US 3418139 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 24, 1968 o. R. CRAIG FRUiIT PACKAGE WITH INTEGRAL STAND SUPPORT Filed 001.. 9. 1964 ENTOR Doom/1s E. (Aw/r,
' BY %%fi%m United States Patent 3,418,139 FRUIT PACKAGE WITH INTEGRAL STAND SUPPORT Douglas R. Craig, 3018 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90007 Filed Oct. 9, 1964, Ser. No. 402,723 3 Claims. (Cl. 99171) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A processed fruit package wherein a prepared segmented fruit is enclosed in a divided mold and held together by a tear tape with said mold having stand sup ports on each end thereof for supporting the segmented fruit upon removal of said tear tapes.
The present invention relates to a food package and method of making the same, and particularly to a package for containing articles of food for convenient use and effective storage.
The natural forms of various vegetarian foods, e.g. fruits, vegetables, and so on, require considerable effort for preparation prior to use. For example, oranges, normally eaten in fresh form are not only somewhat difficult to store and transport, but are usually as well somewhat messy to prepare and eat. As a result of these considerations, vast quantities of food oranges are converted to juice, which of course is easily and conveniently consumed.
A considerably increased quantity of fresh oranges would be consumed, if they could be handled and eaten more conveniently than is presently the case. Therefore, a need exists for a system of packaging wherein various foodstuffs such as oranges can be preserved ready for use in a somewhat natural form, and can be easily, conveniently and cleanly consumed from the same package in which they have been stored and transported.
More specifically, a food package as for an orange would ideally possess several characteristics, including: providing protective film for cleanliness; preserving the fresh characteristics of the fruit; providing a protective shell against handling damage and facilitating convenient consumption of the fruit.
Various prior packaging systems have satisfied some of these desirable characteristics to various degrees; however, a need persists for an economical system capable of providing satisfaction of each to a greater degree.
In general, the present invention comprises a packaging system wherein a food article, e.g. a fresh orange, is first prepared, as by steam or other treatment to remove the undesired skin if present, as in an orange. Next, the article may be sectioned, and again using an example of an orange, the sectioning would normally be into spherical sectors, each clean of peel, rind and husk. The sections are then placed together, somewhat in a form of the original food article, a sphere in the orange example, and coated with an inert cover, e.g. plastic, which may be scored to define a parting pattern that in turn may define the divided sections of the food article. Of course, the cover may incorporate various features as: a member to easily open the package along the desired lines; an appearance resembling that of the natural food article; and a holder for the sections of the food article, to facilitate consumption after opening.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved package for various articles of food.
Another object of this invention is to provide a process for preparing various articles of food, whereby they are Patented Dec. 24, 1968 ice preserved clean, fresh and unbruised, and can be conveniently prepared when the consumer desires.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a structure including a fresh orange or onion for example, which is well preserved, and which may be easily and conveniently consumed in a substantially fresh form.
A further object of this invention is to provide a package for an article of food wherein the article is somewhat prepared and wherein the package is rendered to be easily severed along certain lines, thereby providing easy access and convenient separation.
One further object of the present invention is to provide a process and a resulting article which may be economically practiced to provide fresh vegetarian foods in a clean, unbruised form, that are easy and convenient to use and store.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a container for fresh fruits, vegetables and so on, which is attractive in appearance, rigid in structure, yet, easy to open and effective to preserve the food article contained.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following taken in conjunction with the drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an orange package, constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken centrally through the orange package of FIGURE 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a grapefruit package, constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the package of FIG- URE 3, in an opened state; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a small-fruit package, constructed in accordance with the present invention.
Referring initially to FIGURE 1, the orange package includes an exterior cover 10 which is scored so that the cover will easily tear along a line 12 as shown in FIG- URE 2. Upon opening the package along the line 12, sections 14 of an orange contained in the package are available to be eaten or otherwise used. A pull or press tab 16 incorporated in the cover 10 at the stem location, facilitates severing the package to open the cover into hemispherical portions as by another pull tab 17 affixed to a waist tape 18. That is, for example, the tab 16 may be pressed or pulled to pierce the package in the event a pressure differential exists. Next, the tab 17, integrallyformed with the tape 18 may be pulled to divide the cover 10 into hemispherical parts 21 and 23.
Considering the orange package structure in greater detail, the cover 10 may be marked by stippling 19 to provide a texture resembling the rough skin of a natural orange. Furthermore, the cover will usually be orange in color for the same reason, and the pull tab 16 may be formed to resemble an actual stem of the fruit.
Further description of the orange package of FIG- URES l an 2 may now be best accomplished by a detailed description of the process of manufacturing the package. Of course, the process is normally to be accomplished with the processing of many units somewhat simultaneously; however, description of the process as it relates to a single orange package is more explicit and will therefore be provided herein.
At the outset, the natural orange may be initially treated with steam as well known in the prior art to facilitate removal of the husk, peel or skin. After steam treatment, the outer peel as well as the interior pulp of the natural orange (normally inedible) is removed. Furthermore, the orange is divided into the sections 14, normally following natural boundaries between the sections of the orange. The interior core or stem pulp of the orange may also be removed. The sections 14 are then re-assembled in mating relationship as a sphere, substantially as shown.
The orange sections 14, assembled as a sphere, now receive the cover which may be formed of plastic or other inert substance. Various techniques may be used used for applying the cover, as, dipping, spraying and molding. However, one method that may be effectively practiced involves a cover which is somewhat pre-fornied, prior to application over the orange sections. The cover may be formed by first molding the hollow semispherical parts 21 and 23.
The clean reassembled spherical fruit may then be placed in the somewhat preformed cover as described, so that the separated parts 21 and 23 of the cover align to mate with the tape 18 sealed at the junction therebetween. As a final step, the cover may be closed about the fruit, and subjected to heat and pressure. For example, the article may be momentarily placed in an environment of hot steam under pressure. The heat and pressure may force certain gasses out of the cover 10, bring the interior of the cover into intimate contact with the exterior surfaces of the orange sections; and somewhat seal the seams *of the cover. The period during which the package is subjected to this environment may be relatively short, because though it may be desired to accomplish a hermetic seal it is also desired that the pull tabs and so on remain distinct so that the cover 10 may be easily opened by hand.
After the package has been completed, the orange meat therein will endure considerable handling and aging without damage remaining in good condition for consumption. When the time comes to eat the orange meat of the package, it is opened, as described above, and is ready for neat, clean and easy consumption. It is also noteworthy that the inedible portion of the package, e.g. the cover 10, is inert, and therefore presents no need for hasty disposal as to avoid foul odors and so on.
As indicated above, the packaging system of the present invention has application to various foods other than oranges as specifically described. For example, the basic configuration as described above may be useful for many sphere-like fruits and vegetables simply by varying to conform to the physical dimensions of the fruit or vegetable involved. For example, however, clearly without limitation, the package is readily adaptable for lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pears, applies, peaches, and so on. Certain fruits and vegetables which are conventionally eaten in halves at the table, e.g. grapefruit, cantaloupe and other table foods, may be better suited to another type package of the present invention as will now be considered.
conventionally, grapefruit and similar fruits are consumed at the table, rather than as a hand food as is the case with oranges. In the usual situations the grapefruit is cut in halves then the fruit sections are separated from the peel and pulp either before serving, or at the table. In either instance, the separation of the fruit meats in bite-size portions is often messy, inconvenient and sometimes diflicult.
Referring to FIGURE 3, there is shown a grapefruit package as an example, of such table food. The package includes a central spherical section 28 having diametrically-opposed fiat disks 29 and 30 affixed thereto. A pull tape 31 with a tab 32 is fixed at the waist of the spherical section 28 which tape may be drawn therefrom to separate the package into two serving portions 33, as shown in FIGURE 4, each containing one half grapefruit 34, sectioned and ready of easy consumption.
As shown in FIGURE 4, the disk 29 of one of the portions 33 is removable, so as to cover the exposed surface of the grapefruit 34, should only one of the portions be consumed at the time of opening. That is, the disk 29, is removed from the empty portion, to be placed over the fruit 34 of the other portion.
In providing the convenient grapefruit package, the fruit is cleaned and divided into half sections which are placed in the mating hemispherical containers or sections of the spherical section 28 to be scaled therein for preservation until subsequent use. Considering this package structure in greater detail, the spherical section 28 with separable disks 29 and 30 may be formed of various plastics for example, and are in a somewhat mated goblet form.
The two halves of the spherical section 28 are joined at their annular lips 38 and 39, the abutting edges of which are covered by the tape 31. Thus the article may be neatly and easily readied for use, simply by pulling the tape 31 to separate the package into two serving portions. It is to be noted that if only half the fruit is to be consumed the disk, as disk 29 applied to the other half, continues to preserve the remaining half, fresh for subsequent consumption.
The process of manufacturing the grapefruit package of FIGURE 3 may be somewhat similar to that described for the orange package. Various well known techniques are first used to remove the peel and section the fruit meat. Next, the sections of fruit defined naturally may be cut in half to form the half sections which are assembled in somewhat original form in the containers which may be formed of plastic, for example. The package is then closed by the tape 31.
It is to be noted that sugar, artificial sweetener, or various other chemicals can be added to the grapefruit package along with the fruit sections to enhance the flavor or food value at the time the fruit is consumed. Furthermore, fruits or vegetables packaged in accordance with the present invention may also receive various other treatments or additives to provide an unnatural or preserving effect or environment in accordance with whatever is best for each type food. Thus the grapefruit package as illustratively disclosed, has many advantages in common with the orange package as illustratively disclosed; however, the grapefruit package serves for table use rather than as hand food.
It is to be understood that although the packaging system of the present invention may effectively be used for various fruits as described, it is also similarly useful and effective with relation to other foods. In this regard another exemplary package is shown in FIGURE 5 which is described below.
Fresh small fruits or vegetables are often considered quite a problem to prepare for use. Furthermore, certain other vegetable foods as onions are also particularly difficult and troublesome to prepare manually and may often be best used in a cut or prepared form.
In accordance with the present invention, FIGURE 5 shows a package for out foods or small foods contained for neat, convenient use. The package may take various shapes; however, in FIGURE 5, a parallelepiped form is shown formed by two mating box halves 40 and 41 which are joined at their open ends to matingly receive a closing tape 42 having a pull tab 43. The food (not shown) is prepared and placed in the package of FIGURE 5, which may be degassed, evacuated, ventilated or otherwise treated. Of course where desired, the food may be passed through baths or otherwise treated to prevent bacteria and other natural decaying processes.
When the food is to be consumed, the package of plastic or other material may be opened by means of the pull tab 43 and removed for consumption.
Although various features and concepts of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing illustrative embodiment, the present invention is not to be limited in accordance therewith but is to be constructed in accordance with the claims set forth below.
What is claimed is:
l. A package containing a processed table fruit which has been prepared by being segmented into plural pieces,
5 6 inedible parts removed, and reassembled in its natural 3. A package containing a processed table fruit which shape, comprising: has been prepared by being segmented into plural pieces, a unitary, inert cover housing said fruit to hold said inedible parts removed, and reassembled in its natural pieces substantially in a natural arrangement, said shape, comprising: cover including a pull tape to facilitate severing, 5 a cover housing said fruit to hold said pieces substan- Which pull tape lies in fixed positional relationship to tially in a natural arrangement, said cover including said pieces of fruit as segmented; a pull tape to facilitate severing which pull tape is a pair of flared stand supports, integral with said cover aligned to define the positions of pieces of fruit as and diametrically opposed, and perpendicular to the segmented, said cover being contiguous the surface plane defined by said pull tape. 10 of said fruit whereby to engage same; a pair of stand 2. A package containing a processed table fruit which supports, integral with said cover, and diametrically has been prepared by being segmented into plural pieces, opposed, and perpendicular to the plane defined by inedible parts removed, and reassembled in its natural said pull tape; said pair of supports being separable shape, comprising: from said cover whereby to mate with said cover to a cover housing said fruit to hold said pieces substan- 15 shield said fruit after opening said cover.
tially in a natural arrangement, said cover including a pull tape to facilitate severing, which pull tape defines References Cited the position of said pieces of fruit as segmented; UNITED STATES PATENTS a pair of stand supports, integral with said cover, and 1 277 1418 8/1918 Starr 99 100 diametrically opposed, and perpendicular to the 20 2,452,174 10/1948 Arnold plane defined by said pull tape; said pair of supports being separable from said cover whereby to mate with said cover to shield said fruit after opening said RAYMOND JONES Pnmary Examiner cover. E. A. MILLER, Assistant Examiner.