Oscillating Retorts

The oscillating sterilizers feature a patented rocking mechanism (Surdry 2004), by means of which the retort trays are gently turned left and right up to an angle predetermined in function of the food product. The second factor is dwell time at each angle -also determined in function of the food- product to allow the liquids, food particles and head space air bubble move across the package.

The oscillating sterilizers were designed by Surdry -as a lower cost and higher capacity equipment alternative with respect to the rotary retorts- for use with pouches or similar flat shape flexible containers, like thermoformed trays. The use is extended to bottles or other tall containers laid flat on trays or racks with shelves.

Oscillating retorts have higher capacity than the rotary retorts as there is no rotor frame and so the vessel space is better filled. Instead, the patented rocking mechanism seats under the tray stacks and does not take any extra chamber space. In fact, the tray sizes are the same size for either for the oscillating or for the static sterilizers with the same shell diameter.

Compared to other gentle motion technologies in the market, the Surdry oscillating sterilizer stands out to be truly gentle and cause no tray wear as well as to make an effective difference with respect to the static cook. Studies performed by the Food Packaging Department of Clemson University in South Carolina -using pilot and production size Surdry oscillating sterilizers- have demonstrated the difference to be a fact.

“Intermittent oscillation’s greatest benefit is that it provides processors with another tool in their toolbox creating new and innovative products that could not be done with the previous technology”. Dr. Scott Whiteside, Professor, Clemson University


Oscillating sterilizers models are identified according with a name original from Surdry with A-1XY-OS format where the:

  • A: Stands for Autoclave (Retort).
  • 1X: Stands for the vessel diameter in decimeters.
  • Y: Stands for the number of basket capacity.
  • OS: Identifies the oscillating model