Temperature Distribution Test
The purpose of this test is to find the area within the chamber that has the minimum (coldest) temperature during the normal cycle. Anything that is placed in this area will be the last to reach the sterilizing temperature. This “cold spot” area will be where future heat penetration tests should be undertaken in the retort.
Heat Penetration Test
The purpose of a heat penetration study is to determine the heating and cooling behavior of a product/package combination in a specific retort system for the establishment of safe thermal processes and evaluating process deviations, and to find the “cold spot” in the product/container, and to ensure that all products receive the minimum thermal process to deliver a safe product.
A Temperature Distribution Test should be completed before commencing the Heat Penetration Test. The goal in conducting these studies is to identify the worst-case temperature response expected to occur in commercial production as influenced by the product, package and process.