withstand longer shelf life, then retort pouches would be a good choice.
  • If you are looking for food packaging that retains color, smell, flavor and nutritional value, upon heating, then retort pouches are the best choice for you.

The condition of the retort pouches can be tested through several methods, namely via sealing test, pressure resistance, and drop resistance test, mechanical strength test of retort pouches, barrier performance test, and residual solvent testing.

Retort pouches can be used to keep any kind of liquids or food products. It is widely used across industries, especially the food and beverages industries. Most of the products that use retort pouches can be found in retails stores and retails market. They come with or without having sealed, some requires it to be teared to open; they come in various shape and sizes, and most of the time kept on shops’ shelves. Products like pet foods, including treats and wet foods are often found using retort pouches. Ready-made food packagings such as pasta with sauces, soups, rice, and pre-cooked vegetables are normally packed in retort pouches as well. Retort pouches can keep the quality of the food product because of how the packaging is designed which allows it to withstand thermal processing.

QPack Sabah Sdn Bhd offers two kinds of retort, the first one is flexible plastic pouches called retort stand pouches, and the second one is called retort pillow pouches. Both retort pouches are made of multiple layers of plastic and aluminium. The Aluminium Retort Stand Pouch packaging is available in two different sizes: 250GM (14cm X 17cm) and 500GM (15cm X 22cm), whereas the Aluminum Retort Pillow Pouch packaging comes in these two sizes as well: 11cm x 15cm
and 13cm x 18cm.

These two types of pouches comes with the same special features namely capable of steaming up to 121 °C, high quality, tear notch, odorless, waterproof, oil resistant, durable and not easily broken, and recyclable.

The general uses of the retort pouches are for storing oily food, ready-to-eat food, sauces and paste, powder, and many more.