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Title:
DEVICE FOR HEATING AND EMULSIFYING BEVERAGES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145315
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Device for heating and emulsifying beverages comprising a pump (2), an air and water meeting zone (10), a device for producing steam and a first conduit (5) for steam mixed with air communicating with a steam wand (6) adapted to be immersed into a beverage (7) to be heated and emulsified, said device for producing steam comprising an instant steam generator (4) and said meeting zone (10) being positioned before said instant steam generator.

Inventors:
DE' LONGHI, Giuseppe (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
QUARATESI, Guido (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
CRISTOFOLI, Claudio (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
ROSSETTO, Giovanni (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
Application Number:
EP2019/051548
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 23, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DE' LONGHI APPLIANCES S.R.L. (Via L. Seitz 47, TREVISO, 31100, IT)
International Classes:
A47J31/44
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017003289A22017-01-05
WO2016097923A12016-06-23
WO2012004711A12012-01-12
WO2017063936A12017-04-20
Foreign References:
EP2534986A12012-12-19
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAPISARDI, Mariacristina (Via Serbelloni 12, MILANO, 20122, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Device for heating and emulsifying beverages comprising a pump (2), an air and water meeting zone (10), a device for producing steam and a first conduit (5) for steam mixed with air communicating with a steam wand (6) adapted to be immersed in a beverage (7) to be heated and emulsified, characterized in that said device for producing steam comprises an instant steam generator (4) and that said meeting zone (10) is positioned before said instant steam generator.

2. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said meeting zone (10) is positioned after said pump (2) and before said instant steam generator (4).

3. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that it comprises a source of compressed air (8) that communicates with said meeting zone (10) via an air conduit (11).

4. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said pump (2) draws the water from a tank (3) through a first water conduit (12) and sends the water to said meeting zone through a second water conduit (13).

5. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that it comprises a second conduit (14) for water mixed with air that communicates on one side with said meeting zone and on the other side with said instant steam generator.

6. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said steam wand comprises a thermal probe (15) for detecting the temperature of said beverage.

7. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that it comprises a control unit (20) connected to at least said pump, to said source of compressed air, to said instant steam generator and to said probe.

8. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said source of compressed air and said pump send cold air and cold water to said meeting zone, respectively.

9. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said second conduit (14) enters directly inside said instant steam generator.

10. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said pump is a vibration pump.

11. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that it comprises a first valve system for blocking or modulating the flow of air associated with said air conduit.

12. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said first conduit (5) for steam mixed with air comprises at least one first valve (21) for reducing the pressure inside said instant steam generator to ambient pressure and ensuring emptying of the generator in the rest condition.

13. Device according to claim 1 characterized in that said first conduit (5) for steam mixed with air comprises at least one second valve (22) for restoring the ambient pressure between said first valve and said steam wand.

Description:
DEVICE FOR HEATING AND EMULSIFYING BEVERAGES

DESCRIPTION

The present invention refers to a device for heating and emulsifying beverages and in particular milk-based beverages.

As known, currently, the devices for heating and emulsifying milk-based beverages comprise a device for producing steam that is defined by a steam boiler into which cold air under pressure coming from a source of compressed air and cold water coming from a pump are delivered.

Downstream of the boiler, there is a conduit for steam mixed with air communicating with a steam wand adapted to be immersed into the beverage to be heated and emulsified.

The devices disclosed above have the drawback of not ensuring correct mixing of the air and the steam because, as seen, the cold air is delivered directly inside the boiler, forming therein three distinct areas of hot water, air and steam.

This phenomenon occurs because the cold air injected inside the boiler, for example at a temperature of 25°C, has a higher specific volume than the steam inside the boiler (for example water vapour at 2.5 barjand in turn different from the specific volume of the water.

The above entails stratification of steam in the upper part of the boiler and air and water in the lower part of the boiler because the specific volumes are different and no stirring motions are present.

At the moment in which the steam is drawn off from the boiler to heat and froth the milk, this stratification does not ensure correct homogenization of the steam/air mixture, which is drawn, which has a negative effect on the milk frothing quality. This problem is aggravated further if the outlet channel from the boiler is positioned in the upper part of the boiler in the zone where the steam stratifies. Further, using a steam storage boiler implies that the boiler must have the appropriate pressure and temperature resistance features even in the rest condition. The task of the present invention is to make a device for heating and emulsifying beverages that eliminates the aforementioned technical drawbacks of the prior art. As part of this task, one aim of the invention is to make a device for heating and emulsifying beverages that avoids using a pressurised receptacle that has to maintain high pressure and temperature for a long period.

A further aim of the invention is to make a device for heating and emulsifying beverages that enables water and/or air to be added at any moment inside the vaporizer, even if the device is operating, ensuring significant practicality and an undisputed time saving.

A further aim of the invention is to make a device for heating and emulsifying beverages that permits instant and continuous vaporization according to need.

Another aim of the invention is to make a device for heating and emulsifying beverages that ensures perfect mixing between the air and water before the mixture thereof is delivered inside the instant pressure generator.

A further aim of the invention is to make a device for heating and emulsifying beverages that permits perfect emulsification of the beverage.

This task, as well as these and other objects are achieved by a device for heating and emulsifying beverages comprising a pump, an air and water meeting zone, a device for producing steam and a first conduit for steam mixed with air communicating with a steam wand adapted to be immersed into the beverage to be heated and emulsified, characterized in that said device for producing steam comprises an instant steam generator and that said meeting zone is positioned before said instant steam generator.

Further features of the present invention are further defined in the claims appended to the main claim that define the structure of the device better.

Further features and advantages of the invention will more fully emerge from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of the device for heating and emulsifying beverages according to the invention, illustrated by way of non limiting example in the attached drawing, in which:

figure 1 is a view of the operating diagram of the device according to the invention;

With particular reference to the figure disclosed above, the device for heating and emulsifying beverages is indicated overall by the number 1.

The device 1 comprises a pump 2 that sucks water from a water storage tank 3 of the pump and send the water to an air and water meeting zone 10 placed after the pump 2 but before a device for producing steam defined, advantageously, by an instant steam generator 4.

In particular, the pump 2 is preferably a vibration pump and draws the water from the tank 3 by a first water conduit 12 and sends the water to said meeting zone 10 by a second water conduit 13.

The steam generator 4 is advantageously switched off but ready for use immediately and does not require long startup times. A first conduit 5 for steam mixed with air communicating with a steam wand 6 adapted to be immersed in the preferably milk-based beverage 7 to be heated and emulsified is connected to the instant steam generator 4.

The device 1 comprises a source of compressed air 8 that communicates with said meeting zone 10 by an air conduit 11 on which there is a first valve system for blocking or modulating the flow of air associated with said air conduit and in particular a flow adjuster 16 and a non-return valve 17.

The flow adjuster 16 and the non-return valve 17 could be possibly replaced by a single valve, which is not shown, which can be activated appropriately for blocking or modulating the flow of air inside the air conduit 11.

Advantageously, the device 1 comprises a second conduit 14 for water mixed with air that communicates on one side with the meeting zone 10 and on the other side with the instant steam generator.

The second conduit 14 enters the interior of said instant steam generator 4 directly, supplying the latter with a homogeneous water/air mixture so as to ensure optimum vaporization thereof.

Advantageously, in this manner the water and air simultaneously entering the vaporizer are heated: the water is boiled and the air expands.

The turbulence caused by the boiling process and by the expansion of the air creates whirling motions that ensure correct mixing of the steam and air adapted to optimizing the frothing or emulsifying and heating process of the beverage.

The steam wand 6 comprises a thermal probe 15 for detecting the temperature of the beverage 7. Management of the device 1 is entrusted to a control unit CPU 20 that is connected, as visible in fig. 1 with a broken line, to the pump 2, the source of compressed air 8, the instant steam generator 4, the probe 15 and at least one first valve 21 to lower pressure inside the instant steam generator 4 up to ambient pressure and ensure emptying of the generator 4 when in the rest condition.

The control unit 20 is further connected to at least one second valve 22 for restoring the ambient pressure between the first valve and the steam wand.

In the light of what has been said, it is possible to diversify at will the operating sequences of the device 1.

For example, it is possible to activate the source of compressed air before or at the same time as the water pump 2 or interrupt the source of compressed air during the operating cycle of the device so as to be able to modulate at will the volume of the froth with respect to the desired heating of the beverage.

The device according to the invention operates as follows.

The user uses the dedicated selector 30 to switch on the device and the control unit 20 reads the signal of the temperature probe 15 that starts to record the temperature of the beverage.

Subsequently, the control unit 20 activates the pump 2 and the instant steam generator 4 together with the two discharge valves 21 and 22.

The steam starts to flow in the steam wand 6 and heat the beverage 7.

When the set temperature is reached (for example 30°C) the control unit 20 also activates the air compression source 8. The mixture of water and air is formed in the meeting zone 10 placed before the instant steam generator 4 and, after the passage through the latter, flows into the beverage, continuing heating and emulsification of the beverage.

When the desired temperature is reached, for example 65 °C, the control unit deactivates the pump, the instant steam generator and the two valves whereas the source of compressed air continues to be activated for a few seconds to ensure emptying of the instant steam generator 4.

The device for heating and emulsifying beverages as conceived herein is susceptible to many modifications and variations, all falling within the scope of the inventive concept; furthermore, all the details are replaceable by technically equivalent elements.

In practice the materials used, as well as the dimensions, can be any according to the needs and the state of the art.