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Publication numberUS20030000177 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/233,195
Publication dateJan 2, 2003
Filing dateSep 3, 2002
Priority dateApr 2, 2001
Publication number10233195, 233195, US 2003/0000177 A1, US 2003/000177 A1, US 20030000177 A1, US 20030000177A1, US 2003000177 A1, US 2003000177A1, US-A1-20030000177, US-A1-2003000177, US2003/0000177A1, US2003/000177A1, US20030000177 A1, US20030000177A1, US2003000177 A1, US2003000177A1
InventorsSteven Landau
Original AssigneeLandau Steven M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for adding olfactory detected properties to a consumable product by confined exposure to scented plastic
US 20030000177 A1
Abstract
A method of adding olfactory detected properties to a consumable product is claimed. The method involves placing consumable material into a sealed container while exposed to a mass of scented plastic. The scented plastic contains known olfactory detected properties. The olfactory detected properties of the scented plastic are absorbed by the consumable material over time. The olfactory detected properties can be specifically designed to compensate for olfactory detected losses in the consumable material created by processing, storage or aging. The olfactory detected properties can also be specifically designed to add complimentary olfactory detected properties that otherwise are not present in a consumable product.
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Claims(14)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of adding olfactory detected properties to a consumable material, comprising the steps of:
placing a volume of consumable material in a confined container;
exposing said consumable material in said container to a molded plastic that contains a scented compound for a period of time sufficient to enable olfactory detected properties from said molded plastic to leach into said volume of consumable material.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein said step of exposing said consumable material includes packing said consumable material in packaging that contains said molded plastic with said scented compound.
3. The method according to claim 2, wherein said packaging contains a material that provides adverse olfactory detected properties to said consumable material.
4. The method according to claim 3, wherein said step of exposing said consumable material to a molded plastic that contains a scented plastic includes exposing said consumable material to a molded plastic that contains a scented plastic that provides desirable olfactory detected properties to said consumable material that counteracts said adverse olfactory detected properties.
5. The method according to claim 2, wherein said consumable material has known olfactory detected properties that diminish over time, and said step of exposing said consumable material in said container to molded plastic includes exposing said consumable material to a molded plastic that contains a scented compound that provides said known olfactory detected properties to said consumable material.
6. The method according to claim 1, wherein said consumable material has known olfactory detected properties that diminish during processing, and said step of exposing said consumable material in said container to molded plastic includes exposing said consumable material to a molded plastic that contains a scented compound that provides said known olfactory detected properties to said consumable material.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein said consumable material has known olfactory detected properties, and said step of exposing said consumable material in said container to molded plastic includes exposing said consumable material to a molded plastic that contains a scented compound that provides complimentary olfactory detected properties to said known olfactory detected properties of said consumable material.
8. A method of adding olfactory detected properties to a consumable material, comprising the steps of:
providing a container;
placing a volume of said consumable material within said container;
providing a mass of scented plastic having said olfactory detected properties;
confining said volume of consumable material and said mass of scented plastic within said container for a period of time sufficient to cause said olfactory detected properties from said scented plastic to be at least partially obtained by said volume of consumable material.
9. The method according to claim 8, wherein said step of providing a mass of scented plastic includes packing said consumable material in packaging that contains said scented plastic.
10. The method according to claim 9, wherein said packaging contains a section of material that provides adverse olfactory detected properties to said consumable material.
11. The method according to claim 10, wherein said step of exposing said consumable material to a scented plastic includes exposing said consumable material to a scented plastic that provides desirable olfactory detected properties to said consumable material that counteracts said adverse olfactory detected properties.
12. The method according to claim 9, wherein said consumable material has known olfactory detected properties that diminish over time, and said step of providing a mass of scented plastic includes providing a scented plastic that contains a scented compound that provides said known olfactory detected properties to said consumable material.
13. The method according to claim 8, wherein said consumable material has known olfactory detected properties that diminish during processing, and said step of providing a mass of scented plastic includes providing scented plastic that contains a scented compound that provides said known olfactory detected properties to said consumable material.
14. The method according to claim 8, wherein said consumable material has known olfactory detected properties, and said step of providing a mass of scented plastic includes providing scented plastic that contains a scented compound that provides complimentary olfactory detected properties to said known olfactory detected properties of said consumable material.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/822,082, filed Apr. 02, 2001 and entitled System And Method For Passively Adding Scent To A Consumable Product Using Plastic Leaching.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] In general, the present invention relates to methods of adding scent and/or flavoring to consumable material. More particularly, the present invention relates to methods that add scent and/or flavoring to a consumable material by placing that material into a unique environment that leaches the scent and/or flavoring into the consumable material.

[0004] 2. Prior Art Statement

[0005] Leaching is the process when oils or other compounds from a first material migrate into a second material that contacts the first material. The adding of flavoring to consumable products through leaching has been in existence for thousands of years. Many wines are aged in barrels of different woods, wherein flavoring from the wood leaches into the wine and imparts a subtle flavor to the wine. Many fine liquors, such as scotch, brandy, whisky and the like also receive flavoring from the barrels in which they are stored and aged.

[0006] However, not all flavoring due to leaching is good. In modern manufacturing, many food and drink containers are made of molded plastic. Such containers include soda bottles, water bottles, milk bottles, juice containers, chewing tobacco containers and the like. When plastic is first molded, it goes through a period of degassing, where the molded plastic emits a strong scent. It is the degassing of plastic that provides a newly manufactured car with its “new car” smell. The period of degassing can last from several minutes to several years, depending upon the type of plastic being molded and the mass of the plastic present. Furthermore, as plastic ages and is exposed to light, air, moisture and environmental pollutants, the plastic degrades. As plastic degrades, the plastic emits, oils, gas and other compounds.

[0007] When a liquid or moist solid is stored in a plastic container, the emissions from the plastic caused by degassing and degradation are dissolved and/or mixed with the contents of the container. The emissions from the plastic have an adverse affect on the flavor of the container's contents, often causing liquids and solid consumables to taste “like plastic” or “stale”. If the contents of a container are flavored and the contents are stored in a cold environment for a relatively short period of time, such as with soda in a soda bottle, then emissions from the plastic are usually not noticeable by a person consuming the stored product. However, if the stored product is not flavored and is not refrigerated, the adverse effects of the plastic leaching becomes more noticeable. For example, if a plastic bottle is used to hold water and is carried by a hiker on a hot day, there is a good chance that the flavor of the water will be adversely affected by plastic leaching when the water is drunk.

[0008] Another problem that exists in the prior art, is the problem of flavor degradation during processing. Often flavoring is added to beverages or consumable material prior to that material being heated. Many beverages and consumables are heated prior to packaging to prevent bacterial contamination that might spoil the beverage or consumable. However, as beverages and consumables are heated, some of the stronger flavor aspects, called “high notes”, are degraded. As such, the beverage or consumable does not taste as good after heat processing as it would have prior to heat processing.

[0009] A third problem that exists in the beverage and consumable industry is how to maintain freshness. As beverages and consumables age, there is typically an adverse effect on flavor. In the industry, many times the expiration date that is placed on a beverage or consumable is determined by the onset of flavor staleness.

[0010] A need therefore exists for a system and method to reduce the adverse effects of plastic leaching 10 without adding significantly to the cost of a plastic container. A need also exists for a method of replacing high note flavoring lost during heat processing. Lastly, a need exists for a method of preventing staleness, in order to prolong the shelf life of many products. These needs are met by the present invention as described and claimed below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The present invention is a method of adding olfactory detected properties to a consumable product. The method involves placing consumable material into a sealed container while exposed to a mass of scented plastic. The scented plastic contains known olfactory detected properties. The olfactory detected properties of the scented plastic are absorbed by the consumable material over time. The olfactory detected properties can be specifically designed to compensate for losses of scent in the consumable material created by processing, storage and/or aging. The olfactory detected properties can also be specifically designed to add complimentary olfactory detected properties that otherwise are not present in a consumable product. In such a manner, consumable products with more complete and complex olfactory detected properties can be inexpensively obtained. Furthermore, the shelf life of many consumable products can be significantly extended.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following description of exemplary embodiments thereof, considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0013]FIG. 1 is block diagram of a method of adding olfactory detected properties to a processed consumable product;

[0014]FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a method of adding olfactory detected properties to a packaged consumable product;

[0015]FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a method of adding olfactory detected properties to an aging consumable product;

[0016]FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a method of adding complimentary olfactory detected properties to a consumable product; and

[0017]FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an over-all method containing the method steps contained in FIGS. 1-4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] Referring to FIG. 1, a first method is disclosed that addresses the problem of the loss of high note flavors during the heat processing of a beverage or consumable product. As is indicated by Block 12, a manufacturer of a beverage or consumable determines what olfactory detected properties it wants its final product to have. This determination is done through experimentation, taste tests, focus group studies and other techniques commonly used in the industry. Once the olfactory detected properties of the beverage or consumable are determined, the manufacturer designs a facility to produce the beverage or consumable to the recipe selected. As is indicated by Block 14, the manufacturer mixes the selected ingredients needed to manufacture the beverage or consumable. However, as is indicated by Block 16, the ingredients must also be processed in order to create the final product. The processing of the ingredients often includes pasteurizing, baking or otherwise heating the ingredients.

[0019] As ingredients are processed, the olfactory detected properties of the original ingredients are degraded. This is true for both natural flavors and artificially added flavors. Often, it is the strongest of the flavors, called high note flavors, that are degraded the most. As is indicated by Block 18, after the final product is processed, the loss of desired olfactory detected properties is quantified by the manufacturer. The loss of olfactory detected properties will differ for each recipe and for each flavor in the recipe. For example, assume a lemon flavored iced tea drink is being manufactured. This beverage contains lemon flavoring and tea flavoring, among others. During processing, the added lemon flavoring may degrade dramatically, while the tea flavor remains unchanged. As such, a manufacturer may determine that the final product does not have the olfactory detected properties that are desired.

[0020] As is indicated by Block 20, a manufacture compensates for degraded olfactory detected properties by exposing the final product to a volume of scented plastic in an enclosed environment. The scented plastic is manufactured with a scent that is to be added to the final product. Over a period of time, the scent leaches from the plastic into the final product, thereby adding olfactory detected properties to the final product.

[0021] In order to have scent leach from a scented plastic into a beverage or consumable, the beverage or consumable is placed in a confined container and is exposed to a volume of the scented plastic. The 10 container can be a bottle, barrel, vat or any structure convenient to hold the beverage or consumable. The container can also be the packaging of the beverage or consumable, as will later be explained. The scented plastic is a plastic composition that contains a scented compound. The scented compound can be a scented resin or a scented oil that is mixed into traditional polymer resins. The amount of scented compound contained in the scented plastic varies between {fraction (1/4)} of one percent and twenty five percent by weight. Scented compounds that can be mixed into molded plastic are available in a large variety of different scents. Many of those scents correspond to common flavorings, such as lemon, orange, coffee, cola, root beer, watermelon and the like. The scented compounds can be added to the plastic composition in amounts that supersaturate the plastic composition. As the plastic is molded and cooled, the saturation point of the plastic lowers and the scented compounds will slowly migrate to the external surfaces of the plastic and bloom onto the exposed surfaces of the plastic.

[0022] When the beverage or consumable is placed in a sealed container and is exposed to a volume of scented plastic, a vapor equilibrium is reached within the container. Vapor and gas dissolves out of the consumable material just as vapor and gas condensates and dissolves back into the consumable material. The consumable material in the container and/or the gas and vapor from that material directly contacts the scented plastic. As the material and/or gas and vapor absorbs the scent of the scented compounds that are leaching out of the plastic material. As the gas and vapor condensate and return to the consumable material, the leached scented compounds dissolve into the consumable material. Furthermore, as consumable material itself contacts the scented plastic, scented compounds leach directly into the consumable material.

[0023] As leached scented compounds dissolve into, or mix with, the consumable material, the consumable material begins to acquire the olfactory detected properties of the scented compound. The amount of scented compounds that leaches into the consumable material will be minuscule. As such, the scented plastic adds no calories to the consumable material. The leached scented compounds can be used to add olfactory detected properties to a beverage or consumable that was lost during processing.

[0024] Referring to FIG. 2, the method of counteracting adverse leaching effects from plastic packaging is shown, in accordance with the present invention. When a beverage of consumable is packaged in a plastic container, the plastic may degas or degrade, thereby adding an adverse taste and smell to the product. As is indicated by Block 22 on FIG. 2, a manufacturer determines the adverse olfactory effects that plastic packaging has on a product. These adverse olfactory detected effects may be determined by experimentation and/or customer feedback. Once the adverse olfactory detected effects are determined, a scented plastic is developed that can be use to counteract the known adverse olfactory effects. As is indicated by Block 24, the beverage or consumable is exposed to the scented plastic within its packaging. As such, the scented plastic provides the beverage or consumable with positive olfactory effects that are designed to counteract the adverse olfactory effects of the packaging plastic.

[0025] For example, suppose a particular flavored soft drink is packaged in a plastic bottle that makes the soft drink taste “like plastic” after twelve months on a store shelf. As such, the soft drink has an expiration date of only ten months so no customer will experience the plastic “taste”. By making at least part of the bottle cap from a scented plastic, the soft drink can be readily exposed to the scented plastic while awaiting consumption. The scented plastic can have a scent that counteracts or disguises the adverse “plastic” flavor emitted by the plastic soda bottle. The scented plastic can be scented with cola, lemon or some other scent that makes the adverse plastic flavor less noticeable. The scent most effective to use in the scented plastic depends upon the beverage or consumable and can be determined through experimentation. Furthermore, the beneficial olfactory detected properties added by the scented plastic increase with time of exposure. Accordingly, the longer a product sits on a store shelf, the more benefit that product receives from the scented plastic. The result is a product that may taste better over time, rather than worse. Accordingly, the shelf life of the beverage or consumable can be dramatically increased.

[0026] Referring to FIG. 3, the method of counteracting product staleness is shown, in accordance with the present invention. After a beverage or consumable is packaged, it typically begins to slowly lose flavor as it ages. This is why a fresh cup of coffee is typically preferred over an old cup of coffee.

[0027] As is indicated by Block 30 in FIG. 3, a manufacturer determines the adverse olfactory effects 5 that time has on a product. These adverse olfactory effects may be determined by experimentation and/or customer feedback. Once the adverse olfactory effects are determined, a scented plastic is developed that can be use to counteract the known adverse olfactory effects. As is indicated by Block 32, the beverage or consumable is exposed to the scented plastic within its packaging. As such, the scented plastic provides the beverage or consumable with positive olfactory effects that are designed to counteract the adverse olfactory effects of staleness.

[0028] For example, suppose a particular coffee flavored drink is packaged in a glass bottle. There are no adverse effects from plastic, however, after time the drink loses some of its strong coffee taste. By using a cap on the glass bottle that is molded from coffee scented plastic, the coffee scent from the cap will leach into the drink over time. As such, even though the drink loses natural flavor and aroma over time, that same drink gains artificial olfactory detected properties from the scented plastic to which it is exposed. The result is a drink that maintains its full flavor longer, thereby significantly increasing its shelf life.

[0029] Referring to FIG. 4, the method of supplementing the flavor of a beverage or consumable is shown, in accordance with the present invention. Many beverages and consumables have very mild flavors, or no flavor at all. With such products, it is often difficult to add subtle flavors that do not overwhelm the product. As is indicated by Block 40 in FIG. 4, a manufacturer determines the supplemental olfactory detected properties a particular beverage or consumable is to have. For example, a manufacturer may want to add a cherry scent to bottled water. As indicated by Block 42, a manufacturer produces the product without the desired scent. The product is then packaged in a package that contains a volume of scented plastic with the desired scent. As is indicated by Block 44, the beverage or consumable is exposed to the scented plastic within its container. As such, the scented plastic provides the beverage or consumable with the olfactory detected properties of the scented plastic. In this manner, beverages or consumables can be supplemented in olfactory detected properties. For instance, scent can be added to bottled water, or lemon added to iced tea.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 5, it can be seen that the methods of FIG. 1, FIG. 2, FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 can be combined in any combination into a single manufacturing method. As such, a manufacturer can expose a beverage or a consumable to a volume of a scented plastic to compensate for processing losses, counteract adverse packaging effects, counteract staleness or to supplement olfactory detected properties. See Block 18, Block 22, Block 30 and Block 40, respectively.

[0031] It will be understood that the embodiments of the present invention described and illustrated herein are merely exemplary and a person skilled in the art can make many variations to the embodiments shown without departing from the scope of the present invention. All such variations, modifications and alternate embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8079478Jul 7, 2009Dec 20, 2011S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Retail fragrance sampling display
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/428, 53/474
International ClassificationA23L2/56, B65D51/24
Cooperative ClassificationA23L2/56, B65D51/24, B65D2203/12
European ClassificationB65D51/24, A23L2/56