IEH Academy

Thermal Processing Workshop

Course details


16 hrs.

Dr. Gene Bartholomew

Dr. Mark Deniston

Randy Porter

Thermal processing remains the most important method of food preservation in use today. The large scale of these operations makes it more important than ever that the process is error-free. This 2-day workshop will give an introduction to thermal processing concentrating on low acid food retort production operations.  Many food industry professionals will benefit from attending, such as process engineers, plant engineers, packaging engineers, microbiologists, quality assurance technicians, system operators, quality assurance managers, corporate quality, and production managers.

Benefits and Learning Objectives

general-thermal-bacteriology-applied-to-foodsFood processors and manufacturers use thermal processing as a critical part of their operations and preservation procedures. Failure to implement effective procedures will lead to product deterioration and loss of sales at best, and at worst to serious illness or death. This course is specifically designed for all those involved in thermal processing. It covers all of the essential information regarding the preservation of food products by heat – all taught by industry leaders.


Participants in this course will learn all of the components required in a comprehensive Food Safety Plan, and understand how Prerequisite Programs set the foundation for a Food Safety Plan.


Additionally, participants will learn to:

  • Understand the Definition of a Critical Factor in a Thermal Processing Unit Operation
  • Understand Why Some Product, Package and System Characteristics are Critical
  • Understand the Advantages of Utilizing More Critical Factors in Process Design
  • Understand the Disadvantages of Utilizing More Critical Factors in Process Design

To learn about the basics of Thermal Processing, visit the following link:


This 16 hour course will cover the following:

  1. Thermobacteriology
  2. Thermobacteriology Break Out Sessions
  3. Retort Systems and Temperature Distribution Testing
  4. Heat Penetration Theory and Data Acquisition
  5. General Method and Ball Calculation Procedures
  6. General Plant Sanitation Principles for Retort Operations
  7. Sanitary Design for Retort Operations
  8. Sanitary Design Break Out Sessions
  9. Critical Factors in Retort Processing
  10. Thermal Process Deviations and Process Deviation Record Keeping

Learn more about our food safety courses.

Who Should Take this Course?

  • Quality Assurance Managers
  • Thermal Processing System Operators
  • Process Engineers
  • Plant Engineers
  • Corporate Quality Assurance Managers
  • Corporate Engineering Managers
  • Corporate Production Managers


First Offering – December 6, 2021 – December 9, 2021 (4 hour sessions)

Registration and Payment

To Register for this Course, please visit our training portal.

Course Instructor

Dr. Gene Bartholomew

Vice President, Technical Services – IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group


Dr. Gene Bartholomew joined IEH as Vice President of Technical Services in 2019. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from Cornell University and a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University. Dr. Bartholomew was a founding member of the North American Meat Institute Listeria Control Workshop and has taught numerous courses to members of the food industry.


Mark Deniston

Associate Director, Process Engineering


Mark Deniston has worked with IEH since 2005. He earned his M.S. in Food Engineering from UC Davis and his B.S. from Cal Poly. He has published papers on heat transfer to foods with particles, heat transfer to food products heated in steam/air retorts, and hyperfiltration technology for protein recovery. Deniston has held a part-time UC Davis position for 33 years, and before working at IEH, he worked at the NFPA Western Research Laboratory for 19 years in thermal processing and environmental engineering.


Randy Porter

Vice President, Technical Services


Randy Porter, BS, Indiana University joined IEH in 2019 as a Vice President of Technical Services after working for food processing companies such as Campbell Soup, Post Holdings, ConAgra Brands, Kraft/Nabisco and Dannon over his career. He has authored and published multiple articles on Hygienic Design and has trained and presented at numerous food industry events and seminars across the globe.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERGet Access To Introduction to Microorganisms in the Food Industry Course

As a welcome gift, we're offering a FREE course, Introduction to Microorganisms. Learn about microbes and the critical role they play in food production, and gain the knowledge required to assist with programs that guard against shelf-life failures and foodborne illnesses.