A container for gelatinous food stuffs materials has a pair of inwardly directed blades (30, 32) formed on the inner surface of the lid (10). As the lid (10) is rotated to remove it from the receptacle (12), the blades (30, 32) cut through the food stuff and release it from the interior walls of the receptacle (12).
 The present invention relates to a container, in particular one that is suitable for gelatinous food stuffs.BACKGROUND ART
 Gelatinous food stuffs such as jelly in various flavours are commonly available. Typically, they are sold in a concentrated form which must be made up as required. This is mainly due to the short shelf life of the made up food stuff, but also since the made up jelly adheres tightly to the container in which it is formed. As a result, it is difficult to extract the jelly from the container and some form of cutlery is usually required. Whilst this is not a problem in a domestic environment, this does hinder commercialisation of jelly-based food products in a retail environment.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention seeks to provide a container for gelatinous food stuffs such as jelly which can enable retail sale in an easy and convenient package, preferably one that does not require bundling of disposable cutlery.
 The present invention therefore provides a container comprising a receptacle and a lid, the lid comprising at least one cutter extending therefrom, so as to project into the container when closed.
 Thus, upon removing the lid, typically employing a rotary action relative to the receptacle, the cutters will be drawn through the gelatinous food stuff within the receptacle, releasing it from the side walls thereof. This will enable the food stuff to be removed easily for consumption.
 It is preferred that, when the lid is fitted, the cutters contact the inner faces of the receptacle.
 It is preferred that there are at least two cutters, ideally spread circumferentially around the lid. The cutters can be in the shape of a blade, such as including a bevel edge. Alternatively, for retail sales aimed at children the cutters could employ a novelty shape such as the profiles of popular characters. In general, the hardness and toughness of gelatinous food stuffs does not require a sharp edge.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 An embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying figures, in which:
 FIG. 1 is a view from one side of the lid;
 FIG. 2 is a section on II-I of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 3 is a view of the lid from beneath;
 FIG. 4 is a view of the receptacle from above; and
 FIG. 5 is a section on V-V of the receptacle.DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXAMPLES
 Referring to the figures, the lid 10 of FIGS. 1 to 3 co-operates with the pot-shaped receptacle 12 of FIGS. 4 and 5. The lid 10 is generally circular in shape to match a generally circular opening 14 on the receptacle 12.
 The outer perimeter of the lid 10 has a rim 16 which is adapted to fit snuggly around the outside circular profile of the receptacle 12. Concentric with the rim 16 is a circular trench 18, spaced inwardly therefrom, which provides additional rigidity to the lid 10 and sandwiches the opening 14 of the receptacle 12 between the rim 16.
 The outside face of the receptacle 12 has a pair of diametrically opposed outwardly extending ridges 20, 22. A corresponding pair of inwardly directed ridges 24,26 are provided in a diametrically opposed relationship on the inner face of the lip 16 of the lid 10. These extend through an angle of about 110°. To close the container, therefore, the lid 10 is placed over the receptacle 12 such that the ridges 22,24 pass through gaps between the ridges 24, 26 of the lid, and the lid is then rotated such that the ridges 20,22 are retained behind the ridges 24, 26. The ridges, 20,22 have an upwardly directed portion 28 to assist in pulling the lid 10 home on the receptacle 12. To open the container, the reverse procedure is followed involving rotating the lid 10 until the ridges 20,22 of the receptacle 12 are no longer retained by the ridges 24,26 of the lid, and the lid 10 is then removed by pulling it from the receptacle 12.
 A pair of blades 30,32 project inwardly of the receptacle 12 from the inner surface of the lid 10, between the trench 18 and the lip 16. The two blades 30,32 are diametrically opposed and project from the inner surface of the lid 10 by a distance between 90% and 95% of the internal depth of the receptacle 12. Typically, a depth of at least 60%-80% is advisable. The depth should be sufficient to release a significant amount of material, yet not so large as to prompt difficulties in the event of excessive manufacturing tolerances.
 The blades are located such that as the lid 10 is rotated relative to the receptacle 12 to remove it therefrom, the blades 30, 32 each describe an arc close to or preferably at the inner surface of the receptacle 12, releasing gelatinous food stuff material contained within the receptacle 12 from the walls thereof. This results from the blades being located on the lid in a position which is offset from the centre thereof. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, two blades are provided which, when rotated during release of the lid, will make a sufficient cut in foodstuffs to allow easy release. A single blade could be provided, but this would require a correspondingly greater rotation of the lid. Equally, more blades could be provided, but at a cost of additional manufacturing complexity.
 The blades, 30,32 are tilted slightly inwardly such that their tips are closer to each other than their roots. This matches the sectional profile of the receptacle 12 as is apparent in FIG. 5. The angle should not be too large else the blades may lose contact with the inner faces of the receptacle.
 The profiles of the blades are similar to those of a knife, but with a bevelled edge 34 and a gentle curve of the forward cutting edge 36 to a point 38 at the tip of the blade 30,32. However, other shapes can be adopted as gelatinous food stuffs are not typically of a hard or necessarily tough nature. For example, the shape of the blade could be a novelty shape such as the silhouette of popular figures or personalities.
 The container described herein can be used for a variety of human and non-human foodstuffs. Human foodstuffs such as jellies and the like are particularly suitable, but others are also suitable including gelatinous foodstuffs incorporating a second phase, such as food for pet or other animals. Dog and cat food commonly consists of a gelatinous binder with a suspended meaty phase. Gelatinous foodstuffs include both those manufactured using gelatine or gelatine substitutes such as certain seaweed extracts, and also foodstuffs of a similar nature.
 It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that many variations may be made to the above-described embodiments, without departing from the scope of the present invention.
1. A container for foodstuffs, comprising a receptacle and a lid, the lid comprising at least one cutter extending therefrom, so as to project into the container when closed, in which the lid is rotateable with respect to the receptacle thereby drawing the cutter through an arc within the container.
2. A container according to claim 1 in which, when the lid is fitted, the cutters contact the inner faces of the receptacle.
3. A container according to claim 1 or claim 2, in which there are at least two cutters.
4. A container according to claim 3 in which the cutters are distributed circumferentially around the lid.
5. A container according to any preceding claim in which the or each cutters are in the shape of a blade.
6. A container according to any one of claims 1 to 4 in which the cutters are shaped with the silhouette of a character or object.
7. A container substantially as described herein with reference to and/or as illustrated in the accompanying figures.
Filed: Aug 1, 2003
Publication Date: Apr 22, 2004
Inventor: Tim Michael Debonnaire Haggard (London)
Application Number: 10467099