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Wed 7Sep 2022

6 tips to choose a food autoclave 📋

Autoclave alimentaire

6 tips to choose a food autoclave for food sterilisation

Industrial food autoclaves are used to sterilise and pasteurise food in order to extend its shelf life. But how do you make the right choice when buying a food autoclave? Here are 6 tips to help you choose the right industrial food autoclave.

List of requirements for the use of a canning steriliser in industry

The manufacture of canned goods through sterilisation has revolutionised the food industry. The preservation of foodstuffs is carried out differently depending on whether the production is domestic, small-scale or industrial.

What are the quality requirements for a food autoclave in industry?

Autoclaves must meet the requirements of the administration, in particular the regulations for pressurised equipment. The decree of 20 November 2017 on the in-service monitoring of pressure equipment and simple pressure vessels is the authoritative text. This order specifies the requirements for the in-service monitoring of simple pressure vessels, in particular those concerning their commissioning, operation or maintenance. Autoclaves must also be tested periodically by a regulatory body.

Sterilisation for small-scale and industrial production

If your preserving jars are intended for sale, a stainless-steel food autoclave is essential. It allows you to sterilise and preserve your food in all types of packaging: glass jars, plastic or aluminium trays, tins, flexible bags, etc. The temperature and pressure of the machine are regulated in the autoclave for better food safety and optimal product quality.

List of questions to ask yourself when choosing a food autoclave

Before choosing a food autoclave, it is necessary to clearly define your needs.

  • What space is available to install the food autoclave?
  • What energy and resources are required to operate the autoclave?
  • What is my need in terms of type of heating?
  • What is the canning capacity?
  • What are the requirements in terms of sterilisation and pasteurisation cycles?
  • What are the product and packaging constraints?
  • What are the temperature and pressure values required for sterilisation?
  • What installation assistance is offered by the supplier following the purchase of the food autoclave?
  • What is the availability of spare parts for the product?
  • And of course, what price should the food autoclave be paid for according to the budget?

1. Choose the type of food autoclave and its capacity

There are food autoclaves on the market designed for industrial processes. They operate with a mixture of water and steam and are large in size. Their maximum sterilisation temperature can reach 140°C.

For small-scale production, there are three types of food autoclave, defined according to the capacity of the autoclave in litres and the number of jars required for production.

  • Vertical food autoclave: the cooking and sterilisation of food can be done either by the water immersion process or by the water spraying process.
  • Horizontal food autoclave: the Goût’stave autoclave is the perfect example.
  • Food autoclave to be placed on a desk: their capacity is lower, due to their smaller size.

2. Selecting your food autoclave according to the products to be sterilised

The food autoclave will provide your sterilised food with unequalled food safety. Pathogenic micro-organisms and other bacteria will be inactivated, while preserving the nutritional qualities of the product. Food autoclaves can also be used to cook your food at the same time as sterilising it. The food autoclave will also be chosen according to the type of containers to be sterilised: glass jars, tins, plastic or aluminium trays or flexible packaging.

3. Choose according to the pasteurisation or sterilisation processes required

The food autoclave chosen should have a temperature probe. This probe makes it possible to measure the core temperature and to calculate the sterilising (VS) or pasteurising (VP) values applied to a product sample. The production process can thus be monitored during the sterilisation cycles.

4. Safety of the autoclave with regard to temperature and pressure

The food autoclave must be equipped with safety elements:

  • water level and pressure sensors;
  • locking and thermal protection of the lid or door;
  • insulation of the entire vessel from heat for the safety of users;
  • a water level indicator;
  • a pressure gauge and a piezoelectric pressure sensor;
  • a safety valve.

5. Support and spare parts for the food autoclave

The autoclave is an appliance that requires maintenance over time. Even with periodic maintenance, it may be worthwhile to have the supplier provide good technical support for the machine, either on-site or remotely. This is useful when dealing with faults.

6. The price of the food autoclave: an essential criterion

The price is a determining criterion for choosing an industrial autoclave. It includes the purchase price and the operating costs. The product selected depends essentially on the budget available for the purchase. It depends on the technical characteristics required in terms of sterilisation, temperature and pressure.

Are you looking for a small electric autoclave, made in France? Our food autoclave Goût’stave is likely to satisfy all your expectations, including in terms of value for money!