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Publication numberUS20050150890 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/027,968
Publication dateJul 14, 2005
Filing dateJan 3, 2005
Priority dateJan 8, 2004
Also published asCN1636468A, EP1568617A2, EP1568617A3
Publication number027968, 11027968, US 2005/0150890 A1, US 2005/150890 A1, US 20050150890 A1, US 20050150890A1, US 2005150890 A1, US 2005150890A1, US-A1-20050150890, US-A1-2005150890, US2005/0150890A1, US2005/150890A1, US20050150890 A1, US20050150890A1, US2005150890 A1, US2005150890A1
InventorsSoo Wang
Original AssigneeWang Soo C.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Container for fermented foods
US 20050150890 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a container for fermented foods that temporarily gathers gas, generated by fermented foods contained in the container, and allows the gas to be discharged to the outside at an appropriate time. The fermented food container includes a container body having a plurality of locking protrusions provided around the container body. The fermented food container further includes an inner lid to close the open top of the container body, with an inner valve unit provided on the inner lid. The fermented food container further includes an outer lid coupled to the container body and spaced apart from the inner lid by a predetermined distance, thus defining a gas storage space between the inner lid and the outer lid, with an outer valve unit provided on the outer lid. The fermented food container further includes a plurality of locking flaps provided on at least one of the inner lid and the outer lid. The fermented food container can slow down the oxidization of fermented foods, thereby maintaining the freshness and taste of the fermented foods. Furthermore, the fermented food container lets a user know an appropriate time to discharge the gas from the gas storage space, using the gas volume gauge rod, thus preventing a refrigerator in which the fermented food container is stored from absorbing the bad food smell.
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Claims(8)
1. A container for fermented foods, comprising:
a container body, with a plurality of locking protrusions provided along a circumferential outer surface of an open top of the container body at predetermined intervals;
an inner lid to close the open top of the container body, with an inner valve unit provided at a predetermined position on the inner lid to discharge gas, generated in the container body, outside the container body;
an outer lid coupled to the container body and spaced apart from the inner lid by a predetermined distance, thus defining a gas storage space between the inner lid and the outer lid, with an outer valve unit provided at a predetermined position on the outer lid to discharge the gas from the gas storage space outside the outer lid; and
a plurality of locking flaps provided on at least one of the inner lid and the outer lid and locked to the plurality of locking protrusions of the container body.
2. The container as set forth in claim 1, wherein the inner valve unit comprises:
a mounting lug part coupled through the inner lid; and
a cover part radially extending outwards from an outer surface of an upper end of the mounting lug part, thus closing a gas exhaust hole formed through the inner lid at a predetermined position around the mounting lug part.
3. The container as set forth in claim 1, wherein the outer valve unit comprises:
a valve cover provided on the outer lid and rotated upwards and downwards around a hinge to move away from or toward the outer lid, thus opening or closing a gas discharge hole formed through on the outer lid;
a soft packing provided in the gas discharge hole of the outer lid; and
a valve plug provided on a lower surface of the valve cover, so that, when the valve cover moves toward the outer lid, the valve plug is inserted into the gas discharge hole, thus closing the gas discharge hole.
4. The container as set forth in claim 3, wherein the outer valve unit comprises:
a soft film to close a gauge hole formed through the outer lid at a predetermined position, the soft film being curved towards the gas storage space in an initial stage; and
a gas volume gauge rod protruding upwards from the soft film to indicate an amount of gas stored in the gas storage space.
5. The container as set forth in claim 1, wherein the inner lid comprises:
an inner lid plate forming an upper plate of the inner lid, with a sealing channel defined around the inner lid plate and opened downwards, so that an edge of the open top of the container body is received in the sealing channel of the inner lid plate;
a sidewall part extending upwards from an edge of the inner lid plate, thus defining the gas storage space among the sidewall part, the inner lid plate and the outer lid;
a plurality of first locking flaps provided around a circumferential outer surface of the sidewall part of the inner lid at predetermined intervals and locked to the locking protrusions of the container body; and
a plurality of second locking protrusions provided around an upper part of the circumferential outer surface of the sidewall part of the inner lid at predetermined intervals, and
the outer lid comprises:
a sealing channel provided around an edge of the outer lid to receive therein an upper edge of the sidewall part of the inner lid; and
a plurality of second locking flaps provided around the circumferential outer surface of the outer lid and locked to the second locking protrusions.
6. The container as set forth in claim 1, wherein
the inner lid comprises:
an inner lid plate forming an upper plate of the inner lid to close the open top of the container body, with the inner valve unit provided on the inner lid plate; and
a sidewall part extending upwards from an edge of the inner lid plate, and
the outer lid comprises:
a sealing channel provided under a lower surface of the outer lid to receive therein an upper edge of the sidewall part of the inner lid.
7. The container as set forth in claim 1, wherein
the container body comprises:
an extension part extending outwards from the circumferential outer surface of the open top of the container body and being bent upwards to extend to a predetermined height, thus defining a first sealing channel between the extension part and the circumferential outer surface of the open top of the container body, with a plurality of second locking protrusions provided along a circumferential outer surface of the extension part at predetermined intervals,
the inner lid comprises:
a rim part provided around an edge of a lower surface of the inner lid, so that, when the inner lid is placed on the open top of the container body, the rim part is received in the first sealing channel of the extension part, and
the outer lid comprises:
a second sealing channel provided on a lower surface of the outer lid to receive therein an upper edge of the extension part; and
a plurality of second locking flaps provided around a circumferential outer surface of the outer lid at predetermined intervals and locked to the second locking protrusions of the extension part of the container body;
8. A container for fermented foods, comprising:
a container body, with a plurality of locking protrusions provided along a circumferential outer surface of an open top of the container body at predetermined intervals; and
a lid to close the open top of the container body, with a valve unit provided at a predetermined position on the lid to discharge gas, generated in the container body, outside the container body, the valve unit comprising:
a valve cover provided on the lid and rotated upwards and downwards around a hinge to move away from or toward the lid, thus opening or closing a gas discharge hole formed through the lid;
a soft packing provided in the gas discharge hole of the lid; and
a valve plug provided on a lower surface of the valve cover, so that, when the valve cover moves toward the lid, the valve plug is inserted into the gas discharge hole, thus closing the gas discharge hole; and
a plurality of locking flaps provided on the lid and locked to the plurality of locking protrusions of the container body.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to containers for fermented foods and, more particularly, to a container for fermented foods which temporarily holds gas, generated from fermented foods in the container, and allows the gas to be discharged to the outside at an appropriate time, thus slowing down the oxidization of the fermented foods, thereby maintaining the freshness and taste of the fermented foods, and preventing a refrigerator in which the fermented food container is stored from absorbing the bad food smell.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, containers to contain therein foods are made of materials such as synthetic resin, heat resistant glass, heat resistant ceramic material, etc. Particularly, container products made of synthetic resin are easily adapted for mass production to reduce production costs thereof, and can be easily handled. Thus, containers made of synthetic resin have been widely used.

Such a container has a container body which is manufactured in various sizes. The container further has a lid which is manufactured in various sizes according to the size of the container body. Typically, locking units are provided on both the container bodies and lids to stably preserve and store therein foods and to prevent the foods from undesirably leaking out.

A locking unit, which has been widely used, will be described herein below. A plurality of locking protrusions is provided along a circumferential outer surface of an open top of a container body at predetermined intervals. A plurality of locking flaps is provided along a circumferential outer surface of a lid to correspond to the locking units of the container body. Each locking flap is rotatable around a film hinge upwards and downwards. The film hinge is a thin film type hinge and couples the locking flap to the lid. The film hinge helps the locking flap rotate upwards and downwards on the circumferential outer surface of the lid. Each locking flap has a locking hole into which each locking protrusion is inserted. To couple the lid to the container body, the lid is placed on the open top of the container body. In the above state, the locking flaps of the lid are rotated and pressed toward the container body, so that each locking flap is elastically hooked to each locking protrusion of the container body while each locking projection is inserted into the locking hole of the locking flap. Then, the lid is reliably coupled to the container body.

Of such containers, a container for fermented foods, such as kimchi, soybean paste and thick soy paste mixed with red peppers, requires sealing ability superior to other containers. The reason is to prevent a refrigerator in which the fermented food container is stored from absorbing the bad food smell due to the leakage of fermentation gas generated during the fermentation of foods in the container.

As such, when the fermentation gas is generated by the fermented foods, the fermentation gas exists along with the fermented foods in the container. For example, in the case in which kimchi is contained in a container, if fermentation gas is not discharged from the container to the outside, the fermentation gas promotes oxidation of the kimchi. As a result, the freshness and taste of the kimchi are deteriorated. To prevent this, a user must periodically discharge the fermentation gas to the outside.

Furthermore, as the fermentation of foods stored in the container progresses, the container gradually swells, thus deforming the container. Just to prevent this, the fermentation gas must be periodically discharged to the outside.

However, if the user is not experienced, it is very difficult to determine when the fermentation gas must be discharged. In addition, if the fermented food is contained in the container over a long period without discharging fermentation gas to the outside, when the user opens the lid, part of the fermented food may be expelled with an explosion from the container.

In an effort to overcome the above-mentioned problems, a container capable of isolating fermentation gas from fermented foods and letting the user know an appropriate time to discharge the fermentation gas to the outside is required, thus maintaining the freshness and taste of the fermented foods.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a container for fermented foods which isolates fermentation gas from fermented foods, thus maintaining freshness and taste of the fermented foods.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a container for fermented foods which lets a user know an appropriate time to discharge fermentation gas, generated from fermented foods contained in the container, to the outside.

In order to accomplish the above object, the present invention provides a container for fermented foods, including: a container body, with a plurality of locking protrusions provided along a circumferential outer surface of an open top of the container body at predetermined intervals; an inner lid to close the open top of the container body, with an inner valve unit provided at a predetermined position on the inner lid to discharge gas, generated in the container body, outside the container body; an outer lid coupled to the container body and spaced apart from the inner lid by a predetermined distance, thus defining a gas storage space between the inner lid and the outer lid, with an outer valve unit provided at a predetermined position on the outer lid to discharge the gas from the gas storage space outside the outer lid; and a plurality of locking flaps provided on at least one of the inner lid and the outer lid and locked to the plurality of locking protrusions of the container body.

The inner valve unit may include a mounting lug part coupled through the inner lid; and a cover part radially extending outwards from an outer surface of an upper end of the mounting lug part, thus closing a gas exhaust hole formed through the inner lid at a predetermined position around the mounting lug part.

The outer valve unit may include a valve cover provided on the outer lid and rotated upwards and downwards around a hinge to move away from or toward the outer lid, thus opening or closing a gas discharge hole formed through on the outer lid; a soft packing provided in the gas discharge hole of the outer lid; and a valve plug provided on a lower surface of the valve cover, so that, when the valve cover moves toward the outer lid, the valve plug is inserted into the gas discharge hole, thus closing the gas discharge hole.

The outer valve unit may include a soft film to close a gauge hole formed through the outer lid at a predetermined position. The soft film is curved towards the gas storage space in an initial stage. The outer valve unit may further include a gas volume gauge rod protruding upwards from the soft film to indicate an amount of gas stored in the gas storage space.

The inner lid may include an inner lid plate forming an upper plate of the inner lid, with a sealing channel defined around the inner lid plate and opened downwards, so that an edge of the open top of the container body is received in the sealing channel of the inner lid plate; a sidewall part extending upwards from an edge of the inner lid plate, thus defining the gas storage space among the sidewall part, the inner lid plate and the outer lid; a plurality of first locking flaps provided around a circumferential outer surface of the sidewall part of the inner lid at predetermined intervals and locked to the locking protrusions of the container body; and a plurality of second locking protrusions provided around an upper part of the circumferential outer surface of the sidewall part of the inner lid at predetermined intervals. The outer lid may include a sealing channel provided around an edge of the outer lid to receive therein an upper edge of the sidewall part of the inner lid; and a plurality of second locking flaps provided around the circumferential outer surface of the outer lid and locked to the second locking protrusions.

Alternatively, the inner lid may include an inner lid plate forming an upper plate of the inner lid to close the open top of the container body, with the inner valve unit provided on the inner lid plate; and a sidewall part extending upwards from an edge of the inner lid plate. The outer lid may include a sealing channel provided under a lower surface of the outer lid to receive therein an upper edge of the sidewall part of the inner lid.

As a further alternative, the container body may include an extension part extending outwards from the circumferential outer surface of the open top of the container body and being bent upwards to extend to a predetermined height, thus defining a first sealing channel between the extension part and the circumferential outer surface of the open top of the container body, with a plurality of second locking protrusions provided along a circumferential outer surface of the extension part at predetermined intervals. The inner lid may include a rim part provided around an edge of a lower surface of the inner lid, so that, when the inner lid is placed on the open top of the container body, the rim part is received in the first sealing channel of the extension part. The outer lid may include a second sealing channel provided on a lower surface of the outer lid to receive therein an upper edge of the extension part; and a plurality of second locking flaps provided around a circumferential outer surface of the outer lid at predetermined intervals and locked to the second locking protrusions of the extension part of the container body;

In another aspect, the present invention provides a container for fermented foods, including: a container body, with a plurality of locking protrusions provided along a circumferential outer surface of an open top of the container body at predetermined intervals; and a lid to close the open top of the container body, with a valve unit provided at a predetermined position on the lid to discharge gas, generated 1S in the container body, outside the container body. The valve unit has a valve cover provided on the lid and rotated upwards and downwards around a hinge to move away from or toward the lid, thus opening or closing a gas discharge hole formed through the lid, a soft packing provided in the gas discharge hole of the lid, and a valve plug provided on a lower surface of the valve cover, so that, when the valve cover moves toward the lid, the valve plug is inserted into the gas discharge hole, thus closing the gas discharge hole. The container further includes a plurality of locking flaps provided on the lid and locked to the plurality of locking protrusions of the container body.

In the present invention, the fermented food container has a double lid structure so that fermentation gas generated from fermented foods contained in the container body is temporarily stored in the gas storage space. As such, because the fermentation gas is isolated from the fermented foods, the freshness and taste of the fermented foods are maintained. Furthermore, the fermentation gas container of the present invention lets a user know the appropriate time to discharge the fermentation gas stored in the gas storage space. Therefore, the user can easily determine the time to discharge the gas, so that a refrigerator in which the fermented food container is stored is prevented from absorbing the bad food smell due to the fermentation gas which is undesirably discharged in the refrigerator.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a container for fermented foods, according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a container for fermented foods, according to a second embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a container for fermented foods, according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a container for fermented foods, according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

The fermented food container according to the first embodiment includes a container body 10 having a plurality of locking protrusions 15 provided along a circumferential outer surface of an open top of the container body at predetermined intervals. The fermented food container further includes an inner lid 20 to close the open top of the container body 10, and an outer lid 35 which is coupled to the container body 10 and spaced apart from the inner lid 20 by a predetermined distance. In the present invention, the locking protrusions 15 constituting a locking unit may be provided in various shapes.

The inner lid 20 has an inner lid plate 21 which forms an upper plate of the inner lid 20, with a sealing channel 25 defined around an edge of the inner lid plate 21. The sealing channel 25 is opened downwards, so that an edge of the open top of the container body 10 is received in the sealing channel 25 of the inner lid plate 21. The inner lid 20 further has a sidewall part 22 which extends upwards from the edge of the inner lid plate 21, thus defining a gas storage space among the sidewall part 22, the inner lid plate 21 and the outer lid 35. The inner lid 20 further has a plurality of first locking flaps 23 which are provided around a circumferential outer surface of the sidewall part 22 of the inner lid 20 at predetermined positions adjacent to the inner lid plate 21. The first locking flaps 23 are spaced apart from each other at predetermined intervals and locked to first locking protrusions 15 provided around an outer surface of the container body 10. The inner lid 20 further has a plurality of second locking protrusions 24 which are provided around an upper part of the circumferential outer surface of the sidewall part 22 of the inner lid 20 at predetermined intervals.

The inner lid 20 further has an inner valve unit 30 which is provided at a predetermined position on the inner lid plate 21 to discharge fermentation gas, generated in the container body 10, outside the container body 10. An inner valve unit mounting hole 26 is provided at a predetermined position on the inner lid plate 21 to allow the inner valve unit 30 to be mounted to the inner lid plate 21. Furthermore, a gas exhaust hole is formed through the inner lid plate 21 around the inner valve unit mounting hole 26 to discharge fermentation gas outside the container body 10. The inner valve unit 30 is mounted to the inner lid plate 21 through the inner valve unit mounting hole 26. The inner valve unit 30 has a mounting lug part 31 which is mounted through the inner valve unit mounting hole 26 of the inner lid plate 21 such that a lower end of the mounting lug part 31, which radially extends outwards to a predetermined distance, is hooked to a lower surface of the inner lid plate 21 of the inner valve unit mounting hole 26. The inner valve unit 30 further has a cover part 32 which radially extends outwards from an outer surface of an upper end of the mounting lug part 31, thus closing the gas exhaust hole 27 formed through the inner lid plate 21. A seating ring 33 is provided around a circumferential edge of the cover part 32 and protrudes downwards from a lower surface of the cover part 32, which is in contact with the inner lid plate 21. Thus, the seating ring 33 keeps the cover part 32 in contact with the inner lid plate 21 with appropriate force.

In the present invention, when an internal pressure of the container body 10 is higher than a predetermined pressure due to fermentation gas generated from fermented foods stored in the container body 10, the fermentation gas is discharged through the gas exhaust hole 27 outside the container body 10. That is, the cover part 32 of the inner valve unit 30 is elastically lifted from the inner lid plate 21 by the pressure of the fermentation gas, so that the fermentation gas passes through the gas exhaust hole 27 from the container body 10 to the gas storage space defined between the inner lid 20 and the outer lid 35.

The outer lid 35 has a sealing channel 36 which is provided around an edge of the outer lid 35 to receive therein an upper edge of the sidewall part 22 of the inner lid 20. The outer lid 35 further has a plurality of second locking flaps 37 which are provided around the circumferential outer surface of the outer lid 35 at predetermined intervals and locked to the second locking protrusions 24 of the inner lid 20. A depression 38 is formed at a predetermined position on the outer lid 35. A gas discharge hole 39 is formed through a bottom surface of the depression 38 to discharge fermentation gas from the gas storage space outside the outer lid 35. An outer valve unit 40 is provided in the depression 38 to open and close the gas discharge hole 39.

The outer valve unit 40 has a valve cover 41 which is rotated upwards and downwards around a hinge to move away from or toward the outer lid 35, thus opening or closing a gas discharge hole 39. The outer valve unit 40 further has a valve plug 42 which is provided on a lower surface of the valve cover 41, so that, when the valve cover 41 moves toward the outer lid 35, the valve plug 42 is inserted into the gas discharge hole 39, thus closing the gas discharge hole 39. Furthermore, a soft packing 47 is provided in the gas discharge hole 39 to reliably seal the gas storage space when the valve plug 42 is inserted into the gas discharge hole 39.

A gauge hole 44 is formed through the outer lid at a predetermined position in the depression 38 having the outer valve unit 40. The outer valve unit 40 further has a soft film 45 which is provided in the gauge hole 44 to close the gauge hole 44 and which is curved towards the gas storage space in an initial stage. The outer valve unit 40 further has a gas volume gauge rod 46 which protrudes upwards from the soft film 45 to indicate the amount of gas stored in the gas storage space. A through hole 43 is formed through the valve cover 41 of the outer valve unit 40 at a predetermined position so that, when the soft film 45 swells towards the outside of the outer lid 35, the gas volume gauge rod 46 protrudes outside the valve cover 41 through the through hole 43. That is, when the gas storage space is filled with a predetermined amount of fermentation gas or more, the soft film 45 swells upwards. Thus, the gas volume gauge rod 46 rises upwards and protrudes outside the valve cover 41 through the through hole 43. As such, the gas volume gauge rod 46 serves as a gauge to indicate the amount of fermentation gas filling the gas storage space.

The operation and effect of the fermented food container of the present invention having the above-mentioned construction will be described herein below.

A user puts fermented foods in the container body 10 of the fermented food container. Thereafter, the inner and outer lids 20 and 35 are sequentially coupled to the container body 10, thus sealing the container body 10. With the passage of time, fermentation gas is generated by the fermented foods in the container body 10. When the pressure of the fermentation gas increases to a predetermined pressure, the cover part 32 of the inner valve unit 30 is lifted upwards away from the inner lid plate 21 of the inner lid 20 by the fermentation gas pressure. Then, a part of the fermentation gas is discharged through the gas exhaust hole 27 of the inner lid plate 21 from the container body 10 to the gas storage space defined between the inner and outer lids 20 and 35.

This process is repeated, so that the pressure in the gas storage space increases due to the fermentation gas. As the fermentation gas pressure in the gas storage space increases, the gas volume gauge rod 46 gradually rises along with the soft film 45. By the height of the gas volume gauge rod 46 protruding from the valve cover 41 through the through hole 43, the user can determine how much fermentation gas is in the gas storage space.

When the gas volume gauge rod 46 is raised to a predetermined height, the user pulls the fermented food container out of the refrigerator. Thereafter, in a well ventilated place, the user rotates the valve cover 41 of the outer valve unit 40 upwards to open the gas discharge hole 39. Then, the fermentation gas, which has been in the gas storage space, is discharged outside the outer lid 35 through the gas discharge hole 39.

FIGS. 2 and 3 are sectional views of containers for fermented foods, according to second and third embodiments of the present invention, respectively.

As shown in FIG. 2, in the second embodiment, an inner lid 120 is not separately coupled to a container body 110, but is integrated with an outer lid 135, unlike the first embodiment. The inner lid 120 has an inner lid plate 121 which forms an upper plate of the inner lid 120 to close an open top of the container body 110, and a sidewall part 122 which extends upwards from an edge of the inner lid plate 121. The outer lid 135 has a sealing channel 141 which is provided under a lower surface of the outer lid 135 to receive therein an upper edge of the sidewall part 122 of the inner lid 120. The inner lid 120 is coupled to the lower surface of the outer lid 135, thus defining a gas storage space between the inner and outer lids 120 and 135. An inner valve unit 30 is provided on the inner lid 120 to discharge fermentation gas from the container body 110 into the gas storage space. An outer valve unit 40 is provided on the outer lid 135 to discharge the fermentation gas from the gas storage space outside the outer lid 135, in the same manner as the first embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 3, in the third embodiment, a container body 310 includes an extension part 313 which extends outwards from a circumferential outer surface of an open top of the container body 310 and is bent upwards to extend to a predetermined height. A plurality of locking protrusions 315 are provided along a circumferential outer surface of the extension part 313 of the container body 310 at predetermined intervals. A first sealing channel 321 is defined between the extension part 313 and the circumferential outer surface of the open top of the container body 310. An inner lid 320, which is received in the extension part 313, has a rim part which is provided around an edge of a lower surface of the inner lid. Thus, when the inner lid 320 is placed on the open top of the container body 310, the rim part is received in the first sealing channel 321. An outer lid 335 has a second sealing channel 343 which is provided on a lower surface of the outer lid 335 to receive therein an upper edge of the extension part 313 of the container body 310. The outer lid 335 further has a plurality of locking flaps 345 which are provided around a circumferential outer surface of the outer lid 335 at predetermined intervals and locked to the locking protrusions 315 of the extension part 313. The inner lid 320 and the outer lid 335 respectively have an inner valve unit 30 and an outer valve unit 40 the same as those described for the constructions of the first and second embodiments.

In the fermented food container having the above-mentioned construction, fermentation gas generated from fermented food is first gathered in the gas storage space defined between the inner lid 20, 120, 320 and the outer lid 35, 135, 335. With the passage of time, the height of the gas volume gauge rod 46 protruding from the outer lid 35, 135, 335 varies according to the pressure of the fermentation gas, that is, the amount of fermentation gas accumulated in the gas storage space. The user observes the height of the gas volume gauge rod 46 and determines whether the amount of fermentation gas is over a certain amount. When it is determined that the amount of fermentation gas is over the certain amount, the user rotates the valve cover 41 of the outer valve unit 40 upwards, thus discharging the fermentation gas through the gas discharge hole 39 from the gas storage space outside the outer lid 35, 135, 335.

As such, because the fermented food container of the present invention has the separate gas storage space to gather fermentation gas, oxidation of fermented food slows down and, as well, freshness and taste of the fermented food are prevented from deteriorating due to the fermentation gas.

Furthermore, the user can easily determine an appropriate time to discharge fermentation gas using the gas volume gauge rod 46. Therefore, when it is desired, the user easily discharges the fermentation gas outside the fermented food container in a well ventilated place, thus preventing a refrigerator in which the fermented food container is stored from absorbing the bad food smell due to the fermentation gas which is undesirably discharged in the refrigerator.

In addition, in the first and third embodiments, the gas storage space may serve as a separate food storage space.

Furthermore, in each of the first through third embodiments, the inner valve unit 30 is provided on the inner lid plate of the inner lid 20, 120, 320. However, the fermented food container of the present invention may have only the outer lid having the outer valve unit 40 without the inner lid 20, 120, 320. The outer lid is directly coupled to the container body 10, thus constituting the fermented food container. In this case, fermentation gas generated in the container body 10 is not accumulated in a separate gas storage space, but, when the pressure of the fermentation gas increases to a predetermined pressure, the valve cover 41 is opened, thus directly discharging the fermentation gas to the outside.

As described above, the present invention provides a container for fermented foods which slows down the oxidization of fermented foods, thereby maintaining the freshness and taste of the fermented foods. Furthermore, a user can easily determine an appropriate time to discharge the fermentation gas, gathered in a gas storage space, using the gas volume gauge rod. Therefore, the present invention prevents a refrigerator in which the fermented food container is stored from absorbing the bad food smell due to the fermentation gas which is undesirably discharged in the refrigerator.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7614522 *Nov 7, 2006Nov 10, 2009L&F Plastics Co., Ltd.Container structure