Patents Examined by George Yeung
  • Patent number: 5861185
    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. In still other embodiments, the confectionery material may comprise grains of a puffed cereal. In some instances, a matrix of plasticizable material holds the grains together and the confectionery material may also include, in addition to the puffed cereal, candied fruit bits, dry fruits, nuts, or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Mars, Incorporated
    Inventor: Roberto A. Capodieci
  • Patent number: 5858430
    Abstract: A food preservation and disinfection method utilizes oxygen-enriched chilled water that is applied to the food product as ice formations or alternatively is sprayed on the food product to form a frozen surface glaze. Upon thawing the frozen food product, an oxidative reaction occurs under the influence of a temperature dependent catalyst accelerant. The oxygen enrichment is accomplished by dissolving ozone and hydrogen peroxide, in combination or independently, in chilled water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Inventor: Felix W. Endico
  • Patent number: 5858429
    Abstract: A method of controlling the removal of peelings from a potato product in a peeling machine having abrasive rollers, a rotatable discharge gate, and a discharge conveyor includes providing a shadow-free lighting structure over the conveyor, taking photographs of product on the conveyor flowing under said lighting structure, determining the number of dark pixels in each photograph and passing that number to a processor, placing a defined value for the preferred number of dark pixels in the processor, comparing the determined number of dark pixels with the predetermined value of dark pixels, and adjusting the operation of the machine to increase or decrease the amount of peelings being removed to bring the number of dark pixels subsequently determined closely to the predetermined value of dark pixels. A product peeling machine has a high speed camera over the conveyor. A high speed camera is mounted over the conveyor to take photographs of groups of product moving with the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: Vanmark Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph E. Wallace
  • Patent number: 5858438
    Abstract: An apparatus for cutting a continuous dough extrudate into pieces of uniform weight and accurately positioning the pieces on a moving belt includes a knife blade having a flat upper surface bounded in part by two opposed cutting edges, and a bottom surface having a double taper formed by flat facets downwardly angled from the cutting edges and meeting in an apex. An elongated dough positioning guide is downwardly directed from the bottom surface. The knife blade is caused to undergo reciprocating motion at a frequency dependent upon the velocity of the extrudate and the speed of the moving belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: Cummins Eagle, Inc.
    Inventors: Chris M. Cummins, Sam Seiling
  • Patent number: 5855943
    Abstract: A method of forming a weather resistant sweet corn based animal feed product includes mixing sweet corn and water to form a sticky mixture which is then extruded through an open tapering die where the mixture is greatly pressurized and ejected as a continuous log of a size and shape dictated by the die. The log is then cut to length to produce weather resistant sweet corn based animal feed products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignees: Haaco, Inc., Sweet Corn Products, Co.
    Inventors: Raymon W. Lush, Lee D. Schwalenberg
  • Patent number: 5853783
    Abstract: Method and device for relaxing a sheet of dough, comprising a first conveyor belt, a second conveyor belt, a supporting device disposed between the first and second conveyor belts and a vibration generator interacting with the supporting device, in which the first conveyor belt conveys the sheet of dough at a first speed of conveyance on the supporting device, the vibration generator by way of the supporting device exerts a mechanical vibration with an essentially constant frequency on the sheet of dough, and the second conveyor belt discharges the sheet of dough at a second speed of conveyance which is essentially the same as the first speed of conveyance of the supporting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Sasib Bakery Holland N.V.
    Inventor: Cornelis Rijkaart
  • Patent number: 5853782
    Abstract: An arrangement for continuous addition of nitrogen gas to a beverage such as beer, mineral water or still drink comprises a pump (2) arranged to increase the pressure of a flow of beverage to a desired high level. In the arrangement there are also tubes (5) to add a predetermined amount of nitrogen gas under pressure directly to the pressurized flow of beverage and at least one static mixer (4) to mix gas and beverage and disperse the nitrogen gas in the beverage. A holding cell is connected to the static mixer in which holding cell the nitrogen gas is completely dissolved in the still pressurized beverage of the holding cell. Valves (15) are arranged at the outlet of the holding cell to lower the pressure to a level which is suitable for packaging of the beverage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Alfa Laval AB
    Inventor: Ebbe Larsson
  • Patent number: 5849346
    Abstract: In one aspect, the present invention provides a solution for neutralizing the acid occurring in acidic beverages such as coffee, tea, wine and other alcoholic beverages, etc. The solution of the present invention provides a concentrated hydroxide solution which can be added dropwise to beverages to neutralize the acid content. By neutralizing the acid in such acidic beverages, the solution of the present invention improves the taste characteristics of such beverages. In another aspect, the solution provides a proper balance of body electrolytes to ensure that the body's system remains in balance. These electrolytes are balanced to match the concentration ratios of the electrolytes contained in the intercellular fluid. The solution prepared in this manner can be stored in conveniently sized dropper bottles so that the beverage additive can be carried in a pocket, purse or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Assignee: ChemCraft, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard S. Hornack
  • Patent number: 5849347
    Abstract: An improved extrusion processing system (10) for sticky extrudates such as candy products is provided which includes an extruder (12) equipped with a die (16) presenting an outlet face (23) and a knife assembly (19) and a knife hood (18). The system (10) further has a particulate delivery unit (20) which serves to direct a stream of particulate substance under positive pressure onto the outlet face (23) of extrusion die (16). The delivery unit (20) includes a container (42) for holding a supply of a particulate substance such as starch or sugar together with conduits (52, 56) adapted for coupling with a source of pressurized air and connected with container (42); a stream of the particulate substance under pressure is created and delivered via conduit (56) to hood (18) where it passes through delivery tube (60) for application onto outlet face (23).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Assignee: Wenger Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon R. Huber, Gerry M. Hertzel, Bradley S. Strahm
  • Patent number: 5846584
    Abstract: A apparatus and method for infusing flavors into cereal grains and agglomerating the grains into a unitary food product. Grains of cereal, powdered soluble flavors and a moisturizing liquid are supplied to a mixer. The flavors, liquid and cereal grains are thoroughly mixed and the grains surface moisturized and then discharged into a product-forming chamber which is ultrasonically energized for a sufficient period of time so that the flavors are infused within the interiors of the grains which are agglomerated into a unitary product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Mars, Incorporated
    Inventor: Roberto A. Capodieci
  • Patent number: 5846591
    Abstract: A pretreatment process in a flour milling method in which raw wheat grains are first polished and the polished grains are ground and milled for producing end flour, includes a first, a second, a third polishing step, and a step of adding water. In the first polishing step a pericarp of each wheat grain is removed, in the second polishing step a seed coat of each raw wheat grain is removed, and in the third polishing step a part of cell walls of aleuron layer cells that was in contact with the removed seed coat is removed so that a cell membrane of the aleuron layer cell is caused to be ruptured and that a substance in the aleuron layer cell is caused to be in a state which permits the substance to flow out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Satake Corporation
    Inventors: Satoru Satake, Shigeharu Kanemoto, Nobuhiro Matsumoto, Yoshihiro Tokui
  • Patent number: 5846583
    Abstract: A method and system are provided for pasteurizing a fluid product. Heated fluid product flows through a passageway to a directional flow valve for directing the heated fluid product through either a primary flow path or a divert flow path. A temperature sensor senses temperature of the heated fluid product at a location in the passageway spaced from the valve so that change in temperature of a portion of the heated fluid product is sensed before that portion of the heated fluid product flows to the valve. The valve directs flow of the heated fluid product from the passageway to the divert flow path when the sensed temperature is below a predetermined temperature for pasteurization of the fluid product, and continues to direct the flow to the diverting flow path at least until the sensed temperature is at or above the predetermined temperature for a predetermined period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: Welch's Foods, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas F. Gentner
  • Patent number: 5843504
    Abstract: The sausage strand is extruded onto a belt and carried through a brine shower system for about 40 seconds. The brine is sprayed through nozzles onto the sausage while traveling on the belt. The sausage is turned several times during the shower to insure even brine distribution. The conveyor speed is controlled to match the speed of the extruder thereby preventing stretching of the product as it is being extruded. The conveyor provides exact motion control of the sausage rope and the dwell time in the brine shower can be exactly regulated. Since the conveyor system is open it lends itself to easy cleaning and visual inspection. The conveyor consists of a frame which supports the conveyor system, the brine shower system, air knives and the infrared heater. The brine shower system is composed of a drip pan, a brine tank, a centrifugal pump and a plumbing/brine distribution network. The centrifugal pump conveys the brine from the tank through the brine distribution network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Townsend Engineering Company
    Inventors: Jos Kobussen, Mart Kobussen, Jaap Kobussen
  • Patent number: 5843510
    Abstract: A bread-dough stretching apparatus and method including a rotating member having a plurality of planetary rollers that revolve along a circular path, and a conveying device which is positioned below the rotating member and is spaced apart from the rotating member to allow passage of the bread dough between the rotating member and the conveying device. Each of the planetary rollers is rotatably supported by a shaft, and the conveying device includes a plurality of rollers positioned opposite the planetary rollers. The space separating the rollers of the conveying device and the rotating member gradually decreases from the inlet to the outlet of the conveying device. The rollers of the conveying device are rotated at speeds which gradually increase from a upstream roller to a downstream roller of the conveying device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Rheon Automatic Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Torahiko Hayashi
  • Patent number: 5843513
    Abstract: An apparatus for preparing reduced-fat meat by injecting dry solids such as phosphate powder into a flow of meat supply, includes a passageway for passing the meat therethrough, a ram chamber having a feed ram such that the feed ram is capable of being positioned in any one of a feed position and a fill position, the ram chamber having a particulate opening for entry of dry solids into the ram chamber, and a feed port providing a path for the feeding of the dry solids into the passageway. A control gate is placed generally along the passageway wherein it is capable of opening and closing the feed port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Kraft Foods, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel B. Wilke, Ralph H. Bethke, Bonnie M. Hinze
  • Patent number: 5840359
    Abstract: Process and apparatus for the manufacture of noodles, in which a mixture of cereal semolina or flour and water is prepared in a twin-screw kneader, the mixture is converted into a band of pasta by pressing it through a die with an oblong outlet orifice, the band is laminated and it is cut into noodles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Jurg Lechthaler, Shiok Guat Teh, Luca Rusconi, Philipp Paul Meyer, Othman Mohamad Yusoff
  • Patent number: 5840346
    Abstract: Apparatus for positive displacement metering of viscous material. Positive displacement and non-positive pumping of material to be metered is provided. The positive displacement pumping includes pressure release apparatus to avoid excessive pressure build-up. One pressure release apparatus includes an expansion chamber to moderate pressure changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Inventor: Christopher S. Hannaford
  • Patent number: 5840358
    Abstract: A process for the preparation of an animal feed supplement based on fermentation broth is disclosed, wherein the supplement contains wholly or predominantly a fermentation product and the other constituents of the fermentation broth, which is characterised in that the fermentation broth is granulated, compacted and dried in a fluidised bed in one step whilst a sufficient amount of energy to obtain a desired particle diameter and a desired bulk density is introduced into the fluidised bed by mechanical device in addition to the energy required to produce the fluidised bed. As a result of this, it is possible, inter alia, to prepare continuously, in a single process step, granules conforming to specification of additives such as lysine, threonine or tryptophan using, in particular, raw fermentation broths as starting substance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Degussa Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Andreas Hofler, Hans-Christian Alt, Claas-Jurgen Klasen, Heinz Friedrich, Ulrich Hertz, Lothar Morl, Rudiger Schutte
  • Patent number: 5837303
    Abstract: An improved method for treating liquid foodstuffs to prolong their shelf life wherein the liquid is exposed to intense agitation, preferably through sonication, to disrupt cell walls and membranes of any microorganisms present in the liquid. The liquid is either simultaneously or subsequently exposed to an electrical field. The intense agitation disrupts the cell walls and membranes of the microorganisms so that an electrical current can be introduced through any openings formed in the cell walls and membranes and through their intracellular matrices to kill the microorganisms. It is preferable to expose the liquids to torsional forces so that any microorganisms will be rotating through the stationary electrical field. As a result any openings in the cell walls and membranes of the microorganisms will at some point become aligned with the electrical field so that current can be introduced within the cells to destroy the microorganisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: Mark Hayden
    Inventor: Steven Mark Hayden
  • Patent number: 5834049
    Abstract: A food sterilizing apparatus has a plurality of sterilizing units (18) each comprising a stationery upper member (14) defining an open-bottom chamber (30) and an elevatable lower member (16) defining an open-top chamber (42). The lower member is moved by a drive mechanism (46) so that the apparatus may take a stand-by position where the upper and lower members are remote from each other and an operative position where these member engages closely with each other to form a single air-tight chamber that is defined by the chambers (30) and (42). A plate (38) carrying trays (2), each carrying the food to be sterilized, is intermittently conveyed by a conveyor (40) to make a brief stop at a position between the upper and lower members when they are in the stand-by position. A steam flush is applied to the closed air-tight chamber for sterilization of the food when the members are in the operative position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Shinwa Kikai Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Genzaburo Kageyama