The food industry has utilized automated control systems for over a quarter of a century. However, the past decade has seen an increase in the use of more sophisticated software-driven, on-line control systems, especially in thermal processing unit operations. As these software-driven control systems have become more complex, the need to validate their operation has become more important. In addition to validating new control systems, some food companies have undertaken the more difficult task of validating legacy control systems that have been operating for a number of years on retorts or aseptic systems.Thermal Processing: Control and Automation presents an overview of various facets of thermal processing and packaging from industry, academic, and government representatives. The book contains information that will be valuable not only to a person interested in understanding the fundamental aspects of thermal processing (eg graduate students), but also to those involved in designing the processes (eg process specialists based in food manufacturing) and those who are involved in process filing with USDA or FDA. The book focuses on technical aspects, both from a thermal processing standpoint and from an automation and process control standpoint. Coverage includes established technologies such as retorting as well as emerging technologies such as continuous flow microwave processing. The book addresses both the theoretical and applied aspects of thermal processing, concluding with speculations on future trends and directions.