After a bit of research on food "canning" solutions, it seems one of the latest "technologies" in canning is (metal) retort packages.

Are these type of packages detected on metal detectors?

If so, does TSA allow airline passengers to carry them on a plane with contents in them?

Do they need to be in see-through packaging for verification of dry or solid content?

  • The Wikipedia page you are linking to states that the packaging contains a layer of metal foil. Why do you ask if metal foil is detected by a metal detector? Since the packaging is opaque, I also don't see why putting the retort package in a see-through bag would allow to verify if the content is dry or liquid/moist. Nov 30, 2016 at 0:44
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo is the amount of metal in a retort detectable? it seems most retorts are not see-through, however there is at least one food package maker with a semi-opaque approach. I'm to find out from them if they are suitable for canning though.
    – user289394
    Nov 30, 2016 at 0:58
  • Technically, it is possible to detect the tiniest amount of metals, but the metal detector may of course have been set to warn at a higher threshold. But why do you ask? You won't be allowed to carry the package on your body through the metal detector anyway, but will have to send it through x-ray with your hand luggage. Nov 30, 2016 at 1:12
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo good point regarding the x-ray machine, most people wouldn't carry it on their person, including me. I'm partially interested due to the security concerns, initially posted question to info security, however perhaps it's not the best site.
    – user289394
    Nov 30, 2016 at 1:17
  • For the purpose of clarity, you cannot bring such items through the metal detector. TSA requires that you place all personal possessions through the X-ray machine before you go through the X-ray machine (or body scanner). So the question you're really asking is "can I bring them on the plane as a carry-on?" Nov 30, 2016 at 1:47

1 Answer 1


TSA has a tool called Can I Bring? which allows you to search for items and determine if you're allowed to being them on the plane and in what baggage (carry-on or checked). While "retort package" is not in its database, "MRE" is. And for "MRE", the service states that you can do either. Of course, TSA is quick to state:

Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

  • 2
    That is odd, since MREs contain heaters, which are considered a fire hazard by the FAA: fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/TN06-18.pdf Nov 30, 2016 at 1:03
  • 1
    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo the heater is separate, not integrated, so you can bring the food pouch without the heater. Also there's a newer heater that doesn't produce hydrogen gas that is designed for use in enclosed spaces; these heaters should be okay.
    – phoog
    Nov 30, 2016 at 15:58

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