Title:
Flavor shakers with encapsulation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a flavoring and an encapsulant surrounding the flavoring. A shaker, similar to a salt shaker, is provided and the encapsulant is inside the shaker. A plurality of shakers can be provided in a single package for sale. The encapsulant can be selected so that it dissolves in saliva. Alternatively, the encapsulant can be selected so that it dissolves when heated. Additionally, the shaker can also include a number of different flavorings, all of which are encapsulated. Salad dressings, syrups, flavorings, seasonings, spices in encapsulated form can be provided in the shaker. Additionally, other means for dispersing the flavoring, such as a spray bottle, can be provided.



Inventors:
Spector, Donald (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/222579
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
09/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/32
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
YOO, HONG THI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COLLARD & ROE, P.C. (ROSLYN, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A system for flavor enhancing, comprising: a first flavoring; a plurality of encapsulants enclosing the first flavoring; and a shaker, the plurality of encapsulants being inside the shaker, the shaker having a top with an opening through which the plurality of encapsulants can fit.

2. The system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a seal for the top of the shaker.

3. The system as claimed in claim 1, comprising a plurality of shakers in a package, each of the plurality of shakers containing a second plurality of encapsulants that enclose a second flavoring.

4. The system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first flavoring is the same as the second flavoring.

5. The system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first flavoring is different than the second flavoring.

6. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the encapsulant dissolves in saliva.

7. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the encapsulant is water soluble.

8. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the encapsulant dissolves when heated.

9. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the encapsulant is broken done by chewing.

10. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the encapsulant is broken down by stomach acid.

11. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first flavoring is selected from the group consisting of allspice, anise, basil, bay leaves, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cilantro, celery seed, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic Salt/Powder, ginger, lemon grass, lemon pepper, lemon zest, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, Italian seasonings, and cinnamon.

12. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second flavoring is selected from the group consisting of chili seasonings, chili powders, dip seasonings, cheese seasonings sauces, barbecue sauce, hot sauces, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, seasoned salts, Tabasco sauce, curry powders, oils, olive oils, pimento, cardamom, cassia, garlic, black pepper, fennel, clove, dillweed, sage, clove leaves, lemon oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, winter green, peppermint, bay, synthetic flavors, vanilla, lemon oil, orange oil, grapefruit, lime, apple, pear, peach, strawberry, and cherry.

13. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first flavoring is a salad dressing.

14. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first flavoring is syrup.

15. The system as claimed in claim 1, comprising a second flavoring and a second plurality of encapsulates that enclose a second flavoring.

16. The system as claimed in claim 13, wherein the first flavor is different than the second flavoring.

17. The system as claimed in claim 1 1, wherein the encapsulant dissolves in saliva.

18. A package of flavor enhancers, comprising: a plurality of shakers; and each of the plurality of shakers containing an encapsulated flavoring.

19. The package of flavor enhancers as claimed in claim 18, wherein each of the plurality of shakers has a top with an opening through which the encapsulated flavoring can fit and a seal for covering the opening in the top.

20. The package of flavor enhancers as claimed in claim 19, comprising an enclosure around the plurality of shakers.

21. The package of flavor enhancers as claimed in claim 20, comprising a base holding the plurality of shakers.

22. The package of flavor enhancers as claimed in claim 19, wherein each of the plurality of shakers contains a different flavoring.

23. A salad dressing, comprising: an encapsulated oil; and an encapsulated vinegar.

24. The salad dressing as claimed in claim 23, comprising a bottle containing the encapsulated oil and the encapsulated vinegar.

25. The salad dressing as claimed in claim 23, comprising an encapsulated seasoning.

26. The salad dressing as claimed in claim 25, comprising a shaker containing the encapsulated oil, the encapsulated vinegar and the encapsulated seasoning.

27. The salad dressing as claimed in claim 23, wherein the salad dressing is applied to a salad in dry form.

Description:

STATEMENT OF RELATED CASES

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/______, filed on Sep. 3, 2005, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference into this document.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the application of encapsulated flavorings to the field of food enhancers.

Traditionally, flavorings are used to enhance the flavors of food products. Examples of common flavorings are salt and pepper. The salt and pepper are commonly contained in shakers that are commonly used in dining. The dispensers are easy to use, tend to prevent clogging and distribute the product evenly. Occasionally, when the cap on a salt shaker fails, it becomes obvious in that the food is ruined. For example, if the cap falls off, the food is over seasoned and cannot be ingested.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners are also flavorings that are commonly used. Sugar and artificial sweeteners are usually used in sachets since they are primarily designed for used in beverages, where they are dissolved and evenly distributed. In those instances in which sugar is used as a flavoring it is put into a “puffy” shaker to be evenly distributed over pastry.

Seasonings and flavorings are also used in cooking. Some of them are spread over products, but typically in cooking they tend to disperse and not change the consistency of the food products.

These flavorings, including seasonings, spices, oils, sweeteners and the like, have several shortcomings. For example, they typically have a limited shelf life. Also, the flavorings, when applied to food, can negatively impact the food. For example, when a salad dressing is applied to a salad, the salad can become wet and unappealing, particularly if the dressing is left on the salad for some time before the salad is served. They are also messy to use and not good for travel situations (fast food, planes etc.)

Accordingly, new and improved flavorings or seasonings are needed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a new and improved flavor enhancer. The flavor enhancer includes a flavoring and an encapsulant surrounding the flavoring. A shaker having the encapsulant inside can also be provided. The shaker preferably has openings through which the encapsulant can be expelled from the shaker.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a plurality of shakers is provided in a package. Each of the plurality of shakers enclose an encapsulated flavoring.

The encapsulant preferably is water soluble, e.g., dissolves in saliva. The encapsulant can also dissolve when heated or chewed. It can also be dissolved by acids in the stomach in the case of nutrients or medicines that might be added to the flavorings.

The flavoring can be any type of seasoning, spice, flavor or food. The flavoring can also be a syrup. Further, the flavoring can be a salad dressing. In this instance the encapsulation could include either hydrated or dehydrated vinegar, oil and spices. This will also tend to alleviate a problem a “wet” greens” after they are washed, since the dehydrated inside can turn the wetness (if present) into part of the dressing). Alternatively the encapsulated product could be hydrated.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a second flavoring is provided inside the encapsulant. Thus, in the case when the first flavoring is a salad dressing, the second flavoring may be a seasoning.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an encapsulated flavoring inside a shaker in accordance with one aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an encapsulate flavoring being dispensed from the shaker onto a salad.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate a package of shakers in accordance with another aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a shaker containing a first encapsulated flavoring and a second encapsulated flavoring in accordance with a further aspect of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the present invention a wide variety of flavorings and seasonings are envisioned to be used in the cooking process or mixed in with regular foods. In this instance, whether the product is in liquid of solid form becomes immaterial since the product is encapsulated or micro encapsulated and broken down by contact with saliva and/or physical chewing.

The products can now vary in form to include products that might be somewhat unstable in a normal shaker since they might tend to coagulated or clump. They might also previously have changed the consistency of the food, whereas in this case the micro encapsulated casing prevents this from happening.

In today's health conscious world many people eat foods that are natural and/or somewhat bland. Having fresh fruit, like a banana where it can be sprinkled with chocolate encapsulation opens up a whole new world. This is particularly true with children's cereals where sugar coating over supplies the amount of sugar, whereas a better flavor and more sweetness can be obtained if the products were microencapsulated.

The encapsulation or micro encapsulation can also be used to combine liquid and spices in a non messy form. As an example, we can produce a “dry” salad dressing that only becomes wet when it is chewed. This is true of syrup components as well.

These shakers will also have a tremendous advantage in the types of dispensers that no longer require sealing.

FIG. 1 illustrates an encapsulated flavoring 10 inside a shaker 12 in accordance with one aspect of the present invention. The encapsulated flavoring 10 includes a flavoring 14 that is surrounded by an encapsulant 16.

The shaker 12 is similar to a salt or pepper shaker. The shaker 12 preferably has a top 18. The top 18 is preferably screwed onto the shaker 12, but can be attached in any number of ways. The top 18 has one or more openings 20 through which the contents of the shaker 12 can be dispensed. The openings 20 may be covered by a seal 22 to protect the contents of the shaker 12 during shipping and during the shelf life of the product. The seal 22 can be secured to the top 18 by means of a sticky glue backing on the seal 22. The seal 22 is typically removed by pulling on the seal.

While the shaker 12 can be similar to a salt or pepper shaker, other means of dispersing flavorings can also be used. For example, a bottle with a sprayer can be used. In this case, the flavored encapsulant is dispersed by means of the sprayer. The flavored encapsulant can also be contained by a bottle with a cap or a squeezable bottle.

The encapsulant 16 can be formed by many different types of encapsulation processes or micro-encapsulation processes. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the encapsulant 16 preferably dissolves in saliva. Thus, when the encapsulated flavoring 14 and 16 is dispensed onto a food, the flavoring 14 remains within the encapsulant 16 until the food and the encapsulated flavoring 14 and 16 is placed in someone's mouth. In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the encapsulant 14 is water soluble. In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, the encapsulant 16 dissolves when heat is applied. In this case, the flavoring is applied to a food to be cooked, for example, to a steak that is ready to be cooked. As heat is applied, the encapsulant 16 dissolves and the flavoring 14 is released into the meat. Additionally, the encapsulant 16 can be broken by chewing. Various methods of encapsulating flavors are well known in the art. See, for example, Flavor Encapsulation, S. J. Risch and G. A. Reineccius, ACS Symposium Series 370, Oxford University Press, 1988, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

Many different types of flavorings can be encapsulated in accordance with the present invention. In accordance with the present invention, flavoring refers to all flavorings, seasonings, spices and other foods. Spices include, but are not limited to, allspice, anise, basil, bay leaves, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cilantro, celery seed, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, fenugreek, garlic salt/powder, ginger, lemon grass, lemon pepper, lemon zest, mace, marjoram, mint, mustard seeds, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, Italian seasonings, and cinnamon. Seasonings include, but are not limited to, chili seasonings, chili powders, dip seasonings, cheese seasonings sauces, barbecue sauce, hot sauces, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, seasoned salts, Tabasco sauce, curry powders, and various ethnic blends. The flavorings 14 can also be oils, such as olive oil. Other oil flavors such as pimento, cardamom, cassia, garlic, black pepper, fennel, clove, dillweed, sage, clove leaves, lemon oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, winter green, peppermint, and bay may be used. Synthetic and natural flavor can also be used. These include vanilla, lemon oil, orange oil, grapefruit, lime, apple, pear, peach, strawberry, cherry, and the like. The above oils, oleoresin, synthetic and natural flavors may be used individually or in a mixture as is well known in the art.

FIG. 2 illustrates the flavored encapsulant 10 being dispersed from the shaker 12 by turning the shaker 12 upside down and shaking. The flavored encapsulant 10 is directed toward a salad 30 on a plate 32. The flavored encapsulant 10 preferably remains intact on the salad 30. Once the salad 30 and the encapsulant 10 are placed in someone's mouth, the encapsulant 10 dissolves and the flavoring 14 is released. The shaker 12 can also be used to apply flavorings to foods to be cooked. In this case, the encapsulant 10 preferably dissolves when heat is applied to cook the food.

FIG. 3 illustrates a package of shakers 40 in accordance with another aspect of the present invention. The package includes a plurality of shakers 42 to 44. Each of the shakers 42 to 44 contains an encapsulated flavoring 46 to 48, respectively. The shakers 42 to 44 are preferably stored in a base 50. The base 50 can be made of cardboard or other material capable of holding the shakers 42 to 44. A plastic wrap 52 covers the shakers 42 to 44 and the base 50. The package of shakers 40 can be offered for sale to consumers at a grocery store or the like.

The encapsulated flavoring 46 in the first shaker 42 can enclosed the same flavoring as the encapsulated flavoring 47 in the second shaker 43 encloses. Similarly, the encapsulated flavoring 46 in the first shaker 42 can enclose the same flavoring as the encapsulated flavoring 48 in the third shaker 44 encloses. Alternatively, the flavorings enclosed in the first shaker 42, the second shaker 43 and the third shaker 44 can all be different. In this case, a variety pack of encapsulated flavorings can be offered.

FIG. 4 illustrates a top view of the package 40 of shakers 42 to 44. Each of the shakers 42 to 44 has a bottom portion 60 to 62, respectively, and a top 64 to 66, respectively. Each of the tops 64 to 66 is sealed with a seal 68 to 70, respectively. The shakers 42 to 44 sit in the base 50.

FIG. 5 illustrates another aspect of the present invention. The shaker 12 has a first plurality of flavored encapsulants 70 and a second plurality of encapsulants 72. A first flavor 74 is encapsulated by the first plurality of encapsulants 70 and a second flavor 76 is encapsulated by the second plurality of encapsulants 72. This can be formed by first encapsulating the first flavor 74, then encapsulating the second flavor 76 and then mixing to obtain the contents of the shaker illustrated in FIG. 5. Further, more encapsulated flavors can be added to the shaker 12. Thus, for example, a third, fourth, etc, encapsulated flavor can be added.

A salad dressing can be provided as a flavoring 14 in the shaker 12 of FIG. 1. Alternatively, an oil can be provided as the first flavoring 74 and a vinegar 76 can be provided as the second flavoring 76 in the shaker 12 of FIG. 5. Other seasonings can be provided in encapsulated form, as previously discussed.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the first flavoring 74 and the second flavoring 76 can be mixed and the mixture encapsulated by the encapsulants.

Although the invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims.