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Número de publicaciónUS20030152673 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 10/068,661
Fecha de publicación14 Ago 2003
Fecha de presentación8 Feb 2002
Fecha de prioridad8 Feb 2002
También publicado comoUS7040356, US20050042337
Número de publicación068661, 10068661, US 2003/0152673 A1, US 2003/152673 A1, US 20030152673 A1, US 20030152673A1, US 2003152673 A1, US 2003152673A1, US-A1-20030152673, US-A1-2003152673, US2003/0152673A1, US2003/152673A1, US20030152673 A1, US20030152673A1, US2003152673 A1, US2003152673A1
InventoresKenneth Tarlow
Cesionario originalKenneth Tarlow
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Food preservation container
US 20030152673 A1
Resumen
Food Preservation Container with a main container body and a circular lid. The lid has a built in on-off switch, air pump, ozone generator, timing circuit, pressure switch, vacuum switch, solenoid valve, power indicator light, vacuum indicator light, pressure indicator light and power supply. The container has a circular opening. The opening has a plurality of outwardly facing tabs about its circumference. The lid has a plurality of mating inwardly facing tabs that can interface with said outwardly facing tabs. The lid has a secondary floating inner lid, said inner lid having a soft rubber gasket attached to its perimeter, said inner lid capable of being forced toward the lip of said container opening by a cam attached to a hinged lever located on the front of said circular lid. The components contained within said lid arranged in such a way that said air pump automatically turns on when the user twists said lid onto said container opening thereby activating said on-off switch which turns on said pump. Said pump being automatically turned off when a predetermined pressure or vacuum is reached by means of said pressure switch or said vacuum switch. Said ozone generator is automatically turned on for a predetermined period of time and turned automatically turned off by means of said timing circuit. The air in said container is capable of being periodically released by said solenoid valve that is controlled by said timing circuit.
Imágenes(7)
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Reclamaciones(3)
What is claimed is:
1. Food Preservation Container comprising:
a main container body;
a circular lid having an integral side wall;
said lid having a built in on-off switch, air pump, ozone generator, timing circuit, pressure switch, vacuum switch, solenoid valve, power indicator light, vacuum indicator light, pressure indicator light and power supply;
said container having a circular opening;
said opening having a plurality of outwardly facing tabs about its circumference;
said lid having a plurality of mating inwardly facing tabs that can interface with said outwardly facing tabs;
said lid having a lower hinge portion that combines with a mating hinge portion on the lower front portion of said container opening;
said lid having a secondary floating inner lid;
said inner lid having a soft rubber gasket attached to its perimeter;
said inner lid capable of being forced toward the lip of said container opening by a cam attached to a hinged lever located on the front of said circular lid;
said power supply being removable and replaceable from the front of said lid;
said components contained within said lid arranged in such a way that said air pump automatically turns on when the user twists said lid onto said container opening thereby activating said on-off switch which turns on said pump;
said pump being automatically turned off when a predetermined pressure or vacuum is reached by means of said pressure switch or said vacuum switch;
said ozone generator automatically turned on for a predetermined period of time and turned automatically turned off by means of said timing circuit;
said ozone generator being comprised of a corona discharge tube and a high voltage circuit that powers said tube;
said timing circuit being comprised of a microprocessor and discrete electronic components associated with said microprocessor; and
said air in said container capable of being periodically released by said solenoid valve that is controlled by said timing circuit.
2 Food Preservation Container as claimed in claim 1 wherein said container is made of blow molded plastic such as polypropyline
3 Food Preservation Container as claimed in claim 1 wherein said lid is made of injection molded plastic such as ABS
Descripción
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates generally to the field of food storage containers, and more particularly to a food preservation container.
  • [0002]
    Methods for preserving food can be traced back thousands of years. Early man preserved food by drying it thereby eliminating damaging moisture. More recently mankind discovered that foods stay fresh longer when they are kept in a cool environment. In recent times the invention of the refrigerator and freezer have become a prime method of keeping foods fresh. Additionally, in recent times, the application of a vacuum, when sealing foods into jars or cans has proven to extend the usable life of food by eliminating the air that bacteria need to live in. More recently, the concept of keeping fruits, vegetables and flowers fresh by means of positive air pressure has been disclosed by Niedwwietz in his patent 710,979 issued in July of 1954 and Selby patent issued on Aug. 1, 1961.
  • [0003]
    All of the above mentioned methods have been tried and are currently in use in various forms.
  • [0004]
    However, non the prior art regarding refrigeration, vacuum or pressure or ozone, have combined these features into one, easy to use container for keeping all types of food fresh and bacteria free for extended periods of time.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    The primary object of the invention is to provide a food preservation container that allows a person to pressurize or vacuumize the air inside of a storage container to help preserve the life of the food within said container.
  • [0006]
    Another object of the invention is to provide a food preservation container that adds ozone to the inside of the container to help kill mold and bacteria.
  • [0007]
    Another object of the invention is to provide a food preservation container that automatically replaces pressurized or vacuumized air at regular intervals to remove buildups of harmful gasses generated by food within the container.
  • [0008]
    A further object of the invention is to provide a food preservation container whose lid is easy to remove and replace yet provides an air tight seal.
  • [0009]
    Yet another object of the invention is to provide a food preservation container that automatically re-pressurizes or re-vacuumizes and re-ozinates the air within the container without the need for the user to be present for the entire operation.
  • [0010]
    Still yet another object of the invention is to provide a food preservation container that automatically maintains a predetermined pressure or vacuum.
  • [0011]
    Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.
  • [0012]
    Food Preservation Container comprising: a main container body, a circular lid having an integral side wall, said lid having a built in on-off switch, air pump, ozone generator, timing circuit, pressure switch, vacuum switch, solenoid valve, power indicator light, vacuum indicator light, pressure indicator light and power supply. Said container having a circular opening , said opening having a plurality of outwardly facing tabs about its perimeter, said lid having a plurality of mating inwardly facing tabs that can interface with said outwardly facing tabs. Said lid having a lower hinge portion that combines with a mating hinge portion on the lower front portion of said container opening. Said lid having a secondary floating inner lid, said inner lid having a soft rubber gasket attached to its perimeter, said inner lid capable of being forced toward the lip of said container opening by a cam attached to a hinged lever located on the front of said circular lid. Said power supply being removable and replaceable from the front of said lid. Said components contained within said lid arranged in such a way that said air pump automatically turns on when the user twists said lid onto said container opening thereby activating said on-off switch which turns on said pump, said pump being automatically turned off when a predetermined pressure or vacuum is reached by means of said pressure switch or said vacuum switch. Said ozone generator automatically turned on for a predetermined period of time and automatically turned off by means of said timing circuit. Said ozone generator being comprised of a corona discharge tube and a high voltage circuit that powers said tube. Said timing circuit being comprised of a microprocessor and discrete electronic components associated with said microprocessor. Said air in said container capable of being periodically released by said solenoid valve that is controlled by said timing circuit.
  • [0013]
    The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    [0014]FIG. 1 is a side section view of the food preservation container of the present invention.
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 2 is a front view of the container minus the lid.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 3 is a side view of the container showing the lid in the open position.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 4 is plan view of the contents within the lid of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 5 is a front view of the present invention with the lid in the closed position.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 6 is a schematic drawing of the electronic timing circuit of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0020]
    Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.
  • [0021]
    Referring now to FIG. 1 we see side section view of the food preservation container of the present invention. The present invention is comprised of a container 2 and a lid assembly 200. The container 2 is made of rigid blow molded plastic such as high density polypropyline or polypropaline or the like. The overall shape is rounded so as to more easily accommodate internal air pressure or vacuum. Ribs 6,8 and indentations 10, 12 help to add reinforcement to the hollow container 2. The lid assembly 200 is attached to the container by hinge member 30. Lid assembly 200 has an outer cover 4 that is molded out of rigid plastic. The outer cover 4 is circular in shape and has an integral side wall that terminates in a lip that contains a plurality of inwardly facing tabs 16. These tabs 16 interface with mating tabs 14 that extend outwardly from the lip of container opening 38. The tabs 16 on container 2 can be clearly seen in FIG. 2 where a front view of the container 2 is shown. The inwardly facing tabs 14 of the lid assembly 200 and the hinge portion 30 can be more clearly seen in FIG. 3.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 4 shows a view of the inside of the lid assembly 200. The components within the lid housing 4 are a rechargeable battery 24, an ozone generator 100, a vacuum-pressure pump 102, a vacuum cutoff switch 104, a pressure cutoff switch 106 a solenoid valve 108 and a microprocessor circuit 110 that provides timing functions as well as a driving circuit for the ozone generator 100. Some of the inner lid components can also be seen in side section view in FIG. 1.
  • [0023]
    To use the present invention, the user opens the lid assembly 200 by lifting lever 28 thereby eliminating the pressure that has been exerted on inner lid 22 by the integral cam that is at one end of lever 28 as shown in FIG. 1. The user then rotates the lid assembly 200 by knobs 42,44 shown in FIG. 5. The user presses down on knob 44 and pulls up on knob 42 until the knob hits post 48. The user can then swing the door open on its hinge 30. The user then puts in or takes out food that is stored within container 2. The user then closes lid assembly 200 in the reverse order as the opening sequence. In pressing down on lever 28, the lever's integral cam pushes on floating inner plate 22. Inner plate 22 has a rubber gasket 18 fastened to its perimeter so that the gasket 18 presses onto container opening lip 16 creating an air tight seal. This seal is effective in maintaining a vacuum or pressure within the container 2. Upon closing lid assembly 200, on-off switch 65 is activated when inner lid plate 22 strikes the switch 65 plunger. This in turn activates the pump 102 which can be set by slide switch 54 to produce a vacuum or pressure, depending on the type of food being stored, Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables respond favorably to pressure and other foods such as cheese, meats and fish respond favorably to vacuum. My experiments have shown that a pressure of approximately five pounds per square inch work well for fruits and vegetables and a vacuum of approximately ten inches of mercury works well for vacuum applications. These relatively low settings also allow the container 2 and lid parts 4,22 to be molded from rigid plastic. Higher pressures or vacuums would require thicker walls and more ribs and higher quality plastic such as polycarbonate that would increase the overall price of the food preservation container thereby making it more difficult to sell the the general public. When the selector switch 54 is set to vacuum, and the lid closed, the vacuum pump 102 and the ozone generator 100 are activated and solenoid valve 108 is opened for a period of approximately three minutes as dictated by microprocessor circuit 110. This causes ozone to be drawn through the container 2 and out through solenoid 108. My experiments show that approximately one part per million of ozone is enough to kill mold and bacteria that are present on the surface of the food stored within container 2. My experiments also show that less one tenth of one part per million of ozone escapes from the container when the lid is opened. This is below the EPA guidelines for safe exposure to ozone. After three minutes the solenoid valve 108 closes and vacuum pump 102 continues to pump air out of container 2 until proper vacuum is reached at which point vacuum pressure switch turns off the pump 102. If, over time, the vacuum is diminished within container 2, pump 102 automatically turns on to replenish the vacuum. After approximately twelve hours solenoid valve 108 is automatically opened to flush out gasses that have built up within container 2. The valve 108 is then closed again and the vacuum is replenished. This sequence reccures every twelve hours to continue to expel harmful out gassing from food stored within container 2. The same basic sequence occurs when the user sets selector switch 54 to pressure, except that instead of a vacuum being created in the container 2, a positive pressure is created and the pump is turned off by pressure switch 106 when proper pressure is reached. The same periodic air purging occurs, and the same ozone generation occurs. The pump and ozone generator are powered by replaceable rechargeable battery 24. Of course, other power supply's can be used including standard house voltage. The entire unit of the present invention is designed to be placed in a standard home refrigerator which is why the preferred embodiment makes use of a rechargeable battery. In the preferred embodiment, a recharging stand has a second battery being charged. When the user notices that low battery indicator 52 is lit, it is time for the user to replace the exhausted battery 24 with a recharged battery. The unit of the present invention is designed to use little energy, approximately two hundred millivolts at twelve volts, therefore the battery only has to be replaced once every four weeks. My experiments have shown that foods can remain fresh three to five times longer than when stored under normal refrigerator conditions. Different foods show different degrees of response to vacuum or pressure but in general, the result is always favorable in that foods remain fresh longer. FIG. 6 is a schematic view of the electronic circuit of the present invention. The above described and illustrated way shows that the present invention is easy to use and allows a person to store a wide variety of foods in either a pressure environment or a vacuum environment that has been ozinated thereby extending the useful life of the food stored within.
  • [0024]
    While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Citas de patentes
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Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US7874245 *14 Dic 200625 Ene 2011John Spencer KuzmierCountertop fresh fruit and vegetable preservation device
US8033797 *17 May 200711 Oct 2011The Coleman Company, Inc.Pump with automatic deactivation mechanism
US8696322 *8 Sep 201115 Abr 2014The Coleman Company, Inc.Pump with automatic deactivation mechanism
US896741318 Sep 20123 Mar 2015Scac LlcVacuum lid for use with baby food jars
US9588496 *14 Mar 20127 Mar 2017Tom KodatDevice for assisting user in consumption of a substance at a correct time interval
US20070141210 *14 Dic 200621 Jun 2007Kuzmier John SCountertop fresh fruit and vegetable preservation device
US20080286117 *17 May 200720 Nov 2008Kehrmann Michael FPump with automatic deactivation mechanism
US20110318194 *8 Sep 201129 Dic 2011The Coleman Company , Inc.Pump with automatic deactivation mechanism
US20130242707 *14 Mar 201219 Sep 2013Tom KodatDevice for assisting user in consumption of a substance at a correct time interval
CN105151542A *31 Jul 201516 Dic 2015苏州普京真空技术有限公司Vacuum device with indicator lamp
WO2006053472A1 *8 Jul 200526 May 2006Zhuhai Well Group CorporationAn process and apparatus for food preservation
WO2008032081A2 *13 Sep 200720 Mar 2008Martin Samuel GillespieA container
WO2008032081A3 *13 Sep 20078 May 2008Martin Samuel GillespieA container
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.426/118, 426/395, 426/326
Clasificación internacionalB65D81/18
Clasificación cooperativaB65D81/18
Clasificación europeaB65D81/18
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
13 Feb 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: TARLOW, KENNETH A., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SYLMARK HOLDINGS LIMITED;REEL/FRAME:017575/0239
Effective date: 20060210