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Publication numberUS3673758 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 4, 1972
Filing dateDec 21, 1970
Priority dateDec 21, 1970
Publication numberUS 3673758 A, US 3673758A, US-A-3673758, US3673758 A, US3673758A
InventorsEsty Joseph J
Original AssigneeEsty Joseph J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of packaging and preserving perishable products
US 3673758 A
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 (1) after the product is within the container and (2) after completing the purging.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Esty [451 'July 4,1972

[54] METHOD OF PACKAGING AND PRESERVING PERISHABLE PRODUCTS [72] Inventor: Joseph J. Esty, San Diego, Calif. 92101 221 Filed: Dec.2l, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 100,338

Related u.s. Application um [62] Division of Ser. No. 827,852, May 26, 1969, Pat. No.

[52] 0.8. CI ..53/22 B, 53/37 [51] Int. Cl ..B65b 31/04 [58] Field of Search ..53/7, 22 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,242,686 5/1941 Tin'ell ..53/7 X 3,261,140 7/1966 Long et a] ..53/22 B Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee AttorneyWarre'n H. Schmieding [57] 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.

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JOSEPH J. EST) A T TORNE Y METHOD or PACKAGING AND PRESERVING PERISIIABLE PRODUCTS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS The present application is a division of application Ser. No. 827,852 filed May 26, 1969, now US. Pat. No. 3,610,516. Applicant has also been granted US. Pat. No. 3,521,806 dated July 28, 1970 which issued from his Ser. No. 645,968 filed June 14, 1967. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 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 fluid therein.

2. Description of the Prior Art Applicants copending application Ser. No. 645,968, filed June 14, 1967' is the most pertinent prior art.

The patent to Ferguson et al. US. Pat. 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 product inlet 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 the accompanying 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 the sides 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 step 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 77 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 arrows 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 a heat sealing plastic such as polyethylene, polystyrene, etc., or suitably treated paper having heat-sealing characteristics. A preferred form of container is disclosed in the parent application of the present divisional application, Ser. No. 827,852 filed May 26, 1969.

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 is provided with a product inlet opening 26 and the bottom 28 is sealed to the sides 22 and 24.

The container 20 is provided with two openings 30 and 32 below the product inlet opening 26, herein shown in the front side 22. A sealing area 34, shown by dot and dash lines, extends to opposite side edges of the front and back of the container and seals the confronting front and rear sides of the container intermediate the product inlet opening 26 and the openings 30 and 32. A sealing area 36, shown by dot and dash lines, extends to opposite side edges of the front and back of the container and seals the confronting front and rear sides of 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 the sake of simplicity, openings 30 and 32 are referred to as the gas inlet and gas outlet 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 entire 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. Afterthat sealing step is performed, opening 30 receives a tube (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 sealing area 36. Thus the product is subjected thereafter only to the 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 4, area 136, as shown by dot and dash lines, extends to opposite side edges of the front and back of the container and seals the confronting front and rear sides of the container, 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 opening 130 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.

In carrying out the process with this embodiment, FIGS. 5 to 10, after the perishable product is placed into 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 I30 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 sealing area 136.

As previously stated, the containers are formed of heat sealing plastic. Therefore, all sealing areas are sealed by applying sufficient pressure and heat at those areas.

By virtue of the present invention, I have provided an inexpensive process of preserving perishable products.

Having described my invention, I claim:

1. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product in a container formed of impermeable material having a product inlet opening, which steps comprise:

A. inserting the product through the product inlet opening;

8. thereafter hermetically sealing the container to partlyclosed position to provide an inlet opening and an outlet opening below the product inlet opening;

C. thereafter purging the interior of the container by forcing an inert fluid through the container through those portions of the container which remain open;

D. and thereafter completely hermetically sealing the container from the environment and the source of inert fluid by completely sealing the same below the fluid inlet and outlet openings.

2. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the inert fluid is a gas. 7

3. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the container is a flexible bag.

4. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product as defined in claim 1, characterized in that the container is formed of heat sealing plastic material and further characterized in that the sealing is by applying heat and pressure at the sealing areas.

5. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product in a container formed of impermeable material having a product inlet opening, which steps comprise:

A. inserting the product through the product inlet opening;

B. thereafter hermetically sealing the container below the product inlet opening to partly-closed position to provide spaced openings leading to and from the container;

C. thereafter purging the interior of the container by forcing an inert fluid through the container through those portions of the container which remain open;

D. and thereafter completely hermetically sealing the-last mentioned openings from the environment and the source of inert fluid. V

6. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product as defined in claim 5, characterized in that the inert fluid is a gas.

7. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product as defined in claim 5, characterized in that the container is a flexible bag. I

8. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product as defined in claim 5, characterized in that the container is formed of heat sealing plastic material and further characterized in that the sealing is by applying heat and pressure at the sealing areas.

9. Those steps in the method of preserving a perishable product contained in a flexible bag having a product inlet opening at the top thereof and formed of an impermeable material which is capable of being sealed by applying heat and pressure thereto, which steps comprise:

A. inserting the product into the bag through the product inlet opening;

B. thereafter applying heat and pressure to confronting sides of the upper part of the material forming the bag to seal the same, below the product opening, except at two spaced areas;

C. thereafter purging the interior of the bag of air by forcing an inert fluid into the bag through one of the non-sealed areas and simultaneously forcing air out of the bag through the other non-sealed area;

D. and thereafter completely hermetically sealing the material of the bag from the outer environment and the source of the inert fluid by applying heat and pressure across and to the opposite side e ges of confronting surfaces of the upper part of the bag below the product inlet opening. 10. The steps in the method as defined in claim 9, characterized in that the inert fluid is a gas.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2242686 *Mar 9, 1938May 20, 1941Tirrell Leslie LPackage
US3261140 *Aug 30, 1963Jul 19, 1966Continental Can CoMicrowave sterilization and vacuumizing of products in flexible packages and apparatus therefor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4919955 *Jun 27, 1988Apr 24, 1990Mitchell Jerry LMethod for packaging perishable products
US5501525 *Feb 24, 1994Mar 26, 1996Winpak Films, Inc.Bone-guard bag
US6018932 *Jan 7, 1998Feb 1, 2000Premark Feg L.L.C.Gas exchange apparatus
US6112506 *Jun 10, 1999Sep 5, 2000Premark Feg L.L.C.Gas exchange apparatus
US6125613 *Jun 10, 1999Oct 3, 2000Premark Feg L.L.C.Method for modifying the environment in a sealed container
US6142208 *Jun 10, 1999Nov 7, 2000Premark Feg L.L.C.Seal pickup station
US6240709 *Jul 20, 1999Jun 5, 2001Linpac, Inc.Collapsible bag for stacking and method thereof
US20020174627 *Jul 30, 2002Nov 28, 2002Wahei KitamuraSurface package type semiconductor package and method of producing semiconductor memory
US20040262187 *Jun 26, 2003Dec 30, 2004Applied Materials, Inc.Clean room transportation package for process chamber kit
US20050028926 *Aug 7, 2003Feb 10, 2005Garry TsaurSealing method
US20060283770 *Jun 3, 2005Dec 21, 2006Applied Materials, Inc.Transportation fixture and package for substrate rack
US20090266720 *Apr 23, 2008Oct 29, 2009Richards Mark LSystem for Protecting Objects from Reactive Atmospheric Gases
Classifications
U.S. Classification53/434, 53/479, 53/469
International ClassificationB65B31/04
Cooperative ClassificationB65B31/04
European ClassificationB65B31/04