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Title:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF CONFECTIONERY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/064590
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A lollipop stick feeder (10) to guide lollipop sticks (20) into a mould cavity of a mould, the feeder comprising an entrance end portion (12) and an exit end portion (13), and a passageway (14) arranged to allow a lollipop stick to be conveyed therethrough, the passageway connecting the entrance end portion to the exit end portion, the exit end portion comprising a recessed forming region (17) defined by a forming surface, and wherein the feeder arranged to retain the lollipop stick in position.

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Inventors:
BEAN, Michael John (12 Aspley Way, LongthorpePeterborough, Cambridgeshire PE3 9NE, GB)
PRANGE, Anthony John (5 Walcot Walk, NethertonPeterborough, Cambridgeshire PE3 9QE, GB)
Application Number:
GB2010/051971
Publication Date:
June 03, 2011
Filing Date:
November 25, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BAKER PERKINS LIMITED (Manor Drive, Paston ParkwayPeterborough, Cambridgeshire PE4 7 AP, GB)
BEAN, Michael John (12 Aspley Way, LongthorpePeterborough, Cambridgeshire PE3 9NE, GB)
PRANGE, Anthony John (5 Walcot Walk, NethertonPeterborough, Cambridgeshire PE3 9QE, GB)
International Classes:
A23G3/00; A23G3/56; A23G7/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006136394A2
Foreign References:
GB2248169A
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARKER BRETTELL LLP (Medina Chambers, Town QuaySouthampton, Hampshire SO14 2AQ, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A lollipop stick feeder to guide lollipop sticks into a mould cavity of a mould, the feeder comprising an entrance end portion and an exit end portion, and a passageway arranged to allow a lollipop stick to be conveyed therethrough, the passageway connecting the entrance end portion to the exit end portion, the exit end portion comprising a recessed forming region defined by a forming surface, and wherein the feeder arranged to retain the lollipop stick in position.

2. A lollipop stick feeder as claimed in claim 1 , the forming surface arranged to form to a moulded portion of confectionery complementary to a moulded portion formed by the mould.

3. A lollipop stick feeder as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 in which the forming surface is of curved shape.

4. A lollipop stick feeder as claimed in claim 3 in which the curved profile has a radius substantially that of a radius of a forming surface of the mould.

5. A lollipop stick feeder as claimed in claim 3 or claim 4 in which the forming surface of the feeder is substantially part-spherical.

6. A lollipop stick feeder as claimed in any preceding claim arranged to be moveable towards and away from the mould.

7. A lollipop stick feeder as claimed in any preceding claim in which the exit end portion is preferably arranged to be located in a stick delivery position by the mould or by a component intermediate of the mould and the stick feeder.

8. A method of manufacturing a lollipop comprising use of the lollipop feeder of claim 1 , the method further comprising filling a mould with liquid confectionery and bringing the lollipop feeder into a stick delivery position and causing a lollipop stick in the feeder to enter into the liquid confectionery in the mould and in so doing the stick causes displacement of the liquid confectionery into the recessed forming region of the exit end portion of the stick feeder.

9. A lollipop stick feeder substantially as described herein with reference to the drawings. 10. A method of manufacturing a lollipop substantially as described herein with reference to the drawings.

Description:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF

CONFECTIONERY

Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to an apparatus and method for the manufacture of confectionery.

Summary

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a lollipop stick feeder to guide lollipop sticks into a mould cavity of a mould, the feeder comprising an entrance end portion and an exit end portion, and a passageway arranged to allow a lollipop stick to be conveyed therethrough, the passageway connecting the entrance portion to the exit end portion, the exit end portion comprising a forming recess defined by a forming surface, and wherein the feeder arranged to retain the lollipop stick in position. The confectionery may be sugar or non-sugar confectionery.

The forming surface is preferably arranged to form to a moulded portion of confectionery complementary to a moulded portion formed by the mould.

The forming surface is preferably of curved shape. Preferably the curved profile has a radius substantially that of a radius of a forming surface of the mould.

The forming surface of the feeder may be substantially part-spherical. The lollipop stick feeder is preferably arranged to be moveable towards and away from the mould.

The exit end portion is preferably arranged to be located in a stick delivery position by the mould or by a component intermediate of the mould and the stick feeder. In the stick delivery position the feeder is preferably proximal/adjacent to the mould.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of manufacturing a lollipop comprising use of the lollipop feeder of the first aspect of the invention, the method further comprising filling a mould with liquid confectionery and bringing the lollipop feeder into a stick delivery position and causing a lollipop stick in the feeder to enter into the liquid confectionery in the mould and in so doing the stick causes displacement of the liquid confectionery into the recessed forming region of the exit end portion of the stick feeder. Brief Description of the Drawings

Various embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a semi-diagrammatic side view of apparatus for manufacturing lollipops, Figure 2 is a cross-section of a lollipop stick guide,

Figure 3 is a cross-section of a lollipop stick guide, a mould and a lollipop formed thereby, and

Figure 4 is a cross-section of a lollipop stick guide. Detailed Description

With reference initially to Figure 1 , there is shown apparatus 1 for manufacturing lollipops which comprises a plurality of two-part moulds 3 and an endless conveyor 4 for transporting the moulds 3 during the various stages of manufacture. The apparatus 1 further comprises a filler depositor 5 for introducing liquid sugar or syrup confectionery 9 into pivotably connected mould halves 3a and 3b of the mould 3. Together the mould halves provide a forming cavity which is a major portion of a sphere. The apparatus 1 comprises a plurality of lollipop stick feeders 10 to guide the lollipop sticks into liquid confectionery which has been deposited into the mould 3. Reference is now made to Figure 2 which shows the stick feeder 10 in more detail. The stick feeder 10 comprises an entrance end portion 12 and an exit end portion 13. A close-fitting passageway 14 connects the entrance end portion 12 to the exit end portion 13, and provides a close-fitting relationship to a lollipop stick 20. The entrance end portion 12 comprises a frusto-conical surface 15 which defines a recess. The exit end portion 13 comprises a curved forming surface 16 which forms a part-spherical forming recess 17. In use, the apparatus 1 operates as follows. A stick feeding station 30 is operative to insert a respective lollipop stick 20 into the entrance end portions of each of the empty stick feeders 10. The lollipop sticks 20 are retained in the stick feeders by way of frictional engagement with a spring-loaded ball detent in the close-fitting passageway 14. The stick feeders 10, with captive lollipop sticks 20, then follow a circuit towards the filled moulds 3. The moulds are filled at filling station 40 by way of liquid confectionery being deposited from the depositor 5. At stick positioning station 50, the drive circuit 35 of the stick feeders 10 brings the (lowermost) exit end portions 13 of the feeders into engagement with respective upper ends of the mould 3 into a stick delivery position. The drive circuit 35 conveys the stick feeders at the same speed as the speed of conveyance of the moulds 3. On reaching stick insertion station 60, a push component 37, arranged to capable of upward and downward movement, engages with the upper ends of the lollipop sticks 20 so as to urge the sticks in a substantially downwards direction. The force applied by the push component 37 to each stick is sufficient to overcome the frictional engagement between the spring-loaded ball detent in the close-fitting passageway 14 and the sticks and is also sufficient to cause the lowermost end of the stick to penetration into the liquid confectionery 9. Penetration of the stick 20 into the confectionery causes upward displacement of the confectionery into the forming recess 17. Reference is made to Figure 3 which shows a sick 20 inserted into the liquid confectionery 9. As can be seen, the confectionery conforms to a substantially complete spherical shape. At stick feeder removal station 70, the drive circuit 35 causes the stick feeders to be separated from moulds 3 and the sticks 20. The confectionery of the thus formed lollipops 25 sets as the lollipops progress around the conveyor 4 towards demoulding station 80. At the demoulding station 80 the halves 3a and 3b of the moulds 3 are pivoted at pivot 6 thereof so as to open the moulds and allow the formed lollipops to fall onto the exit conveyor 85 on which the lollipops are further cooled and then discharged. The open empty moulds 3 then progress towards an inspection station 90 before being caused to pivot to a closed condition and then be refilled.

The above described embodiment advantageously ensures that a lollipop product of improved appearance due to formation a part-spherical portion in conformity with and of the same radius as the (major) part-spherical portion formed by the moulds 3. Without the inclusion of the recessed forming region 17, the interface between the stick feeder and the mould 3 would cause anon-curvaceous flat formation of the confectionery material.

It will be appreciated that although the recess 17 is of part-spherical shape, in alternative embodiments , differently-shaped forming surfaces may be provided at the exit end portion of the feeder to produce a desired shape. The desired shape is in conformity with and preferably substantially continuous with, a moulded portion formed by the mould.

Reference is made to Figure 4 which shows an alternative stick feeder 10 ' . Like reference numerals are used to denote like or similar features. The stick feeder 10 ' comprises a modified exit end portion (as compared to the exit end portion 13 of the stick feeder 10) . The exit end portion 13 ' is essentially in the form of a spigot and comprises an annular shoulder 100 and a portion 105 which extends away from the shoulder 100. In use, the portion 105 is dimensioned to be received in an aperture provided in a component 110 so as to positively locate the stick feeder in the stick delivery position. The component 110 which may be in the form of a plate, and may be integral with the moulds , or maybe a separate component intermediate of the moulds and feeders , is provided with a plurality of apertures arranged to locate multiple stick feeders . It will be appreciated that the moulds themselves maybe provided with suitable structural features to locate the stick feeders (and so obviate the need for the intermediate component) .

In a further embodiment, the stick feeder station 30 is positioned within the stick feeder drive circuit 35 with lollipop sticks fed into stick feeders 10 just prior to the mould and stick feeder engagement at stick positioning station 50. This alternative embodiment may advantageously result in a simplification of the connection detail of the stick feeders 10 to the stick feeder drive circuit 35.




 
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