BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present application claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 60/542,332 filed Feb. 5, 2004 and incorporated herein by reference.
A. Field of Invention
This application pertains to a bottle or other similar container that includes a liquid and a capsule or pouch with a flavoring agent. The capsule is arranged so that it can be selectively opened within the container and its contents can be mixed with the liquid.
B. Description of the Prior Art
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Drinks of various kinds are distributed in bottles and other similar containers. The drinks consist of a flavoring agent and/or other materials preferably mixed in water. These other materials may include color, vitamins, preservatives, drugs etc. The drink may be carbonated. The mixing process normally takes place in a bottling plant. Once the flavoring or other agents are mixed, the resulting drinks may start to degrade over time and therefor they must be consumed as soon as possible.
In view of the above, it may be advantageous to include the additional ingredients for a drink into a container in such a manner so that these ingredients are mixed with the liquid in the container at will. For example, the ingredients are mixed before the drink is consumed. Alternatively, the ingredients are released and mixed in the liquid several hours before consumption, thereby allowing the mixed drink to be heated or cooled to a desired temperature. In this manner, the bottle can have a longer shelf life.
For this purpose, a drink is provided in a container in the form of a liquid and additional ingredients releasably incorporated into the container. That is, the container includes a capsule, or pouch. that contains additional ingredients either in the form of a liquid, a powder, etc. Depending on the nature of the drink, the liquid in the container may be flat, or may be carbonated, and may be pre-flavored. Additionally, the liquid may be only water, or may include a water and alcohol mixture. The additional ingredients may include flavoring agents, preservatives, colors, vitamins or other health promoting ingredients, medicines, etc.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The container includes a cap formed thereon to allow the selective disposal of the drink from the container. The capsule is provided with an opening or other egress means that could be used to release the contents of the container into the liquid at will. Preferably, the egress means is activated externally, for example, with or through the cap.
FIGS. 1-5 show side elevational views of various embodiments of the invention;
FIGS. 6A-6C show details of a first configuration for the capsule;
FIGS. 7A and 7B show a second configuration for the capsule; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIGS. 8A-8D show a third configuration for the capsule.
FIG. 1 shows a container 10, such as bottle, having a body 12 terminating with a neck 14 and a cap 16 that keeps the container 10 closed. Importantly, attached to the cap 16 there is a pouch or capsule 18. The body 12 is filled with a liquid 20 that may be pure or plain water, water that has some ingredients, such as a flavor, or a drug, alcohol, etc. The water may be carbonated.
The capsule 18 includes one or more additional ingredients 22, including flavoring in a concentrated powder or liquid form, preservatives, drugs, color, etc. The capsule 18 and the cap 16 are constructed and arranged so that they can be manipulated to selectively release the additional ingredients into the water 20.
FIG. 2 shows a bottle 10A in which the capsule 18 is disposed below the liquid level through an extension 24 attached to the cap 12.
FIG. 3 shows a bottle 10B in which the capsule 18 is disposed at the bottom of the body 12.
FIG. 4 shows a bottle 10C in which the capsule 18 is disposed on the side of the body 12.
FIG. 5 shows a bottle 10D in which the capsule 18A is larger than the capsules in FIGS. 1-4 and extends along the whole length of the body 12.
In all these embodiments, the contents of the capsule 18, 18A are released in response to an action by a user. For example, the capsule 18, 18A may be formed partially or fully from tearable plastic material and a thin thread or other material 26 has one attached to the capsule and the other end attached to the cap. The thread 26 is arranged so that as the cap 16 is twisted, turned or otherwise manipulated by the user, the thread is pulled away from the capsule 18 causing a tear in a sidewall of the capsule 18 thereby creating an opening through which its contents are released into the liquid 20.
Another means of releasing the contents of the capsule 18 are shown in FIGS. 6A-C, 7A-B and 8A-D. These alternate release means are best suited for arrangements where the capsule 18 is relatively close to the cap 16, such as the arrangement of FIGS. 1 and 2. Starting with FIGS. 6A-6C, the capsule 18 consists of two concentric cylindrical walls 30, 32, with cylindrical wall 32 being attached to the cap 16 and cylindrical wall 32 being formed with an opening or door 34. Cylindrical wall 32 can be displaced axially with respect to the cylindrical wall 30, as indicated in FIG. 6C by arrow A. In the configuration or position shown in FIG. 6A, the wall 32 covers and sills the opening 34. Shifting the wall 32 axially causes the opening 34 to be revealed, as seen in FIG. 6C thereby allowing the contents 22 of the capsule 18 to be released.
FIGS. 7A and 7B show a configuration somewhat similar to the one in FIGS. 6A-6C. In this latter configuration, wall 30 has an opening 34A and wall 32 has an opening 34B of similar size and shape as opening 34A. Cap 16 has two parts, a part 16A attached to the wall 30 and a part 16B attached to the wall 32. The two parts cooperate to allow the two walls 30, 32 to move angularly or coaxially with respect to each other. In the configuration of FIG. 7A, the two walls are positioned so that the openings 34A, 34B are angularly offset from each other so that the wall 32 covers and seals the opening 34A in wall 30. When the cap parts 16A, 16B are rotated with respect to each other, as indicated in FIG. 7B by the arrow B, the opening 32 and 34 are eventually aligned with each other. At this point, the contents 22 are released into the body 12.
FIGS. 8A-D show yet another embodiment. In this embodiment, the capsule 18 includes a cylindrical sidewall 40 terminating at the bottom with a fixed semicircular bottom plate 42. Concentrically within the capsule 18 there is a shaft 44 that is rotatable, for example, by cap 16, or by other means. Attached to the bottom of the shaft 44 is another semicircular bottom plate 46. The edges of the bottom plate 46 and the sidewall 40 are sealed so that the contents of the capsule 18 do not leak out. Rotation of the shaft 44 causes the bottom plate 46 to move angular over the bottom plate 42 thereby generating an opening 48 through which the contents 22 of the capsule 18 are released.
While the invention has been described with reference to several particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. Accordingly, the embodiments described in particular should be considered as exemplary, not limiting, with respect to the following claims.