MadgeTech Blog — Thermal Processing

Taking a Close Look at Thermal Processing

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Thermal processing is considered one of the most widely used food sterilization methods in the food industry. According to, it is defined as “a food sterilization technique in which the food is heated at a temperature high enough to destroy microbes and enzymes.” The specific amount of time required depends upon the certain type of food and the growth habits of the enzymes or microorganisms. The term “thermal” refers to the heating process, which is a practical way of protecting food products within the production cycle.

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The Popularity Behind Thermal Processing

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Thermal Processing is a practice that combines temperature and time as a way of eliminating or reducing microorganisms in food products. Through the use of high temperatures, thermal processing heats a product long enough to control the targeted pathogen(s) in the product that are harmful to consumers.Methods of thermal processing, including pasteurization and sterilization, ensure consumer safety while preventing spoilage during the shelf-life of a product. Although both processes are responsible for destroying microbial toxins that lead to foodborne illnesses, they differ in various ways.

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