Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040099332 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/389,603
Publication dateMay 27, 2004
Filing dateMar 17, 2003
Priority dateNov 26, 2002
Also published asUS20070000396, US20090272279
Publication number10389603, 389603, US 2004/0099332 A1, US 2004/099332 A1, US 20040099332 A1, US 20040099332A1, US 2004099332 A1, US 2004099332A1, US-A1-20040099332, US-A1-2004099332, US2004/0099332A1, US2004/099332A1, US20040099332 A1, US20040099332A1, US2004099332 A1, US2004099332A1
InventorsTimothy Kieck
Original AssigneeKieck Timothy Adam
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump
US 20040099332 A1
Abstract
The invention is an appliance that provides a universal storage area for baked goods. It has a built in vacuum pump that expels air from within the appliance to form a vacuum seal. This provides an air-free environment for baked goods and retards the formation of mold or other contaminants.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(7)
What I claim as my invention is:
1. A proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump comprised of:
a) a contoured plastic enclosure which is used to store baked goods;
b) a vacuum pump used to expel air from within the enclosure which can be connected by tubing, and can also use air filtration;
c) a lid, door, or sliding door which can be transparent or contain a transparent window to allow visibility within the enclosure, or a transparent lid which can function as the enclosure itself, either of which can be equip with a handle and/or a latching handle;
d) a rubber gasket used to form an air-tight seal between the lid or door and the enclosure;
e) an air actuator to release the vacuum pressure within the enclosure, which can use air filtration;
f) an LED display to indicate the date, time, and the use of appliance functions;
g) buttons to initiate appliance functions;
h) an electrical circuit used to control appliance functions;
i) electrical sensors, switches, and components to control the appliance functions;
j) a standard 120 volt power cord to give the appliance electrical power;
2. Components to compliment the proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump comprised of:
(a) a plastic section which is able to slide in and out of the enclosure to function as a separator for the baked goods;
(b) a plastic tray or plate which is able to slide in and out of the appliance to provide the user with a place to prepare the baked goods;
(c) a plastic rack which is able to slide in and out of the appliance to aid in food organization;
(d) a plastic tray which is able to slide in and out of the enclosure to function as a crumb catcher, which will aid in sanitation;
(e) a heating element which is able to warm or toast the baked goods.
3. A proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump, wherein the appliance is designed respectively for baked goods.
4. A proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump, wherein the appliance is used to provide a universal storage place for all types of baked goods such as: bread, bagels, buns, muffins, donuts, and pastries, but not limited to any specific type of baked goods.
5. A proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump, wherein the appliance is specifically designed to keep baked goods fresh and to retard the formation of mold and other contaminants, without the use of refrigeration or a freezer.
6. A proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump, wherein the appliance is not dependant on another system or appliance.
7. A proprietary appliance for the universal storage of baked goods with a built in vacuum pump, wherein the appliance is shaped to fit efficiently onto a counter-top or table, and is semi-portable.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims benefits from a provisional patent, application No. 60/429,020 filed on Nov. 26, 2002 titled “Vacuum sealed breadbox”. This application also claims benefits from a disclosure document number 509451, to provide evidence of conception on the filing date of Apr. 8, 2002 describing the invention in this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This appliance can be used by any person(s) who would like to keep baked goods organized and/or fresh, such as: restaurants, hotels, and households. This appliance is designed for the use in the kitchen, or similar environment.

[0003] Currently, there are a few methods used to keep food fresh, such as: vacuum packers, and vacuum canisters. These methods only work with certain types of foods, and using these methods can squish and ruin the texture of baked goods. These methods also use plastic bags and/or separate vacuum units, which can be expensive and time consuming. They also don't provide a spacious storage area that would be necessary to store larger types and quantities of baked goods such as: entire loaves of bread, a collection of bagels or English muffins, a dozen donuts, or a dozen hamburger or hotdog buns.

[0004] Using this invention will provide a universal storage area for all types of baked goods such as: bread, bagels, buns, muffins, and donuts, and it will allow these goods to be freshly stored in an efficient and economical fashion. This will aid in food organization and freshness of the baked goods.

[0005] In reference to U.S. Pat. No. 6,148,875; this patent uses a vacuum enclosure for the purpose of storing fruit, vegetables, or cold cuts and implementing the enclosure inside a refrigerator or freezer, and also for the use of food transportation. This system is not specifically designed for the storage of baked goods. It doesn't suit their needs in order to keep the baked goods in their most organized and freshest state. Baked goods are not intended to be stored in a refrigerator or freezer. Baked goods are sold on shelves at supermarkets and bakeries in a room-temperature environment, and should be stored the same after purchased.

[0006] This system also does not provide an economical way to store different types of food stuffs in the same unit. The storage of different types of food together can cause cross contamination of different types of mold or bacteria, and this can lead to sanitation issues. The storage of different types of food together can also affect their flavor and aroma qualities. The only way to avoid this issue would be to use packaging or separate bags for different foods types which would defeat the purpose of having a fully exposed storage area. This would also not pose a solution to the damage the baked goods would receive inside a bag or package, when the vacuum pressure started to increase. This would mush or crush the baked goods. Also, storing baked goods in a refrigerator or freezer, can degrade the original texture, taste, and aroma qualities.

[0007] Even if one would like to use such a system, they would have to install it themselves into their existing refrigerators or even go out and purchase a new refrigerator, with the system built in. This can be expensive, time consuming, and involve too much technicality.

[0008] This invention also implements the use of technology to increase its ease of use such as buttons, an LED display, and fully automated functions. It also provides the user with additional components and features to compliment the baked goods use, organization, and preparation.

[0009] This appliance also is designed to be a semi-portable appliance that can be moved freely to any desired location to suit a vast amount of user needs with the assumption that there will be a standard 120 volt power outlet nearby to plug it into.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] This appliance is designed to provide the user with a fast and convenient way to store baked goods, without the use of plastic vacuum bags, refrigeration, freezing, or a separate vacuum unit. It provides a spacious enclosure that would be necessary to store an adequate amount of baked goods, and provides a designated storage place for baked goods in general, which can aid in food organization and convenience.

[0011] Currently, there are a few methods used to keep food fresh, such as: vacuum packers, and vacuum canisters. These methods only work with certain types of foods, and using these methods can squish and ruin the texture of baked goods. These methods also use plastic bags and/or separate vacuum units, which can be expensive and time consuming. They also don't provide a spacious storage area that would be necessary to store larger types and quantities of baked goods such as: entire loaves of bread, a collection of bagels or English muffins, a dozen donuts, or a dozen hamburger or hotdog buns.

[0012] The object of the invention is to eliminate all existing food biases, and to provide the user with a simple, convenient, and proprietary appliance to suit the needs of the baked goods, to retain there freshness, and to aid in food organization.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013]FIG. 1—Front View of Appliance and Components

[0014]FIG. 2—Front View of Appliance with Additional Components

[0015]FIG. 3—Inside View of Appliance and Components

[0016]FIG. 4—Exploded View of Vacuum Pump and Components

[0017]FIG. 5—Front View of Additional Design and Components

[0018]FIG. 6—Exploded View of LED Display and Buttons

[0019]FIG. 7—Side View of Additional Design and Components

[0020]FIG. 8—Front View of Second Additional Design and Components

[0021]FIG. 9—Exploded View of Rubber Seal

[0022]FIG. 10—Additional Exploded View of Rubber Seal

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

[0023] The appliance is composed of a contoured enclosure (3) with a conforming lid (1) or door (12). This lid (1) or door (12) used in conjunction with a rubber gasket (8) will form an air-tight seal. This enclosure (3) is used to house baked goods for storage. A vacuum pump (9) is used to expel air within the enclosure (3) to form a vacuum seal. This will keep the baked goods fresh and retard the formation of molds and other contaminants.

[0024] The appliance will include buttons (5) and an LED display (4) that will allow the user to visualize and initiate functions of the unit, such as: activating or deactivating the vacuum pump (9), setting or displaying the date, time, alarm, timer, temperature, or pressure, and can also be used to activate lights to enable the LED display (4) to be more visible.

[0025] In reference to FIG. 3, the vacuum pump (9) is kept separate from the enclosure (3) and connected to the enclosure (3) by the use of tubing (10). This will make sure the vacuum pump (9) will not interfere with the storage space of the enclosure (3), and so the vacuum pump (9) will not be exposed to the baked goods.

[0026] In reference to FIG. 4; when the vacuum pump (9) is turned on, it causes suction to occur. This suction draws air from the enclosure (3), through the air filter (11), and then into the tubing (10) and vacuum pump (9), and continues out of the entire appliance. When the air enters the tubing (10) it may need to be cleaned using an air filter (11). This will make sure that the air taken from the enclosure (3) won't damage the vacuum pump (9) in the case that there may be crumbs or particles present in this air. This could happen due to the air being taken from the enclosure (3) containing the baked goods.

[0027] The vacuum pump (9) automation can be controlled in two ways. One, by user automation, whereas the user can press a button (5), thus turning the power on to the vacuum pump (9), or two, by allowing an electrical circuit to gain precedence over its control. This automation can be displayed on the LED display (4) to inform the user the function is in automation.

[0028] This appliance will get its power from a standard 120 volt power cord (2). This electricity will be used to power the components of the appliance.

[0029] An electrical circuit will be used in the appliance. This will control a variety of different functions and calculate a variety of different factors. The electrical circuit will be used as the control center for the entire appliance. This circuit will be made up of a variety of different electrical components such as: timers, pressure sensors, actuators, vacuum switches, buttons (5), and an LED Display (4). These components will be regulated by the use of circuit board(s) and by using basic electrical circuit board components such as: relays, diodes, resistors, capacitors, and ICs (integrated circuits). All of these electrical components used together will control the appliance functions such as: turning the vacuum pump (9) on and off, releasing the pressure within the enclosure (3), displaying the date and time, displaying the automation of functions, allowing user automation over the appliance functions, as well as controlling the functions without the need for user automation. For example, when the user would like to open the enclosure (3) to gain access to the baked goods, they would press a button (5), which would activate the air actuator (15), thus releasing the vacuum pressure within the enclosure (3). For example, when the user closes the lid (1), this will trigger the vacuum pump (9) to turn on, thus resealing the enclosure (3) with vacuum pressure. For example, when a user would like to adjust the time or date, they would press the appliance's buttons (5), thus changing the time or date reading on the LED display (4).

[0030] The vacuum pump (9) automation will need to be controlled by a timer, pressure sensor, or and/or vacuum switch. These components will detect when the appropriate amount of vacuum pressure has been achieved within the enclosure (3). When using a timer, this can be done by calculating the strength and speed of the vacuum pump (9), and how much air is inside the enclosure (3), or by computing the electrical signals given off by a pressure sensor or vacuum switch.

[0031] Gaining access to the enclosure (3) can be done using several methods. The lid (1) will need to be opened by the user to access the baked goods housed within the enclosure (3). In reference to FIG. 2, the lid (1) can either be detachable or it can be connected to the rest of the appliance using hinges. In either case, the appliance can use a handle (6) to enable the user to apply leverage to the lid (1), thus making it easier to open the enclosure (3).

[0032] In reference to FIG. 5, the user can gain access to the enclosure (3) using a sliding door (12). This can be made with contoured plastic, or with a plastic section that has foldable characteristics. This sliding door (12) can also benefit from the use of a handle (6).

[0033] In reference to FIG. 9 and FIG. 10; In order for the enclosure (3) to contain the vacuum pressure, the seal must be air-tight. This can be done using a rubber seal (8). When the lid (1) or sliding door (12) is in a closed position, the rubber seal (8) will form an air-tight gasket for the enclosure (3). This rubber seal can be attached to either the lid (1) or to the rim of the enclosure (3) When vacuum pressure is applied to this rubber seal (8), it will contain the pressure and keep the enclosure (3) vacuum sealed, thus providing an air-free environment for the baked goods to be kept. This rubber gasket will be FDA approved to be in contact with food stuffs, and be safe for cleaning as well. The seal is designed to be simple and practical. The lid (1) or door (12) of the appliance will be opened and closed frequently, thus making the need to keep the seal simple and easy to open. Either the underside of the lid (1), or the perimeter of the enclosure (3) will contain a protruding lip or rim (17). This lip or rim (17) will be used to receive the lid so that seal forms a snug air-tight fit each time it is closed. The notch or opening of the rubber seal (8) will be slightly smaller than the lip or rim (17), so that when the lip or rim (17) is inserted into the rubber-seal, the rubber seal (8) will squeeze and grip the lip or rim (17). The pressure or tightness created between the lip or rim (17) and the rubber seal (8) will aid in this grip, which will provide an air-tight seal for the enclosure (3).

[0034] When the vacuum seal needs to be released, the appliance can use an air actuator (15). This can be controlled by a button (5) or similar mechanism that the user can activate at will. Upon activation, a valve will open to allow air to flow into the enclosure (3) and thus, releasing the vacuum pressure and enabling the lid (1) or door to be opened safely and easily. The actuator may or may not make use of the electrical circuit. This valve may also use an air filter (11) to make sure the air is cleaned prior to entering the enclosure (3).

[0035] In reference to FIG. 1; since the rubber seal (8) grips the lip or notch (17) of the enclosure (3), using a mechanism or latching handle (7) to aid in the release of the lid (1) or door (12) can help the user to open the enclosure (3) easily and safely, even after the vacuum pressure has been released. When pressed or pulled this mechanism or latching handle (7) can pop the lid (1) or door (12) open. This mechanism or latching handle (7) can also help hold the lid (1) or door (12) closed, and add pressure between the rubber seal (8) and the lip or notch (17) of the enclosure (3).

[0036] The lid (1) or door (12) of the appliance can be made of clear plastic. This will enable a user to view the enclosure's contents before unsealing it.

[0037] In reference to FIG. 8, the appliance can have a lid (1) and an enclosure (3) act as one object. This will enable a user to lift up the entire enclosure (3) to gain access to the baked goods. This lid (1) or enclosure (3) would be made of clear plastic as well. The rubber seal (8) would be underneath the enclosure (3), thus allowing gravity to aid in the enclosure's (3) seal. The appliance's components would be kept inside the base (14).

[0038] In reference to FIG. 2, the appliance can use a slide-out plastic separator (16). This is a simple piece of plastic that can help aid in food organization. This separator (16) will slide into a notch that is formed on the inside walls of the enclosure (3). This separator (16) will be shorter than the height of the enclosure (3). This will ensure that plenty of air circulation can occur within the entire enclosure (3), and that when the vacuum pump (9) is turned on, the separator (16) doesn't deter the components from getting an accurate pressure reading or that the separator (16) doesn't block any air paths into the air filter (11) or tubing (10).

[0039] This appliance will also include a slide-out hard plastic tray or slice (17). This plastic (17) can function as a cutting board or plate, so a user can slide this plastic section (17) out and provide a place to prepare the goods and to perform actions such as: making sandwiches, cutting bagels, or buttering bread. This hard plastic (17) will ensure that counter-top or table surfaces will not get damaged by knives. It will also ensure that the crumbs or mess left from the preparation is not spilled onto the counter-top or table surfaces.

[0040] The appliance will also include an ergonomically designed rack for the inside of the enclosure (3). This rack can serve several purposes. It can keep the baked goods from coming in contact with the bottom of the enclosure (3). This will make sure that the baked goods do not come in contact with any crumbs that have fallen from the enclosure's (3) previous contents. It also can be used to suit the many types of shapes of the baked goods. For example, a rack designed to hold a loaf of bread, or a rack designed to hold a stack of English muffins or bagels.

[0041] The appliance will also include a tray that fits inside the enclosure (3). This tray can be used for catching crumbs from the baked goods. When a user would like to empty the tray, they can simply slide it out of the enclosure (3), and dispose of the crumbs. This tray will aid in food sanitation and cleanliness.

[0042] This appliance can also benefit from the combination of other household appliances such as a toaster or toaster oven. The appliance can have a built in toaster or heating element which can provide the user with a one-stop station to prepare their baked goods.

[0043] The appliance and its components will be made mostly of plastic which can be formed by the use of plastic injection molding or similar plastic forming methods. This will provide a smooth and safe area for the baked goods to be stored, and to make an effective design enabling the appliance to fit into most environments. The rubber seal (8) will need to be formed to suit the contours of the lip or notch (17). The electrical circuit will be made using basic circuit components, circuit board(s), and electrical wiring.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4818550 *Jan 11, 1988Apr 4, 1989Robert H. Clark, IiiApparatus and process for marinating foodstuffs
US5057332 *Apr 3, 1989Oct 15, 1991Minute Marinator, Inc.Apparatus and process for marinating foodstuffs
US5570628 *Mar 11, 1993Nov 5, 1996L+H Lemiteg Lebensmittel- Und Freizeittechnik GmbhHermetically sealed fresh-keeping container
US5946919 *May 1, 1998Sep 7, 1999Sharper Image Corp.Food conservator system
US5964255 *Oct 24, 1997Oct 12, 1999M. Kamenstein, Inc.Vacuum sealed apparatus for storing foodstuffs
US6405645 *Nov 9, 2001Jun 18, 2002Donald T. GreenMarinating apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7464522 *Jun 5, 2006Dec 16, 2008Sunbeam Products, Inc.Vacuum packaging appliance
US7571748 *Feb 17, 2006Aug 11, 2009Mini-Dolphin Industrial Co., Ltd.Vacuum container
US7677166 *Mar 20, 2006Mar 16, 2010Mei-Hua TsaiAdjustable vacuum food storage container
US20120193858 *Jan 23, 2012Aug 2, 2012Brad John KaraliusExpandable surface modular cutting board system
US20120304595 *Jun 5, 2012Dec 6, 2012Edward DovnerMethods and devices for controlling air inside a closed container
WO2012170398A1 *Jun 5, 2012Dec 13, 2012Edward DovnerMethods and devices for controlling air inside a closed container
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/65
International ClassificationA47J47/10, A47J47/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47J47/10, A47J47/12
European ClassificationA47J47/12, A47J47/10