Title:
Package for storing omelet ingredients
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package for separately storing ingredients for a single omelet, quiche, or egg scramble having: a top face, and a plurality of depressions each having a perimeter and each optimized for holding an ingredient for a single omelet; and a detachable top portion including an outer face and an inner face, wherein the inner face and the perimeter of each depression form an openable airtight compartment from each depression. The compartment comprises: an omelet ingredient. The compartment is vacuum-sealed during or after the inclusion of the fresh omelet ingredient. The ingredient is shelf-stable or refrigerator stable.



Inventors:
Keckeis, Edward Joachim (Coral Springs, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/010715
Publication Date:
06/15/2006
Filing Date:
12/13/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEINSTEIN, STEVEN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Malin Haley DiMaggio & Bowen, P.A. (Spectrum Office Building 4901 NW 17th Way, Suite 308, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, 33309, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A package for separately storing ingredients for a single omelet, comprising: a bottom portion having: a top face, and a plurality of depressions each having a perimeter and each optimized for holding an ingredient for a single omelet; and a detachable top portion including an outer face and an inner face, wherein the inner face and the perimeter of each depression form an openable airtight compartment from each depression.

2. The package of claim 1, wherein the compartment comprises: an omelet ingredient.

3. The package of claim 2, wherein the compartment is vacuum-sealed during or after the inclusion of the omelet ingredient.

4. The package of claim 1, wherein the depression is generally see-through.

5. The package of claim 3, wherein the ingredient is shelf stable.

6. The package of claim 3, wherein the ingredient is refrigerator shelf stable.

7. The package of claim 1, wherein at least one compartment has a perforated edge.

8. The package of claim 1, wherein a recipe is located on the top portion.

9. The package of claim 1, wherein the package includes a separate compartment for each different ingredients for omelets.

10. The package of claim 2, wherein each compartment includes a multiple portion of an ingredient for an omelet.

11. The package of claim 1, wherein the package may be frozen without a loss of quality in the ingredient.

12. The package of claim 1, wherein the top portion is heat sealed to the top face of the bottom portion.

13. The package of claim 1, wherein the top portion is peelable from the top face of the bottom portion.

14. The package of claim 1, wherein the package further comprises a peelable strip so that the package is reclosable.

15. The package of claim 14, wherein one or more ingredients in a compartment are shelf stable.

16. The package of claim 14, wherein one or more ingredients in a compartment are refrigerator stable.

17. The package of claim 12, further comprising a thin printable sheet having a recipe located between the top portion and the bottom portion before heat-sealing.

18. The package of claim 1, wherein each ingredient is fresh.

19. An omelet ingredient container, comprising: means for holding one or more individual omelet ingredients in a compartment; and means for openably sealing the omelet ingredient within the compartment.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the field of containers of ingredients for omelets, and, more specifically, to convenient separately openable compartments for individual ingredients for omelets.

2. Description of Related Art

Previous U.S. Pat. No. 6,168,021 issued to Herbruck discloses an egg carton which contain eggs as well as ingredients for egg dishes. Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 5,807,579 issued to Barnes et al. teaches a container for an egg as well as the ingredients for an omelet including the egg. U.S. Pat. No. 3,547,658 issued to Melnick teaches a dry egg material and an adjunct ingredient of gross particulate food in the same package. Also, U.S. Pat. No. 2,952,551 issued to Long et al. discloses a packaged frozen egg product which is sliceable into numerous portions.

There is thus a need for a convenient package of fresh omelet ingredients separate from any egg but capable of storing individual portions and styles of omelets.

There is thus a need for a convenient package for camping trips and other situations where airtight packaging and portability are preferred.

There is also a need for shelf stable ingredients, so the eggs may more conveniently and inexpensively be purchased in bulk.

There is also a need for an apparatus that allows a consumer to purchase fresh and nutritional pre-sliced and pre-washed ingredients to accommodate one or more omelets or egg dishes.

There is also a need for a package of omelet ingredients which does not require the consumer to sacrifice quality for convenience.

There is also a need for a package which saves the consumer from going to different aisles in a store to obtain fresh and crispy omelet ingredients.

There is also a need for a package which allows a consumer to inspect pre-cut omelet ingredients before purchasing to confirm that the quality is comparable to the ideal, such as a fresh uncut vegetable.

There is also a need for a package that is extremely convenient for the consumer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide an option to a consumer which is less expensive than the purchase of bulk vegetables or full-size items like peppers, tomatoes or cheese.

It is another object of the invention to provide a package that saves a consumer time in the kitchen cutting, chopping, packing and unpacking vegetables to make one or more omelets. Furthermore, it is an object to save the consumer time in going to the refrigerator, pulling all the desired ingredients, unwrapping the ingredients from store packaging, wash the ingredients cut them, rewrap them and then replace them in the refrigerator.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a simple and easy solution in deciding which type of omelet a consumer may want, and preventing the situation where an ingredient may be mistakenly omitted.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a solution for the situation where one ingredient in a several ingredient omelet is missing from a pantry, thereby necessitating a wasteful trip to the grocery store.

It is yet still another object of the invention to provide a broad selection of traditional and modern styles of egg dishes available while making unnecessary to take a separate trip to the vegetable aisle.

It is still another object of the invention to provide multiple servings in a single package so a consumer may make a double or triple size omelet or to make several of the same type of omelet.

It is yet another object of the invention to provide a convenient packaging for fresh omelet ingredients useful for camping and other similar activities.

In accordance with these and other objects which will become apparent hereinafter, the instant invention will now be described with particular reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a top plan view of the package of the invention having a pull tab.

FIG. 2 shows a top plan view of the bottom portion of the package of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a side elevational view of the package of the invention.

FIG. 4 shows a top plan view of an alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 show a side elevational cutaway view of an alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 shows a top plan view of another alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 7 shows a side elevational cutaway view of another alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 shows a top plan view of yet another alternative embodiment of the invention for camping.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention is described herein is shown in the FIGS. 1 through 8 and described generally as the package at 10. The invention is a package 10 for separately storing ingredients for a single omelet. The term omelet in this description includes egg scrambles, quiches, frittatas, and similar egg dishes. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the package 10 includes a bottom portion 12 having a top face 14 and a plurality of depressions 16 each having a perimeter 18 and each optimized for holding an ingredient 20 for a single omelet. A detachable top portion 22 includes an outer face 24 and an inner face 26, wherein the inner face 26 and the perimeter 18 of each depression 16 form an openable airtight compartment 28. The top portion 22 may be peelably detached from the lower portion. However, equivalent means for attachment and detachment as are known in the art are contemplated.

Each compartment preferably includes a separate omelet ingredient 20, such as one from the list of diced peppers, diced onion, diced tomato, sausage, ham and grated cheese. However this listing does not limit the ingredients in anyway. While in the preferred embodiment each ingredient has it's own compartment 28, several ingredients may be placed in a single compartment 28. Also, each compartment preferably has a separate ingredient for a multi-ingredient omelet. It may also be preferred to have a double portion of the ingredient or ingredients in each compartment 28, so that large omelets or multiple omelets of the same ingredient may be cooked.

It is also preferred that the compartment 28 is vacuum-sealed during or after the inclusion of the omelet ingredient 20 in the compartment. It is preferred that the ingredient 20 is pre-washed and pre-cut. Preferably, the bottom portion, or at least the depressions in the bottom portion 14, is made of a flexible plastic which shrinks or otherwise moves inward during the vacuum sealing process. Vacuum sealing reduces the amount of space taken by the package and reduces the amount of air which contacts the ingredients, thereby keeping the ingredients fresh for a longer period of time. In addition, it is also preferred that the bottom portion 14, and especially the depression 16, is generally see-through.

It is also preferred that the ingredients are shelf stable. However, one or more of the ingredients 20 may be refrigerator stable. In an alterative embodiment, the ingredients 20 may be freezable so that the package 10 may be frozen.

In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 4, one or more compartments has a perforated edge 32. Thus, an individual ingredient 20 may be used while keeping the integrity of the rest of the package. Depending upon the configuration of the package 10, it may be preferred that one or more compartments is surrounded by perforations 32.

In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 5, the top portion 22 conveniently may be removed from the top face 14 of the bottom portion 12, thereby revealing the ingredients in each compartment 28. In addition, a thin printable sheet 34 made of paper, Mylar, plastic or an equivalent material known in the art having labeling, instructions and/or a recipe may be located between the top portion 22 and the bottom portion 14. Alternatively, or in addition, the labeling and recipes may be located on the surface of the top portion or the bottom portion. Also, the labeling and recipes may be on a container around one or more of the packages. It may also be preferred that the top portion and the bottom portion are connected by heat sealing. The top portion 22 is heat sealed to the top face 14 of the bottom portion 12.

The sheet 34 would be inserted between the top portion and the bottom portion before the heat sealing process.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the compartments 28 may be sealed and openable by a peel off strip 36. The strip 36 is a convenient and easy way to open the package 10. Also, when the package 10 is opened with the strip 36, any or all of the compartments 28 may be opened to obtain the ingredient 20 therein. Afterwards, the package may be re-closed so that any remaining ingredients stay fresh.

In still another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 8, the package 10 is optimized for camping. One or more eggs 40 are placed in each depression 18, thereby adding to the convenience for the invention. In this embodiment it is preferred that the egg is specially protected, for example, an air pocket or styrofoam case surrounds the egg. Thus, the entire meal is ready for cooking and located in an easily portable container. Furthermore, the container is spill proof and hygienic, since neither air, dust nor water can enter the package, especially in the vacuum sealed configuration.

It may also be preferred that a package 10 includes three or more separate, different ingredients 20 for omelets. Also, three or more packages 10 may be placed in a single box or container so that a consumer may obtain a large variety of ingredients at one time.

It may also be preferred that each compartment 28 includes a multiple portion of an ingredient for an omelet. In addition, the package may be freezable so that it may include ingredients that may be frozen without a loss of quality in the ingredient.

It is an alternative “multi-pack” version, the package 11 includes 10 or 12 compartments each having a different ingredient so the consumer can chose ingredients in accordance with his or her individual tastes. One or more omelets may be made from the other unused ingredients. In this embodiment, it is preferred that the package is resealable.

In another embodiment, one or more of the ingredients is organic.

Thus, utilizing the structural elements described above, or the equivalents known in the art, the invention is shown to be an omelet ingredient container, comprising means for holding one or more individual omelet ingredients in a compartment; and means for openably sealing the omelet ingredient within the compartment.

The instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art.