Title:
ROLLER GRILL PROTECTIVE PACKAGING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a packaging consisting of a heat resistant material enclosing food products for use on a rotary grill, roller grill or other apparatus providing heat transfer to the food product. The packaging may consist of an oven-able polyester film, polyester paper, or other compounds that may include plastic compounds. The polyester film, for example, will have a gauge of about 100 or one (1) millimeter thick. The packaging would be compatible with temperatures of the roller grill between 140 to 200 degrees F. The product inside the packaging would obtain internal temperatures of 140 to 170 degrees F. within 15 minutes from a slacked out state and 30 minutes from a frozen state.



Inventors:
Waller, Roland Hiram (Bensenville, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/053381
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
03/21/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LONG, LUANA ZHANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ORUM (S819 Lovers Lane, Elroy, WI, 53929-9642, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A heatable wrapped food product, comprising: a generally cylindrically shaped food product, a wrapping wrapped around the food product, the wrapping being heatable above 160° F., the wrapping being arranged tightly around the food product to minimize head space at ends of food product, wherein the wrapped food product is rollably adherable to the rollers on a roller grill.

2. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping is crimped on both ends of the food product, the crimped areas being a diameter equal to or smaller than uncrimped areas of the food product.

3. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping is breathable to allow egress of air and water vapor upon heating.

4. A food product according to claim 2, wherein the crimped end areas are relatively soft.

5. A food product according to claim 1, further comprising a v-shaped crimp in an end of the wrapped product to facilitate tearing open of the wrapping and rolling the wrapping down the product to expose the product for eating.

6. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping comprises a film having a thickness between 60 and 120 gauge.

7. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping comprises a film having a thickness of 60 gauge.

8. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping is a polyester film.

9. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping is mylar material.

10. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapping comprises a mylar OWF2 material.

11. A food product according to claim 1, further comprising a transparent wrapping portion to allow viewing of the food product.

12. A food product according to claim 1, further comprising a relatively soft film strip.

13. A food product according to claim 1, wherein the wrapped food product is substantially six inches long.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Roller grills have been used to reheat hot dogs, various sausages, taquitos and other fast food products for many years. A typical roller grill will have a temperature selection means, such as an adjustable thermostat for setting the temperature of a multiplicity of rollers upon which a food product may be oriented and heated.

Each particular roller grill food product will have a predetermined time (and temperature) that the product may be kept on the roller grill before the product will no longer be suitable for consumption. For example, a hot dog typically has a product life on a roller grill of approximately 30 minutes. Products such as taquitos have a product life on the roller grill of approximately two hours.

Roller grill food products are enjoying great popularity. Many vendors now sell numerous products on the roller grill, including hot dogs, pizza, breakfast products, Mexican food products and sweet desserts. These products are generally heated directly on the roller grill bars of a roller grill.

The present invention provides for a product that encases a roller grill product. The invention will extend the product life on a roller grill, so that the product may, for instance, have a product life on the roller grill of up to 12 hours. This has the advantage of the elimination of waste because, in general; roller grill products must be discarded after between 30 minutes to two hours. Further, operators currently discard and waste ⅓rd of all hot dogs, taquitos, etc. that are placed on the roller grill, as the products dry out and are no longer saleable to the operators' customers. The present invention will also greatly reduce the need to clean the rollers of the roller grill, and will further reduce contamination of the food product contained within the packaging of the present invention.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to roller grill devices and related products, their wrapping, and preservation.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Roller grill devices have been in use for many years at convenience stores, sports stadiums, entertainment centers, kiosks, etc. Roller grills can take several forms. The most common roller grills are comprised of a plurality of cylindrical rods that are placed in a parallel relationship, so that the rods support a food product. The food product rotates on the rods, and is uniformly heated.

Early roller grills were originally used for heating hot dogs. More recently, however, retailers have begun selling other roller grill products, such as Taquitos, tamales, burritos, egg rolls, pizzas, omelets, desserts and the like. These roller grill products are heated directly on a roller grill.

Roller grill food products that are not encased are prone to being overcooked, because they are left on the grill for extended periods. Further, roller grill products are prone to contamination. Presently, operator personnel place products on the grill by hand, (usually without wearing sanitary gloves) and customers pick up products and breathe on them, then decide to place the products back on the roller grill bars and, as a result the exposed products may obtain bacteria in that manner. In addition, the rollers of the grill may not be completely sanitary, and therefore bacteria may be transmitted to the food product through contact with the roller grill bars. Further, these unwrapped food products may leak onto the roller grill bars. The roller grill must also be regularly cleaned if exposed to unwrapped food products.

Roller grill food products contain both a shelf life and a defined life on a roller grill. An unwrapped roller grill products' shelf life is generally less than may be obtained by wrapping the roller grill products. Further, unwrapped roller grill food products will have a shorter life on a roller grill than may be obtained by wrapping a roller grill food product, due to the unwrapped product not retaining moisture and destroying the outer layer of the food product while on the roller grill.

Therefore, a problem exists of obtaining a product that is less prone to contamination for heating on a roller grill in a uniform, consistent manner while increasing the useful life of the product, both on and off the roller grill.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention involves the provision of a heat resistant packaging for a food product that may be heated on a rotary grill, roller grill or other apparatus providing heat transfer to the food product. The food products that may be contained in the packaging may include, but are not limited to, products such as hot dogs; sausage products; pizza; omelets; and Mexican food items such as Taquitos, tamales, burritos and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a food product on a heating device.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a packaged food product.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The food product is heated on a roller grill 1. The food product contains packaging consisting of a heat resistant material, i.e., polyester film, 2 generally overlaying at least the outer side surface of the food product. The packaging may, in one embodiment, encase the ends of the food product 3. The packaging 3 may consist of one or more layers. The packaging may consist of various materials including, but not limited to, a polyester film, polyester paper, or other compounds that may include plastic compounds. The special oven-able polyester film, for example, will have a gauge of about 100 or one (1) millimeter thick, 3″ cores and approximately 3¾″ wide. The packaging would be compatible with temperatures of the roller grill bars that could vary from between 140 to 200 degrees F. The product in the packaging would obtain internal temperatures of 140 to 170 degrees F. within 15 minutes from a slacked out state and 30 minutes from a frozen state.

The packaging of the invention literally eliminates waste from the roller grill, as the shelf life will be extended from half to two hours to over twelve hours with the packaging of the present invention. Operators currently discard and waste ⅓rd of all current products (hot dogs, taquitos, etc.) that are placed on the roller grill, as the products dry out and are no longer saleable to the operators' customers.

In a preferred embodiment, the packaging is generally tubular, and the transverse cross-sectional shape of the packaging is generally a round shape. This would allow the food product and packaging to rotate on the bars of a roller grill. The diameter of the food product is in a range of between 1½ inches to approximately 2 inches. The food product and packaging may come in many lengths, but generally is in the range of two inches to eight inches.

An approximate average center-to-center distance between adjacent rollers on a typical roller grill machine is two inches. As such, the packaging containing the food product may be between 1.5 to 2.25 inches in diameter, in one embodiment. The packaging may also be larger than that figure in order to span more than two rollers or to accommodate larger food products.

In a preferred embodiment the wrapper is crimped on both ends. 4 The crimps on the ends will preferably be configured so that the ends are smaller than the overall diameter of the packaged food product, so as to allow the product to rotate on a roller grill. One advantage of crimping the ends of the packaging is that it will allow the consumer to tear the packaging on either end, roll the packaging paper down and use the lower portion to hold the product and function as a sleeve. Presently, operators offering products from a roller grill must purchase “sleeves” for its customers to insert the product into so it's a hand held “grab N go” product. The preferred embodiment eliminates this extra expense. A preferred embodiment may contain a perforation on the packaging, which would allow a consumer to easily open the packaging.

The packaging will in a preferred embodiment be transparent or have a transparent portion. This will allow the merchant and customer to view the product. The packaging will also be of a nature to accept printing on the packaging, by means known in the art. This packaging can now include the ingredient declaration and the nutritional table of the food product. This will aid the operator to conform to new State and Federal labeling laws to post calorie, trans fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate and sodium content.

In a preferred embodiment, the packaging will be of a compound that would allow moisture to escape from the packaging. Another preferred embodiment of the product may include perforations, which may, among other things, allow moisture to escape the packaging so the polyester film does not “bubble” and/or burst.

In another preferred embodiment the wrappers will have a brand name and product description so it will prevent the operator from having to use “grill tags” and other “point of sale” information to describe the food product.

The package in a preferred embodiment will also function as a sleeve so that the customer may remove the upper half of the package and use the lower half to be held by hand for consumption.

In a further preferred embodiment the packaging will be manufactured as “roll stock” which allows the food products to be wrapped by a packaging machine (e.g. Doboy, Foremost, etc.,), such as those known in the art.

The packaging of the present invention in a preferred embodiment allow the operator to reconstitute the product on the roller grill from either a slacked out or frozen state. Almost all products currently offered on the roller grill are reheated from a slacked out state. This shortens shelf life for the operator as once the products are slaked out and held in the cooler, they must be reheated and consumed in a period from 10-14 days or the product needs to be discarded. Because product contained in the packaging of the present invention may be reheated from a frozen state it can be extended to several months.

In one embodiment, Oven-able Polyester film ranging from 120 gauge, 100 gauge, 80 gauge and 60 gauge is suitable. The thinner 60-gauge film is particularly suitable for this application. Attached are detailed specifications on the 60 gauge.

The 60-gauge Oven-able Polyester film is very thin, therefore, it allows the product to be wrapped tighter by the Doboy wrapping machine so there is less headspace between the film and the product. This will now make the product more “roller grill able”.

This new film enables the product to adhere to the roller grill bars better so there will be more consistent rolling on the bars, thereby provide better distribution of heat to obtain internal temperatures of 160° to 190° faster and heated more evenly throughout the product.

The thinner film will provide increased speed for the packaging machine thereby providing a higher output and less cost per unit packaged.

The light and thinner polyester film makes the “fish tails” softer and thinner that are on both ends of the product so it enables the product to roll better on the roller grill bars. The heavier gauge film makes the “fish tails” rigid and therefore interferes with other products that it butts up against. Plus, the rigid “fish tails” stick on the roller grill bars and prevents the product from rolling. The new softer “fish tails” eliminates this problem.

The thinner clear film allows the consumer to see the product more clearly than with the thicker film.

The special 60 gauge film will allow the consumer to tear the “fish tail” more easily than the thicker hard to open “fish tails”.

Additionally, a special V shaped crimp will be cut into the “fish tail” which will make for an easier tear for the consumer to roll the film down so it can be used as a “hand held” convenient product to eat “on the go”.

The 60-gauge film “breathes” better thereby providing a longer shelf life on the grill. This reduces some of the moisture inside the package therefore the product does not get overly homogenized.

The thinner film makes it easier for the consumer to tear and roll down and function as a hand held sleeve versus the thicker gauge film that when torn does not roll down well and it's hard to hold down and function as a sleeve.

The unique packaging properties allow the product to be “slacked out” faster and be ready to be reheated on the roller grill. As a result, this saves time for the operator to get the product up to proper internal temperatures ready to be sold. This special feature will prevent the operator from losing any sales or having customers buying products that are still cool and not reheated throughout.

Thinner gauge film allows the manufacture to pack more products in a regular case, as it now requires less inner space in the box.

The approximate one inch wide filmstrip going across the 6-inch length product is softer with the 60-gauge film so it does not interfere with the product rolling on the grill. The thicker gauge strip previously used interferes with the product rolling consistently on the grill.

The product developed is approximately 6 inches in length so it allows the operator to merchandise 5 products across on a standard 31-inch width roller grill. Additionally more product can now be merchandised on the grill to utilize all its space.

MYLAR® OWF2

Product Description

Mylar® OWF2 is a co-extruded, one side amorphous, heat sealable polyester film designed to be used as an overwrap film. Mylar® OWF2 has a thicker heat sealable layer than Mylar® OWF. This film is suitable for use in contact with food.

Approvals

FDA Food Contact Status—All gauges of Mylar® OWF2 comply with the Food and Drug Administration regulation 21 CFR 177.1630—Polyethylene phthalate polymers. This regulation describes films which may be safely used in contact with all types of food excluding alcoholic beverages. Uncoated films such as Mylar® OWF2 can be used to contain foods during oven cooking or oven baking at temperatures above 250° F.

Typical Properties
Available Thickness [Gauge]
60
Thick-
PropertynessValueUnitsTest
BARRIER
Gas Permeability-O2, 24 hr605.0cc/10ASTM D1434
0 in277° F./75%
RH/1 ATM
OPTICAL
Haze603.5%ASTM D1003
TLT6088.6%ASTM D1003
PHYSICAL
C.O.F. (dynamic) A-B600.5ASTM D1894
C.O.F. (static)600.6ASTM D1894
Density1.40g/cc
Elongation at Break MD100%ASTM D882A
Elongation at Break TD90%ASTM D882A
Tensile Strength MD6025kpsiASTM D882A
Tensile Strength TD6027kpsiASTM D882A
Yield (nominal)6033,000in2/lb
THERMAL
Heat Seal Temp. Range60220-400° F.
Shrinkage MD (150° C.)601.25%Unrestrained @
150° C./30 min
Shrinkage TD (150° C.)600.3%Unrestrained @
150° C./30 min





 
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