Patents Examined by George Yeung
  • Patent number: 5902620
    Abstract: An apparatus for preparing beverages comprises a liquid container and a drink medium container including a housing having a tubular member extending downward into the liquid container. The drink medium container includes a filter apparatus capable of containing a drink medium. A drink container includes a tubular liquid inlet in fluid flow communication with the drink medium container. The liquid container is in fluid communication with the drink container such that when liquid in the liquid container is heated, the liquid can flow upward from the liquid container through the tubular member, filter apparatus, and through the tubular liquid inlet into the drink container. The liquid container includes a double wall construction to maintain the temperature on an outer surface thereof at a relatively low level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: HP Intellectual Corp.
    Inventor: Patrick B Nolan
  • Patent number: 5902619
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for disinfection or sterilizing an article which is a food or foodstuff, or a surface of an article for contacting a food or foodstuff. According to the invention, the article is grounded and is treated with an electrically charged mist of a liquid having a redox potential and a predetermined pH. The mist is subsequently evaporated from the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Inventors: Ulrik Rubow, Thure Carnfeldt
  • Patent number: 5895683
    Abstract: Vacuum pressure is applied in a process for extrusion of fat-based confectionery materials, particularly chocolate, chocolate substitute and chocolate analog materials. In the process, a fat-containing confectionery material is fed to, into and through an extruder having a flow constriction and die to obtain an extrudate from the die under conditions of temperature, pressure, contraction ratio and extrusion rate so that the material and the extrudate obtained from the die are in a non-pourable state and so that the material is deformed plastically in the extruder and so that the extrudate is plastically deformable for a period of time, and in the process, the vacuum pressure is applied to the material at a point prior to passing the material through the flow constriction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1999
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Simon John Crook, Mark Jury, Malcolm Robert Mackley
  • Patent number: 5894030
    Abstract: A device for the manufacture of a frozen aerated product which includes a freezer, a pump for introducing a frozen aerated product mix and air into the freezer, a tubular crystallizer system having upstream and downstream ends and having a longitudinal shaft within and extending beyond the ends of the crystallizer system through seals, a ram for reciprocating the longitudinal shaft upstream and downstream, the longitudinal shaft being provided with one or more scrapers in a transverse plane along its length which divide the crystallizer system into compartments, whose perimeters are adjacent to and capable of scraping the internal wall of the crystallizer system and whose bodies are provided with at least one longitudinal channel, a high pressure stuffing pump for feeding the frozen aerated product from the freezer to the crystallizer system, a jacket containing a heat transfer fluid for removing heat from the frozen aerated product within the crystallizer system, and a backpressure valve for conveying the fr
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Nestec S. A.
    Inventors: William C. Gibson, William E. French, Paul W. Schwartz
  • Patent number: 5891502
    Abstract: Process for preparing a foodstuff by extrusion, in which a first food substance to be processed is introduced into a first section of a twin-screw extruder, a second food substance to be processed is introduced into a second section of the twin-screw extruder, this section being separated dynamically from the first, these substances are each processed independently in their own section of the extruder, the two masses obtained are extruded, passing them through at least one die, and the extruded product or products is or are cut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Ernst Heck, Osvaldo Geromini, Werner Pfaller
  • Patent number: 5891505
    Abstract: An improved method and apparatus for pressure processing a pumpable substance are shown and described. In a preferred embodiment, a valve is coupled to a source of a pumpable food substance and a pressure vessel, the valve being movable to a first, second and third position. When the valve is in a first position, an inlet port in the valve is aligned with a passageway that is open to the pressure vessel. When the valve is in the second position, the valve body seals the passageway, and when the valve is in the third position, an outlet port provided in the valve is aligned with the passageway.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Bruce M. Schuman, Edmund Y. Ting
  • Patent number: 5891503
    Abstract: Process for the preparation of a foodstuff by extrusion, in which a food substance is introduced into, mixed and cooked in a first section of a twin-screw extruder, the cooking of the mass obtained in a cooker connected up in parallel with the first section and a second section of the extruder dynamically separated from the first is prolonged, and the cooked mass is reintroduced into the second section, the mass is extruded by passing it through a die and the extruded product is cut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Ernst Heck, Osvaldo Geromini, Werner Pfaller
  • Patent number: 5891498
    Abstract: The smoking attachment for use with a barbecue grill has a smoker box with a solid bottom plate, left and right side walls, a rear wall, a top, an open front and two doors that close and substantially seal the smoker box. Support brackets on the side walls support the smoker box on a grill box with the solid bottom plate above a grill heat source. A smoker box divider plate divides the smoker box into a wood chip chamber and a smoking chamber. A wood chip box holds wood chips and sets inside the wood chip chamber. Tray and rack holders support racks and trays with food products in the smoking chamber. Smoke from the wood chips passes through smoke passages in the smoker box divider plate and through smoke passage apertures in the tray and rack holders. Vertical smoke baffles on the tray and rack holders control the distribution of heat and smoke.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Inventor: Harold J. Boehler
  • Patent number: 5888573
    Abstract: A method for continuously producing a sheet of dough from a dough mass stored in a hopper comprises supplying the dough mass vertically downward toward a pair of opposing rollers located at the bottom of a dough-feeding hopper, rotating the rollers in opposite directions, and repeatedly increasing and decreasing a gap between the rollers to repeatedly alter the pressure applied to the dough passing therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Rheon Automatic Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Torahiko Hayashi
  • Patent number: 5888566
    Abstract: A method for preparing a product to be pasteurized, particularly a food product, to ensure a long shelf life without affecting the quality or the nutritional, rheological and organoleptic properties thereof. The method comprises determining the cooking threshold value (Cg) of the product, measuring its pH and rH2, and deducing the corresponding pasteurization threshold value (P) therefrom, in particular by using a curve shown, then measuring the ratio (Aw) between the free water and total water contained in the product, and determining the heating curve of a heat treatment carried out on the product in such a way that the cooking threshold value is reached as the pasteurization threshold value is also reached and preferably exceeded, while at the same time the product is in a physical and chemical condition which corresponds to the Clostridium botulinum germ inhibition region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Inventor: Gerard Alcaraz
  • Patent number: 5885637
    Abstract: A method for heating foodstuffs, particularly mixtures made up of small pieces of meat, comprises pressurizing the uncooked mixture to force the mixture through a flow resistance device (22) at a heating velocity. Sufficient force is applied to the uncooked mixture to produce frictional resistance heating in the uncooked mixture as the mixture travels through the flow resistance device (22). The frictional resistance heats the uncooked mixture from an initial temperature to a final temperature which may be above a cooking temperature. This final temperature converts the uncooked mixture to a desired processed mixture. The invention may also include forming the processed mixture into a desired shape and cooling the processed mixture to a setting temperature. A variable resistance device (40) may be included in the flow resistance device (22) and used to control the level of heating in the foodstuffs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Freezing Machines, Inc.
    Inventors: Eldon Roth, Nicholas Roth, Ronald Yockey, Fernando Leyva, Boyd N. Brinson, Tommy R. Woolley
  • Patent number: 5879732
    Abstract: Various food processing methods and a food processing system minimize microbial growth while an animal, such as a chicken, is processed into food. During processing, temperature of an animal carcass and atmosphere surrounding the carcass are controlled by spraying gases and a mixture of ozone and water on the carcass, directing the gases through a passage in a wall to cool a processing area, and flowing the gases into atmosphere surrounding the carcass. Preferably, the gases include ozone and cryogenic gases recycled from a cryogenic freezer. The system uses a reduced amount of fresh water by recycling water used during food processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Assignee: BOC Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Louis D. Caracciolo, Jr., Mark Grace, William Kulik
  • Patent number: 5876772
    Abstract: A process for shaping a wafer comprising the steps of (a) softening the wafer by using infra-red radiation, (b) shaping the softened wafer into a desired form, and (c) cooling the shaped wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: Good Humor-Breyers Ice Cream, Division of Conopco, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald Reginald Biggs, Johannes Krieg
  • Patent number: 5874120
    Abstract: In its product aspect, the invention provides ready-to-eat cereals and cereal based snacks fabricated from multiple extrudate strands of cooked cereal dough that have been twisted or braided into ropes immediately after extrusion and severed into pieces. The products exhibit greater bowl life in milk and improved organoleptic attributes particularly those fabricated from doughs having a high fiber content. Methods for preparing such cereal based products are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1999
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: James R. Borek, James N. Weinstein
  • Patent number: 5871783
    Abstract: The invention provides for the manufacture of food products. In one preferred form, methods and apparatus are provided for cutting individual confectionery products from a slab or strip of product material into a product with a particular silhouette. In another form, the invention provides methods and apparatus for both cutting and forming individual confectionery products from strips or ropes. The process can be used for simply forming products from pre-cut segments or other blanks of confectionery material, including imparting a relatively precise texture, finish or detail to such products. The products may, but need not, be subsequently enrobed in chocolate or another coating. The confectionery material may also include candied fruit bits, dry fruits, nuts, or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Mars, Incorporated
    Inventor: Roberto A. Capodieci
  • Patent number: 5871793
    Abstract: The invention provides processes for the preparation of puffed cereal cakes, in particular puffed rice cakes. The processes comprise molding puffed or unpuffed cereal grains under pressure with the application of ultrasound. The ultrasound assists bonding of the cereal grains to form a solid cake. The ultrasound reduces fouling of the mold and increases processing speed. In one aspect, the starting material is prepuffed cereal grains, and these grains are coated with a binder agent and then bonded together at low temperature using ultrasound energy. This permits the formation of puffed cereal cakes with edible inclusions of temperature-sensitive foodstuffs, and also the rapid formation of puffed cereal cakes with shaped or profiled top and/or bottom surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Mars Incorporated
    Inventor: Roberto A. Capodieci
  • Patent number: 5871796
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for dividing a long dough mass into dough portions, each of which has a predetermined length, and forming a continuous dough strip from the respective dough portions. A first transporter transports the long dough mass that exceeds the predetermined length along a first conveying path. The first transporter includes a rotary cutter for dividing the long dough mass into a plurality of dough portions each having the predetermined length. A second transporter receives the dough portions from the first transporter and transports them along a second conveying path. The first and second conveying paths are arranged so that the predetermined length of each respective dough portion extends in a direction substantially parallel to the direction of the width of the continuous strip. A joining device receives the dough portions and joins them to form the continuous dough strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Rheon Automatic Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Michio Morikawa
  • Patent number: 5871792
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for popping popcorn comprise a heated kettle which is controlled and monitored according to the temperature of the kettle. The kettle is initially heated to a start cook temperature and a buzzer and light alert an operator to add uncooked popcorn and oil to the kettle which lowers the temperature of the kettle below a predetermined start temperature and initiates a cooking cycle. An oil pump system is enabled at the initiation of the cooking cycle for adding oil to the kettle. As the popcorn and oil cook, the kettle temperature increases and passes through a predetermined dump temperature and the kettle automatically tilts and dumps the cooked popcorn. After the dump, the kettle temperature increases to the start cook temperature again and the buzzer and light are activated to alert the operator to add another batch of ingredients for consecutive batches of popcorn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1999
    Assignee: Gold Medal Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald R. Weiss, Lee Kindley Hodgson
  • Patent number: 5866186
    Abstract: A wand for withdrawing fluid from a bag-in-a-box container and for rinsing the bag. A method of withdrawing fluid from a bag-in-a-box container and thereafter rinsing the bag is also disclosed, as is several practical examples of use of the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Inventor: Alberto Bazan
  • Patent number: RE36172
    Abstract: The method for linking a strand of an elongated coextruded meat emulsion product having an outer surface exposed to the atmosphere without the benefit of an enclosed casing comprises subjecting the strand to a constrictive force at spaced intervals along its length to create a plurality of link points of reduced diameter along the length of the strand. The link points are surrounded by an edible linking material capable of holding the link points in a condition of reduced diameter during a cooking cycle at a temperature in excess of 60.degree. C. After cooking, the link strand is then subjected to a water based rinse at a temperature of less than 60.degree. C. wherein the linked material will dissolve and will be removed from the strand. The preferred linking material is one from a group of hydroxypropylcellulose and methylhydroxyproplycellulose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Townsend Engineering Company
    Inventors: Jos Kobussen, Mart Kobussen, Jaap Kobussen