US 20090114677 A1
A dual receptacle package for liquid material comprises a container. A central ridge formed into the container separates the container into two chambers. The two chambers may contain different material with minimal or no cross-contamination between the chambers. The content of the chambers is dispensed via a single or dual tunnel. The single or dual tunnel is opened into a single or dual orifice opening when a closure for the package is removed.
1. A dual chamber package, comprising:
a container having an outer perimeter;
the container having formed into it a cleft, the cleft dividing the container into two chambers;
each chamber having an exit port;
the exit ports leading into a merge area;
a dispensing tunnel extending from the merge area; and
a cover joined to the outer perimeter.
2. The package of
the chambers are symmetrical about the cleft.
3. The package of
each chamber narrows toward its exit port.
4. The package of
a length of the dispensing tunnel is several times longer than a width of the tunnel.
5. The package of
the cover tapers towards an extended end.
6. The package of
the seal is joined to a flat topped surface of the cleft.
7. The package of
a closure and a score line located adjacent to one end of the tunnel
8. The package of
a closure, the closure being located adjacent to a notch formed into the outer perimeter
9. The package of
a content of the chambers is visible through the container.
10. A dual chamber package, comprising:
a container having an outer perimeter;
the container having formed into it a cleft, the cleft dividing the container into two distinct chambers;
is each chamber being dischargeable through a tunnel; and
a cover joined to the outer perimeter.
11. The package of
the chambers are symmetrical about the cleft.
12. The package of
each chamber tapers toward the tunnel.
13. The package of
the container and the cover are constructed from materials of different stiffness.
14. The package of
The closure is a snap-off closure.
15. The package of
a length of each tunnel is several times of a width of the tunnel.
16. The package of
the cover is joined to a flat surface of the cleft.
17. The package of
the cleft tapers and becomes narrower toward the cover.
18. The package of
the two tunnels are separated from each other only by a top surface of the cleft.
19. The package of
the cleft extends through a full length of the container.
The present application relates to a package for containing liquid materials, in particular, a flexible dual receptacle package.
Currently liquids such as jams, honey, conserves, sauces and condiments of various kinds—including such products as tomato ketchup, mustards, mayonnaise, salad oils, chili sauce, jams, liquid chocolate, hazelnut, peanut jelly, and other such flavour additives, combinations and other like products are sold in individual, single-serve packages in the food service and hospitality trade. These packages are generally manufactured as a small pre-formed plastic or alumina cup, tub or tray, or vacuum formed plastic cup, tub or tray—usually round, rectangular or square in shape with almost vertical, conical shaped side walls, flat base and a soft peel-off closure forming a lid to enclose, cover and protect the contents. A small extension of the lid acts as a means of peeling the lid backwards to detach the lid from the main body of the package in use. A variation of this is also used, where a section tab of the tray body is centrally scored under the lid section to create a break point or weakened section score mark, such that when this score section is snapped the lid tab is easier to remove and contents revealed.
While larger bottles of such products are sold individually, the hospitality and catering trades commonly use individual, single serve packages as a means of presenting an individual food service portion and also avoiding human contact, cross contamination and wastage inherent in larger package forms.
Typically packages of this type can be thermo formed or pre-formed and filled or thermo formed and filled in one operation. They may be packed on machinery such as a Dosamat manufactured by Hermann Waldner (Germany); mini dose machines manufactured by Elton S.A from Spain, as well as using machines manufactured by other companies who may specialize in single serve packaging. The current invention can use the same type of equipment for filling the package, but with a dual filling operation for two separate liquid types.
The existing packages may be difficult for consumers to handle. A consumer may need to peel off the lid to open, and once opened the contents must be removed using a spoon or knife to dispense the contents of the package. This is usually a messy procedure.
An alternative package has also been developed for sauces with a dual chamber plastic package—with a flat base, and rectangular shape where the lid section has a purpose made weakened, raised, and positioned lengthwise score line midway between the two longer parallel sides. When the two chambers under the lid are squeezed together, the contents are dispensed via the weakened scored section through the lid. This package can only deliver the contents of the package if the two chambers are squeezed toward each other, and by no other method.
Again, such packages are messy to handle, and there is little control over the delivery of the contents, which tend to squirt out, and in some cases cause the contents to spill onto the user. There is little control over the dispensing of such contents, with the package-opening pointed away from the user so that it is not visible to the user when dispensing the product.
The current invention is designed to increase visible control over the direction of dispensing and the dispensed quantity of such liquids, and therefore overcome the deficiency of such existing packages.
Small volume packages are also used in the cosmetic and toiletries industry, where the most common form of package is a small bottle or vial. The bottles or vials may be glass, plastic, or soft plastic tubes of various kinds that have lid closures. Such packages may be used for a range of products including skin care products, cosmetics, hand and face creams, skin lotions, suntan screens, liquid soaps of various kinds and other such products, including samples and demonstration of various cosmetics.
There are shortcomings of such single-serve packages and small bottles for containing and dispensing a pre-determined amount of a liquid. The invention disclosed herein seeks to provide a controlled means of dispensing a liquid product via a defined, visible and apparent opening that becomes visible after the removal of closure system at one end of the package. The disclosed technology also provides alternative means of dispensing the product—by opening the closure and squeezing individual chambers together, separately, or in sequence.
With each chamber containing an accurate measured volume of liquid, it is possible to ensure a volume relationship between the two separate liquids held in each chamber of the package.
Further, the present invention enables two separate products to be dispensed from the one package for a single use, but for dual purposes.
The current technology may have application as a single use, dual purpose package as a sampling tester in the cosmetic industry—where small volume packages are useful to those people wanting to test a product prior to purchase, and useful to cosmetic companies as both a demonstration and test sampling device. It is also preferably of a size and shape that is suited to use as a purse pack that may be useful during travelling, particularly given restrictions on larger packages through airport security.
Further, the present invention enables the user to use the package as a means of controlled decoration of a surface—such as to create a decorative individual pattern of tomato sauce/mustard on a hot dog, bagel, sub or sandwich; to add a white and brown chocolate coating onto a cake; signature decorations on a coffee or cake; decorative salad oils onto salads; use as a face paint for children's parties and such other purposes as determined by the user.
In effect this enables the user to use the package as a form of writing or drawing instrument using the contained liquid to draw with and create a recognizable artistic pattern, signature or shape.
Further, the present invention has application in the home hobby, hardware and plumbing businesses for applications such as glues—including two part glues; epoxies; sealants; silicones; and paints of various kinds where a single serve package form is desired to minimize wastage or when two associated components are used to create the desired end product mix.
While the package has be designed as a dual chamber package for two separate types of liquid, it will be readily appreciated that the package can also be used for one type of liquid in both chambers of the package.
In another depiction of the package, a single orifice opening is also possible where the separation of the two liquids is not specifically required or desired.
In general, the package will be constructed from a thermo-formed or as pre-formed vacuum package, but equally it could be formed in a variety of soft plastics or laminates which might be clear, opaque, translucent or coloured for decorative or other reasons.
It is also possible that the package form could also be textured or sculpted and coloured to create a creative decorative effect and resemble the surface and visual colour of a fruit such as a lemon or strawberry or other such object.
As a single serve package holding two independent but related liquids, the invention eliminates the need for two separate packages and the additional packaging materials involved. It allows for savings in space, transport cost, environmental cost, and inherent costs associated with having two separate packages. The present technology has the potential to achieve significant cost savings in manufacture, distribution and beyond the sale to the point of disposal.
The present technology has a number of advantages over conventional single serve packaging forms. It combines two separate products into one package. It may be useful for dispensing single serve products such as sauces and condiments, certain alcohols, cocktail mixes, milks and other foods or beverages of a liquid or semi liquid form, cosmetic and toiletries products such as liquid soaps, face and body creams, shampoos and conditioners, artist materials, glues and hardware, plumbing, sealing compounds and such like products.
In particular, the package contains two separate liquids that are isolated from each other, with no cross contamination, in a single serve package form. The package enables both liquids to be dispensed for a common use, or be dispensed sequentially as needed.
Further, the use of a single or dual orifice and closure system enables the contents to be dispensed in a controlled flow. It can also be used directionally to dispense the contents in a more defined manner. Moreover it enables the contents to be used for a decorative effect, as in a personal signature using the contents to draw with, with the user having precise control in dispensing the content. For example, the package might be used to draw a straight or random line on a hot dog using mustard and tomato ketchup, to provide a dual colour and taste combination. The package may be useful for creating a signature or message on a cake, donut, bagel, or coffee using the contents. The package may be useful in containing a two-part glue and merge the two compounds together at the point of use.
In reading the specification it should be noted that any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like which have been included is solely for the purpose of providing a context to the present invention. It should not be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters from part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present invention as it existed before the priority date of each claim of this application.
According to the first aspect, the present invention is a package comprising two separate, symmetrical chambers. The chambers are sealed by a separate top lid that defines the overall shape of the package. A central ridge, which separates the two chambers, also operates as a hinge between the two chambers.
According to the second aspect of the invention, the present technology is a method of dispensing a predetermined volume of a liquid material or substance, by opening the end closure to provide a single or dual orifice opening, and to enable the user to dispense the contents by squeezing the contents of each chamber in the package, either separately, sequentially or together.
By way of example only, the invention is now described with reference to the accompanying drawings:
The dual chamber package will be generally be developed in a heart shape, tear-drop, round, oval, kidney, comma or another shape, for example symmetrical alphabets such as M or W. Referring to
The cleft (or “ridge”) 15 also operates as a hinge mechanism, akin to that of a butterfly. The two separate chambers (or receptacles)1 3, 14 come together as wings when pressure is applied, and the content of each chamber is dispensed via an orifice (not shown) that is closed by a closure 16. The orifice and the closure 16 are located at an extended end 17 of the central ridge 15. The size of the orifice and closure 16 may vary, as long as the closure 16 is easily opened, for example snap-opened, to enable the contents to be squeezed out via the orifice. In general the orifice is between 1.0 mm and 3.0 mm in diameter, but this-can be varied according to the content within the package and overall size of the package.
The container 12 may be translucent, clear, pearlescent or coloured, and it may be smooth, textured or sculptured. In some embodiments of the invention, a coloured and textured package may be produced to create the illusion of a fruit such as a lemon or strawberry or other such object that reflects the contents.
The central inner edge 23 also forms a part of the container's top 22. The central inner edge 23 and the outer perimeter 21 provide an attachment area between the container 12 and the lid 11. They are sufficiently wide, so that the lid 11 can be attached to the container form a secure seal. The sealing may be done by gluing, heat sealing, or ultra sonic welding. The seal is secure enough to prevent cross contamination between the content of the chambers, and to fully enclose the contents by providing an air-tight and moisture-proof seal.
The lid (or “cover”) 11 is constructed of a barrier material (food grade where required). The material can be various types plastics, bio-plastics, alumina or other such material. The cover 11 and the container 12 are preferably constructed using materials with different stiffness.
An exterior 24 of the lid 11 may have printed on it indicia for the purposes of decoration, identification of the content and the weight or volume of the content, identification of the brand, date coding other uses. The lid 11 may further have formed in it a central weakened line 28, for example a score line. The weakened line 28 aids the folding of the entire package. Using two fingers such as a thumb and another finger, the user grips the package by the lid edges or by the two receptacles, and exerts pressure to dispense the contents in a controlled manner.
It will be appreciated that the size, volume and weight of the package will vary according to the type and quantity of the contents, but overall the package is designed for a single use. It should also be recognized that the package is tamper evident.
The two chambers 13,14 may contain the same product or different products that are complementary to each other. A wide variety of viscous, semi-viscous or liquid materials may be contained in the package. These products could be, without limitation, alcohols, cocktail mixes and such foodstuffs as flavourings and sauces of various kinds, including but not limited to tomato sauce, chili sauce, ketchup, mustards, soy sauce, seafood sauce, Asian sauces, fruit sauces and such products as condensed milk, milks, products derived from milk, honey, yogurts, white and dark chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, caramel, coffee, strawberry, apple and other fruit compounds and flavourings as well as decorative cake icings, fudges and confectionery uses, including such products as food colourings, liquid herb, soup and spice mixes; jams, spreads and condiments; mayonnaise and salad oils and dressings and such like food products.
The package can be used for toiletry and cosmetic uses. For example it may contain such products as shampoos, conditioners, body and face washes, creams and lotions, baby oils, bath additives, facial scrubs, herbal remedies, skin tonics, suntan lotions, liquid soaps and other such uses.
The package can also be used for pharmaceutical purposes of, for example, dispensing skin remedies, cough and cold remedies, vitamin supplements and other medicines where a single or dual serve package is required.
In the hardware, plumbing and paint industry the package has application in dispensing decorative paints, single use glues, silicones and epoxies. In the artist supply market the package has application as a means of dispensing face paints, artist paints, colour effects and such like purposes.
As further shown in
The lid 11 preferably has formed in it a weakened (or softened) line or score line 25 between a closure 16 for the package and the rest of the package 10. This line 25 aids the opening of the package.
The lid 11 may be manufactured from materials such as plastics, laminates, bio-degradable or alumina materials which are inert, food compliant or non-reactive with the contents held within the package so as to comply with all safety and legislative issues.
The container 12 comprises moulded twin chambers 13, 14 and a central ridge 15 that separates the two chambers 13, 14. The orifices for the two chambers are joined to a single closure 16.
The chambers 13, 14 are symmetrical about the central ridge 15. As described previously, each chamber shaped so as to enable the stacking of filled or unfilled packages. The top perimeter of the container 12 and the top edge of the central ridge 15 lie on a single horizontal plane 22. The top perimeter and the top edge are of sufficient width to enable the lid 11 to be attached via heat sealing, glues or other means so as to form a complete seal to preserve the contents of each chamber and keep them separate, one to the other until the package is used.
The sides of each chamber are sloped outwardly from the bottom of the container, so as to enable easy moulding and also stacking of unfilled chamber packages where they are pre-formed.
The container 12 may be smooth walled or in some versions of the package textured or shaped to have an appearance that suggests the type of contents. For example the container may be made to resemble a strawberry or a lemon. The chambers may be pre-tinted in a colour to add further to the depiction of some contents such as fruits or other substances.
The plastics or materials used in constructing the second part of the package can be clear, transparent, translucent, pearlescent or coloured as desired, without changing the functionality of the package form.
The two chambers mirror each other in size and shape. The volume of liquids inside each chamber will vary according to the contents, but will generally be between 1 and 10 ounces.
In usage each chamber is designed to be squeezed so as to deliver the contents via the twin orifice tunnels 26, 27 to the closure 16. This squeezing may be by squeezing the two chambers toward each other—similar to two butterfly wings folding together—hinged by the central ridge 15. The chambers may alternatively be individually squeezed or in sequence to dispense the contents of one or both chambers.
The central ridge 15 of the container 12 is designed to provide a clear separation of the two chambers 13, 14 and twin orifice tunnels 26, 27 such that the contents do not mix prior to use The central ridge 15 also offers a means of attaching the lid section to provide a seal to enclose the contents of the package. The central ridge further acts as a hinge about which the two chambers of the package fold toward each other. Therefore, in use the central ridge performs a vital function.
The twin orifice tunnels 26, 27 are designed such that they maintain a separation between the two separate contents until the time of use—so that no cross mixing or contamination occurs prior to use.
The closure (or “end cap”) 16 is designed as a snap-off closure, where a score line 25 defines the position of the opening. The score line 25 facilitates the user to snap open the closure 16 either completely or partially to create an opening. In certain configurations a small screw-on overcap, twist plug or other closure method may be used as an alternative package closure/opening system.
The package 40—described as a ‘butterfly pack’—is designed to dispense the contents of the two chambers 41, 42, the two chambers being symmetrical about a central cleft (or central ridge) 43. The contents may be two distinctly different types of liquid. Each chamber 41 (42) narrows into a chamber exit port 44(45). The chamber exit ports 44, 45 come together in a merge area 46. A preferably elongated channel 47 leads away from the mixing area 47 and toward an extended end 48 of the package 40. The channel 47, when sealed by the top lid (or “cover”) 49, becomes the dispensing tunnel.
A closure 50 closes the single tunnel (or channel) 47, and may be removed from the package 40 along a score line 51. The removal (for example, by snapping open) of the closure 44 creates a single orifice or opening through which the chamber contents are dispensed. The package 40 allows the dispensing of the content with directional control over the quantity and direction of that flow for a single individual usage application.
While the present invention has been disclosed with reference to particular examples and details of construction, these should be understood as having been provided by way of example and not as limitations to the scope or spirit of the invention.