Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Everett G. Diederiks
  • Patent number: 8171703
    Abstract: A method for packaging products, such as any solid or semi-solid product, utilizes a horizontal form, fill and seal (HFFS) system, coupled with a method for subjecting the packages to positive pressure differential while packaging. In the HFFS system, product receiving cavities are formed in a lower film, with each product being arranged in a respective cavity. The loaded product receiving cavities are positioned in a sealing unit, with an upper film above the product cavities. The sealing unit is closed and a lower chamber of the sealing unit is pressurized to force the lower film against the product, while the product abuts a standoff member, in order to remove existing headspace. After minimizing the headspace, a sealing head seals the upper film to the lower film about the product receiving cavities. Thereafter, the pressure is released, the sealing unit is opened and the package can be further processed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: General Mills Marketing, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark E. Arlinghaus, David Jordan, David A. Kirk
  • Patent number: 8137720
    Abstract: A ready to eat breakfast cereal is prepared by coating dried cereal base pieces with a low sugar sweetener such as a high conversion maltodextrin or low conversion corn syrup that includes a high potency sweetener. The low sugar coating has a sugars content of less than 10% yet provides taste, texture, appearance and bowl life that mimics presweetened RTE cereals having a sucrose based coating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC
    Inventors: Daniel R. Green, Christine Nowakowski
  • Patent number: 8114462
    Abstract: Dry milling methods for preparing oat products enriched in the content of ?-glucan and methods for preparing foodstuffs incorporating such an enriched oat product especially ready-to-eat cereals are provided. Heat conditioned dehulled oats are dry milled to form a coarse whole non defatted oat flour and then, without a preceding removal of fat, dry fractionated into coarser bran and finer oat flour fractions at multiple stages. The coarse oat flour is first dry classified to separate or form a coarser fraction oat bran containing more concentrated ?-glucan and a finer oat flour or starch containing or endosperm containing fraction. The oat bran is subjected to second and third rounds of milling and classification to form a high ?-glucan content (>7-9%) oat bran and a low ?-glucan content (3%) oat flour. The oat bran and oat flours can be used to prepare foodstuffs such as ready-to-eat cereals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC
    Inventors: John H Hellweg, John D McKeehen, Michael Dietsch
  • Patent number: 7613677
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and system for providing indicia for structure function claims for consumer products, including dietary supplements, consumable food products, health and beauty aids. More specifically, the system employs a series of data sets that correlates a particular nutrient, component or ingredient to one or more related structure function claims. Once the correlation is made, the system then provides approved or permitted structure function claim indicia that can be printed on a package or advertising to communicate the desired result of matching a product to a functional human health benefit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Loretta W. Kolberg, Kathryn L. Wiemer
  • Patent number: 6793953
    Abstract: A method of preparing aerated food products, especially marshmallows, having a nutritionally fortified ingredient is provided. In accordance with a preferred form of the invention, the method includes the steps of: providing a liquid sugar confection blend comprising: a saccharide component; about 1 to 30% moisture; and a foam structuring agent; adding a dry particulate including a nutritional fortifying ingredient to the liquid confection blend; aerating the liquid confection blend to form an aerated confection plastic foam; extruding the aerated foam at a heated temperature to form an aerated confection extrudate; cooling the extrudate to solidify the confection to form a set aerated confection extrudate; forming the set aerated confection extrudate into pieces; and drying the pieces. The invention also concerns preparing a liquid confection blend seeded with a sweetener and a nutritional fortifying ingredient that can be used in making the aerated food products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip K. Zietlow, Bernhard H. Van Lengerich, Mathew F. Langenfeld, Terry G. Reishus, James L. Stinson, Gerald L. Wilson, Michael A. Helser
  • Patent number: 6793950
    Abstract: A packaged food article of improved appearance and stackability comprises an unpressurized, imperforate container having an opening, wherein the container is fabricated from a material having a low gas permeability. A quantity of gas releasing food stuff, such as an active cultured dairy product, is disposed within and partially fills the container, while defining a headspace volume which is not filled with the food stuff A peelable flexible seal membrane overlays and seals the opening. An initial headspace gas is enriched with the gas released from the food stuff, with the initial headspace gas being adapted to permeate the packaging material at a rate greater than both the rate in which gas is released from the food stuff within the container and the rate in which air permeates into the container, thereby avoiding outward bowing of the flexible seal during the shelf life of the packaged food article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: William E. Archibald, Jonathan W. Devries, Donald P. Messer, Ellen M. Silva
  • Patent number: 6749876
    Abstract: Packaged food articles of improved appearance and stackability are described such as a refrigerated active cultured dairy product. Each packaged food article comprises an unpressurized, imperforate container having an opening, wherein the container is fabricated from a material having a low gas permeability. A quantity of gas releasing food stuff, such as a live cultured dairy product, is disposed within and partially fills the container defining a headspace volume which is not filled with the food stuff. A peelable flexible seal membrane overlays and seals the opening. An initial headspace gas is enriched with the gas released from the food stuff, with the initial headspace gas being adapted to permeate the packaging material at a rate greater than both the rate in which gas is released from the food stuff within the container and the rate in which air permeates into the container, thereby avoiding outward bowing of the flexible seal during the shelf life of the packaged food article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: William E Archibald, Jonathan W. DeVries, Donald P. Messer, Ellen M. Silva
  • Patent number: 6746702
    Abstract: Methods for preparing puffed snack products from cooked cereal doughs, especially corn based, comprise deep fat frying cornucopia shaped pellets or half products. Methods for preparing such snack products include a steeping step of cut grain particles having a particle size of 0.5 to 2.5 mm with warm water to have a moisture content of at least 18%, short residence time cooking to form a cooked cereal dough such as in a twin screw extruder, second long residence time cooking step, extruding the cooked cereal dough into extrudate ropes, tempering while cooling the extrudate ropes, forming into pellets, drying the pellets, and puffing to form the finished snack products such as by deep fat frying. The present methods provide finished puffed pieces of equivalent texture and eating qualities to those prepared by traditional low shear extended cooking of grains in batch cookers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven C. Robie
  • Patent number: 6746707
    Abstract: Disclosed are dried laminated multi-layered cereal pieces, especially R-T-E breakfast products, and methods of preparation. In particular, the cereal pieces are characterized by a highly laminated structure comprising a multiplicity of generally horizontal thin parallel layers numbering at least four to 20 each of—100-500 micrometers (“&mgr;m”) thickness fabricated from cooked cereal dough with interstitial voids between the layers. The pieces can vary in shape and range from bite-sized to biscuit-sized. The interstitial void spaces between layers average 0.8 millimeters. This laminated structure creates cereal pieces having a distinctive texture and appearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Dawn L. M. Krysiak, Patrick E. Allen, Terry T. Kirihara
  • Patent number: 6740344
    Abstract: Nutritionally improved cultured dairy products, such as milk beverages and yogurt products, include a fine powdered calcium phosphate salt of reduced particle size having a mean diameter ≦6&mgr;m in amounts sufficient to provide a total calcium content of 0.25% to 0.75%. A method for producing the calcium fortified products is also provided wherein an fine powdered insoluble calcium salt is admixed with a milk blend prior to fermentation. A yogurt can then be prepared by conventional fermentation. Both stirred style and cup set style yogurt products can be prepared.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: General Mill, Inc.
    Inventors: Maeve Murphy, Ellen M. Silva, Gary W Stoddard, Amy Konkoly, Timothy T Johnson
  • Patent number: 6706296
    Abstract: Disclosed are microwave popcorn articles comprising any conventional microwave popcorn bag, and a food charge disposed therein comprising kernel popcorn, fat, salt and sufficient amounts of a calcium ingredient to provide a total calcium content of about 360 to 3600 mg per 100 grams of unpopped popcorn. Preferably the salt and calcium ingredients are essentially characterized by having a mean particle size of less than 25 &mgr;m. Methods of preparing such microwave popcorn articles are disclosed wherein some of the salt and/or calcium ingredient is added to the fat slurry while the balance is added in particulate form in a separate step after the fat and kernel popcorn have been added to the bag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2004
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Pamela J. Dickerson, Brian E. Glass
  • Patent number: 6663910
    Abstract: Improved, intermediate moisture sweetened gelled food compositions comprise: A) about 55 to 85% by weight nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners; B) sufficient amounts of a gelling system to provide a gel strength of about 1-8 kg/cm2; C) about 10% to 20% moisture. The gelling system comprises high methoxyl pectin and kappa carrageenan. The gelling system allows for a high solids level but a low viscosity when maintained above 130° F. Also disclosed are methods for the preparation of such gelled products involving forming a hot fluid high solids gellable slurry, forming the hot fluid gellable slurry into pieces such as by starch molding and curing to form gelled food product in the form of pieces of about 1 to 5 g. By virtue of the high solids concentrations the duration of the curing step is greatly reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Roy Soumya, Ryan Ann L
  • Patent number: 6596334
    Abstract: Methods of preparing a gelled dried sweetened products comprise the steps in sequence of: providing a hot fluid gelable base blend at near finish % solids, and depositing the fluid gelable base blend into shaped cavities. The present methods can further comprise the steps of rapidly curing the base blend to form gelled shaped pieces; and, separating the gelled shaped pieces from the shaped cavities to form quantities of shaped pieces. Depositing a gelable base blend at near finish solids content is possible by completely hydrating any gel hydrocolloids prior to addition to other wet and dry ingredients.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory Flickinger, Philip K. Zietlow, James L. Stinson, Bernhard Van Lengerich, Soumya Roy
  • Patent number: 6579555
    Abstract: A complexly patterned extrudate is constituted by a confectionery food piece having a main body which is formed from a compressible material, such as foam. More specifically, the body has a first color and is provided with at least one fine line or plane of a second color or hue. The fine line or plane preferably extends through the body and has a thickness of less than 1 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: James N. Weinstein, Scott A. Tolson, James R. Borek, Peter A. Huberg, Thomas Jarl, Philip K. Zietlow, Bernhard van Lengerich
  • Patent number: 6559427
    Abstract: Multiple, programmable appliance units are connected to a control unit which receives program data from a control panel including user input elements for selecting various operational parameters, such as operational modes and times, for the appliance units. The control panel also includes a display having both display zones which are dedicated to the individual appliance units and at least one common display zone. Preferably, the common display zone is centrally located and operates on priority and override bases to provide user information concerning the appliance units. In further accordance with the invention, the information provided in the common display zone is linked to a dedicated area for a corresponding one of the appliance units to clearly enable the user to relate the provided information with the respective unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Shelton T. Barnes, Theodore A. Becker, Perry A. Bennett, Kenneth E. Sauter
  • Patent number: 6497909
    Abstract: The present invention describes bleached grain products, such as bleached whole wheat flour, that are obtained having the color and taste of white flour by bleaching whole wheat kernels prior to conventional flour milling. The wheat kernels are treated with a peroxide solution to lighten the color of the bran layers. The bleached grain kernels can be tempered and milled into whole grain flours having 10% to 12% dietary fiber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2002
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventor: Lloyd E. Metzger
  • Patent number: 6495179
    Abstract: Aerated confections in the form of pieces having a body color and a body exterior surface importantly characterized by at least a portion of which has been modified to provide an appearance disparate to the body. The aerated food products comprise 50 to 98% of a saccharide component; about 0.5 to 30% of a structuring agent; and about 1 to 8% moisture. The aerated food products have a density of about 0.1 to 1.0 g/cc. The products are additionally characterized by having an external surface, and wherein at least a portion of the external surface has a distinguishing feature differing from the body in color, texture or structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip K. Zietlow, Dean Franssell, S. Ganesh Ganesan, Mathew F. Langenfeld, Philip E. Palkert, James L. Stinson, Bernhard van Lengerich
  • Patent number: 6460956
    Abstract: A shelf mounting support includes an annular flange portion having a side surface from which projects a cavity defining body portion. The mounting support is adapted to extend through an aperture formed in a liner of an appliance with the body portion of the mounting support being inserted in a respective aperture from an outer insulation zone side of the liner. Each mounting support is initially retained in the aperture through the use of an adhesive element that attaches the flange portion of the mounting support to the liner. Thereafter, the liner is positioned within an outer shell of the appliance and foamed insulation is then injected into the insulation zone and into the internal cavity of the mounting support to anchor the mounting support in position. To support a shelf, a plurality of mounting supports are arranged in a common plane upon which the shelf is adapted to rest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Walter I. Disbennett, John C. Ellingwood, Daniel H. Smith, Virgil R. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6458405
    Abstract: Improved, intermediate moisture sweetened gelled food compositions comprise: A) about 55 to 85% by weight nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners; B) sufficient amounts of a gelling system to provide a gel strength of about 1-8 kg/cm2; C) about 10% to 20% moisture. The gelling system comprises high methoxyl pectin and kappa carrageenan. The gelling system allows for a high solids level but a low viscosity when maintained above 130° F. Also disclosed are methods for the preparation of such gelled products involving forming a hot fluid high solids gellable slurry, forming the hot fluid gellable slurry into pieces such as by starch molding and curing to form gelled food product in the form of pieces of about 1 to 5 g. By virtue of the high solids concentrations the duration of the curing step is greatly reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Soumya Roy, Ann L Ryan
  • Patent number: D630040
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Geoff Suski, Frank Konkle, Peter A Huberg, Ed Francis