US food giant H J Heinz has said Michael Bertasso, senior vice president and president of Heinz Asia Pacific, is to retire after 17 years with the company.

The company said Bertasso, who also serves on Heinz's management committee, is retiring to lead a church mission in Brazil.

Heinz, whose products include Heinz Ketchup, Ore-Ida French fries and Boston Market and Smart Ones meals, said a successor has not been named for Bertasso's position.