A very common question for us to receive is: “How do I set up my retort bar assembly for my Vac110?”

Today, we will answer that question simply!

Your Vac110 Chamber Vacuum Sealer has the capability for many functions such as vacuum sealing chamber pouches and glass jars as it is automatically paired with the standard seal bar. However, with the addition of the retort bar assembly, those options are widely expanded. Imagine having the alternative to save space from using cans and jars for your poultry or pet food packaging and replacing them with airtight retort pouches that produce the same, if not better, results for storing your canned foods. In addition, instead of using a can opener to open the metal cans, you simply use the tear notch on the retort pouch and voila!

Vac110 Retort Bar Assembly

How does the retort pouch production differ from the chamber vacuum pouches that makes this retort pouch revolutionary? A retort canning pouch is a sterilizable flexible pouch constructed with a mix of various layers of thin metal foils and plastics. This retort pouch design allows it to withstand temperatures and pressures used during the food packaging process that can replace using the traditional industrial canning methods.

JVR Vac110 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

The process for retort food canning removes all air from within the pouch following sterilization by heating to a temperature of about 250° for around 50 minutes. The retort bar then seals off the pouch once the sterilization and full air removal has taken place and your sealed pouch is now ready to store safely away!

The following information covers common uses of the retort bar, steps to install your retort bar, approaches to identifying the differences between the standard seal bar and the retort bar, seal and cooling times recommended for your mylar or retort pouches, and finally, methods to ensure proper seal integrity.

NOTE: The retort bar is not meant to seal chamber vacuum pouches!

The retort bar assembly is an 11.0″ bar with a heat strip size of 3.5mm. These features provide additional options for your food packaging process because it is capable of high pressure and heat used to seal heavy mil flexible retort pouches including mylar and retort pouches.

Common uses for the retort seal bar among our customers include sealing:

Retort canning pouches (e.g. for various types of food packaging such as raw materials or shelf stable goods)

Mylar pouches

Coffee bags

retort bar assembly

The installation process is easy and requires zero tools!

Step 1: Locate the standard seal bar within the chamber when you open the cover.

Step 2: Simply remove the Standard Seal Bar by lifting it out of the unit.

Seal Only Cycle - Seal Bar Assembly Diagram

Step 3: Replace with the retort bar by ensuring the bag clips are located on the operator side of the chamber and align the holes with the seal bar lift piston rods.

Three easy processes are used to identify the differences between the standard seal bar and the retort bar.

1. Heat Strip Size

The heat strip is the black metal strip that runs along the whole bar. The Standard Seal Bar is a flat, 6 mm strip while the retort bar is a concave shape, 3.5 mm strip that provides the pressure

This difference can be identified by simply sliding your finger across each heat strip. If the heat strip is flat, then it is a standard seal bar. If you feel a hill or ridge along the heat strip, then it will be a retort bar.

Identify Bar Assembly

2. Width of Bar

Look down the end of each bar. The retort bar appears narrower while the standard seal bar is wider (6 mm).

3. Label

The standard seal bar does NOT have a label. The retort bar always has a label located at the center of the bar labeled “RETORT”.

When considering using the retort bar in place of your standard seal bar for the retort packaging process, specific processing times are recommended depending on what retort pouches are used. We will review these specifics with the mylar pouches and retort canning pouches.

Note: Mylar retort pouches are not sold by JVR Industries, but are provided through Pleasant Grove Farms at topmylar.com. The seal integrity of a mylar retort bag has been tested in-house and has been found to be exceptional. 

Recommended Seal and Cooling Times for Mylar Retort Pouches:

Seal Time: 2.4 sec.

Cooling time: 5.0 sec.

Recommended Seal and Cooling Times for a Retort Pouch:

Seal time: 2.8 sec.

Cooling time: 6.0 sec

JVR Vac110 - Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Four methods should be practiced during the sealing process to ensure exceptional seal integrity that will provide you with safe packaging for storage.

1. MOUTH FOLD – Fold over the pouch mouth leaving about 2-4 inches of clearance to avoid residue in the seal area from moist products.

2. PREVENT WRINKLES – Lay pouch flat across the retort bar assembly, checking that the mouth is inserted entirely in the bag clips. If sealing a low profile product, then place filler plates below to fill the void.

3. INSPECT WELD – Check that the entire mouth of the package shows a perfectly continuous crosshatch pattern. Small blemishes should not be a concern, though you can check the strength of the potentially compromised area using the resistance test.

4. RESISTANCE TEST – Tug at the mouth of the pouch to check for complete adhesion following sealing. A solid weld/seal has taken place if you are unable to rip apart the seal.

Vac100/Vac110/Vac310 Seal Bar Assembly

As a reminder, JVR Industries does not proclaim expertise in the retort process because we are purely a chamber vacuum sealer packaging company. We have, however, tested the process with both mylar and retort pouches in-house and have been successful. Many of our experienced customers will readily recommend the addition of a retort bar because it expands the possibilities for your business or hobbies!

Click here to order the Vac110 retort bar assembly! 

Questions? Watch the video attached below for further visual instruction. Or, contact our highly knowledgeable and personable service department who would be glad to answer any of your questions!

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