Involving Dielectric Heating Or Passage Of Electric Current Through Food Material Patents (Class 426/244)
  • Publication number: 20080233250
    Abstract: A continuous flow/batch peeling device and method of using the device comprising a tub comprising a treatment zone and holding a replaceable quantity of an electrically conductive fluid and at least one produce immersed in the fluid, a belt comprised of a nonconductive material and comprising at least one divider that exposes produce to the treatment zone, and at least one variable power supply connected to at least one set of electrodes that are fixed to a wall of the treatment zone and in electrical contact with the fluid such that when the electrodes are energized, an electrical current is produced in the fluid and the produce causing the peel to rupture from an outer layer of flesh of the produce.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2008
    Publication date: September 25, 2008
    Inventors: Sudhir Sastry, Sarvesh N. Gupta, Brian F. Heskitt
  • Patent number: 7417204
    Abstract: A cooking apparatus includes a housing including a cooking chamber, a heating unit detachably mounted in the housing, and a power connection portion for connecting the heating unit to an external power source. The heating unit can heat food when the heating unit is located in the housing, and the heating unit can independently heat food when the heating unit is removed from the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Hyeun Sik Nam, Young Sok Nam, Yong Soo Lee, Seong Ho Cho
  • Patent number: 7368685
    Abstract: An oven and a heating unit of the oven are provided. The oven includes a cavity, a heater, a food container, and an ohmic heater. A high temperature environment is formed in the cavity. The food container is mounted within the cavity to receive food therein. The ohmic heater is formed in the food container and allows power to be supplied to the food so that the food may be directly heated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Hyeum Sik Nam, Young Sok Nam, Yong Soo Lee, Seong Ho Cho
  • Patent number: 6914226
    Abstract: RF energy provided by electrodes positioned between a product is used to heat a product that exhibits a variable impedance during the heating process. As the product's impedance changes during the heating process, RF heating system impedance can be maintained constant by adjusting the distance between the electrodes, adjusting the impedance of a variable impedance device connected between the RF power source and an electrode, or a combination of electrode distance adjustment and impedance adjustment of the variable impedance device. The system is particularly applicable to the heating or pasteurization of bulk food products with multiple heating zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2005
    Assignee: Comdel, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven Thomas Ottaway
  • Patent number: 6861082
    Abstract: The invention is a frozen, microwavable dessert that includes a frozen confectionery core, a coating of semi-fluid composition having an insulating character with respect to microwaves, partially or completely surrounding the core, a layer of biscuit serving as support for the core-coating combination, the coating and the biscuit being arranged such that the core is completely surrounded, and a layer of sauce having microwave-absorbing character.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: Nestec S.A.
    Inventors: Jérôme Laffont, Alain Gueroult
  • Patent number: 6828527
    Abstract: A food treating apparatus and method wherein a reducing DC electric current is provided by a DC electric circuit, the food treating apparatus including a vessel and a handle, and wherein at least part of the electric circuit is integral with the handle and is operative to provide electrons to food in the vessel. Further, the added electrons inhibit and/or reduce the formation of acrylamides in the food prepared in the food treating apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Inventors: Branimir Simic-Glavaski, Michael G. Simic
  • Patent number: 6787171
    Abstract: Disclosed are methods for making a unique activated smoke liquid solution for application to food that is to be dried. Treatment of food with this solution greatly improves the processing, cooking and/or physical characteristics of the dried food when it is later reconstituted and used. The unique activated smoke liquid solution is made from a special process which gives it the desired characteristics which, when properly applied before drying, result in improved quality of dried food when later reconstituted. By applying the unique smoke liquid solution according to the present invention, no soaking or immersion of the dried food products in water or liquid is necessary prior to processing or cooking. The resulting dried food immediately absorbs water for prompt processing or cooking; it has increased weight and volume; it has a prolonged shelf life; and it retains much of its original food texture after it is freeze-thawed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Inventors: Kazuo Naka, Shigeru Matsuda
  • Patent number: 6773736
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for treating products, which may contain cellular material of eukaryotic and/or prokaryotic origin and in particular micro-organisms, by bringing the product in device comprising two electrodes connected to an electronic circuit such that in said device and in said product a pulsating electrical field is created, characterized by the rise time of each imposed voltage pulse which is less than the electronic relaxation time of the product. Preferably the rising edge of each cycle starts within the relaxation time of the product and even more preferably each electrical field pulse has a duration shorter than the relaxation time of the product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Ato B.V.
    Inventors: Edwin Johannus Gerardus De Winter, Hendrikus Cornelis Mastwijk, Paul Vincent Bartels
  • Patent number: 6537600
    Abstract: Mobile systems for cleaning and drying produce in order to extend shelf life, are described. Produce cleaning systems (20) are provided that employ plural forms of energy in an ionic liquid-based washing system (22, 24, 26) containing solvents and solutes which promote the conduction of electrical energy. The electrical energy can be applied to the produce in the wash bath (24) in various waveforms, such as a modulating wave superimposed on a carrier wave. Additionally, ultrasonic energy is employed to provide high-frequency mechanical pressure waves against the produce. The electrical energy and the mechanical energy combine to produce energy in the applicable resonant frequency range that acts to destroy or transform pathogens, dirt and synthetic molecules that may exist on the item of produce (190). Systems for drying the item of produce (190), after it has been immersed in a natural soluteladen slurry maintained at a temperature below the freezing point of water, are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Inventor: Charles R. Meldrum
  • Patent number: 6528768
    Abstract: A food treating apparatus and method wherein an electric current is provided by an electric circuit, the food treating apparatus including a vessel and a handle, and wherein at least part of the electric circuit is integral with the handle and is operative to provide electrons to food in the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Inventors: Branimir Simic-Glavaski, Michael G. Simic
  • Publication number: 20030012855
    Abstract: Disclosed is a pre-drying manufacturing process and related equipment for application to food products that are to be dried that calls for a non- re-hydration or soaking treatment of the food prior to drying using a unique activated smoke liquid solution diluted with deep sea water. The treatment greatly improves the processing, cooking and/or physical characteristics of the dried food when it is later reconstituted and used. The unique activated smoke liquid solution is made from a special process which gives it the desired characteristics which, when properly applied before drying, result in improved quality of dried food when later reconstituted. The pre-drying food treatment apparatus may include spray or immersion equipment. The spray equipment may utilize inert gases that further contribute to improved characteristics in the treated food.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2001
    Publication date: January 16, 2003
    Inventors: Kazuo Naka, Shigeru Matsuda
  • Patent number: 6451364
    Abstract: A method of treating a food object in an electrostatic field to thaw food rapidly at temperatures between 0° C. and a freezing temperature of an object to be treated. By applying the electrostatic field, the freezing temperature of the food is lowered but the food does not freeze in the electrostatic field. Accordingly, foods are kept fresher longer and the freshness can be maintained over a range of temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Inventor: Akinori Ito
  • Publication number: 20020081357
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process for producing yeast extracts by treating yeast suspensions or yeast pastes and separating off the insoluble constituents, in which the yeast suspensions or yeast pastes are subjected to high-voltage electrical pulses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 12, 2001
    Publication date: June 27, 2002
    Applicant: Bestfoods
    Inventors: Susanne Monch, Rolf Stute
  • Patent number: 6399127
    Abstract: The present invention is therefore directed to a method and apparatus for warming a stack of cheese slices. In accordance with the invention, the stack of cheese slices is positioned between and in juxtaposition with opposing generally planar electrodes, each of the electrodes having a surface area generally coextensive with that of the cheese stack. Next, a conductive material is interposed between each electrode and the cheese stack to reduce contact resistance. Once properly assembled, an electric current is passed between the electrodes, through both the conductive material and the cheese, thus warming the individual cheese slices through ohmic heating. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the conductive material is a moistened paper sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Schreiber Foods, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael E. Beck, Donn S. Theuerkauf
  • Publication number: 20020064584
    Abstract: Cocoa components having enhanced levels of cocoa polyphenols, processes for producing the cocoa components while conserving a significant amount of the cocoa polyphenols, compositions containing the cocoa components or the cocoa polyphenols, and methods of using the cocoa components or the cocoa polyphenols for improving the health of a mammal are described. The cocoa components include partially and fully defatted cocoa solids, cocoa nibs and fractions derived therefrom, cocoa polyphenol extracts, cocoa butter, chocolate liquors, and mixtures thereof. The invention provides processes for extracting fat from cocoa beans and for otherwise processing cocoa beans to yield a cocoa component having conserved concentrations of polyphenols relative to the starting materials.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2001
    Publication date: May 30, 2002
    Applicant: Mars, Incorporated
    Inventors: Kirk S. Kealey, Rodney M. Snyder, Leo J. Romanczyk, Hans M. Geyer, Mary E. Myers, Eric J. Whitacre, John F. Hammerstone, Harold H. Schmitz
  • Publication number: 20020037345
    Abstract: Disclosure is made of a method for thawing frozen ground fish meats which comprises almost uniformly milling a frozen ground fish meat mass and then thawing it by elevating temperature. Disclosure is further made of a process for producing materials for fish paste products which involves the step of mixing under stirring the ground fish meat thus thawed together with additives with the use of a pin mixer. Disclosure is furthermore made of a process for producing kamaboko which comprises molding the material for fish paste products thus obtained, passing electric current therethrough, thus heating the molded products due to the electrical resistance within the same, subjecting the products to suwari gelation by heating for a definite time and then further heating the same. The method of the present invention is widely usable in the industrial fields with the use of frozen ground fish meats.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 1998
    Publication date: March 28, 2002
    Inventors: MASAHITO HOASHI, HISASHI NAZAKI, KIKUO TASHIMA, YUJI SAKAYORI
  • Patent number: 6323473
    Abstract: A prepackaged food sterilizing apparatus for sterilizing a prepackaged food P has a high frequency generator 71. A high frequency is supplied from the high frequency generator 71 to the prepackaged food P to sterilize the prepackaged food P by dielectric heating. The apparatus includes a food loading container 2x constituted by a pair of opposing electrodes 20 consisting of a lower electrode 210 and an upper electrode 220 to which the high frequency is supplied and an annular insulator 23 interposed between the opposing electrode pair 20. The food loading container 2x has at least one food loading chamber 21 in which the prepackaged food P is loaded with an inner shape thereof substantially equal to an outer shape of the prepackaged food P.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Yamamoto Vinita Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuji Yamamoto, Yoshio Akesaka, Junichi Kodama
  • Patent number: 6258393
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and device for changing the functional features, with no alteration thereof, of a protein preparation, preferably isolates or concentrates from plant seed-based proteins. The inventive method consists in heating a proteinic preparation for producing perishable or dry products as a starting material or component for protein-containing foodstuff. According to the invention, the proteinic preparation is exposed to a high frequency electromagnetic field, so that, due to evenly distributed temperature, the total volume of the proteinic preparation is heated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
    Inventors: Thomas Luck, Thomas Pfeiffer, Andreas Waesche
  • Patent number: 6120819
    Abstract: Meals are placed on individual trays in an institutional kitchen. The individual trays have a first part carrying the meal portion intended to be eaten hot and covered with a thermally insulative cloche and a second part carrying the meal portion intended to be eaten cold. The individual trays are transported in a thermally insulated enclosure to the places where the meals are to be eaten, where they are distributed into local individual units having a thermally insulated enclosure. Each individual unit includes retractable contact terminals operated by an electromagnet and contacting external terminals on the cloche which are in turn electrically connected to an electrical heating element of the cloche. Accordingly, by supplying power to the contact terminals, the meal portions intended to be eaten hot and placed under the cloches are selectively heated. The device is relatively inexpensive and facilitates meal handlings in compliance with hygiene conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Societe Cooperative de Production Bourgeois
    Inventors: Jean-Charles Violi, Raymond Violi, Jean-Fran.cedilla.ois Ferbus
  • Patent number: 6088509
    Abstract: Electroheating apparatus including a conduit, a cone-shaped electrode circumferentially surrounding the conduit, an electrical power source connected to the electrode, an electrically non-conductive endcap connected to the conduit and electrode, the conduit, electrode and endcap defining a chamber therebetween, and an electrolytic solution disposed in the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 6063422
    Abstract: Using a metal mold (8) having an insulating section provided with vapor release sections, pressure outside the metal mold (8) is reduced, and heating is performed while releasing vapor produced thereby through the vapor release sections. This can prevent insulation breakdown caused by condensation of large amounts of vapor produced by ingredients during molding and heating of molded baked snacks by means of resistance heating, dielectric heating, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Nissei Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Sadamasa Ando, Taizo Karasawa, Toshitaka Haruta, Akio Ozasa, Takayuki Kurisaka, Tsutomu Oowada, Shinji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 6050178
    Abstract: A continuous liquid pasteurizing apparatus and method for effectively pasteurizing microbes or bacteria having heat-resistance and/or pressure-resistance, such as sporangium, with low temperature or by maintaining a high temperature for a short time, wherein an electricity conducting unit (9) for pasteurizing the liquid is provided within a pressurized container (1), and an upper end portion of the electricity conducting unit(9)is connected to a supply opening (3)for liquid, while a lower end portion thereof is connected to a reservoir portion(10)which is cooled by a cooling mechanism involving heat exchange with cooling water(7). The thus-pasteurized liquid is reserved in a reservoir portion (10)and is taken out from an outlet opening(4)through a conduit (11)outside the container(1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2000
    Assignee: Japan as Represented by Director of National Food Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    Inventor: Kunihiko Uemura
  • Patent number: 6027754
    Abstract: A deactivation approach for deactivating microorganisms in a high-strength-electric field treatment system, can be characterized as an apparatus for reducing microorganism levels in products. The apparatus has an inlet tube of substantially uniform cross-sectional area extending from a distance before a treatment zone to at least into the treatment zone; a substantially ogival electrode nose positioned in the treatment zone; and an outer electrode forming an interior of the inlet tube in the treatment zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Purepulse Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew H. Bushnell, Samuel W. Lloyd
  • Patent number: 5863580
    Abstract: Electroheating apparatus and methods utilize a dielectric structure defining a conduit course of relatively small cross-sectional area and electrode surfaces of relatively large area so that the electrical current density in a region of the conduit remote from the electrodes is substantially higher than the current density at the electrode surfaces themselves. The system uses relatively high electrical resistance and relatively high voltages to provide substantial heating effect with low total currents. Foods such as liquid egg can be pasteurized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 5834746
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for the heat treatment of meat products in a feeding element (4) by means of high-frequency electromagnetic waves, and an apparatus for the execution of the method. The invention also relates to an advantageous application of an apparatus according to the invention. The object of the invention is to increase the depth of penetration of the electromagnetic waves in a product which is to be heated or boiled, where the electrodes (2, 3; 20, 22) are external and placed on the outside of the feeding element (4). The object is achieved by placing a product electrode (15) in the feeding element (4), in that said product electrode (15) serves as a short-circuiting element and is of a material having an electrical conductivity which is better than that of the product that is required to be heat treated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignees: APV Pasilac A/S, Tulip International A/S
    Inventors: Henning Pedersen, Bo Kjeld Pedersen, Boerge Kjellerup
  • Patent number: 5804238
    Abstract: A partially heat denatured yolk prepared by heating a yolk fluid at the temperature from 65.degree. C. to 70.degree. C. and maintaining the said temperature for 5 minutes or more, which can improve the flavour, features and functions of yolk. The said partially heat denatured yolk can be prepared by heating by applying an electric current to the yolk. Further, an emulsion prepared by processing 30-95 weight parts of the partially heat denatured yolk together with 5-70 weight parts of oils and fats to obtain an O/W type emulsion can be used as an emulsifier. The emulsifying ability of said emulsifier can be improved by adding vinegar or acetic acid and/or salt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Asahi Denka Kogyo Kabushikikaisya
    Inventors: Mitsuharu Tanaka, Kenji Ikeda, Fumiko Irie, Kazunori Kikuchi, Hiroshige Kohno
  • Patent number: 5789006
    Abstract: A method of processing a solid plant foodstuff comprises (a) heating the plant foodstuff using a mass heating method, according to which, during at least part of the heating step, the environmental pressure of the foodstuff being heated is so controlled in relation to the saturated vapour pressure of the foodstuff as to achieve a substantially uniform temperature through-out the solid foodstuff at the maximum temperature to be attained; (b) cooling the foodstuff by evaporation achieved by maintaining the environmental pressure of the foodstuff lower than the saturated vapour pressure of the foodstuff; characterised in that the time the plant foodstuff is at a temperature above 118.degree. C. is less than 29 seconds, and the time for which the plant foodstuff is above 70.degree. C. is less than approximately 100 seconds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Unilever Patent Holdings B.V.
    Inventors: Robert David Jones, Peter Richard Stephenson, Peter Wilding
  • Patent number: 5776529
    Abstract: Treatment systems for treating flowable food products using electrical pulses to inactivate microbes. Systems described include one or more stages having flow-through processors. The flow-through processors have first and second electrodes which are spaced across a treatment chamber in which an intense electrical field is generated using bipolar electrical pulses. The treatment chamber is temperature stabilized to improve processing and minimize surface buildup on the electrodes. Oversized processor electrodes can be used such as in conjunction with an electrode spacer to provide a treatment zone having a relatively uniform and high electrical field strength.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Washington State University Research Foundation
    Inventors: Bai-Lin Qin, Gustavo V. Barbosa-Canovas, Barry G. Swanson, Patrick D. Pedrow, Robert G. Olsen, Qinghua Zhang
  • Patent number: 5771336
    Abstract: Electrically stable electroheating apparatus and methods for continuously treating pumpable food are provided. The electrodes of the electroheater are connected to a source of AC electric current which resistively heats the food by passing current through it. The electrodes of the electroheating cell are also connected in parallel with at least one resistor. The stabilized electroheater provides long run times and prevents arcing within the food.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Inventor: Thaddeus J. Polny, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5768472
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for electroheating an electrically conducting flowable material are provided. In a preferred embodiment, flowable material is conveyed from an entrance passageway to first and second electrode assemblies. The flowable material is then conveyed from the first and second electrode assemblies to an exit passageway. Voltages of opposite polarity are respectively applied to the first and second electrode assemblies so that a first electric current passes through the flowable material as it is conveyed from the entrance passageway to the first and second electrode assemblies, and a second electric current passes through the flowable material as it is conveyed from the first and second electrode assemblies to the exit passageway, in order to electroheat the flowable material. The flowable material preferably is rapidly cooled after being electroheated. The present invention may, for example, advantageously be used to electroheat biological proteinaceous matter, such as liquid egg or milk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 5758015
    Abstract: An electroheating apparatus to continuously treating pumpable food is made up of a number of connected electroheating cells. In one embodiment, all of the cells include a pair of concentric electrodes between which the food is pumped. The electrodes are connected to a high frequency energy source which passes current through the food to heat them based upon their own resistivity and the electrode gap. In another embodiment, two different functioning electrodes are used, connected in series, so as to provide long run times and high process temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Inventor: Thaddeus J. Polny, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5741539
    Abstract: Methods of and apparatus for producing shelf-stable liquid egg are provided. In particular, methods of and apparatus for producing liquid egg having a shelf life of at least 5 days when stored at about 70.degree. F. (about 21.degree. C.) are provided. In a first preferred embodiment, the liquid egg is electroheated from a temperature of about 110.degree. F. (about 43.degree. C.) to a temperature of at least about 140.degree. F. (about 60.degree. C.) by applying high frequency alternating electric current. The liquid egg is then cooled and again electroheated. In a second preferred embodiment, the liquid egg is electroheated from a temperature of about 110.degree. F. (about 43.degree. C.) to a temperature of at least about 140.degree. F. (about 60.degree. C.) by applying high frequency alternating electric current. The liquid egg is then cooled. A plurality of high voltage electric pulses are then applied to the liquid egg.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Inventors: Aloysius J. Knipper, Thaddeus J. Polny, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5718934
    Abstract: The invention provides a method of deep frying coated ingredients, while giving high-frequency AC energy to frying oil or spraying water decreased in ORP value, method of suppressing degradation of the frying oil, an apparatus for giving high-frequency AC energy to the frying oil in a deep fryer, and a deep fryer which incorporates the apparatus for giving high-frequency AC energy to the frying oil. The supply of high-frequency AC energy or spraying the water decreased in ORP value suppresses an increase of acid value in the frying oil, which depends on heating period of time, and spattering of oil and/or water drops, which occurs, when the coated ingredients are dropped into the heated frying edible oil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1998
    Inventor: Hideo Hayakawa
  • Patent number: 5670199
    Abstract: An electroconductive heater for heating a liquid product such as a liquid whole egg product which has a conductivity which increases with temperature, is disclosed. The electroconductive heater comprises an enclosed chamber defining a liquid product flow space, the enclosed chamber having an upstream end portion, a downstream end portion, and first and second electrically conductive plates positioned opposite one another in spaced relationship with the liquid product flow space therebetween. The first and second electrically conductive plates longitudinally extend from the upstream end portion to the downstream end portion. The chamber has a characteristic resistivity of the electrical pathway between the first electrically conductive plate and the second electrically conductive plate which is greater in the downstream end portion than in the upstream end portion. Apparatus and methods of using such electroconductive heaters are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1997
    Assignee: North Carolina State University
    Inventors: Kenneth R. Swartzel, Sevugan Palaniappan
  • Patent number: 5652006
    Abstract: A method of processing a solid foodstuff, such as a meat portion or portion of plant foodstuff, by a heating and cooling cycle in which the environmental pressure applied to the foodstuff is controlled during heating so that, at a maximum target temperature, all parts of the body of the foodstuff are conformed to this target temperature due to flow of water, transiently in the vapour phase, from hotter regions to cooler regions. In particular, at least when the target temperature is nominally attained, the pressure is set to the saturated vapour pressure of the foodstuff at the maximum target temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: Unilever Patent Holdings B.V.
    Inventors: Ivar Assinder, Robert David Jones, Peter Wilding, Peter Richard Stephenson
  • Patent number: 5639518
    Abstract: A raw material formed by a mixture of, for example, soybean protein and water, is extruded by an extruder. Then, high-frequency electroconductive heating is performed by placing the material between a pair of electrodes and applying a voltage between the electrodes. As a result, a biodegradable molded article is obtained. In this method, biodegradable molded articles having a uniform structure are manufactured in a short period of time without increasing the cost of equipment or adversely affecting the working environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1997
    Assignee: Nissei Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Sadamasa Ando, Taizo Karasawa, Akio Ozasa, Takayuki Kurisaka, Yoshiyuki Otani
  • Patent number: 5636317
    Abstract: Electroheating apparatus and methods utilize a dielectric structure defining a conduit course of relatively small cross-sectional area and electrode surfaces of relatively large area so that the electrical current density in a region of the conduit remote from the electrodes is substantially higher than the current density at the electrode surfaces themselves. The system uses relatively high electrical resistance and relatively high voltages to provide substantial heating effect with low total currents. Foods such as liquid egg can be pasteurized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 3, 1997
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 5609900
    Abstract: An electroheating cell operating at low voltage and mains frequency, i.e., 60 Hz, is effective in heating a variety of food products including liquid egg products for general processing, as well as pasteurization and sterilization. The electroheating cell includes at least a pair of spaced electrode assemblies each including an electrode spaced from a barrier in contact with the food product by a gap containing an electrolyte solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1997
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 5607613
    Abstract: An electroheating cell operating at low voltage and mains frequency, i.e., 60 Hz, is effective in heating a variety of food products including liquid egg products for general processing, as well as pasteurization and sterilization. The electroheating cell includes at least a pair of spaced electrode assemblies each including an electrode spaced from a barrier in contact with the food product by a gap containing an electrolyte solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 5591491
    Abstract: A mixture in the form of slurry obtained from mixing a soybean protein, sugar and water is placed between a pair of electrodes. Then, an electroconductive heating process is applied to the mixture under an applied voltage between the electrodes for a predetermined time period, thereby obtaining the sheet-like biodegradable molded article. In this method, the biodegradable molded articles have a homogeneous structure and can be prepared in a short period of time without increasing the cost of equipment of creating unfavorable working conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: Nissei Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Sadamasa Ando, Taizo Karasawa, Akio Ozasa
  • Patent number: 5583960
    Abstract: Electroheating apparatus and methods utilize a dielectric structure defining a conduit course of relatively small cross-sectional area and electrode surfaces of relatively large area so that the electrical current density in a region of the conduit remote from the electrodes is substantially higher than the current density at the electrode surfaces themselves. The system uses relatively high electrical resistance and relatively high voltages to provide substantial heating effect with low total currents. Foods such as liquid egg can be pasteurized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Inventor: David Reznik
  • Patent number: 5580595
    Abstract: A process for the manufacture of a coated foodstuff comprising a substantially uncooked foodstuff portion enrobed in a heat-set batter whereby the batter is set by exposing the coated foodstuff to targeted dielectric heat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Assignee: Unilever Patent Holdings B.V.
    Inventors: John R. Bows, James T. Mullin
  • Patent number: 5571550
    Abstract: An electroheating apparatus to continuously treating pumpable food is made up of a number of connected electroheating cells. In one embodiment, all of the cells include a pair of concentric electrodes between which the food is pumped. The electrodes are connected to a high frequency energy source which passes current through the food to heat them based upon their own resistivity and the electrode gap. In another embodiment, two different functioning electrodes are used, connected in series, so as to provide long run times and high process temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 5, 1996
    Inventor: Thaddeus J. Polny, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5540941
    Abstract: Method of and apparatus for processing, sterilizing and packaging solid food in which a food portion is held in a saline solution contained in an enclosure formed by a packaging film, the food portion is processed and sterilized by ohmic heating, which also sterilizes the inside surface of the film, and after processing, the enclosure is collapsed around the food portion and resealed as an encapsulation around it, thus producing a sterilized package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Assignee: Unilever Patent Hodlings B.V.
    Inventors: Alan Stevens, Catherine Moriarty
  • Patent number: 5534278
    Abstract: There is provided a method and apparatus for forming meat analog products and for texturizing a doughmass wherein the ingredients are mixed, passed through a conduit having a decreasing cross-sectional area while the doughmass is heated therein, the heating being done such that a greater heat intensity is applied to the center of the doughmass than to the doughmass adjacent the walls of the conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Inventors: Peter W. De Ruyter, Noel Almey, Josef Slanik, Wesley W. Teich
  • Patent number: 5514391
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to methods and apparatuses for preserving fluid foodstuffs. More particularly, it is directed to methods and apparatuses for extending the shelf life of perishable fluid foodstuffs such as dairy products, fruit juices and liquid egg products, which contain significant levels of microorganisms. The improved methods and apparatuses incorporate a plurality of electric field treatment zones with cooling units between each pair of treatment zones in order to maintain the temperature of the pumpable foodstuff at a level at which microorganisms are killed in sufficient numbers and at which changes in the flavor, appearance, odor, or functionality of the foodstuff remain within acceptable ranges. For a comparable microorganism kill, foodstuffs prepared by the present process have significantly higher quality than foodstuffs prepared with standard thermal processes (e.g., ultra-high temperature pasteurization).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Pure Pulse Technologies
    Inventors: Andrew H. Bushnell, Reginald W. Clark, Joseph E. Dunn, Samuel W. Lloyd
  • Patent number: 5470600
    Abstract: A continuous process for making fat-free potato chips without using any cooking oil whatsoever. Chipping potatoes are prepared, sliced, continuously monolayered onto a conveyer and squeegeed to remove the excess starch and moisture. The slices are initial cooked on independently controlled conveyers in a primary 3-zone oven where they are first radiant heated and then subjected to two stages of forced air convection heating by driving the air into both surfaces of the slices simultaneously as the moisture content is reduced to 15%. The slices are then final cooked in a dielectric heater where an even controlled heat is applied in two tandem drying zones where the potato slices are subjected to long wavelength (65.8 ft.) radio frequency (15 mhz) waves from two 20 kw transmitters which reduce the moisture content of the finished slices to 7%. The finished potato chips are seasoned and packaged and have the texture, appearance and mouthful of deep-fat fried potato chips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 28, 1995
    Assignee: Auburn Farms, Inc.
    Inventors: Joey Petelle, Karen D. Stoesz, Lisa R. Williams
  • Patent number: 5456930
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods for improving the baking properties of cake flour using either high intensity dielectric heating, (10 GHz to 3 MHz) and/or radio frequency heating (300 MHz to 3 MHz). The treated cake flour is intended as a substitute for chlorinated cake flour. The present unchlorinated, dielectrically heated treated cake flour is an essential ingredient in dry mixes for batter baked goods especially high sugar-to-flour ratio layer cakes. In addition to other dry mix ingredients, preferred dry mixes additionally essentially comprise about 0.15% to 0.45% triglycerol monostearate for even greater enhancement of finished baked goods' volume. The method comprises exposing cake flour having a moisture content of >8% to sufficient amounts of radio frequency energy to heat the flour to a temperature of about 230.degree. to 270.degree. F. and to a finished moisture content of less than 6%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: General Mills, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd W. Gusek, James R. Korslund, Vinod W. Padhye
  • Patent number: 5455056
    Abstract: A process for preparing a bean jam is disclosed wherein adzuki beans or other beans and water are separately applied with high voltage negative electrons of 5,000 V to 20,000 V to separately produce treated beans with enhanced bean jam-producing properties and a treated water, the treated beans and the treated water are combined and heated to produce bean jam and stock, and the resulting bean jam is then removed from the stock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 3, 1995
    Inventor: Tatsukiyo Otsuki
  • Patent number: 5415882
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of electroheating and pasteurizing liquid egg and particularly liquid whole egg so as to provide an extended refrigerated shelf life. The method utilizes generally minimum pasteurization parameters coupled with packaging and storage at 40.degree. F. or below.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Inventors: Aloysius J. Knipper, David Reznik