Which foods can be sterilized?

Which foods can be sterilized?

We explain in detail which foods can be sterilized in a TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave

In order to sterilize or pasteurize with the TERRA Food-Tech® autoclaves, a heat transfer medium, such as water or oil, is needed.

If, on the other hand, the product is dry or contains air, we recommend preserving it with other food preservation methods because without a transmitting medium, the heat does not spread, and the food is not well sterilized and can also be scorched.

Therefore, to the question at the top of this article, we answer that all of them. All foods can be sterilized or pasteurized as long as they contain oil, water or some kind of sauce so that the heat spreads throughout the product and eliminates, in whole or in part, any possible microorganisms, pathogenic or not, and their spores.

How does the TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave work?

The TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave is a fully-fledged 3-in-1 autoclave that cooks, pasteurizes or sterilizes. Thanks to a temperature probe inserted in a canned sample, we are able to control the whole process and minimize possible changes in the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the packaged product.

Our autoclaves combine simplicity with high technology. They have a capacity of 33 to 175 liters, suitable for small productions, and a very intuitive and clear design. At the same time, they offer cycle programming via a 5” color touchscreen with up to 50 configurable programs.

So, if you are a small artisan producer, farmer, restaurateur or microentrepreneur, and you are thinking of making your own gourmet preserves and/or packaged ready meals, turn to a professional autoclave like ours. All its features will make your work much easier and will also give you total safety, because with them, you comply with current health regulations and avoid endangering the health of your customers.

The sterilization process of TERRA Food-Tech® autoclaves

The sterilization cycle with a TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave consists of of the following phases:

  1. Filling phase: where the chamber is filled with water.
  2. Heating phase: stage in which the temperature and pressure of the water and the product are increased to the stipulated degrees.
  3. Sterilization phase: the sterilization temperature is maintained at a sustained level for the programmed time and pressure.
  4. Cooling phase: at the end of the sterilization phase, the product is cooled to stop the cooking process by means of a cold water shower (forced cooling) with a cooling-pressure ramp and draining of the water from the chamber.

These different stages will take place automatically and will be detailed on the screen of the autoclave by means of a timer and different graphic icons. The autoclave also reports on the evolution of the process, indicating whether the sterilization has been positive or negative.

The maintenance of the autoclave is very simple and does not require much more than expected for this type of equipment.

Which foods can be sterilized in a TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave?

As we have already mentioned at the beginning, you can sterilize anything you want in a TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave, as long as your gourmet preserve or prepared dish contains a transfer medium such as water, oil or sauce.

Here are the different-canned products that you can find on the market according to the different types of food:


Foods that can be sterilised in a TERRA Food-Tech autoclave: Meat
  • Meat dishes marinated, stewed or in sauce, such as the beef cheeks of our client Bottega da Re.
  • Pre-cooked meat dishes combined with other ingredients such as rice, vegetables, etc. Such as those prepared by EatNow Food, which offers chicken dumplings and beef teriyaki dishes. Or those cooked by Tilberedt, such as chicken with paprika and red wine, pork with mushrooms and sausages, veal in Gorgonzola sauce and classic veal stew.
  • Chicken, beef, oxtail, soups, etc.
  • Pâtés, such as the one made by the Fundación Mas Albornà y Mallart Artesanos Charcuteros. The first rustic Gallo del Penedès pâté with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
  • Cooked ham or chicken breast.
  • Mixture of mortadella-type sausages, liver sausages or brine-type frankfurters.
  • Pet food such as Hunderbar’s beef, chicken or turkey based pet food.
  • Baby food.


Food that can be sterilised in a TERRA Food-Tech autoclave: fish
  • Tuna, sardines, bonito, mackerel in oil or pickled fish such as bluefin tuna in Bottega da Re glass jar.
  • Salmon, tuna, bonito, anchovies, sardines, hake and red scorpionfish pâtés.
  • Pre-cooked dishes such as salmon or red scorpionfish pie, sea bream with potato, steamed fish prepared by EatNow Food or peppers stuffed with tuna and cucumbers prepared by Virtute Naturae.
  • Broths such as the “fumets” of Peixos Mielgo.
  • Pet food such as Hunderbar based on fish.
  • Baby food.


Food that can be sterilised in a TERRA Food-Tech autoclave: seafood
  • Pickled mussels, natural cockles, scallops with garlic or in scallop sauce, baby squid in ink, octopus in olive oil, natural prawns…
  • Pâtés of king prawns, mussels, crab, scallop or sea urchin.
  • Lobster puddings, octopus…
  • Seafood dishes: paella and fideuá.
  • Broths.
  • Stir-fries and sauces such as those of Antoni Izquierdo Gourmet made with Palamós prawns or cuttlefish ink. Or the green sauce with anchovies from Bottega da Re.

Vegetables and greens

Food that can be sterilised in a TERRA Food-Tech autoclave: vegetables


Foods that can be sterilised in a TERRA Food-Tech autoclave: Fruit


Foods that can be sterilised in a TERRA Food-Tech autoclave: vegetables
  • Chickpeas and canned beans, such as those from Tarro Verde.
  • Stews such as Mixblik, which offers lentil stew, Eritrean Silsia and hummus.

As you can see, the list of foods that can be sterilized in a TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave is endless. You can find out more details in our Canned Food Sterilization section.

Packaging that can be sterilized in a TERRA Food-Tech® autoclave.

Heat treatment with one of our autoclaves will never be an impediment in the choice of packaging for your product because our sterilizer accepts any type of container. Thus, in our autoclave you can sterilize gourmet preserves or ready meals in:

  • Glass containers, such as jars or glass bottles, used by many of our customers, as you will see in our success stories.
  • Metal cans or containers.
  • Plastic containers, such as semi-rigid trays and bags or pouches.

Food advice and technical support TERRA Food-Tech®.

At TERRA Food-Tech® we have always sought to facilitate the work of small producers, microentrepreneurs, farmers, restaurateurs, cooks and chefs involved in the production and marketing of gourmet preserves and ready meals. That is why, when you purchase of one of our autoclaves, we offer a food consultancy service and initial professional support, in which our technicians will help you to achieve the final product you want. They will guide you on the optimum times and temperatures for your preserves, and will also give you tips on how to keep your preserves from changing during sterilization.

If you have any doubts about whether your product can be sterilized with our autoclaves or for other technical questions and advice, please do not hesitate to contact our laboratory technician specializing in applications by e-mail at foodconsultancy@terrafoodtech.com, we will be delighted to help you.

Healthy and wholesome pet food Hundebar
EatNow Food Indonesian Health Food Pouch
CUICK stir-fries and bases
Rustic pâté of Penedès rooster made by Mallart Artesanos Charcuteros

Examples of products sterilized or pasteurized with TERRA Food-Tech® autoclaves.

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