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Food Engineering/Manufacturing/should i hot fill and at what temperature


Hi, i just got into making my own sauce the kind you add to chicken from the supermarket shelf from a bottle i have co-manufacturer and packer who asked me to find out some stuff.
My sauce has a ph of 3.81, sodium of 820mg/100g, a.w. of 0.882 @14.1c, he said i need to find out if i should hot fill and what temperature and for how long.

The a.w might go higher so i also wanted to also know what the maximum water activity i can have with a sauce which has a ph of 3.81.

i know that this is the sort of question a food technician and microbiologist can only answer but i was wondering if you had any ideas.

thank you

You are correct.  You need a food tech to answer this, not an engineer.
I can say that with a pH higher than 3.8, your acidity is low enough that I'd be surprised if you didn't have to heat treat it.  As an example, tomato-based sauces would be raised to a temp of at least 180DegF, held for around 20 to 30 seconds, and then hot filled.

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Jim Pfister


Food Engineering/Manufacturing, Food Packaging/Distribution, Engineering Beverage Lines, Reducing operating cost of packaging lines while increasing efficiency. Lean Manufacturing. Incorporating new package technology into existing operations. Training staff to achieve smooth transition from "start-up" to full production. Managing complex projects across multi-disciplinary lines. Equipment PreShipment Factory Acceptance testing and Commissioning programs for new equipment.


Employment history: Over thirty-five years of experience. Managed as much as $40MM in concurrent, multi-disciplinary projects, both domestic and international, and have worked with such firms as Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Hershey`s, and Nabisco.

Organizations: An author and speaker, as well as a member of the IoPP. Past Chairman of IoPP`s Consultant`s Council and Member of the Packaging Equipment Performance Committee.

Publications: PMMI Solutions `99, Monthly Packaging Tipsheets


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