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 numberUS20040124210 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/681,406
Publication dateJul 1, 2004
Filing dateOct 8, 2003
Priority dateOct 8, 2002
Publication number10681406, 681406, US 2004/0124210 A1, US 2004/124210 A1, US 20040124210 A1, US 20040124210A1, US 2004124210 A1, US 2004124210A1, US-A1-20040124210, US-A1-2004124210, US2004/0124210A1, US2004/124210A1, US20040124210 A1, US20040124210A1, US2004124210 A1, US2004124210A1
InventorsJames Bartlein
Original AssigneeBartlein James L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sealed bag pre-filled with a decorating food product and having a decorating tip removably attached thereto and method for same
US 20040124210 A1
Abstract
A sealed bag prefilled with a decorating food product having a decorating tip removably attached thereto and a method of removably attaching a decorating tip to a sealed bag prefilled with a decorating food product, whereby the decorating food product contents of the sealed prefilled bag are decoratively dispensable through said decorating tip by squeezing said prefilled dispensing bag.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(16)
1. A dispensing bag, comprising:
a flexible and collapsible sealed bag prefilled with a decorating food product, said sealed prefilled bag having at least one acutely angled corner;
an opening in said acutely angled corner;
a decorating tip coupler disposed over said opening and removably attached to said prefilled bag;
a decorating tip removably received by said decorating tip coupler, said decorating tip in communication with said opening in said prefilled bag;
whereby, in use, upon squeezing said prefilled bag, said decorating food product contents are decoratively dispensable through said decorating tip removable attached to said prefilled bag.
2. The prefilled dispensing bag of claim 1 wherein said decorating tip coupler includes an exteriorly threaded tubular member having a central through-bore, said coupler further including a mating threaded nut adapted to threadably receive said exteriorly threaded tubular member, said threaded nut having a through-bore coaxial with said central through-bore of said tubular member.
3. The prefilled dispensing bag of claim 2 wherein said decorating tip extends through said through-bore of said nut and wherein said decorating tip is coaxial with said central through-bore of said tubular member.
4. The prefilled dispensing bag of claim 3 wherein said opening in said prefilled bag extends from an edge of said acutely angled corner a distance away from said edge thereby creating at least two acutely angled bag ends.
5. The prefilled dispensing bag of claim 4 wherein said at least two acutely angled bag ends are disposed through said central through-bore of said tubular member and folded back and disposed between said exteriorly threaded tubular member and said mating threaded nut whereby said decorating tip coupler is removably attached to said prefilled bag.
6. The prefilled bag of claim 1 wherein said decorating food product is icing.
7. The prefilled bag of claim 6 wherein said icing is butter cream icing.
8. The prefilled bag of claim 7 wherein said butter cream icing is pre-colored.
9. A prefilled dispensing bag, comprising:
a flexible and collapsible sealed bag prefilled with a decorating food product, said sealed prefilled bag having at least one acutely angled corner;
an opening extending from an edge of said acutely angled corner a distance away from said edge thereby creating at least two acutely angled bag ends, said opening exposing to atmosphere said decorating food product contents of said prefilled bag;
a decorating tip coupler comprising a tubular member and a mating threaded nut, said tubular member having a central bore therethrough, said at least two acutely angled bag ends disposed through said central bore, said at least two acutely angled bag ends folded back and disposed between said tubular member and said mating threaded nut such that said decorating tip coupler is removably attached to said prefilled bag;
a decorating tip removably received by said decorating tip coupler, said decorating tip having a through opening in communication with said opening in said prefilled bag disposed in said central bore of said tubular member;
whereby, in use, upon squeezing said prefilled bag, said decorating food product contents are decoratively dispensable through said decorating tip removable attached to said prefilled bag.
10. The prefilled bag of claim 9 wherein said decorating food product is icing.
11. The prefilled bag of claim 10 wherein said icing is butter cream icing.
12. The prefilled bag of claim 11 wherein said butter cream icing is pre-colored.
13. A method of attaching a decorating tip to a sealed dispensing bag, said method comprising:
providing a sealed bag prefilled with a decorating food product, said sealed prefilled bag having at least one acutely angled corner;
providing a decorating tip coupler, wherein said decorating tip coupler includes an exteriorly threaded tubular member with a central through-bore, said decorating tip coupler further including and a mating threaded nut adapted to threadably receive said exteriorly threaded tubular member, said threaded nut having a through-bore coaxial with said central through-bore of said tubular member;
inserting a one end of a decorating tip through said through-bore of said threaded nut;
inserting said acutely angled corner of said sealed prefilled bag through said central through-bore of said tubular member;
cutting an opening in the acutely angled corner of the sealed prefilled bag projecting through the central through-bore of said tubular member, said opening extending from an edge of said acutely angled corner a distance away from said edge thereby creating at least two acutely angled bag ends;
folding said at least two acutely angled bag ends back onto said exterior threads of said tubular member;
threading said threaded nut having said decorating tip received therein onto said exterior threads of said exteriorly threaded tubular member and over said at least two acutely angled bag ends;
whereby said decorating tip coupler and said decorating tip received therein are removably attached to said prefilled bag and whereby said decorating food product contents of said prefilled bag are decoratively dispensable through said decorating tip by squeezing said prefilled bag.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein said decorating food product is icing.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein said icing is butter cream icing.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein said butter cream icing is pre-colored.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to pastry bags, and the like, for applying decorative icings, confectioneries and other toppings to cakes, pastries and other foods using decorating tips, and, more particularly, to a sealed bag pre-filled with a decorating food product and having a decorating tip attached thereto, and method for attaching a decorating tip to a sealed bag pre-filled with a decorating food product.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Decorative icings, confectioneries and other toppings have long been applied to cakes, pastries and other foods by using pastry bags fitted with decorating tips through which the icing, confectionary or topping is extruded to form a desired decorative design. The pastry bags are generally made of collapsible, flexible plastic or resin coated fabric and are typically formed in the shape of a truncated cone or conical-frustum with a large opening at the top end of the bag and a small opening at the bottom apex of the bag through which the decorating tip projects. The decorating tips are generally hollow, truncated, conical tubes or conical-frustums, typically made of stainless steel or plastic with a pattern formed in the apex through which the icing is extruded to form complimentary decorative design, such as a rose petal, leaf, star, ribbon and various other shapes and patterns.

[0005] In use, the desired decorative icing, confectionary or topping is scooped into the bag through the large top opening. The top of the bag is then gathered and twisted to remove the air from the bag. The closed bag is then squeezed to force the icing, confectionary or topping out of the bag through the decorating tip. As the contents of the bag are being extruded, the bag is continually gathered and twisted at the top to maintain a consistent flow of the contents through the decorating tip until the decoration is completed or until all the contents are dispensed from the bag, at which time the bag may be opened for refilling and the process repeated.

[0006] When decorating a cake or pastry, for example, a variety of decorating tips of different sizes and pattern shapes may be used by the decorating artisan, particularly when creating elaborate designs with multiple icing colors. It should be appreciated, therefore, that if the decorating tip is disposed on the inside of the filled pastry bag, as is conventional, the decorating artisan cannot readily switch decorating tips without first emptying the pastry bag. Accordingly, when creating the designs, the decorating artisan will typically utilize multiple pastry bags each fitted with a desired decorating tip and filled with the desired icing color.

[0007] Others have attempted to provide a means to switch decorating tips on pastry bags without first having to empty the pastry bag to remove the previous decorating tip and insert the newly desired decorating tip. One such device disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,523, utilizes a “universal coupler.” The universal coupler is comprised of two parts, a tubular element inserted into the pastry bag and a mating nut which receives the decorating tips. One end of the tubular element includes exterior threads which protrude through the small opening in the bottom apex of the pastry bag. The nut, threadably engages the protruding exterior threads of the tubular element and secures the decorating tip thereto. Thus, different tips can be used on the same pastry bag without having to empty the pastry bag each time a different decorating tip is desired by simply unthreading the nut from the tubular member, replacing the previous decorating tip with a new desired tip and rethreading the nut fitted with the new decorating tip back onto the tubular member. As such, the universal coupler minimizes the number decorating tips and pastry bags required and minimizes the labor required when it is desired to switch between decorating tips.

[0008] While the foregoing universal couplers serve their intended purpose of minimizing labor and time required when switching decorating tips on pastry bags, there remains a need in the baking industry to minimize the time and labor devoted by the decorating artisan in preparation for the decorating process and clean up after the decorating process.

[0009] For example, butter cream icing, used by bakers and decorating artisans for decorating most cakes and pastries, is produced by various bakery product manufacturers and shipped to retail bakeries in sealed bulk containers without any coloring added to the icing. Thus, the decorating artisan must ordinarily add food coloring to this “white” icing to achieve the desired icing color. To achieve the desired color, the decorating artisan will ordinarily remove a desired quantity of the white butter cream icing from the sealed bulk container and place it in a mixing bowl. The artisan or baker then adds the appropriate amounts of food coloring to achieve the desired color and then thoroughly mixes the butter cream icing with the food coloring to achieve a consistent color throughout the mixture. Once the desired color is achieved, the colored icing is spooned into the pastry bag previously fitted with the desired decorating tip. This process must be repeated for each desired color of icing, requiring considerable devotion of time, effort and skill to mix appropriately colored icings and to achieve consistent colors between batches.

[0010] In addition to the steps required to mix, color, and fill the bags with icing, there is also typically a considerable amount of clean-up associated with this process. For example, during the coloring and mixing of the icing and filling of the pastry bags, some of the icing inevitably drips or is spilled onto the exterior of the bag, onto the work table, and on the artisan's hands and garments, or even in an undesirable location on the cake or pastry being decorated. Thus, there is a need in the industry to provide a pastry bag which minimizes the time and labor required to prepare decorative butter cream icing, and other confectionaries and toppings that provides for the ability to attach decorating tips thereto without having to empty the bag when it is desired to switch decorating tips, and which minimizes spilling, dripping and the amount of cleanup required. Preferably the pastry bag would be relatively inexpensive and disposable to eliminate the need for cleaning or laundering the bag and thereby improving handling and sanitation.

[0011] Recently, many bakery product manufacturers have begun producing sealed bags pre-filled with fruit fillings, cream fillings, and the like which do not require, or at least are not generally applied in a decorative manner, using a decorating tip. Such bags currently available in the market include Reddi Paks® manufactured by Henry and Henry, Inc.; Portion Paks™ manufactured by H.C. Brill, Inc.; and Pouch Paks® manufactured by Dawn Food Products, Inc. All of these commercially available bags are generally tubular in shape and contain one to five pounds of product. The ends of the bags are heat sealed and angle cut. To dispense the filling, the user simply cuts a corner off of the bag and squeezes a desired amount of filling onto the pastry. After all the filling is dispensed from the bag, the empty bag is simply discarded.

[0012] While the foregoing pre-filled sealed bags are ideal for dispensing fruit and cream fillings which do not require the use of a decorating tip, it should be appreciated that other than the embodiment disclosed in reference WO 01/94219, discussed immediately below, there is currently no similar type of bag for dispensing butter cream icings and other decorative confectionaries or toppings. This is due primarily to the fact that no one has yet devised a simple, efficient and economical way of attaching decorating tips to sealed pre-filled bags. It should be appreciated that absent the ability to attach a decorating tip to a pre-filled sealed bag, there is no advantage in providing such bags packaged with decorative icings or other decorative confectionaries or toppings, since the pre-filled sealed bags would just have to be emptied into another pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip in order to use the product in a decorative manner.

[0013] As mentioned above, one attempt at providing a pre-filled, sealed bag fitted with a decorating tip for dispensing decorating icings is disclosed in reference WO 01/94219. In particular the WO 01/94219 reference discloses the use of a sealed pre-filled pouch with a nozzle heat sealed thereto. The nozzle includes exterior threads for threadably receiving a nut and decorating tip similar to U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,523 as described above. While the dispensing pouch disclosed in the foregoing reference may serve its intended purpose, it is not believed that such a bag will be commercially feasible or readily accepted by bakery product manufacturers due to the additional material and manufacturing costs required to produce such a dispensing pouch and due to the amount of capital required for the new equipment and retooling to produce such a product.

[0014] Accordingly, there remains a need in the bakery industry which achieves the features and advantage of the dispensing pouch disclosed in WO 01/94219 but which does not require the bakery product manufacturer to purchase new equipment or to retrofit existing equipment in order to produce a pre-filled, sealed pastry bag to which decorating tips may be attached. In order to achieve this goal, it is believed that the manufacturing process should not require heat sealing a nozzle or decorating tip to the bag. Instead, it is believed that the most economical and efficient method of satisfying this need is to utilize the existing bags and equipment currently being used by anufactures for producing the fruit filling and cream filling sealed bags and providing a decorating tip coupler which may be attached after the bags are pre-filled and sealed with decorative icings, or other decorative confectionaries or toppings. By applying the decorating tip after the bag is filled with product, the manufacturer will not have to invest capital to purchase new equipment or to retool its existing equipment, or to change its current process for producing pre-filled, sealed bags

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0015] The present invention comprises a sealed dispensing bag prefilled with a decorating food product having a decorating tip removably attached thereto whereby the decorating food product contents of the sealed prefilled bag are decoratively dispensable through said decorating tip by squeezing said prefilled dispensing bag. The present invention further comprises a method of removably attaching a decorating tip to a sealed dispensing bag prefilled with a decorating food product, whereby the decorating food product contents of the sealed prefilled bag are decoratively dispensable through said decorating tip by squeezing said prefilled dispensing bag.

[0016] In the preferred embodiment, the dispensing bag is tubular in shape and includes sealed first and second ends with at least one end having an acutely angled corner. The present invention further comprises a decorating tip coupler adapted to receive any desired decorating tip. The preferred decorating tip coupler comprises an exteriorly threaded tubular member having a central through-bore. The decorating tip coupler also preferably includes a threaded nut for threadably receiving the exterior threads of the tubular member. The threaded nut also preferably includes a central bore adapted to removably receive and retain the decorating tip therein.

[0017] The preferred method of removably attaching the decorating tip to the prefilled dispensing bag to the accomplishment of the preferred embodiment preferably comprises inserting the acutely angled corner of the bag through the central through-bore of the tubular member. The portion of the acutely angled corner of the bag projecting through the central through-bore is cut thereby preferably creating at least two acutely angled bag ends. The acutely angled bag ends are folded back over the exterior threads of the tubular member and the threaded nut with the decorating tip received therein is threaded onto the exterior threads of the tubular member and over the acutely angled bag ends thereby removably attaching the decorating tip to the prefilled dispensing bag. In use the decorating food product contents of the bag are decoratively dispensed through the decorating tip by squeezing the prefilled dispensing bag.

[0018] To the accomplishment of the above objectives, features and advantages, this invention may be embodied in the forms illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific form illustrated and described without materially departing from the teachings herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019]FIG. 1 illustrates a prior art cone-shaped pastry bag with a decorating tip attached thereto using a prior art universal coupler.

[0020]FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the exterior threaded tubular member of the prior art universal coupler disposed in the interior of the pastry bag, the nut of the prior art universal coupler is shown threaded onto the exterior threads to secure the decorating tip to the pastry bag.

[0021]FIG. 3 illustrates a prior art pre-filled sealed bag filled with a fruit filling, cream filling or other food product not generally applied using a decorating tip.

[0022]FIG. 4 illustrates a pre-filled sealed bag filled with a decorating food product generally applied using a decorating tip.

[0023] FIGS. 5-7 illustrate the method of attaching a decorating tip to the pre-filled, sealed bag of FIG. 4 using an exterior coupler. In particular, FIG. 5 shows a corner of the pre-filled sealed bag inserted through the exterior threaded tubular member of the exterior coupler and further illustrates the location for cutting the corner of the sealed bag. FIG. 6 illustrates the method of folding the cut corner of the bag over the exterior of the exterior threaded tubular member prior to threading the nut with the decorating tip disposed therein onto the exterior threaded tubular member. FIG. 7 is a partial cross-sectional view showing the decorating tip attached to the pre-filled sealed bag of FIG. 4 using the exterior coupler.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] Drawing FIGS. 1 and 2, illustrate the prior art decorating tip coupler 10, such as the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,523, attached to a conventional prior art pastry bag 12. The coupler 10 is comprised of a tubular member 14 in the shape of a truncated cone or cone frustum. The tubular member 14 has a central through-bore 15 and includes an exteriorly threaded portion 16. The coupler 10 further comprises a nut 18 having mating interior threads 20. The threaded nut 18 includes a central through-bore 22 for receiving a decorating tip 24. The decorating tip 24 is comprised of a hollow tube, generally in the shape of a truncated cone or cone frustum. The apex 26 of the decorating tip 24 may have a pattern formed therein for forming a complimentary design in the icing as the icing is extruded therethrough. As shown in FIG. 2, in the prior art method of attaching the coupler 10 to a pastry bag 12, the tubular member 14 of the coupler 10 is positioned in the interior of the pastry bag 12 with only the exteriorly threaded portion 16 projecting through the small opening 28 in the bottom apex of the pastry bag 12.

[0025] Drawing FIG. 3, illustrates a commercially available tubular, sealed bag 30 prefilled with a food product filling 32. These bags 30 are referred to in the industry as “vertical form fill seal bags” or “continuous flow sealed bags” and are sold under different product names such as Reddi Paks®, Handi Paks™, and Pouch Paks® depending on the manufacturer. These tubular sealed bags 30 are presently only filled with food product fillings 32 such as fruit fillings, cream fillings, or the like, that are generally not dispensed in a decorative manner using a decorating tip. The reason being, that, heretofore, no one had devised a method for attaching a decorating tip to such pre-filled, tubular, sealed bags 30.

[0026] Continuing to refer to FIG. 3, the pre-filled, tubular, sealed bags 30 include first and second sealed ends 34, 36. The ends, 34, 36 are generally angle cut, to form at least one acute corner angle 38. The purpose of having at least one acute corner angle 38, is to enable the user to simply snip or cut off this corner at a predetermined location such that the filling can be dispensed directly onto a pastry or the like.

[0027] In order to appreciate the features and advantages of the present invention, one needs to have an understanding of the features and advantages of these pre-filled, tubular, sealed bags 30 and the process under which these bags 30 are manufactured. The sealed prefilled tubular bags 30 have received significant commercial success since their introduction due to the labor savings and sanitation benefits achieved through their use. Prior to the introduction of these bags 30, manufacturers shipped fruit fillings and cream fillings in sealed bulk containers. In order to use these fillings, the retail bakers would first have to open the sealed bulk containers, scoop out a desired quantity of the filling into a conventional cone-shaped pastry bag fitted with a dispensing tube (i.e. a decorating tip with a circular opening) in the manner previously described. The cone-shaped pastry bag may have been fitted with a universal coupler as shown in FIG. 1, or the dispensing tube may have simply been inserted into the cone-shaped pastry bag as previously discussed. Regardless of how the dispensing tube was attached to the cone-shaped pastry bag, the above described spilling, dripping and cleanup associated with the use of a conventional cone-shaped pastry bag was inevitable.

[0028] The sealed, prefilled, tubular bags 30 overcame all of these disadvantages by eliminating the need for pastry bags altogether. Now, the baker can simply remove one of the sealed pre-filled, tubular bags from its shipping box, snip off the corner 38, and squeeze the desired amount of filling 32 onto the pastry. When the bag 30 is empty, it is simply discarded. Thus, the sealed, prefilled tubular bags 30 offer significant labor savings, improved handling and sanitation benefits over the use of conventional bulk containers and pastry bags.

[0029] The sealed, pre-filled, tubular bags 30 are also relatively inexpensive due to the ability of bakery product manufacturers to produce these bags 30 at incredible speeds and efficiencies. The sealed, prefilled, tubular bags 30 are generally produced from continuous rolls of plastic sheeting supplied by vendors. One end of the plastic sheeting roll is pulled toward a device which folds and heat seals the longitudinal edges of the plastic sheeting to form a plastic tube. The formed plastic tube is then pulled toward the filling injectors. The filling injectors inject the filling into the continuously moving plastic tube. At a predetermined location downstream of the filling injectors, a preselected length of the filled tube is pinched off and the ends heat sealed and cut, all in a continuous motion without stopping. While the foregoing process may be modified depending on the equipment used by a particular manufacturer, the general process is substantially the same, thus enabling these bags 30 to be produced with great economy and efficiency.

[0030] With respect to the present invention 50 as illustrated in FIGS. 5-7 and as discussed in detail below, this same or substantially similar process may be used for producing a sealed bag 52 filled with butter cream icing or any other confection or food product that is desired to be extruded through a decorating tip for decorating purposes (hereinafter a “decorating food product” 54). Heretofore, as previously discussed, decorating food products 54 have not been available in the prior art sealed, prefilled, tubular bags 30 due to the inability of bakery product manufacturers and others to devise an efficient and cost-effective method of attaching a decorating tip to such bags 30. It should be appreciated that absent the ability to attach a decorating tip to such bags 30, there is no advantage to providing such bags filled with a decorating food products 54, since the contents of the bag 30 would have to be emptied into a convention cone-shaped pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip in order to extrude the decorating food product in the desired decorative pattern.

[0031] Accordingly, as shown in FIGS. 5-7, the present invention 50 comprises a sealed, bag 52 at least partially pre-filled with a decorating food product 54. In the preferred embodiment, the bag 52 is identical to the plastic bags 30 discussed above and currently being used for non-decorative food product fillings. The bag 52 includes sealed first and second ends 56, 58. At least one sealed end 56, 58 of the bag 52 includes at least one acutely angled corner 60. In the preferred embodiment, the bag 52 is generally tubular in shape, with substantially identical first and second sealed ends 56, 58, with both ends having acutely angled corners 60. However, it should be appreciated that the bag 52 may be made in any other desired shape, depending on various conditions, including aesthetics, shipping requirements, size requirements, ease of handling, equipment limitations, etc.

[0032] The present invention 50 further comprises a decorating tip coupler 62 for removably securing any desired decorating tip 64 to the bag 52. The coupler 62 is preferably of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,847,523, which is incorporated herein by reference. However, it should be appreciated that other decorating tip couplers of a generally similar design may also be used. As best illustrated in FIGS. 5-7, the coupler 62 preferably includes a tubular member 66 having a central through-bore 67 and portion 68 with exterior threads 70 about its periphery. The tubular member 66 also preferably includes a tapered end portion 72 adapted to fit inside the tapered base 74 of the decorating tip 64 (best illustrated in FIG. 7). The preferred coupler 62 further includes a nut 76 having interior threads 78 for threadably matingly receiving the exterior threads 70 of the portion 68 of the tubular member 66. Continuing to refer to FIG. 7, The nut 76 includes a central through-bore 80 having a diameter less than the diameter of the base 74 of the decorating tip 64, such that the base 74 of the decorating tip 64 will not pass through the central bore 80, thereby retaining the decorating tip 64 therein.

[0033] In performance of the method of the present invention, the acutely angled corner 60 of one of the ends 56, 58 of the bag 52 is inserted through the central through-bore 67 of tubular member 66 as shown in FIG. 5. The acutely angled corner 60 of the bag 52, projecting through the tubular member 66, is pulled tight in order to extend a sufficient portion of the corner 60 through the tubular member 66 to enable the bag 52 to be secured to the coupler 62 as described hereinafter. The acutely angled corner 60, projecting through the end 72 of the tubular member 66 is then cut with a scissor or other cutting device in a longitudinal direction as indicated by dashed line 82 in FIG. 5 to create a slit 88 (FIG. 7) therein thereby forming two acutely angled bag ends or ears 84, 86. The ears 84, 86 are then folded back over the exterior of the tubular member 66 as illustrated in FIG. 6. The nut 76, with a preselected decorating tip 64 disposed within the through-bore 80 thereof, is then threaded onto the exterior threaded portion 68 of the tubular member 66 over the folded back ears 84, 86. The ears 84, 86 will conform to, and be pinched between, the exterior threads 70 of the tubular member 66 and the interior threads 78 of the nut 76. Thus, it should be appreciated that by threading the nut 76 over the ears 84, 86, the decorating tip 64 is securely attached to the bag 52. When the bag 52 is squeezed, the decorating food product 54 will be forced out through the slit 88 previously cut along line 82 in the acutely angled corner 60 of the bag 52 and will be extruded in a complimentary design to the pattern formed in the apex 90 of the preselected decorating tip 64.

[0034] If product 54 remains in the bag 52 after completing a particular decorating project, the nut 76 with the decorating tip 64 may be removed, and a sealing end cap (not shown) substantially identical to the nut 76 but without a central bore 80 in its end, may be threaded onto the tubular member 66 over the ears 84, 86 as previously described. The bag 52 with the product 54 sealed therein by the sealing end cap, may be placed in a refrigerator or otherwise stored for later use.

[0035] Based on the foregoing, it should be appreciated that unlike the dispensing pouch disclosed in reference WO 01/94219, no new equipment, retooling or process changes are required by the bakery product manufacturer to produce the sealed bag 52 pre-filled with a decorating food product 54 for practicing the present invention 50. The bakery product manufacture may simply package the coupler 62 with the sealed, pre-filled bag 52 for later attachment by the baker or decorating artisan at the time of use. Alternatively, the coupler 62 may be sold separately by the bakery product manufacturer or the coupler 62 may purchased by the baker or decorating artisan from an independent source in order to practice the present invention 50.

[0036] Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the present invention 50 has particular application and advantages for butter cream icings. With the present invention, the bakery product manufacturer can provide the bags 52 pre-filled with butter cream icings in a variety of colors. By doing so, bakers and decorating artisans would no longer be required to undertake the time consuming and labor intensive task of buying large amounts of white icing in sealed bulk containers, scooping out a desired quantity, adding food coloring, mixing the icing to achieve a consistent color, and then scooping the colored icing into a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip—resulting in the inevitable associated spills, drips and cleanup. The manufacturer could charge a premium for such products as it is undoubted that most retail bakers would gladly pay such premiums to avoid the above described labor intensive process and sanitation issues associated with using conventional pastry bags. Further, the baker or decorating artisan would be ensured of consistent coloring between batches as such coloring could be precisely controlled by the manufacturer.

[0037] It should also be appreciated that the present invention 50 may be used with other decorating food products that are desired to be decoratively extruded. Furthermore, it should be appreciated that if the bag 52 is made out of microwave-safe plastic or other microwave-safe material, the bag may be pre-filled with a product that would otherwise not be flowable at room temperature and must be heated before becoming flowable, such as certain types of chocolate, cheese, or other types of confectionaries or toppings. With the bag made of microwave-safe material, the bag can be placed into the microwave with or without the coupler and decorating tip attached in order to soften the product for use.

[0038] Although only certain exemplary embodiments of the invention have been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7478736 *Jul 15, 2005Jan 20, 2009Fletcher MorganErgonomic frosting applicator
US8201709Oct 15, 2008Jun 19, 2012Hiroshi NamigataFood dispensing assembly and method
US8870040 *Mar 13, 2009Oct 28, 2014Jan FolkmarTwo part nozzle and piping bags therefrom
US20110241332 *Dec 14, 2009Oct 6, 2011Buhler AgConnection Piece
US20120006849 *Mar 13, 2009Jan 12, 2012Raphaela FolkmarTwo part nozzle and piping bags therefrom
EP2177447A1 *Apr 16, 2009Apr 21, 2010Wilton Industries, Inc.Pour and seal assembly
EP2644527A1 *Nov 22, 2011Oct 2, 2013Hosokawa Yoko Co., Ltd.Bag with attached mouth member and connection structure of said bag
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/92, 222/568
International ClassificationB65D75/58
Cooperative ClassificationB65D75/5872
European ClassificationB65D75/58G3