US 3610516 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Joseph J. Esty 1827 Logan Ave., San Diego, Calif. 92113 827,852
May 26, 1969 Oct. 5, 1971  inventor  Appl. No.
 Filed  Patented  CONTAINER FOR PERISHABLE PRODUCTS 3 Claims, 10 Drawing Figs.
 11.8. C1 229/53, 53/22 B, 206/46 PV  Int. Cl B65d 81/20  Field of Search 229/53, 62, 66, 62.5; 206/D1G. 12, 46 PV; 99/171; 53/22 B, 1 12 B  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,649,234 8/1953 Taunton 206/D1G. 12
3,261,140 7/1966 Long 53/22 B 3,149,772 9/1964 Olsson 229/62 3,165,114 1/1956 Garrett..... 229/62.5 X 3,214,221 10/1965 Finnegan. 99/171 X Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton AttorneyWarren H. F. Schmieding ABSTRACT: The steps in the method of preserving a perishable product in a container formed of impermeable material, which steps comprise purging the container with an inert fluid after the product is in the container, and after the purging step, sealing the container against the ingress of environmental air, The container is provided with a product-inlet opening, with openings for the ingress of inert fluid and for the egress of air and for sealing the container l after the product is within the container and (2) after completing the purging.
PATENTEUUCT Si n 3.610.516
SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTOR.
JOSEPH J. EST) PATENTEDBBI 1% 3,610,516
sum 2 OF 2 INVENTOR.
JOSEPH J. EST) BY W847 M ATTORNEY CONTAINER FOR 'PERISHABLE PRODUCTS CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS Applicant has pending an application Ser. No. 645,968, filed June 14, 1967, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,521,806.
BACKGROUND OF THEINVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention is directed to the packaging of a perishable product, such as food, flowers, etc., wherein the container for the product is purged of air by an inert fluid after the product is placed therein and thereafter the container is sealed with the inert flnlid therein.
2. Description of the Prior Art Applicants copending application Ser. No. 645,968, filed June 14, 1967, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,521,806 is the most pertinent prior art.
The U.S. Pat. to Ferguson et al. No. 2,718,105 is directed .to package manufacture and the filling of the package, but does not suggest purging the package of air with an inert fluid.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The container of the present invention includes a productinlet opening and two other openings for the ingress and egress of a purging fluid such as nitrogen gas, argon gas, etc. After the product is placed in the container, it is sealed except the purging fluid openings. Thereafter, inert fluid is forced through the container, purging the same of air, and thereafter the inert-fluid openings are closed by sealing the container about those openings. Suitable areas are provided on the container for sealing one side of the container to the other side.
Other features and the advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to theaccompanying drawings wherein preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view of one side of a container showing one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1, showing the position of the opposite sides of the container with the product inlet open prior to any of the sealing steps, and showing a product therein;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view of the upper part of the container, the section'being taken along line 22 of FIG. 1, showing the position of thesides of the container after the first sealing step is performed;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 3, but showing the position of the sides of the container after the second sealing step is performed;
FIG. 5 is a view of one side of a container showing another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5, showing the positioning of the opposite sides of the container with the product inlet open prior to any of the sealing steps and showing a product therein;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view of the upper part of the container, the section being taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5, showing the position of the sides of the container after the first sealing step is performed;
FIG.-8 is a top plan fragmentary view of the right end of the container, the view being taken looking in the direction of arrows 8 in FIG. 7',
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view looking in the direction of arr0ws'9 in FIG. 7; and
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 7,
but-showing the positions of the side portions of the container after the second sealing step is performed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The containers may be of any type in which portions thereof may be sealed to one another, and, in the preferred embodiments, the container is formed of aheabsealing plastic such as polyethylene, polystyrene, ete., orsuitably, treated paper having heat-sealing characteristics.
Referring first to the container 20 shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, inclusive, it is provided with two sides and for the sake of simplicity of disclosure, one side is termed as the front side 22 and the other side is referred to as the rear side 24. These sides are integral. The top of the container isprovided with a productinlet opening 26 and the bottom 28 is sealed to the sides 22 and 24.
The container 20 is provided with two openings30 and 32 below the product-inlet opening 26, herein shown in the front side 22. An. endless-sealing area34, shown by dot and dash lines, surrounds the container intermediate the product-inlet opening 26 and the openings 30- and 32. An endless-sealing area 36, shown by dot and dash. lines, surrounds the container below the openings 30 and 32 These openings are for the ingress of an inert fluid such as nitrogen gas, argon gas, etc., and for the egress of such fluid. and air. For't'he sake of simplicity, openings 30 and 32 are referred to as the gas-inlet and gasoutlet openings, respectively.
In carrying out the process, after the product 38, such as perishable food or flowers, is placed in the container 20 through the product-inlet opening 26 the upper part of the container is sealed completely along the endless-sealing area 34. Therefore, access to the interior of the container is had only through openings 30 and 32, i.e. the container is hermetically sealed except at openings 30 and 32. After that sealing step is performed, opening 30 receives a tub (not shown) which is connected with a source of inert gas. The gas flows into the container to drive all air out of the container through the outlet opening 32. After all of the air is purged from the container and after the inert gas fills the space about the product, the container is completely sealed from the outside environment by sealing along the endless-sealing area 36. Thus the product is subjected thereafter onlyto th'e inert gas which inhibits growth of bacteria.
Referring now to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 to 10, like in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the container includes the front side 122, the rear side 124 the product inlet 126 and the bottom 128. The container includes' two sealing areas 134 and 136. Like area 36 in FIGS. 1 to area 136, as shown by dot and dash lines, is endless, but the sealing area 134 above area 136 stops short of the opposite edges of the container, as shown by dot and dash lines 134. Thus the space between the left end of area 134 and the left edge of the container provides an inert-gas opening130 which is accessible from the top opening .126 of the container, and the space between the right end of area 134 and the right edge of the container provides an inert gas and air outlet 132. The air and some inert gas is expelled through the top opening 126. V
In carrying out the process withthis embodiment, FIGS. 5 to 10, after the perishable product is placed in the container through the product-inlet opening 126, the container is sealed along the area 134, i.e. the back is sealed to the front except at the outer edges of the container to thus form openings 130 and 132. Thereafter a tube (not shown), which is connected with a source of inert gas, is inserted into opening 130. The incoming gas completely purges the interior of all air therein. After all air is purged and supplanted with inert gas, the container is completely sealed at the endless-sealingarea I36.
As previously stated, the containers are fonned of heatsealing plastic. Therefore, all sealingareas are sealed by applying sufficientpressure and heat at those areas. I 1
By virtue of the. present invention, I have provided an inexpensive, readilysealable container and provided an inexpensive process of preserving perishable products.
Having described my invention, I claim:
I. An air-impermeable container for perishable products having:
A. front and rear sides forming a product compartment having: 1 a product-inlet opening adjacent the top thereof;
A. front and rear sides forming a product compartment having:
1. a product-inlet opening adjacent the top thereof;
B. a sealing area below the product-inlet opening for sealing the entire front and rear sides to one another;
C. an inert-fluid-inlet opening along one end of the sealing area;
D. an inert-fluid-outlet opening along the opposite end of the sealing area; I
E. and sealing area for sealing the inertfluidppenings from the product compartment.