Cannister foods, 200l Pilot Scale Vertical Retort, “Bread in a can” humanitarian relief project


Cannister Foods were looking to manufacture a humanitarian relief food delivery system, called “Bread in a Can”. The concept, which is popular in certain Western cultures in the traditional retail market, was to be developed locally for humanitarian relief rather than for retailing.

The project

Anderson Engineering was tasked to design, fabricate, install and commission a 200l vertical retort that was required to manufacture “Bread in a Can”. The client worked in conjunction with the Stellenbosch University where the retort was to be setup and installed at the department of Food Science campus. The complete scope of the project included:

  • 1 x 200l Vertical Retort
  • 1 x Removable basket
  • Steam Valves and Pipework
  • Installation and Commissioning

The small vessel (200l) was categorized as a category 4 pressure vessel due to the requirement to cook at 8 Bar Steam Pressure. This comes with a host of third party in factory and design requirements. The pressure vessel also needed to have good ergonomics (fully hinged lid) while maintaining operational safety at the 8 Bar pressure requirement. The cans of bread were required to be packed into a removable basket as this ensured all the cans are cooked evenly.

The project was awarded in April 2017. The vessel then took 10 weeks to manufacture and was installed and commissioned over a period of 4 days. Installation and commissioning took place in June 2017.