US 3102034 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 27, 1963 H. WEINBERG METHOD OF' PACKAGING PROCESSED PICKLES AND TOMATOES Filed Aug. 22, 1961 INVENTOR je www? Mana/'- BY United States Patent "Ice 3,102,034 v METHOD F PACKAGING PROCESSED PICKLES AND TOMATOES Herman Weinberg, Evanston, Ill., assignor to The Manhattan Pickle Co., Inc., Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed Aug. 22, 1961, Ser. No. 133,154 2 Claims. (Cl. 99-171) The invention relates to packaged processed pickles and processed tomatoes. The term processed as employed in connection with pickles and tomatoes contemplated by this invention refers to the fact that the pickles and tomatoes, during at least a part of their processing, have been subjected to a common salt brine solution, or to a solution containing common `salt and other agents such `as sugar, vinegar, ilavoring agents, and preservatives, examples of such processed pickles and tomatoes being dill pickles, sweet pickles, sour pickles, and sour tomatoes.
Processed pickles and tomatoes are conventionally packed and slhipped in brine or similar solutions and this is the usual case whether the packaging is in glass jars, 'wooden barrels, or other types of containers. Packaging in glass jars is relatively expensive; and while packaging in wooden barrels is substantially less costly, the pickles and tomatoes have a tendency to deteriorate and become soft fand soggy after a period of time, this being independent =of conditions of handling. Even in the case of :glass packed pickles and toma-toes,` appreciable deterioration not infrequently occurs in approximately rsix months. It has also heretofore been proposed to market processed pickles encased in wax coatings so that the pickles may be dry packed. While such wax coated pickles have gone into some commercial use, various difiiculties have been encounteredin connection with production techniques so that 'only very limited commercial use has actually occurred.
In accordancewith my invention, processed pickles and tomatoes are packaged in .a manner such las to, eliminate a number of objections which, so far as I am aware, have [always exiued with respect to the packaging, shipping and handling of such products.
I have discovered that if a processed pickle or tomato is packaged in a flexible film, which is especially desir-ably of transparent [or translucent character, :and essentially impervious to gas and moisture, and sealed under vacuum, whereby to collapse the flexible film labo-ut the processed pickle :or tomato, the 4thus packaged product will not only keep for prolonged periods of tinte but the maintenance of its flavor, freshness, and crispness is enhanced. My invention llas the additional important advantages of permitting effective packaging of processed pickles or tomatoes in sliced -fonm for ready eating, as well as, of course, in whole or unsl-iced form. t
Processed pickles and tomatoes packaged in this Inanner are compact and easily handled, and Ia number of the individual packages may, if desired, rbe packed in conventional paper bloxes [and sold as such, thus materially reducing packing and-shipping costs. Various other advantages of substantial commercial significance will be pointed out hereafter in connection with the detailed description `of the invention which follows.
`in order to illustrate my package and to simplify understanding, I hlave, on the attached @sheet of drawings, shown typical embodiments of my invention. Referring to the drawings:
FIG. 1 a view in perspective of a package containing a single processed pickle.
FIG. 2 isa View taken in section on line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
3,102,034 Patented Aug. 27, less FIG. 3 is a v-iew in perspective of a package containing a halved processed pickle.
FIG. 4 is a view taken in section on line 4 -4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a View in perspective of a package containing slices of a processed tomato and a processed pickle.
In the particularly preferred aspects of my invention, processed pickles |and tomatoes are individually packed, either whole or sliced, under vacuum in 1a transparent, flexible film or wrapper 10. In addition to being transparent and flexible, the film or wrapper employed is desirably of thermoplastic character so that it may readily besealed by conventional heat sealing or like sealing techniques, Iand it )should be essentially impermeable to aqueous media and yair. 'The film, moreover, should be one that does not readily tearand yet can be easily opened to expose the processed pickles or vtomatoes by simply removing the film lfrom. the surface of said product. Of equal importance, and as indicated above, the nlm should be one which is not lat-tacked by any fluids that may have been retained by the Iprocessed pickles or tomatoes as, for example, brine, causing a breakdown of the protective features of the film as well as the seals which Iare made at the time o-f wrapping.
A number of transparent, flexible films, which may be in the form of laminate films, now commercially available satisfy the requirements outlined and may be used pursuant to my invention. 'One of these comprises cellophane coated on both sides with a polyvinylidene chloride plastic film sold under the trade name .S-aran and then laminated to polyethylene. Another particularly suitable is made from polyethylene terephthalate and available commercially under the traden-1ark Mylan,
yIn carrying tout my invention, la processed pickle 11, or tomato, prelierably free or substantially free of fadliering water or .brine solution, or the like, 4is placed betweentwio l'ayersof the 10, the assembly is removed to Va vacuum chamber, and, while under vacuum, sealing means -is brought fnto operation to effectively and hermetically seal the juxtaposed edges 12 of the lilm. An envielope or container fabricated of the film may also be utilized, the edge portions being pre-sealed or Vfused by thermo scalable or pressure means. After the processed pickle or tomato is placed into said envelope or container, vacuum is applied to such an envelope or container and the open mouth thereof sealed as indicated above.
'IlliaA vacuum or sub-.atmospheric pressurev is` preferably maintained ata level of from about 14 to 18 inches of mercury lfor la time suicient to evacuate as much air as possible and to establish as great a differential in pres'- sure as can be obtained between atmospheric pressure and the reduced pressure in the package. Due to the fact that the package is imperfor-ate and is hermetically sealed under vacuum, the atmospheric pressure acting exteriorly on the package collapses it around the Iencased processed pickle or tornato. The vacuum package results in a complete and final litt-ing of the package lm rabout the encased product, as best shown in FIG. 2, eliminating loss of moisture from the periphery of the product. Moreover, the film, col-lapsed as it is about the product and, thus, being in contact with substantially all exterior surfaces thereof, effectively prevents access of any residual air in the package to the article thereby serving to inhibit activity of harmful aerobic bacteria. Furthermore, the generation of .gases which normally tonni in the aging of such processed products is virtually overcome. Fin-ally, the individual processed pickles or tomatoes, encased as they are in the package, are effectively prevented from movement within the package and thus physical change and abrasion of the products is avoided. y
Those areas lof-the inner surfaces of the packaging film or Wrapper not in contact with the outer surfaces of the processed product :are substantially in pressure contact with lone another due lto atmospheric pressure acting exteriorly of the package. results in the formation of ilattcned or planar areas surrounding the encased processed product, as shown in the drawings. .The plack- `age thus formed is adapted to Ilie substantially flat on a plane surface thereby `facilitating handling and packing. The collapsed condition of my package llas the further added advantage of substantially preventing the migration in the package of any residual processing fluids that might be released by the processed product. The package thus retains its latt'ractive and wholesome appearance, arid no spillage or messiness is encountered by the con snmer when the package is opened.
It Will be appreciated that processed pickles or tomatoes packaged as is contemplated by this invention are maintained in uncontaminated form until ready to be con sumed. It may also be noted that my invention makes possible and commercially teasible the marketing of individual single processed pickles or tomatoes, or a plurality of such products, preferably `spaced from each other, said processed pickles 'and tomatoes being in either Whole or in sliced form, as shown in FIGS. 1 Iand 4 illustrating embodiments containing a whole processed pickle 11 and slices 13 of same, or a given single package may be made up of both processed pickles `and tomatoes, either whole or in sliced form, the latter embodiment being illustrated in FIG. 5 wherein two slices 14 of a processed tomato and one slice 15 of la processed pickle are shown.
The practice of my invention eliminates the need for incorporating brine solution, or the like, in the package with the processed pickle or tomato. This, of course substantially prevents the said products from deteriorating and becoming soft and soggy, conditions that commonly arise particularly with sliced processed pickles and tomatoes. y
Shelf life tests conducted with my packaged processed pickles and tomatoes indicate that they maintain their original fresh taste, llavor and crispnessl for substantial periods of time, of the order of 'at least several months.
While my invention has been described in detail, no unnecessary limitations are to be read thereinto, the scope of the invention being set out in the appended claims.
What l claimas new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. A method of preparing a package containing Ia product selected from the group consisting of processed pickles and tomatoes comprising the steps of placing the processed product substantially free from adhering processing lluids into a container formed of -a transparent, flexible packaging film substantially impervious to gas land moisture, exhausting air and other gases from the container and sealing the container whereby the contents of the container will be vacunmized Iand the nor-mal pressure of the atmospheric 'air surrounding the container will cause the inner surfaces of the container immediately adjacent to said product to collapse about the product to thereby compartmentalize said product in the package and to substantially prevent movement :of the product within said container, .the remainder of the inner surfaces of the film being vbrought into pressure contact and forming substanrtially attened areas surrounding the product to thereby facilitate handling and packing of the package and to substantially prevent the migration in the package of any residual processing fluids that may be released by the encased processed product, said product in said package remaining crisp and fresh *and said package retaining a clear and wholesome appearance for a prolonged period. 2. A method of preplaring a package containing slices of a processed food item selected from the group consisting tof processed pickles and tomatoes, comprising the steps of placing the slices of the processed food item substantially free from adhering processing lluids into a container yfonmed of a transparent, ilexible packaging film substantially impervious to gas and moisture, exhausting air and other gases from lthe container, and sealing the container whereby the container be vacuumized and the normal pressure of the atmospheric air surrounding the container will cause the inner surfaces of the container immediately adjacent to the slices to collapse against said slices and compartmentalize the same to thereby substantially prevent movement of the slices within said container, the remainder of the inner surtaces of said container being brought into pressure contact and forming substantially ilattened areas surrounding the slices to thereby facilitate handling and packing of the package and to substantially prevent the migration in the package of any residual processing fluids ythat may -be released by the encased slices, said slices in said package remaining crisp and fresh and said package retaining a clear and wholesome appearance for a prolonged period.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,354,590 Gillillan et al. July 25, 1944 2,538,025l Moore et al. Ian. 16, 1951 2,660,529 Bloom Nov. 24, 1953 2,714,557 Mahaffy Aug. 2, 1955 2,799,589 Grinstead et al. July 16, 1957 2,834,686 'Renman May 13, 1958 OTHER REFERENCES Food Engineering, August 1953, page 143; 99-17l. (Copy is Soi. Lib.)