Title:
MULTI-COMPARTMENTS PACKAGING FOR THE PREPARATION OF MONO OR MULTI-TASTE PRODUCTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A packaging for ready-to-use products, either mono- or multi-taste, comprising a container, constituted by diverse peripheral compartments and by two further chambers, in which the first internal chamber is also destined to contain one or more components of the product, to be kept separate from the other components until the moment of use, while the second external chamber can hold further ingredients or accessories for consumption.



Inventors:
Palamara, Antonio (Catona, IT)
Cotronei, Mariantonia (Calabro, IT)
Application Number:
12/159687
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
12/28/2006
Assignee:
DEVELPACK S.R.L. (Reggio Calabria, IT)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/32; B65D25/04; B65D81/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTILLO, KEVIN CHARLES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks Kushman (Southfield, MI, US)
Claims:
1. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products, consisting of: a container, delimited by an external lateral wall and by a base surface, which presents an internal chamber, defined by a lateral wall and by a deformable base; by a stopper, which is inserted into said internal chamber; by an upper sealing film applied to the edge of the external lateral wall by heat-sealing or by other known technique, characterised by the fact that, in the container, one or more compartments are created, that define other peripheral compartments, that communicate with the internal chamber when, by exercising an external pressure onto the deformable base, the stopper becomes moved from its closed position until uncovering specific openings, formed in said stopper and/or in the lateral walls of said internal chamber, which permit communication between said peripheral compartments and the internal chamber.

2. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that said stopper is used in the deformable base so that the same stopper, upon ceasing to apply said pressure, is pulled back by the elastic return of the deformable base, where this last has such a property, or by the traction exercised by the user on a specific handle arranged for the eventuality, or by both such circumstances, in such a way as to obstruct an eventual return of the components of the product into the chamber.

3. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 2, characterised by the fact that on the deformable base of the internal chamber a recess is present which bears, on its upper internal side, a ribbing and by the fact that the stopper has an axial protuberance showing a groove which joins with the ribbing of the above-mentioned recess.

4. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that it is provided with channels, capable of creating communication between the peripheral compartments and the outside, in correspondence with the external ends of the same channels, in order to permit the release of vapours during the cooking phase, when a portion of the upper sealing film which closes the external ends of said channels is removed.

5. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 4, characterised by the fact that on the portion of the upper sealing film a pre-perforation is made, in order to facilitate the removal only of the portion of the upper sealing film, without damaging the remaining part of said film, which may be removed at a later time.

6. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that said stopper presents, peripherally, a ring-shaped wall in correspondence to which a parametrical opening is created, complementary to a parametrical ribbing, present on the lateral wall of the internal chamber, with which it acts during the phase of closure of the stopper.

7. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that the stopper is constituted by diverse elements, that can be stably assembled between themselves which, together with the adjoining portions of the lateral wall of the internal chamber, take part in defining the separate compartments inside said chamber.

8. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 7 characterised by the fact that the lateral wall of the internal chamber has openings deriving at different heights and/or angular distances, in such a way as to put one or more compartments of the internal chamber in communication with one or more peripheral compartments.

9. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that the stopper that closes the internal chamber presents walls dividing the contents of said chamber, in turn provided with protuberances that run along guides specifically shaped and deriving from the internal surface of the chamber or from the elements, to avoid said dividing walls of the stopper from assuming an undesired position with respect to the openings.

10. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that the separate peripheral compartments are intercommunicating between themselves through slit channels.

11. Multi-compartments packaging for the preparation of mono or multi-taste products according to claim 1, characterised by the fact that on the bottom of the container an external chamber has been created, defined by a lateral surface that presents a flat surface on its free end, sealable with a film and united to it by heat-sealing or by another known procedure.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention regards that sector of packaging destined to contain ready-to-use products, that are to be consumed without cooking or by prior cooking or by heating in a microwave oven (in the case of alimentary products), composed of two or more components that are to be mixed before use and, in particular, egg based products.

As a typifying and non-limitative example, the invention can be used for mixing beaten eggs and various aromatic ingredients for the preparation of mono- or multi-flavour omelettes or for special preparations, and various aromatic ingredients for the preparation of mono- or multi-taste creams, cakes or souffl├ęs or, moreover, mono- or multi-taste marinades for fish or crustaceans, etc.

STATE OF THE ART

At present, various types of packaging for products relative to the preparation of foodstuffs as cited in example above are known.

In particular, having to do with packages containing:

  • a) Eggs in their shells and a separate container with flavourings to be added at the moment of preparation;
  • b) Powdered preparations for cakes, to be added to water, milk or egg, and to be cooked in a microwave oven;

The particular disadvantage of the packaging relative to these two types is constituted by the fact that in order to create the final product it is necessary to add flavourings or water, milk, etc., thus resulting in the possibility of dirtying oneself, while for all the above mentioned types the disadvantage lies in the fact that other containers or mixers will be dirtied and in the fact that it is necessary, anyway, to use saucepans, frying-pans or baking tins or trays for cooking, with a modest increment in practicality with respect to the traditional method of preparation and obtaining, however, only a mono-taste product.

Other packaging types exist, that have been developed to overcome the above cited disadvantages, where:

  • c) A fluid element is separated, by a sealed partition, from other foodstuffs in solid form. Here we are dealing with a flexible container with which, by pressing in a specific position, the opening of the sealed partition is obtained and with the consequent mixing of the fluid component and the solid component. Such a packaging is illustrated in patent JP-B-2154651;
  • d) The fluid or powdered element is separated from the solid component by an extractable film, whose removal allows the fluid or powdered element to mix with the solid component, without dirtying oneself. Such a packaging, which allows only the preparation of a mono-taste product, is illustrated in the patent application GB-A-2376220;
  • e) The fluid or powdered element is separated from the solid component by a partition that is removable at the moment of opening the packaging, to allow the fluid or powdered element to mix with the solid component. In this case the packaging is open and there may be the danger of dirtying oneself. Such a package, illustrated in the patent application FR-A-2831140, allows solely for the preparation of a mono-taste product;
  • f) The fluid or powdered element is separated from the solid component by a partition that is glued to the covering film. It is possible to manually detach the partition from the film, to allow the fluid or powdered element to mix with the solid component, without dirtying oneself. Such a packaging, illustrated in the patent application JP-A-2000346948, allows only for the preparation of a mono-taste product.
    • The scope of the present discovery is, therefore, that of making available a packaging for a ready-to-use product that allows one to:
      • Opportunely keep the components of the product separated until the moment of use,
      • mix together the diverse components of the product in a practical, hygienic and efficient manner,
      • finish the creation of the product in the same packaging, also by putting into effect a vent for the internal vapours,
        with, above all, the possibility of preparing the components in such a way as to obtain mono- or multi-taste products.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 an axonometric section of an initial variant of the invention, with peripheral communicating compartments;

FIG. 2 an axonometric view of the base of the variant shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 a vertical section of the container shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 a vertical section of the variant shown in FIG. 1, with an internal compartmental stopper inserted;

FIG. 5 a vertical section of the variant shown in FIG. 1, with an internal compartmental stopper inserted and with the upper sealing film applied;

FIG. 6 a vertical section of the variant shown in FIG. 1, with the internal compartmental stopper opened;

FIG. 7 a vertical section of the variant shown in FIG. 1, with the internal compartmental stopper pulled back, and with details of the channels of the vent and of the junction between the base of the stopper and the recess of the concave membrane;

FIG. 8 a view from above of the internal compartmental stopper in the variant shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 a vertical section of a second variant, with separate peripheral compartments;

FIG. 10 an axonometric section of the variant shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 an axonometric section of the internal compartmental stopper of the variant shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 a vertical section of an ulterior variant in which, in the internal part, diverse separate compartments are defined;

FIG. 13 an axonometric section of the variant shown in FIG. 12;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

With reference to the axonometric section of the variant shown in FIG. 1, the invention is shown as it is seen at the end of the manufacturing process.

The following can be seen:

    • the container (1), with its external lateral wall (2) and the surface of the base (3);
    • the partitions (4) that define the peripheral compartments (5, 6, and 7), that intercommunicate by the slit channels (8);
    • the internal chamber (9), defined by the lateral wall (10) and by the opportunely deformable base (11), inside which the stopper (12) is inserted;
    • the upper sealing film (13).

With regard to the stopper (12), this shows ring-shaped surfaces (14, 15) on its upper side, separated by a circular depression (16). The film (13) is united to this in correspondence with the ring-shaped surfaces (14, 15), by heat-sealing or by other known techniques, allowing for the isolation of the contents of the packaging from contact with external elements. The part (17) of the upper sealing film (13), in correspondence with the ring-shaped surface (15), is pre-perforated during the manufacturing phase along the circular depression (16), in order to facilitate its removal for the uses that will be made clear further ahead.

FIG. 2 is a view of the base of the container (1), in which the external compartment (18) can be seen, and which is destined to hold cutlery, accessories and enrichments for the product, not shown here. Said compartment is defined by the lateral surface (19), which presents a flat surface (20) at its free extremity, and which can be sealed by a film (21), united to it by heat-sealing or by another known technique, in such a way as to hold the cutlery, accessories or enrichments indicated above and, at the same time, to function as an anti-mishandling seal for the device that activates the communication between the various compartments of the container.

With reference to FIG. 3, a section of the packaging is shown during the initial phase of manufacturing. On the deformable base (11) of the internal chamber (9) a recess (22) is present in the centre, bearing, on the upper part of the internal face, a ribbing (23) whose function will be made clear later.

FIG. 4 shows a successive phase during manufacture, in which the stopper (12) is introduced into the internal chamber (9), before the same chamber is filled with the specific components of the product.

Said stopper (12) presents a ring-shaped element (24), which connects and runs along the inside of the wall (10), and is united, by the connecting bars (25), to a ring-shaped wall (26), situated peripherally to the upper surface (27) of the stopper (12), with which it forms the openings (28) that connect the internal chamber (9) to the peripheral compartments (5, 6, and 7).

In correspondence with said ring-shaped wall (26), a parametrical groove (29), semi-circular in section, is present, which is complementary to the parametrical ribbing (30), semi-circular in section, which is present on the upper part of the lateral wall (10), and which is used during the phase of closure of the stopper (12). The stopper (12) presents, furthermore, channels (31, 32), whose function will be described further ahead, and which cross, respectively, the ring-shaped wall (26) in a radial direction and the upper surface (27) in a transversal direction.

From the inside of the upper surface (27) of the stopper (12) an axial protuberance (34) begins, which presents a groove (35), in order to join stably with the corresponding ribbing (23) present in the recess (22) of the deformable base (11), to complete the stopper's (12) closure.

Once in position for its introduction, the stopper (12) is thus made to move until it closes the internal chamber (9), adhering with the parametrical groove (29), semi-circular in section, to the complementary parametrical ribbing (30), semi-circular in section, of the wall (10) of the internal chamber (9). At the same time, the groove (35) of the axial protuberance (34) will join with the ribbing (23) of the recess (22) of the deformable base (11).

With reference to FIG. 5, after having created the isolation of the internal chamber (9), by the complete closure of the stopper (12), the peripheral compartments (5, 6, and 7) are, therefore, filled with the opportune components of the product.

The packaging is, therefore, closed by the film (13) above, which is made to adhere both to the edge (36) of the container (1) and to the upper surface (27) of the stopper (12), preferably by heat-sealing or by another known method.

With reference to FIG. 6, to use the product it is necessary, initially, to remove the sealing film (21) of the external compartment (18) which, as has already been stated, acts as an anti-mishandling seal, in order to remove the eventual accessories, not shown here, contained in said external compartment (18), and to make the deformable base (11) accessible from the outside.

The user, therefore, presses onto the bottom of the base (11), which can deform elastically. The pressure consequently transmitted to the axial protuberance (34) causes the stopper (12) to open, without the necessity of opening the packaging. With the container turned upside-down the contents of the internal chamber (9), can pass completely through the openings (28) into the compartments (5, 6, and 7) by pressing constantly onto the deformable base (11).

With reference to FIG. 7, the user, at the end of the above described operations, ceases to press on the deformable base (11), which is opportunely arranged in order to provoke an elastic recall on the stopper (12), and which is transmitted thanks to the co-operation between the ribs (23) of the recess (22) of said base (11) and the groove (35) of the axial protuberance (34). Consequently, the ring-shaped wall (26) of the stopper (12) will lay on the edge of the internal chamber (9) in correspondence to the ribbing (30).

Where it is necessary to better stabilize the stopper (12) in this position, the external part of the mobile base can be provided with a handle (37), which can be pulled in such a way as to pull the stopper (12) further back towards the inside of the chamber (9).

Said recall of the stopper (12) to the inside of the chamber (9) is useful in order to block the return of the components of the product into said chamber (9) in the case of some preparations.

By successively removing the portion (17) of the upper film, placed in correspondence to the ring-shaped surface (15) of the stopper (12), the external ends (38) of the channels (31, 32) are uncovered, which create a communicating path between the inside and the outside of the container (1), allowing the vapour generated by the product during the cooking phase to escape when, for example, the packaging is used in a microwave oven.

With reference to FIG. 8, an upper view of the stopper (12) of the internal chamber (9) is shown. The openings of the channels (32) are visible, as are the ring-shaped surfaces (14, 15) and the circular depression (16) which serves to create the pre-perforating (39) of the portion (17) of the upper sealing film (13) during the manufacturing process.

With reference to FIGS. 9, 10 and 11, a second variant of the invention is shown, in which the compartments (4) are not provided with slit channels.

In this particular variant, the stopper (12) of the internal chamber (9) presents partitioning walls (40), foreseen in order to opportunely sub-divide and convey the contents of the internal chamber (9) towards the peripheral compartments (5, 6, and 7); the stopper (12) has specific protuberances (41), which run along the guides (42) that derive from the lateral internal walls of the chamber (9), in order to impede the dividing walls (40) from assuming undesired positions.

Once the container (1) has been turned upside-down and the quantity of the, usually liquid, component present in each space delineated by the dividing walls (40), in the chamber (9) has been stabilised, the user presses onto the deformable base (11) of the internal chamber (9). The consequent movement of the stopper (12) uncovers the openings (28), putting the peripheral compartments (5, 6, and 7) into communication with the internal chamber (9). The flow of the vapours generated during the cooking phase towards the outside is permitted by the channels (31, 32, and 33) that the user can open by removing the portion (17) of film of the upper closure (13), placed in correspondence to the tab (43) on which are found the external ends (38) of the above mentioned channels.

With reference to the FIGS. 12 and 13, an ulterior variant of the packaging is shown in which it is possible to pour in a different component for each peripheral compartment.

In this variant the stopper (12) of the internal chamber (9) is, in fact, formed by the union of diverse elements (44, 45) which, together with the adjoining portions of the lateral wall (10) of said internal chamber (9), take part in defining diverse separate compartments, each of which is capable of holding on its inside a component of the product.

In the case of FIGS. 12 and 13, the element (44) has the function of closing the compartment (46) and in itself of delimiting the compartment (47), while the element (45) has the function of closing the compartment (47) and in itself of delimiting the compartment (48).

The lateral wall (10) of the internal chamber (9) is, in this particular embodiment, furnished with openings (28), for connection between the compartments (46, 47, and 48) of the internal chamber (9) and the peripheral compartments (5, 6, and 7), placed at diverse heights and angular distances in order to put each separate compartment of the internal chamber in communication with one, and only one, of the peripheral compartments, when acting upon the deformable base (11).

The flow of the vapours generated during the cooking phase towards the outside is permitted by the channels (31, 32, and 33), which the user can open by lifting the portion (17) of the upper sealing film (13) in correspondence with the tab (43), on which the external ends (38) of said channels (31, 32, and 33) are positioned.

In FIGS. 10 and 13 the notches (49), present on the tab (43) are shown, corresponding to the creation of a pre-perforation (39) on the sealing film (13) during the manufacturing process. Said pre-perforation facilitates the removal only of the portion (17) of the upper sealing film (13) that closes the external ends of the channels (31, 32, and 33).

The invention, it should be noted, is not limited to the descriptions given by the illustrations, but may be perfected and modified by person skilled in the art without exceeding the limits of patent.

The present invention permits numerous advantages and to overcome difficulties that could not have been overcome with the use of those systems at present on sale.