US 3861576 A
A pizza pie support includes a bottom panel generally contiguous with the pizza pie, and flap structures hinged to the marginal edges of said bottom panel about its circumference. An envelope of shrink film encloses the pizza pie and its support, and holds said flap structures against the marginal edges of the pizza pie. The bottom panel is perforated to permit heated air to contact the product.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Tolaas et a1.
[ Jan. 21, 1975 1 HEATABLE PIZZA PIE SUPPORT  Inventors: William M. Tolaas, St. Paul; Edwin C. McLaren, Minneapolis, both of Minn.
 Assignee: Hoerner Waldorf Corporation,
' Ramsey County, Minn.
22 Filed: Jan. 11, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 322,794
 Field of Search....-..... 206/65 S, 46 F, 491, 497, 206/525, 45, 32, 4; 229/21, 30, 27, 41 B,
41 C, DIG. 12, 3.1, 3.5 R; 426/113, 128,
396; D7/23, 37; D9/220; 99/D1G. 15
.  I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 815,004 3/1906 Brown 229/21 823,934 6/1906 Davidson 229/21 1,016,468 2/1912 Bailey 229/21 2,204,118 6/1940 Brogden 206/46 F 2,286,879 6/1942 Thew 229/30 2,407,118 9/1946 Waters 93/49 3,188,215 6/1965 Snow, Jr. 229/D1G. 12
/0 0 o 00 0'0 0 0 ol 00000000000; 0 o 0 0000 o o 0/ o 000 o I 3,255,877 6/1966 Kracht et al 206/65 S 3,425,543 2/1969 Harvey 266/65 5 3,493,107 2/1970 Markey..... 206/65 S 3,627,116 12/1971 Cooper 229/27 3,650,383 3/1972 Nigro 206/4 3,656,614 4/1972 Jacobson 229/D1G. 12 3,771,713 11/1973 Davidson 229/27 3,774,835 ll/1973 Monaghan.... 229/D1G. 12 3,780,187 12/1973 Bard ct a1 206/46 F X D225,254 11/1972 Meancy, Jr. D7/38 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 879,501 10/1961 Great Britain 426/396 Primary Examiner-Frank W. Lutter Assistant Examiner-Steven L. Weinstein Attorney, Agent, or F irm- Robert M. Dunning; Jerry F. Best  ABSTRACT A pizza pie support includes a bottom panel generally contiguous with the pizza pie, and flap structures hinged to the marginal edges of said bottom panel about its circumference. An envelope of shrink film encloses the pizza pie and its support, and holds said flap structures against the marginal edges of the pizza pie. The bottom panel is perforated to permit heated air to contact the product.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 IIEATABLE PIZZA PIE SUPPORT This invention relates to an improvement in supports for pizza pie and the like, and comprises a supporting panel which may be enclosed with a pizza pie or similar product in an outer envelope of shrink film.
I BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Most pizza pies sold by supermarkets and the like in a frozen state were originally packaged in large rectangular cartons which were printed to show the product. In view of the fact that these cartons are of large size, and usually must be printed in colors and coated with film to prevent the product from staining the paperboard, they were relatively expense to produce. More recently, some of the companies producing products of this type have used a panel of coated corrugated paperboard as a support, and have wrapped the product in a transparent bag or wrapped the board in the product in an envelope of heat shrink film so that the product itself serves as the display. When used, the enclosing envelope must be opened up, and the product transferred to a flat metal panel such as a cookie sheet, or transferred directly on to the'oven shelf. During this process, portions of the product are usually broken off, or shaken loose from the product itself, creating particals of material which stick to the bottom of the oven, usually requiring the cleaning of the oven.
While some of the problem may be solved by supporting the pizza pie on a cookie sheet during the heating operation, the manufacturers usually recommend placing the pizza pie directly on the oven shelf so that the bottom portion of the product may be throughiy heated without being burned by direct contact with the metal sheet. Thus, if the heating operation is carried on in the manner specified by the producer, a dirty oven is likely to be the result.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The applicants have found that an effective pizza pie support may be produced by use of a disc of paperboard having on at least its upper surface a coating of a film of capable of withstanding the 400 to 500 degree F oven temperature used in heating the product. The pizza is placed upon this generally round disc, and wrapped in an envelope of shrink film. The bottom panel is perforated with a considerable number of holes so that heat may be directly against the bottom of the product when placed in the oven. As a result, it is only necessary to remove the outer shrink film wrapper, and
to place the product on a shelf in the oven so that no transfer of the product from one surface to another is necessary. As a result, the chance of soiling the bottom of the oven or lower oven shelves is greatly reduced.
We have found that the supporting of the pizza pie on the paperboard panel rather than on a metal sheet such as a cookie sheet or the like permits the heating of the product without burning the surface thereof. Most metal is capable of transferring heat rapidly while paperboard does not have this characteristic. In any event, when heated on the paperboard panels, the resultant product was superior to the products produced by heating upon a metal sheet. u
. A feature of the present invention resides in the provision of flap structures hingedly connected to the generally circular bottom panel about the'circumference thereof. During the heating of the shrink film, the film acts to draw these flap structures about the peripheral edges of the product forming a boarder which is not only actractive but which tends to function in the manner of a tray to prevent the spilling of the product.
A further feature of the present invention resides in the provision of a supporting panel of the type described having spaced flaps about it periphery, and including a tab of enlarged size designed to overlie a marginal portion of the product. This tab may be printed to provide information as to the contents, the price of the product, or other suitable indicia.
A modified form of construction may be produced in which the flap structures include flange portions hingedly connected to the edge of the bottom panel, and flap end portions hingedly connected to the flanges. If desired, the ends of the flange portions may be connected along cut score lines or the like. As the flange portions are folded upwardly, the cut score lines tend to cause a tearing of the paperboard intermediate its surfaces because of the trapezoidal shape of the flange portions. The flange portions may the form a continuous wall encircling the pizza while the flap end portions tend to fold down over the marginal portions of the product.
A further feature of the present invention resides in the provision of handle extensions which may be connected to the fiap structures on one side of the bottom panel or on diametrically opposite sides thereof. These handle portions provide a means of sliding the heated pizza from the oven at the completion of the heating operation.
These and other objects and novel features of the present invention will be more clearly and fully set forth in the following specification and Claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The pizza support is indicated in general by the letter A. The support A is designed to support a product such as a circular pizza B. The support A and pizza B are enclosed in a sealed envelope of shrink film C.
With reference to FIG. 2 of the drawings, it will be noted that the support A includes a bottom panel 10 which is of generally circular outline. Flaps 11, preferably having arcuate outer edges 12 encircle the periphery of the bottom panel 10. The individual flaps are separated by V-shaped notches 13. The flaps 11 are hingedly connected to the bottom panel 10 by fold lines 14 which are, in the arrangement illustrated, straight lines which are chords of the circular outline of the bottom panel.
The bottom panel 10 is formed of paperboard which is usually of a thickness from perhaps 0.014 of an inch t0 0.022 of an inch. At least the upper surface of the paperboard is coated with a coating which has approval of the authorities when used in conjunction with food. This coating is capable ofwithstanding temperatures of 400 F to 500 F, the temperature range to which the oven is heated before the product is inserted in the oven. The coating has the quality of preventing the product from sticking to the surface of the paperboard.
As indicated in FIG. 2, bottom panel is perforated with a number of spaced perforations which are spaced throughout the area of the bottom panel 10. These perforations may be placed in concentric rings about the center, but in the preferred form, the perforations are arranged in spaced parallel rows so that the material removed from the bottom panel to form the apertures may be automatically removed by stripping hooks on the cutting press. This prevents the necessity of manually stripping the material from the holes after the supports have been completed. As indicated in FIG. 2, a flange section 16 takes the place of one of the flap structures 11 and is connected to the bottom panel 10 along a fold line 17 which may extend along the periphery of the circular area defining the bottom panel or may be a chord of this circle as indicated. An enlarged tab 19 is hingedly connected to the flange portion 16 along a fold line 20 which is curved along a radius substantially equal to the radius of the circular outline of the bottom panel but which is curved in the opposite direction. With this arrangement, the hinged edge of the tab 11 extends generally concentric with the circular edge of the bottom panel when in position overlying the product.
As indicated in FIG. 3 of the drawings the flaps such as 12a may be hingedly connected to the bottom panel 10a along a circular fold line 14a. This is particularly possible if the fold line 14a comprises a perforated line so that the paperboard may distort to the amount necessary to fold. This is possible because of the large radius of the fold line 14a.
A modified form of construction is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings. In this form of construction, the bottom panel 21 is virtually identical to the panel 10 which is previously described. The marginal edges of the bottom panel 21 are connected by fold lines 22 which are shown as chords of the circular outline of the bottom panel (or circular fold lines) to flange portions 23. These flange portions 23 are hingedly connected along fold lines 24 which are parallel to the fold lines 22 to flap end portions 25.
In the arrangement illustrated, the end flap portions 25 are separated by notches 26 and the ends of the flange portions 23 are connected along cut score lines 27 which extend in a radial direction. In this particular form of construction, the flange portions 23 are of slightly trapezoidal shape, with the shorter parallel edges 22 being hingedly connected to the bottom panel 21, and the longer parallel edges connected along the fold lines 24 to the flap end portions 25. With this construction, as the flange portions 23 are folded upwardly, the paperboard tends to tear intermediate its surfaces to permit the upper portions of the flange portions 23 to slightly overlap. While not shown in the drawings, it is also possible to extend the notches 26 to the fold lines 22, resulting in a'structure which will fold somewhat more readily than the one illustrated. The
4 only purpose in leaving the ends of the flange portions connected is to form a continuous wall about the prod- UCt.
The bottom panel 21 is provided with spaced apertures 29 which are spaced throughout the entire area of the bottom panel. As in the previously described construction, the apertures may be arranged in concentric circles, or may be formed in rows in the manner illustrated to permit the automatic stripping of the material forming the openings.
If desired, a pair of handle tabs or ears 30 may be substitued for the shorter flaps 25 on diametrically opposite sides of the tray, or on one side thereof. The flaps 30 are connected to the flange sections 23 along the fold lines 24, and ifdesired the tabs 30 may be apertured as indicated at 31 to provide access for a utensil of one type or another which may be used in removing the support and the product from the oven after the heating is complete.
The envelope of shrink film C may comprise merely a length of tubing having a parallel ends and sealed at both ends to contain the product. As the heated air is directed against the film, the film shrinks snuggly about the product and its support, swinging the flap structures upwardly, or upwardly and inwardly, against the product.
In accordance with the Patent Statutes, I have described the principles of construction and operation of my improvement in PIZZA PIE AND THE LIKE; and while I have endeavored to set forth the best embodiment thereof, I desire to have it understood that obvious changes may be made within the scope of the following claims without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. A support for pizza pie and the like adapted to be enclosed in an envelope of shrink film, the support including:
a generally circular bottom panel,
spaced apertures in said bottom panel,
a series of flaps hingedly connected to the periphery of said bottom panel about the circumference thereof,
said flaps being spaced slightly apart by generally V- shaped notches a distance sufficient to remain spaced when said flaps are folded upwardly,
said support being formed of paperboard coated with a coating capable of withstanding an oven temperature of 400 to 500F and which is capable of preventing the pizza pie from sticking to said paperboard when subjected to such oven temperature,
whereby when the pizza pie is enclosed in an envelope of shrink film, the shrinking of said film will fold said flaps upwardly about the edges of the pizza pie, and
whereby when said shrink film is removed, said support bearing said pizza pie may be placed in an oven and said spaced apertures will permit circulation of heat through said pizza pie.
2. The structure of claim 1 and in which said spaced apertures are arranged in spaced parallel rows.