Title:
FOOD DISPENSING BAG
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This relates to a food dispensing bag that can accept food through a first opening and dispense food out of a second opening. The first opening can be unsealed to permit food being loaded into the bag and subsequently sealed for storage of the food in the bag. During the loading of the food into the bag and storage of the food in the bag, the second opening can remain sealed; Once a user desires to dispense the food from the bag, the user can unseal the second opening and squeeze the bag to dispense the food out of the second opening.



Inventors:
Dominguez, Charles Edward (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/454331
Publication Date:
10/24/2013
Filing Date:
04/24/2012
Assignee:
DOMINGUEZ CHARLES EDWARD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/524.6, 383/41, 383/205, 383/211
International Classes:
B65D35/00; B65D30/02; B65D33/00; B65D33/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUECHNER, PATRICK M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles Edward Dominguez (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bag for storing and dispensing a food product, the bag comprising: a flexible body forming an interior chamber; a first opening to the interior chamber at a first end of the flexible body; a first seal at the first opening, wherein the first opening is configured to permit a user to load a food product into the interior chamber of the bag through the first opening when the first opening is unsealed and prevent the food product from exiting through the first opening when the first seal is sealed; a second opening to the interior chamber at a second end of the flexible body; and a second seal at the second opening, wherein the second opening is configured to prevent the food product from exiting through the second opening when the second seal is sealed and permit a user to dispense the food product through the second opening when the second seal is unsealed.

2. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the bag comprises polyethylene plastic resin.

3. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the bag comprises aluminum foil.

4. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the first seal comprises a re-sealable fastener.

5. The flexible bag of claim 4, wherein the re-sealable fastener comprises glue that binds interior walls of the bag together when the fastener is pressed together.

6. The flexible bag of claim 4, wherein the re-sealable fastener is a zip seal.

7. The flexible bag of claim 4, wherein the re-sealable fastener is a clip.

8. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the second seal comprises a one-time seal, wherein the one-time seal is sealed prior to use.

9. The flexible bag of claim 8, wherein the second seal comprises a perforated region adjacent to a tear-off tab.

10. The flexible bag of claim 8, wherein the second seal comprises a pull-apart seal having first and second sections that are sealed together prior to use of the bag and are configured to unseal the second opening when a user pulls the first and second portions apart.

11. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the second seal comprises a nozzle.

12. The flexible bag of claim 11, wherein the nozzle is a twist nozzle configured to open the second opening when the twist nozzle is in a first configuration and close the second opening when the twist nozzle is in a second configuration, wherein the twist nozzle is configured to switch between the first configuration and the second configuration by rotation of the nozzle.

13. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the bag has a pear-like shape.

14. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the bag has a funnel-like shape.

15. The flexible bag of claim 1, wherein the bag has a generally rectangular shape;

16. The flexible bag of claim 15, wherein the bag has a neck region extending from a corner of the bag, the second end located at an end of the neck region.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This relates generally to containers for dispensing food, and more particularly, to a bag con figured to accept food at one end and dispense food at another end.

BACKGROUND

Often limes people on the go want to bring meals or snacks with them. They may also want to: eat the meals of snacks while on the go, such as while in the car, riding on a train, walking, running or biking. People can buy processed foods to consume available in packaged containers on such occasions. However, the processed foods are often time-undesirable because they arc unhealthy or not what the consumer wants to eat. Further, conventional containers are often times difficult to open or dispense food from while on the go, and bulky to carry around.

What is needed is a product and method for allowing a person to easily store food they have at home in a container and dispense the food in an easy, clean manner.

SUMMARY

This relates to a food dispensing bag that can accept food through a first opening and dispense food out of a second opening. The first opening can be unsealed to permit food being loaded into the bag and subsequently sealed for storage of the food in the bag. During the loading of the food into the bag and storage of the food in the bag, the second opening can remain sealed. After the food is placed in the bag, the first opening can be sealed, thereby completely sealing the food in the bag. Once a user desires to dispense the food from the bag, the user can unseal the second opening and squeeze the bag to dispense the food out of the second opening.

In a first aspect, a bag for storing and dispensing a food product is provided. The bag comprises a flexible body forming an interior chamber; a first opening to the interior chamber at a first end of the flexible body; a first seal at the first opening, wherein the first opening is configured to permit a user to load a food product into the interior chamber of the bag through the first opening when the first opening is unsealed and prevent the food product from exiting through the first opening when the first seal is sealed; a second opening to the interior chamber at a second end of the flexible body; and a second seal at the second opening, wherein the second opening is configured to prevent the food product from exiting through the second opening when the second seal is sealed and permit a user to dispense the food product through the second opening when the second seal is unsealed.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the bag comprises polyethylene plastic resin.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the bag comprises aluminum foil.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the first seal comprises a re-sealable fastener.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the re-sealable fastener comprises glue that binds interior walls of the bag together when the fastener is pressed together. The re-sealable fastener can be a zip seal or a clip.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the second seal comprises a one-time seal, wherein the one-time seal is sealed prior to use. The second seal can comprise a perforated region adjacent to a tear-off tab, or a pull-apart seal having first and second sections that are sealed together prior to use of the bag and are configured to unseal the second opening when a user pulls the first and second portions apart.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the second seal comprises a nozzle. The nozzle can be a twist nozzle configured to open the second opening when the twist nozzle is in a first configuration and close the second opening when the twist nozzle is in a second configuration, wherein the twist nozzle is configured to switch between the first configuration and the second configuration by rotation of the nozzle.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the bag has a pear-like shape.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the bag has a funnel-like shape.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the bag has a generally rectangular shape.

In an embodiment of the first aspect or any other embodiment thereof, the bag has a neck region extending from a corner of the bag, the second end located at an end of the neck region.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary food dispensing bag according to a first embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary food dispensing bag according to a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary food dispensing bag according to a third embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate an exemplary food dispensing bag in different stages according to a third embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description of preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and in which it is shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention can be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments can be used and structural changes can be made without departing from the scope of the embodiments of this invention.

This relates to a food dispensing bag that can accept food through a first opening and dispense food out of a second opening. The first opening can be unsealed to permit food being loaded into the bag and subsequently sealed for storage of the food in the bag. During the loading of the food into the bag and storage of the food in the bag, the second opening can remain sealed. Once a user desires to dispense the food from the bag, the user can unseal the second opening and squeeze the bag to dispense the food out of the second opening.

In exemplary uses, the food loaded, stored and dispensed from the bag can be any type of food in a liquid or semi-liquid form, however, the food need not be liquid or semi liquid so long as it is capable of being dispensed from a dispensing opening of the bag. Exemplary foods that can be used include cooked oatmeal, pasta, rice, beans, yogurt, fruit smoothies, berries, soups and the like.

The following is a non-limiting illustration of using of some embodiments in an exemplary environment. A user can prepare a food at home (e.g., oatmeal), load the food into the dispensing bag, seal the dispensing bag and carry the dispensing bag to work, school, or some other outside of the home activity. When the user is ready to consume the food stored in the bag, the user can open the dispensing bag and squeeze the food out of the bag. The user can dispense the food stored in the dispensing bag by placing the second opening in or near the user's mouth and squeezing the bag to cause the food to exit the bag through the second opening and into the user's mouth.

Although embodiments of the invention may be described and illustrated herein in terms of a food dispensing bag, it should be understood that embodiments of this invention are not so limited, but are additionally applicable to other types of containers.

Embodiments of a dispensing bag in accordance with embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1-4. It should be noted that the dispensing bag illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 can be made out of any suitable material having a desired flexibility and density for the food product intended to be stored in the bag. In some embodiments, the bag can be made out of a plastic material, such as any suitable plastic material used to make re-sealable bags known in the art. The plastic material can be, for example a polyethylene plastic resin. In some embodiments, the bag can be made out of a composite material, such as a paper and plastic composite material and the like. In some embodiments, the bag can be made our of aluminum foil, such as the bags commercially sold under the trade name Mylar(r), available from DuPont. Further, the bag can be a multi-use bag or can be a disposable bag depending upon the embodiment.

FIG. 1 is a side view of dispensing bag 100 in accordance with one embodiment. Dispensing bag 100 has a re-sealable, first opening 102 at one end and a tear-off, second opening 104 at the other end.

The bag 100 can have a generally pear-like shape as illustrated in FIG. 1. Here, the first opening 102 is wider than the second opening 104. The bag 100 also includes a wide body portion below the first opening 102 and a neck portion narrower than the body portion that is located between the body portion and the second opening 104.

The first opening 102 can originally be unsealed to allow a user to load food into bag 100 and thereafter sealed. The first opening 102 can then be sealed using a one time or multi-use fastener 106 that permanently or semi-permanently seals the opening 102 so the opening 102 does not leak food stored therein.

In one embodiment, the fastener 106 includes pre-glued portions on interior portions of the bag to permit a user to press the interior portions of the bag 100 together, where the pre-glued portions reside, to cause the first opening 102 to seal.

In one embodiment, fastener 106 includes a flap that includes glue on an interior of the flap. The flap can be folded over the first opening and adhered to an exterior portion of the bag using the glue, resulting in a non-leak seal of the first opening 102.

In one embodiment, the fastener includes a plastic zipper seal, such as the zipper seal commercially available by S.C. Johnson and marketed under the trade name ZiplocĀ®.

In one embodiment, the first opening 102 can be heat sealed using a commercially available heat sealing device.

Further to FIG. 1, second opening 104 can include a perforated, non-leak seal 108 that is strong enough to hold food within bag 100, but can be ripped off by a user to open the bag 100.

FIG. 2 is a side view of dispensing bag 200 in accordance with one embodiment. Bag 200 can be the same as bag 100 but with a different shape and seals. That is, bag 200 has a funnel-like shape and includes a zip seal 212 including a zip slider 206 to seal the first opening 202, and a tear-off seal 214 that includes tear off tab 204 to facilitate unsealing the second opening 210.

FIG. 3 is a side view of dispensing bag 300 in accordance with one embodiment. Like bag 200, bag 300 can be the same as bag 100 but with a different shape and seals. Here, the first opening 306 does not include a seal, but instead a sealing mechanism 302 can be used to seal the first opening. The sealing mechanism 302 can be a clip, for example. In addition, a nozzle 308 can be included that is configured to open and close the second opening 304. The nozzle 308 can be a twist nozzle, wherein twisting the nozzle in a first direction seals the second opening 304 and twisting the nozzle in the opposite direction closes the second opening.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are side views of dispensing bag 400 in accordance with one embodiment. Like bags 200 and 300, bag 400 can be the same as bag 100 but with a different shape and seals. Here, bag 400 has a generally rectangular shape, similar to a conventional sandwich bag, but has a tapered neck 408 extending from one corner of the bag. A second opening 404 extends from the tapered neck. Bag 400 includes a zip seal to seal first opening 402.

The second opening 404 can include a pull-apart opening. The pull-apart opening can be made by heat sealing interior portions of opening 404 together. FIG. 4A illustrates opening 404 sealed state and FIG. 4B illustrates opening 404 unsealed state. In use, the second opening 404 can be unsealed by a user pulling apart sections 412, 414 of bag 400 in proximity to opening 404, as best illustrated in FIG. 4B.

Although embodiments of this invention have been fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be noted that various changes and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art. Indeed, it is understood that any of the features described with respect to one of the embodiments can be used in one of the other described embodiments. For example, the zip seals, tear-off seals, clip seals described in one of the embodiments can be used with one of the other embodiments. Such changes and modifications are to be understood as being included within the scope of embodiments of this invention as defined by the appended claims.