A general dynamic mathematical model was developed to predict the effect of can arrangement geometry on temperature distribution within cans in still retorts. For this purpose, the temperature variation in the cans was recorded for various can arrangements. Also, the influence of the physical properties of the material and the mechanism of heat transfer for heat penetration were studied. Experiments were carried out with water, peas in brine and tomato paste in no. 3 cans in an experimental vertical still retort. The equations employed for modelling were elliptic partial differential equations. They were solved numerically on a microcomputer using the finite element method.