Patents Examined by George C. Yeung
  • Patent number: 7223427
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a system and method of use for storing and communicating information such as beverage preparation parameters including but not limited to beverage recipes, advertisements or operator information. The present disclosure provides a system which stores the information, communicates the information, and when appropriate, displays the information. The present disclosure also includes a method of using the described system. This disclosure provides a storage device which provides beverage brewing parameters used in beverage preparation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2007
    Assignee: Bunn-O-Matic Corporation
    Inventor: John T. Knepler
  • Patent number: 7029715
    Abstract: A method for automatically forming dough-based products, such as doughnuts involves pressurizing a tank containing dough. The dough is extruded to form a flight of dough-based products. The weight of the flight of dough-based products is measured. The weight data is transmitted to a computer. The measured weight is compared to a predetermined weight stored in the computer memory. The pressure in the tank is adjusted automatically before subsequent extrusions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Assignee: HDN Development Corporation
    Inventors: Garcie M. McCall, Stanley N. Lowry, Charles David Crawford, Joey R. Spruill, Robert Simpson
  • Patent number: 7001627
    Abstract: A rotisserie oven comprising a central heating section having a vertical orientation and dividing the cooking space into two equal, independent, and evenly heated roasting chambers; at least two rotisserie rods each driven by a motor; at least two removable basting troughs positioned above the rotisserie rods; at least two drip collection pans positioned below the rotisserie rods; an ash drawer positioned below the central heating section; and a control panel. By inserting a basting fluid in the basting trough, the roasting meat is automatically basted with the dripping basting fluid. The excess basting fluid and the meat juices is collected and can easily be recycled during the roasting process. By providing parts that are removable and have a simple mechanical design, cleaning and maintenance can be kept at a minimum. Mounting the rotisserie oven on top of a cabinet results in added convenience, accessibility, and flexibility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2006
    Inventor: Louis A. Marson
  • Patent number: 6989170
    Abstract: A method and system for producing a casingless sausage product. An emulsion, such as a meat emulsion, is heated by a first heating element, such as conductive element, such as a heat exchanger or a direct heating element, from a first temperature to an initial heating temperature. The initial heating forms a warm emulsion. After the first heating stage, the warmed emulsion is heated again during a second stage with a second heating element from the initial heating temperature to a higher, second heating temperature. Other numbers of heating elements can be utilized as necessary. The second heating element can be a rapid heating element, such as a microwave or radio frequency (RF). The second heating produces a casingless sausage. The casingless sausage is subsequently cooled or chilled to produce the casingless sausage product. The product can be cut to a length and packaged in a container or can.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Assignee: ConAgra Grocery Products Company
    Inventors: Maiyuran Konanayakam, Richard W. Jones, Jr., Jorge K. Succar
  • Patent number: 6989169
    Abstract: The present invention is related to the production of capsules or particles of micro and nanometric size, for introduction into food, using stable electrified coaxial jets of two immiscible liquids with diameters in the micro and nanometric range. An aerosol of charged structured droplets forms when the jets dissociate by capillary instabilities. The structured droplets, which are mano-dispersed in size, contain a first liquid (generally the material desired to be added) that is surrounded by a second liquid. Generally the second liquid provides a barrier or protective coating which allows the addition of the first liquid to a food product without adversely affecting the organoleptic or other properties of the food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Assignee: Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Antonio Barrero Ripoll, Alfonso M. Ganan-Calvo, Ignacio Gonzalez Loscertales, Raul Cortijo Bon, Manuel Marquez
  • Patent number: 6958166
    Abstract: Frying apparatus for frying food, such as French fries, vegetables, bakery goods, meat fish, poultry and the like, in a heated fluid contained in a fry pot. The fluid is heated by a combustion burner that has a heat exchanger removably disposed in the heating fluid. When removed from the fluid, the heat exchanger and the fry pot can be easily cleaned. The air and/or gas is injected into the combustion chamber so as to provide an air gas ratio that supports clean combustion. A control monitors various temperatures and other parameters at various locations of the frying apparatus to control the efficiency of the frying apparatus to approximate a predetermined efficiency by altering the air/gas ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2005
    Assignee: The Frymaster Corporation
    Inventor: Raymond G. Taylor
  • Patent number: 6953596
    Abstract: A method is provided for producing individual dough products, comprising the steps of conveying a continuous dough sheet along a travel path, engaging a first die cutter with a first portion of the dough sheet to cut a first portion of the peripheral shape of at least one dough product, then conveying the continuous dough sheet along the travel path and engaging the second die cutter with the first portion of the dough sheet to cut a second portion of the peripheral shape of at least one dough product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas C. Maniak, Susan Y. deWerff, Amy B. Larson Kolbe, Sherri A. Slocum
  • Patent number: 6942887
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for pan roasting a mass of green coffee beans at rest by heat conduction from the pan bottom to the beans mass. A glass cover and smoke filter closes the roasting chamber. A radial blower operates at slow speed to draw ambient air and vacate smoke from the chamber to permit visual monitoring of roasting beans. Periodically, the fan can operate a high speed for a short time to mix or swirl the bean mass without substantial cooling them. The blower can sequence through high and low speed cycles until roasting completes and heating ceases. A high speed cool down phase removes remaining chaff, smoke, and quick cools the beans to preserve freshness. Electric power drives the blower and resistant heating element. The system enables the operator to use appearance, sound, smell, and time to determine roasting completeness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Inventor: Jeffrey Freedman
  • Patent number: 6942888
    Abstract: A cheese extruding machine and process for producing pieces of cheese of an exact weight directly from unaged or semi-aged cheese curds of semi-hard and hard cheeses. The cheese extruding machine includes a standard screw-type vacuum filler which receives large blocks of compressed curds, grinds the blocks into pieces, and compresses the curds into an airless, homogenous cheese flow without significantly damaging the curds. The cheese flow is forced through an elongate cheese forming tube of a desired cross-sectional shape for the cheese. A water jacket disposed about a second half of the cheese forming tube chills the periphery of the cheese flow to increase the firmness and maintain the shape of the cheese flow upon extrusion from the cheese forming tube. Frictional engagement between the cheese flow and the cheese forming tube produces back-pressure against the vacuum filler to maintain the cheese flow at a predetermined extrusion pressure and consistent density.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: Minerva Dairy, Inc.
    Inventor: Adam P. Mueller
  • Patent number: 6932997
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for forming multiple rows of meat patties. An existing single row forming machine is modified by moving the fill slot relative to the existing stroke length so that the fill slot comes in contact or fluidly communicates with at least one newly added row of cavities. This is most easily achieved by modifying the existing fill plate and by adding cavities to the existing mold plate, so that the combination of modified plates operates with the existing stroke length (which is difficult to change), to produce multiple rows of consistent meat patties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: OSI International, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. Kennedy, Darren S. Lange, Richard C. Fausey
  • Patent number: 6932998
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for forming molded food products having an outer first component and an inner second component is provided. The apparatus includes a pressurized supply of first component and a pressurized supply of second component. A mold housing extends along a first direction. A first end portion and a second end portion are arranged to be movable along the first direction within the mold housing and to be separated by a pre-selected distance along the first direction. An injector tube is in fluid communication with the supply of pressurized second component. The first and second end portions are arranged to be contained within the mold housing in a fill position to form a mold cavity within the mold housing around the injector tube. The mold cavity has an inlet in fluid communication with the supply of pressurized first component when in the fill position to receive first component to form a shell having an inside void.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: Formax, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald F. LaBruno, Douglas Conerton
  • Patent number: 6902755
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for rapidly chilling liquid or slurried food products through a two-stage sequence of jacket cooling followed by vacuum chilling. Slurry and liquid food products heated in a batch are chilled by first employing a chilled liquid flowing through a double walled jacket (22) surrounding the vessel chamber (17). When the food product reaches a temperature at which jacket cooling becomes inefficient, this is followed by pulling a vacuum in the space above the product to vacuum cool the product to the desired chilled temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Blentech Corporation
    Inventor: Darrell C. Horn
  • Patent number: 6896921
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the present invention a method for processing a plurality of food products includes loading the food products into a vacuum tumbler, filling the vacuum tumbler to a predetermined level with a processing solution having a pH level within a predetermined range, withdrawing air from the vacuum tumbler to create a partial vacuum, rotating the vacuum tumbler for a predetermined time period to expose the food products to the processing solution and the partial vacuum, periodically adding, during the predetermined time period, a predetermined amount of an organic acid to the processing solution to maintain the pH level within the predetermined range, and removing the food products from the vacuum tumbler after the predetermined time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Grovac Southern Select, L.C.
    Inventors: Billy M. Groves, Francis M. Henderson, Robert C. Wilson, Robin L. Forgey, Charles A. Winters, Sandra E. Custer
  • Patent number: 6884449
    Abstract: A method for controlling a rice cooking operation in a microwave oven including setting up at least one rice cooking operation in the microwave oven based upon the amount of rice and water mixture; heating the rice and the water in a cooking chamber using a magnetron; computing the amount of the rice and the water by measuring a vapor concentration within the cooking chamber; and cooking the rice according to a cooking operation corresponding to the computed amount of rice and water. Further, the present invention provides a microwave oven having at least one rice cooking operation and a method of controlling the same, in which rice is cooked by automatically sensing the amount of rice and water content using the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., LTD
    Inventors: Sung-ho Lee, Young-won Cho, Tae-soo Kim
  • Patent number: 6875458
    Abstract: A mold form fryer utilizing a top conveyor that transports snack pieces through a constant velocity oil stream without the need of a bottom mating mold or conveyor. Herein, the form fryer is provided with a top conveyor disposed above a fryer oil pan positioned longitudinally through the fryer. Uncooked snack pieces are provided to the fryer oil pan by a bottom entrance conveyor. Snack pieces, once in oil within the fryer, meet with molding surfaces on the top conveyor. At the exit portion of the fryer, a bottom exit conveyor receives the cooked snack pieces from the top conveyor. As no continuous bottom conveyor is utilized, the fryer oil pan may be provided with a reduced volume segment situated between the bottom entrance and exit conveyors. Additionally, the molding surfaces may be selected to produce uniformly shaped snack pieces that are either convexly or concavely shaped when viewed upon the bottom exit conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: Frito-Lay North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Kathryn Melissa Dove, William Douglas Henson, Ponnattu Kurian Joseph, Donald Joe Tatsch
  • Patent number: 6869629
    Abstract: An apparatus, method and system is described for catching juices dripping from food being cooked in an infrared cooking apparatus, while still allowing infrared radiation to directly irradiate the food. A drip pan has base plate with an outer perimeter and an outer sidewall extending therefrom. The base plate has one or more apertures, each with an inner sidewall extending from its edges. The drip pan can hold a liquid, and the aperture and inner sidewall form a passage for infrared radiation through the liquid. The amount of drippings falling from the food being cooked through the passage may be reduced by covering the passage with a perforated cover, or by angling the inner sides defining the passage to overhang the aperture in the base plate. An adjustable solid cover may be mounted to the drip pan to allow the amount of infrared radiation reaching the food to be controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Inventor: Michael George Tiernan
  • Patent number: 6869633
    Abstract: An automated food processing system and method is provided that allows food to be dispensed, fried and packaged in a suitable container, which may be an individual portion-sized container. In one embodiment, the system includes separate automated modules for dispensing, frying and packaging the food. In one embodiment, an automated dispensing device dispenses a predetermined portion of food from a bulk storage container or food dispensing magazine. Food is dispensed from the automated dispensing device to an automated fry device that can include at least one circular fry wheel having a plurality of food containing compartments. After the food is fried it is dispensed from the fry device to an automated packaging device. The automated packaging device dispenses food to a container that may be an individual portion-sized container that is retrieved, erected and held into position for filling by an automated container handling system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald A. Sus, Ron Dorsten, Henry T. Ewald, Jenny Hong, Glenn Schackmuth, Mario G. Ceste, Curtis Clarence Pinnow, John M. Corliss, Joseph Gerstmann, James Lozouski, William Day, Doug Jones, Roberto Nevarez, Jerry Sank, Keith Stanger
  • Patent number: 6866878
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing co-extruded pasta such as stuffed rigatoni and for providing the ability to make a plurality of end crimps with a single die. The method involves distributing pasta dough from an extruder to multiple co-extrusion die inserts that are arranged in a straight line. The straight-line design allows the co-extruded dough strands to drop directly into a single crimp/cut die that has a selected straight, angular or other cut. The invention may be adapted and utilized on any new or pre-existing pasta dough extruders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Inventor: John M. Battaglia
  • Patent number: 6863916
    Abstract: An apparatus for making frozen food products having a horizontal mixing spindle with a continuous, closed-loop, recessed, crisscrossed track around its outer lengthwise surface. A paddle wheel encircles the spindle and has a plug or guide skate that extends into the crisscrossed track and guides the paddle wheel back and forth along the length of the spindle as well as around the circumference of the spindle. A horizontal, cylindrical, cooling canister encloses the spindle and paddle wheel and is coupled to a refrigeration unit for keeping the canister and its contents cold. One end of the canister is provided with a push-type dispensing block for dispensing the frozen food product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: Zippy Freeze
    Inventors: Wade W. Henriksen, Craig A. Nielsen
  • Patent number: 6863913
    Abstract: A method and system for food preparation and processing that determines the bulk density of food particulate matter input into particulate packaging machinery and performs bulk density feedback of packaged food particulate matter. The feedback mechanism inputs bulk density values into a controller that are referred against acceptable values. Where the input values of bulk density are outside the acceptable range the controller automatically alters the food preparation and packaging process to obtain acceptable bulk density values. The method system are applicable to any food manufacturing process, although they are particularly well suited to the manufacture of food in flake, chip, puffed or extruded form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Navin, Ronald L. Fojtik