Patents Assigned to Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
  • Patent number: 10993448
    Abstract: Provided herein, inter alia, is a method for sanitizing produce, by: treating the produce with a catholyte solution for a period of time sufficient to sanitize the produce; treating the produce with a solution containing chlorine for a period of time sufficient to further sanitize the produce; and treating the produce with a solution containing peroxyacetic acid for a period of time sufficient to further sanitize the produce, where treating with the catholyte solution, the solution containing chlorine, and the solution containing peroxyacetic acid yields at least an additional 1 log unit reduction in microbial load, as compared to produce treated with a single solution selected from the catholyte solution, the solution containing chlorine, and the solution containing peroxyacetic acid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Bob J. Dull, Roger Dale Billingsley, Abizer Moiz Khairullah, Amanda Jane Deering, Jessica Okane Kawabata, Yuki Mikoshiba
  • Patent number: 10793304
    Abstract: A system for reducing oxygen in a package of produce product using a lance manifold. The lance manifold has a first end adapted to receive an input gas flow and a second end adapted for placement in a partially-enclosed cavity containing the produce product. The second end of the lance manifold includes a plurality of exit ports adapted to produce an output gas flow and a sampling port for taking an air sample from the partially-enclosed cavity. The system also includes an oxygen analyzer for detecting oxygen content of gas inside the partially-enclosed cavity using the sampling port. The system is configured to produce an output gas flow with the following properties: a substantially oxygen-free composition; a flow rate of at least 100 standard cubic feet per hour (SCFH); and a flow direction substantially 90 degrees to a cavity opening of the partially-enclosed cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Jerry L. Crawford, Bob J. Dull, Robert Tarango, Robert J. Schrader
  • Patent number: 9861037
    Abstract: A mechanical harvester for harvesting a produce with a stem/core planted in a field includes a chassis, and a cutting device and a transport assembly connected to the chassis. The cutting device is configured to cut the stem/core of the produce. The transport assembly is configured to transport the produce using a movable first belt with a first set of produce grippers and a movable second belt with a second set of produce grippers. When the produce is held between the first set and second set of produce grippers, a portion of the first set of produce grippers opposes a portion of the second set of produce grippers. The opposing produce grippers are configured to compress and exert a force on the produce to hold the produce between the movable first and second belts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen C. Jens, Serafin Albarran, Richard Bascou, Dennis J. Castillo, Frank Edward Davis, Ignacio Rodriguez Figueroa, Raul Machuca, Kevin Nash, Jose Roman
  • Patent number: 9668513
    Abstract: A leaf removal apparatus for removing one or more wrapper leaves of a harvested produce and its method of use is provided. The apparatus includes a framework, a conveyor comprising a set of parallel rods having a space therebetween, a stripping roller, and a plurality of flexible members. The methods of using the apparatus include feeding a harvested produce onto a conveyor comprising a set of parallel rods having a space therebetween; transporting the harvested produce on the conveyor towards a stripping roller connected to a framework of the leaf removal apparatus; contacting the harvested produce with a plurality of flexible members connected to the framework, and the stripping roller, and loosening or removing one or more wrapper leaves of the harvested produce, wherein one or more of the removed wrapper leaves fall through the space between the rods of the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Ignacio Barajas, Maximino Corral, Edgar Enrique Valdivia Rodriguez, Gabriel Fuentes Villasenor, Manuel Maldonado Magana, Carlos Uribe Meza, Jose De Jesus Valdez, Dennis Johnny Castillo, Serafin Albarran, Stephen Jens, Richard L. Bascou, Frank E. Davis
  • Publication number: 20170042211
    Abstract: A leaf removal apparatus for removing one or more wrapper leaves of a harvested produce is provided. The leaf removal apparatus includes a framework, a conveyor, a stripping roller, and a plurality of flexible members. The conveyor is configured to transport the harvested produce in a forward direction to the stripping roller. The stripping roller is connected to the framework and rotates in a direction opposite to the moving direction of the conveyor. The stripping roller applies a friction force on the harvested produce. The plurality of flexible members are connected to the framework and are configured to loosen or remove one or more wrapper leaves of the harvested produce and prolong the duration of contact between the harvested produce and the stripping roller. The flexible members may also cause the harvested produce to rotate, helping to remove one or more wrapper leaves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2016
    Publication date: February 16, 2017
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: IGNACIO BARAJAS, Maximino CORRAL, Edgar Enrique VALDIVIA RODRIGUEZ, Gabriel FUENTES VILLASENOR, Manuel MALDONADO MAGANA, Carlos URIBE MEZA, Jose DE JESUS VALDEZ, Dennis Johnny CASTILLO, Serafin ALBARRAN, Stephen JENS, Richard L. BASCOU, Frank E. DAVIS
  • Patent number: 9565801
    Abstract: A mechanical harvester for harvesting produce with a core planted in a field is provided. The mechanical harvester includes a chassis, a positioning apparatus, a decoring device, and a transport assembly. The positioning apparatus is connected to the chassis and configured to position the produce in the ground for harvesting and decoring. The decoring device is connected to the positioning apparatus and configured to sever the core of the produce while the produce is in the ground. The transport assembly is connected to the chassis and configured to lift the cut produce from the ground and transport the cut produce to a processing unit or a storage container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Serafin Albarran, Daniel Albarran, Jorge Alejo, Ignacio Barajas, Richard L. Bascou, Dennis Johnny Castillo, Maximino Corral, Whit Frans, Frank Edward Davis, Stephen C. Jens, Raul Machuca, Manuel Maldonado Magana, Carlos Uribe Meza, Gabriel Fuentes Villasenor, Terry Young
  • Patent number: 9486008
    Abstract: A system for trimming a lettuce head using a digital imaging system and cutting mechanism. The lettuce head is conveyed between a lower feed conveyor and an upper feed conveyor that is disposed a fixed distance over and substantially aligned with a lower feed conveyor. The digital imaging system is configured to capture an image of the lettuce head and determine a cutting profile using the image. The cutting mechanism is disposed over the lower feed conveyor and includes: a servo motor mechanically coupled to a drive shaft; an armature with a pivot end mounted to the drive shaft and a sweep end disposed a radial distance from the pivot end; a cutting nozzle, mounted to the sweep end of the armature, configured to trim the lettuce head; and servo-control circuitry configured to articulate the cutting nozzle through a cutting arc based on the cutting profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Rosser W. Pryor, Roland C. Myers, Jr., Stephan C. Robinson, Roger D. Billingsley, Stephen Chris Jens, Frank E. Davis, Robert Ragon
  • Publication number: 20160143223
    Abstract: A mechanical harvester for harvesting a produce with a stem/core planted in a field is provided. The mechanical harvester includes a chassis, and a cutting device and a transport assembly connected to the chassis. The cutting device is configured to cut the stem/core of the produce. The transport assembly is configured to transport the produce cut by the cutting device. The transport assembly includes a movable first belt and a movable second belt. The movable first belt includes a first set of produce grippers and the movable second belt includes a second set of produce grippers. When the produce cut by the cutting device is held between the first set and second set of produce grippers, a portion of the first set of produce grippers opposes a portion of the second set of produce grippers. The opposing produce grippers are configured to compress and exert a force on the produce to hold the produce between the movable first and second belts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Publication date: May 26, 2016
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Stephen C. JENS, Serafin ALBARRAN, Richard BASCOU, Dennis J. CASTILLO, Frank Edward DAVIS, Ignacio Rodriguez FIGUEROA, Raul MACHUCA, Kevin NASH, Jose ROMAN
  • Patent number: 9307785
    Abstract: Wrapper leaves of a harvested produce can be removed using a leaf removal apparatus. The leaf removal apparatus includes a framework, a conveyor, a stripping roller, and a plurality of flexible members. The method of using the leaf removal apparatus includes feeding a harvested produce onto a conveyor; transporting the harvested produce on the conveyor towards a stripping roller connected to a framework of the leaf removal apparatus; and contacting the harvested produce with a plurality of flexible members connected to the framework, and the stripping roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Ignacio Barajas, Maximino Corral, Edgar Enrique Valdivia Rodriguez, Gabriel Fuentes Villasenor, Manuel Maldonado Magana, Carlos Uribe Meza, Jose De Jesus Valdez, Dennis Johnny Castillo, Serafin Albarran, Stephen Jens, Richard L. Bascou, Frank E. Davis
  • Publication number: 20160081273
    Abstract: A mechanical harvester for harvesting produce with a core planted in a field is provided. The mechanical harvester includes a chassis, a positioning apparatus, a decoring device, and a transport assembly. The positioning apparatus is connected to the chassis and configured to position the produce in the ground for harvesting and decoring. The decoring device is connected to the positioning apparatus and configured to sever the core of the produce while the produce is in the ground. The transport assembly is connected to the chassis and configured to lift the cut produce from the ground and transport the cut produce to a processing unit or a storage container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2015
    Publication date: March 24, 2016
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Serafin ALBARRAN, Daniel ALBARRAN, Jorge ALEJO, Ignacio BARAJAS, Richard L. BASCOU, Dennis Johnny CASTILLO, Maximino CORRAL, Whit FRANS, Frank Edward DAVIS, Stephen C. JENS, Raul MACHUCA, Manuel Maldonado MAGANA, Carlos Uribe MEZA, Gabriel Fuentes VILLASENOR, Terry YOUNG
  • Publication number: 20160021903
    Abstract: Provided herein, inter alia, is a method for sanitizing produce, by: treating the produce with a catholyte solution for a period of time sufficient to sanitize the produce; treating the produce with a solution containing chlorine for a period of time sufficient to further sanitize the produce; and treating the produce with a solution containing peroxyacetic acid for a period of time sufficient to further sanitize the produce, where treating with the catholyte solution, the solution containing chlorine, and the solution containing peroxyacetic acid yields at least an additional 1 log unit reduction in microbial load, as compared to produce treated with a single solution selected from the catholyte solution, the solution containing chlorine, and the solution containing peroxyacetic acid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Publication date: January 28, 2016
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Bob J. DULL, Roger Dale BILLINGSLEY, Abizer Moiz KHAIRULLAH, Amanda Jane DEERING, Jessica Okane KAWABATA, Yuki MIKOSHIBA
  • Publication number: 20150282519
    Abstract: A leaf removal apparatus for removing one or more wrapper leaves of a harvested produce is provided. The leaf removal apparatus includes a framework, a conveyor, a stripping roller, and a plurality of flexible members. The conveyor is configured to transport the harvested produce in a forward direction to the stripping roller. The stripping roller is connected to the framework and rotates in a direction opposite to the moving direction of the conveyor. The stripping roller applies a friction force on the harvested produce. The plurality of flexible members are connected to the framework and are configured to loosen or remove one or more wrapper leaves of the harvested produce and prolong the duration of contact between the harvested produce and the stripping roller. The flexible members may also cause the harvested produce to rotate, helping to remove one or more wrapper leaves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2015
    Publication date: October 8, 2015
    Applicant: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Ignacio BARAJAS, Maximino CORRAL, Edgar Enrique VALDIVIA RODRIGUEZ, Gabriel FUENTES VILLASENOR, Manuel MALDONADO MAGANA, Carlos URIBE MEZA, Jose DE JESUS VALDEZ, Dennis Johnny CASTILLO, Serafin ALBARRAN, Stephen JENS, Richard L. BASCOU, Frank E. DAVIS
  • Patent number: 9125427
    Abstract: A method for sanitizing produce, by: treating the produce with a chlorine dioxide solution for a period of time sufficient to sanitize the produce; treating the produce with a solution containing chlorine for a period of time sufficient to further sanitize the produce; and treating the produce with a solution containing peroxyacetic acid for a period of time sufficient to further sanitize the produce, where treating with the chlorine dioxide solution, the solution containing chlorine, and the solution containing peroxyacetic acid yields at least an additional 1 log unit reduction in microbial load, as compared to produce treated with a single solution selected from the chlorine dioxide solution, the solution containing chlorine, and the solution containing peroxyacetic acid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Bob J. Dull, Roger Dale Billingsley, Abizer Moiz Khairullah, Amanda Jane Deering, Jessica Okane Kawabata, Jonna Marie Thomas
  • Patent number: 9072225
    Abstract: Produce with a core planted in a field can be harvested and decored using a mechanical harvester. The mechanical harvester includes a chassis, a positioning apparatus, a decoring device, and a transport assembly. The method includes moving the mechanical harvester through the row in the field; positioning the produce in the ground using the positioning apparatus; severing a substantial portion of the core of the produce while the produce is in the ground using the decoring device; lifting the produce from the ground; and transporting the produce to a processing unit or a storage unit using the transport assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Serafin Albarran, Daniel Albarran, Jorge Alejo, Ignacio Barajas, Richard L. Bascou, Dennis Johnny Castillo, Maximino Corral, Whit Frans, Frank Edward Davis, Stephen C. Jens, Raul Machuca, Manuel Maldonado Magana, Carlos Uribe Meza, Gabriel Fuentes Villasenor, Terry Young
  • Publication number: 20140250853
    Abstract: A mechanical berry harvester and a method for harvesting berries in the field is provided. The mechanical harvester includes a framework, collectors, spring elements, pulleys and belts. The collectors are configured to collect berries fallen from branches of the berry bush. Each spring element is connected to the framework and a collector. Each pulley is connected to a spring element and a collector. Each belt has an inner face and an outer face, and the inner faces of the belts are in contact with the pulleys. When the trunk of a berry bush comes in contact with a portion of the adjacent belts, the spring element(s) connected to the portions of the adjacent belts in contact with the trunk are each configured to independently compress and create a gap between the adjacent belts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Terry YOUNG, Stephen JENS, Art CASTRO, Robert STOUDT
  • Publication number: 20140202119
    Abstract: A system for reducing metal and product-in-seal contamination in a package of produce product is provided. The system includes a tube and a flapper gate assembly. The flapper gate assembly is connected to the top of the tube, and includes a pivot and a flapper gate. The pivot is positioned outside the tube. The flapper gate is positioned inside the tube and is connected to the pivot. The flapper gate is configured to regulate product flow in the tube by rotating around the pivot when the pivot is rotated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Jerry L. CRAWFORD, Bob J. DULL, Robert TARANGO, Stephen C. Jens, Serafin Albarran
  • Publication number: 20140193568
    Abstract: Lettuce can be commercially packaged in the field using a wrap that has a body with an opening, and an elastomeric portion around the opening. The elastomeric portion of the wrap is stretched wide enough to place the head into the wrap. The head is placed into the body of the wrap, and the stretched elastomeric portion is released. The relaxed elastomeric portion holds the wrap around the head.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2014
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Terence J. FOLEY, Guillermo M. JIMENEZ
  • Publication number: 20140182260
    Abstract: A mechanical harvester for harvesting produce with a core planted in a field is provided. The mechanical harvester includes a chassis, a positioning apparatus, a decoring device, and a transport assembly. The positioning apparatus is connected to the chassis and configured to position the produce in the ground for harvesting and decoring. The decoring device is connected to the positioning apparatus and configured to sever the core of the produce while the produce is in the ground. The transport assembly is connected to the chassis and configured to lift the cut produce from the ground and transport the cut produce to a processing unit or a storage container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2014
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Serafin ALBARRAN, Daniel ALBARRAN, Jorge ALEJO, Ignacio BARAJAS, Richard L. BASCOU, Dennis Johnny CASTILLO, Maximino CORRAL, Whit FRANS, Frank Edward DAVIS, Stephen C. JENS, Raul MACHUCA, Manuel Maldonado MAGANA, Carlos Uribe MEZA, Gabriel Fuentes VILLASENOR, Terry YOUNG
  • Patent number: 8697164
    Abstract: Lettuce can be commercially packaged in the field using a wrap that has a body with an opening, and an elastomeric portion around the opening. The elastomeric portion of the wrap is stretched wide enough to place the head into the wrap. The head is placed into the body of the wrap, and the stretched elastomeric portion is released. The relaxed elastomeric portion holds the wrap around the head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc.
    Inventors: Terence J. Foley, Guillermo M. Jimenez
  • Publication number: 20140030402
    Abstract: A method treating commercial produce to reduce browning and improve marketable shelf-life, the method involves submerging produce, with tissue previously wounded during processing, in a liquid at a temperature between 95 F and 103° F. for 180 seconds or less at pressures ranging between 0.5 to 3 psig, and preferably at 1.5 psig; the produce is then removed from the liquid; submersed in chilled water to cool the produce; dewatered; and packed in an oxygen-controlled package for commercial sale.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Publication date: January 30, 2014
    Applicant: DOLE FRESH VEGETABLES, INC.
    Inventors: Abizer KHAIRULLAH, Bob J. DULL, Jose Emilio VILLARREAL LOZOYA, Yuki MIKOSHIBA, Jonna THOMAS