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Title:
FOOD CONTAINER INCLUDING STARCH SOURCE AND SYSTEM FOR FORMING A STARCH PRODUCT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/045023
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
This disclosure is drawn, inter alia, to methods, systems, products, devices, and/or apparatuses generally related to forming a starch product. For example, a system for forming a starch product is disclosed. The system can include at least one container. The container can include at least one expansion 5 chamber surface defining at least one expansion chamber. The expansion chamber can have a selected shape. The container can also include at least one starch source disposed in the container. Each starch source can include a starch compound. The container can further include at least one barrier disposed between the starch source and at least a portion of the expansion chamber. In an 10 example, a food container including the at least one starch source, a method of using the system, and a method of forming at least one container are disclosed.

Inventors:
ADAM, Quentin Arthur Carl (7/238 LONGUEVILLE RD, LANE COVE, New South Wales 2066, 2066, AU)
Application Number:
US2017/049362
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 30, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
INVENTION DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC (701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4100Seattle, Washington, 98104, US)
International Classes:
B65D81/34; A23L7/183; B32B27/08; H05B6/78
Domestic Patent References:
WO2004087530A12004-10-14
Foreign References:
US20150164116A12015-06-18
US20040096550A12004-05-20
US20050008736A12005-01-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SIMON, Marcus et al. (DORSEY & WHITNEY LLC - SLC, 111 South Main StreetSuite 210, Salt Lake City Utah, 84111, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A food container, comprising:

a starch source comprising at least one starch compound;

an enclosure at least partially defining a food container chamber having the starch source disposed therein and an opening in communication with the food container chamber, the enclosure at least partially formed from a synthetic material; and

a barrier positioned adjacent to the opening of the enclosure to close the opening, the barrier configured to at least partially open the opening responsive to an applied pressure of about 400 kPa or greater.

2. The food container of claim 1, wherein the at least one starch compound is derived from at least one of rice, wheat, com, potato, barley, oats, or sweet potato.

3. The food container of claim 1, wherein the at least one starch compound comprises a mixture of two or more different types of starch compounds.

4. The food container of claim 1, wherein the at least one starch compound comprises a whole grained starch compound.

5. The food container of claim 1, wherein the starch source is substantially homogeneous.

6. The food container of claim 1, wherein the starch source comprises one or more spices or herbs.

7. The food container of claim 1, wherein the starch source comprises at least one of oils, proteins, sugars, fiber, vitamins, minerals, preservatives, or nuts mixed with the at least one starch compound.

8. The food container of claim 1, further comprising at least one supply including at least one of spices, herbs, oils, protein, fiber, sugar, vitamins, mineral, or nuts therein that are not mixed with the at least one starch compound.

9. The food container of claim 1 , wherein the starch source exhibits a specific density greater than 1.

10. The food container of claim 1, wherein the starch source exhibits a moisture content of about 5 weight % to about 25 weight %.

11. The food container of claim 1, wherein the starch source exhibits a moisture content greater than about 15 weight %.

12. The food container of claim 1, wherein the enclosure is rigid or semi-rigid.

13. The food container of claim 1, wherein the enclosure comprises at least one film having a thickness of about 0.1 mm to about 0.5 mm

14. The food container of claim 1, wherein the barrier is attached to the enclosure.

IS. The food container of claim 14, wherein the barrier is ultras onically welded to the enclosure.

16. The food container of claim 1, wherein the barrier comprises one or more grooves formed therein.

17. The food container of claim 1, wherein the synthetic material of the enclosure comprises a polymeric material.

18. The food container of claim 1, wherein the enclosure or the barrier is configured to degrade at a temperature greater than about 150 °C.

19. The food container of claim 1, wherein the barrier is integrally formed with the enclosure.

20. The food container of claim 1, wherein the applied pressure is about 800 kPa or greater.

21. A system for forming a starch product, the system comprising:

at least one container comprising:

at least one expansion chamber surface at least partially defining at least one expansion chamber having a selected shape;

at least one barrier; and

at least one starch source disposed in the at least one container, the at least one starch source comprising at least one starch compound;

wherein the at least one barrier is disposed between the at least one starch source and the at least one expansion chamber.

22. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one container comprises at least one body that is rigid or semi-rigid, wherein the at least one expansion chamber surface comprises a plurality of expansion chamber surfaces, and wherein the at least one body comprises at least one of the plurality of expansion chamber surfaces.

23. The system of claim 22, wherein the container comprises at least one film reversibly attached to at least one attachment surface of the at least one body, the at least one film comprises at least one of the plurality of expansion chamber surfaces.

24. The system of claim 22, wherein the at least one body comprises a first body, a second body, and a hinge coupling the first and second bodies together, each of the first body and the second body comprises at least one of the plurality of expansion chamber surfaces.

25. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one container comprises at least one film that comprises the at least one expansion chamber surface.

26. The system of claim 25, wherein the at least one film comprises a first film and a second film, each of the first film and the second film comprises:

an exterior surface; and

an interior surface comprising the at least one expansion chamber surface and at least one attachment surface that is distinct from the at least one expansion chamber surface;

wherein the at least one attachment surface of the interior surface of the first film is attached to the at least one attachment surface of the interior surface of the second film

27. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one container comprises a plurality of containers, at least some of the plurality of containers are coupled together along a peripheral edge thereof

28. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one container comprises a plurality of barrier surfaces, at least some of the plurality of barrier surfaces are attached together to form the at least one barrier.

29. The system of claim 28, further comprising the plurality of barrier surfaces form a portion of the at least one expansion chamber surface, the at least one barrier separates at least one first portion of the expansion chamber surface from at least one second portion of the expansion chamber.

30. The system of claim 29, wherein the at least one starch source includes a plurality of starch sources, and each of the at least one first portion of the expansion chamber surface and the at least one second portion of the expansion chamber includes at least one of the plurality of starch sources disposed therein.

31. The system of claim 29, wherein the at least one barrier defines one or more holes extending at least partially therethrough.

32. The system of claim 29, wherein the at least one barrier defines at least one conduit therethrough that couples the at least one first portion of the expansion chamber surface to the at least one second portion of the expansion chamber together.

33. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one expansion chamber surface further comprises one or more holes formed therein.

34. The system of claim 21, wherein the selected shape of the at least one expansion chamber comprises at least one of a generally cylindrical shape, a generally conical shape, a generally spherical shape, a generally elliptical shape, a generally prism shape, or a generally rectangular shape.

35. The system of claim 21, wherein the selected shape of the at least one expansion chamber is an irregular shape.

36. The system of claim 21, wherein at least a portion of the at least one expansion chamber surface comprises one or more textured features formed thereoa

37. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one expansion chamber exhibits a volume of about 2 to about SO times a volume of the at least one starch source.

38. The system of claim 21, further comprising at least one food container comprising an enclosure, the enclosure at least partially defining a food container chamber having at least one of the at least one starch source positioned therein and an opening, wherein the at least one barrier is positioned adjacent to the opening and closes the opening.

39. The system of claim 38, wherein the at least one food container is positioned within the at least one container and the opening of the at least one food container generally faces the at least one expansion chamber.

40. The system of claim 38, wherein the at least one food container includes a plurality of food containers.

41. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one starch source comprises one or more spices or one or more herbs.

42. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one starch source comprises at least one of oil, protein, sugar, fiber, vitamins, mineral, nuts, or preservatives therein.

43. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one starch source comprises at least one of baking powder or baking soda.

44. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one starch compound comprises at least two different starch compounds.

45. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one starch source comprises a moisture content of about S weight % to about 20 weight %.

46. The system of claim 21 , wherein the at least one starch source comprises a moisture content greater than 15 weight %.

47. The system of claim 21, wherein at least one of the at least one starch source, the at least one barrier, or a portion of the at least one container adjacent to the at least one starch source is configured to degrade at a temperature greater man about ISO °C.

48. The system of claim 21, wherein at least one of the at least one starch source, the at least one barrier, or a portion of the at least one container adjacent to the at least one starch source is configured to degrade at a temperature greater than about 200 °C.

49. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one barrier is configured to break responsive to an applied pressure of about 400 kPa or greater.

50. The system of claim 21, wherein the at least one barrier is configured to break responsive to an applied pressure of about 800 kPa or greater

51. The system of claim 21, further comprising packaging, the at least one container disposed in the packaging.

52. The system of claim 51, further comprising at least one carton disposed in the packaging, the at least one carton distinct from the at least one container, the at least one carton comprising one or more edible items therein.

53. The system of claim 51, wherein the at least one starch source comprises a plurality of starch sources, at least one of the plurality of starch sources is disposed in the at least one container, at least one of the plurality of starches is disposed in the packaging and positioned outside the at least one container.

54. A method of forming a single starch product, the method comprising: positioning at least one container within or adjacent to an energy emitting device configured to emit energy, wherein the at least one container includes at least one expansion chamber, at least one starch source, and at least one barrier disposed between the at least one starch source and at least a portion of the at least one expansion chamber, with the energy emitting device, generating the energy; and

when the at least one container is positioned within or adjacent to the energy emitting device, exposing the at least one container to the energy that is effective to cause the at least one starch source to break through at least a portion of the at least one barrier and expand into the expansion chamber to form the single starch product therein.

55. The method of claim 54, wherein the energy comprises at least one of microwave energy, infrared energy, laser energy, or thermal energy.

56. The method of claim 54, further comprising, before the at least one barrier breaks, exposing the at least one container to the energy effective to heat at least a portion of the at least one starch source to a temperature greater than about 120 °C.

57. The method of claim 54, further comprising, before the at least one barrier breaks, exposing the at least one container to the energy effective to heat at least a portion of the at least one starch source to a temperature greater than about 180 °C.

58. The method of claim 54, further comprising, before the at least one barrier breaks, exposing the at least one container to the energy effective to apply a pressure of about 400 kPa or greater to the at least one barrier.

59. The method of claim 54, further comprising, before the barrier breaks, exposing the at least one container to the energy effective to apply a pressure of about 800 kPa or greater to the at least one barrier.

60. The method of claim 54, wherein the at least one barrier is monolithic, and wherein exposing the at least one container to the energy comprises rupturing the at least one barrier.

61. The method of claim 54, wherein the at least one barrier comprises two or more surfaces attached together, and wherein exposing the at least one container to the energy that is effective to cause the at least one starch source to break through at least a portion of the at least one barrier comprises separating the two or more surfaces.

62. The method of claim 54, wherein the single starch product substantially fills and at least partially conforms to a shape of the at least one expansion chamber.

63. The method of claim 54, wherein the single starch product is about 2 to about 40 times bigger than the at least one starch source.

64. The method of claim 54, further comprising, removing the single starch product from the at least one expansion chamber.

65. The method of claim 54, further comprising, after exposing the one or more containers to the energy, replacing the at least one starch source with at least one new starch source.

66. A method of forming a container, the method comprising:

providing a plurality of exterior parts, the plurality of exterior parts comprising a first exterior part and a second exterior part;

positioning at least one starch source between the first exterior part and the second exterior part, the at least one starch source comprising at least one starch compound; attaching the first exterior part to the second exterior part, wherein the first exterior part and the second exterior part at least partially defines at least one expansion chamber therebetween; and forming at least one barrier between the at least one starch source and at least a portion of the at least one expansion chamber.

67. The method of claim 66, wherein the first exterior part comprises a first film having a thickness of about 0.01 mm to about O.S mm.

68. The method of claim 67, wherein the second exterior part comprises a second film having a thickness of about 0.01 mm to about O.S mm.

69. The method of claim 66, wherein the second exterior part comprise a semirigid or rigid body.

70. The method of claim 66, further comprising forming one or more holes in at least one of the first exterior part or the second exterior part.

71. The method of claim 66, wherein positioning at least one starch source between the first exterior part and the second exterior part comprises positioning the at least one starch source in a food container including an enclosure and positioning the food container between the first exterior part and the second exterior part.

72. The method of claim 71, wherein the enclosure defines an opening, and wherein forming at least one barrier comprises positioning the at least one barrier adjacent to the opening of the enclosure to close the opening.

73. The method of claim 66, wherein forming at least one barrier comprises attaching a portion of the first exterior part and a portion of the second exterior part together.

Description:
FOOD CONTAINER INCLUDING STARCH SOURCE AND SYSTEM FOR FORMING A STARCH PRODUCT

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/381,698 filed on 31 August 2016, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein, in its entirety, by this reference.

BACKGROUND

[002] A corn kernel includes an endosperm comprising mainly of starch mat is encased in a tough hull. Popcorn is formed when a corn kernel is sufficiently heated to gelatinize the starch and a phase change of the moisture in the com kernel creates a high pressure steam mat ruptures the hull. As the starch rapidly ejects from the hull, the steam rapidly cools due to free expansion to a temperature that solidifies the starch to form the popcorn. SUMMARY

[003] Techniques are generally described that include methods, systems, products, devices, and/or apparatuses generally related to forming a starch product. An example apparatus includes a food container. The food container includes a starch source comprising at least one starch compound The food container also includes an enclosure at least partially defining a food container chamber having the starch source disposed therein. The enclosure also at least partially defines an opening that is in communication with the food container chamber. The enclosure is at least partially formed of a synthetic material. The food container further includes a barrier. The barrier is positioned adjacent to the opening of the enclosure to close the opening. The barrier is configured to at least partially open the opening responsive to an applied pressure of about 400 kPa or greater.

[004] An example system for forming a starch product includes at least one container. The at least one container includes at least one expansion chamber surface. The at least one expansion chamber surface at least partially defines at least one expansion chamber having a selected shape. The at least one container also includes at least one barrier. The system further includes at least one starch source that comprises at least one starch compound. The at least one starch source is disposed in the at least one container.

[005] An example method of a single starch product is disclosed. The method includes positioning at least one container within or adjacent to an energy emitting device. The energy emitting device is configured to emit energy. The at least one container includes at least one expansion chamber, at least one starch source, and at least one barrier disposed between the at least one stanch source and the at least a portion of the at least one expansion chamber. The method further includes, with the energy emitting device, generating the energy. The method also includes, when the at least one container is positioned within or adjacent to the energy emitting device, exposing the at least one container to the energy mat is effective to cause the at least one starch source to break through at least a portion of the barrier and expand into the at least one expansion chamber to form the single starch product therein.

[006] An example method of forming a container is disclosed. The method includes providing a plurality of exterior parts. The plurality of exterior parts comprise a first exterior part and a second exterior part. The method includes positioning at least one starch source between the first exterior part and the second exterior part. Each of the starch source can comprise at least one starch compound. The method further includes attaching the first exterior part to the second exterior part. The first exterior part and the second exterior part can at least partially define at least one expansion chamber therebetween. The method additionally includes forming at least one barrier between the at least one starch source and at least a portion of the at least one expansion chamber.

[007] Features from any of the disclosed embodiments may be used in combination with one another, without hmitation. In addition, other features and advantages of the present disclosure will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art through consideration of the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.

[008] The foregoing summary is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. In addition to the illustrative aspects, embodiments, and features described above, further aspects, embodiments, and features will become apparent by reference to the drawings and the following detailed description.

BWTRF nr-Sf RIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[009] The foregoing and other features of the present disclosure will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only several examples in accordance with the disclosure and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of its scope, the disclosure will be described with additional specificity and detail through use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

[010] Figures 1 A and IB are isometric and exploded isometric views, respectively, of a system for forming a starch product, according to at least one example. [011] Figure 1C is an isometric view of the system of Figures 1A-1B, with the film partially removed to illustrate a portion of the film interior surface.

[012] Figures 1D-1F are cross-sectional views of the system of Figures 1A-1B during operation, according to at least one example.

[013] Figures 1G and 1H are isometric views of the system of Figures 1A-1C wustrating a method of using the starch product, according to at least one example.

[014] Figure 2 is an isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

[015] Figure 3 is an isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

[016] Figures 4A and 4B are isometric and exploded isometric views, respectively, of a system, according to at least one example.

[017] Figures 4C-4E are cross -sectional views of the system of Figures 4A-4B mustrating a method of operating the system, according to at least one example.

[018] Figures 4F and 4G are isometric views illustrating a method of using the system of

Figures 4A-4B after the starch product is formed, according to at least one example.

[019] Figure SA is an exploded isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

[020] Figures SB and SC are isometric views of the system of Figure SA illustrating a method of operating the system, according to at least one example.

[021] Figure SD is an isometric view of the system of Figure SA iUustrating a method of removing the starch product from the container, according to at least one example.

[022] Figure 6 is an isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

[023] Figure 7 is a cross-sectional view of a system, according to at least one example.

[024] Figure 8 is an isometric view of a system that includes a plurality of containers coupled together, according to at least one example.

[025] Figure 9 is an isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

[026] Figure 10 is an isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

[027] Figure 11 is an exploded isometric view of a system, according to at least one example.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[028] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof. In the drawings, similar symbols typically identify similar components, unless context dictates otherwise. The illustrative examples described in the detailed description, drawings, and claims are not meant to be limiting, Other examples may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented herein. It will be readily understood mat the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein, and illustrated in the Figures, can be arranged, substituted, combined, separated, and designed in a wide variety of different configurations, all of which are implicitly contemplated herein.

[029] This disclosure is drawn, inter alia, to methods, systems, products, devices, and/or apparatuses generally related to forming a starch product For example, a system for forming a starch product is disclosed. The system can include at least one container. The container can include at least one expansion chamber surface defining at least one expansion chamber having a selected shape. The container can also include at least one starch source disposed in the container. The at least one starch source can include a starch compound. The container can further include at least one barrier disposed between the starch source and at least a portion of the expansion chamber. In an example, a food container including the at least one starch source, a method of using a system for forming a starch product, and a method of forming a container are disclosed.

[030] According to some examples disclosed herein include at least one starch source includes a starch compound. The starch compound can include a starch derived from one or more of rice, wheat, corn (maize), potatoes, cassava, tapioca, arrowroot, barley, millet, oats, sweet potatoes, rye, yam, legumes, amaranth grains, Khorasan wheat, qirinoa, sorghum, or another natural starch source. In an example, the starch compound can include one or more modified starches (e.g., bleached starch), one or more gelatinized starches, or one or more retrograded starches. In an example, the starch compound can include a whole grained starch compound. For example, the starch compound can be derived from corn and include the hull, germ, and endosperm thereof. In some examples, the starch source can include one or more additives therein. The additives can include one or more oils (e.g., butter), one or more proteins, sugar, fiber, one or more vitamins, one or more minerals, one or more preservatives, one or more nuts, one or more spices, one or more herbs, other flavoring additives, one or more foaming boosters (e.g., a chemical configured to increase the expansion ratio of the starch compound, such as baking soda or baking powder), one or more natural or artificial dyes, or another suitable additive. In an example, the starch source can include a homogeneous or substantially homogeneous mixture when the additives are mixed with the starch compound. In an example, the starch source can include a heterogeneous mixture when at least some of the additives are not mixed with the starch compound (e.g., the additives mix with the starch compound when the starch compound explodes). In an example, the starch source can be a monolithic solid, m an example, the starch source can include one or more whole kernels, granules, roots, etc. For example, the starch compound can include one or more corn kernels, one or more wheat granules, one or more rice granules, etc.

[031] The starch source can include a moisture content of greater than about 0 weight % to about 35 weight % of the starch source, such as about 5 weight % to about 25 weight % or about 5 weight % to about 20 weight %. In an example, the moisture can come from a generaUy-recogruzed-as-safe liquid (e.g., liquid at temperatures less than about 200 °C). For example, the liquid can come from water or oil (e.g., butter) in the starch source. In an example, the starch source can include a moisture content that is similar to popcorn. For example, the starch compound can include a moisture content that is about 12 weight % to about 14 weight %, and more particularly about 13.5 weight %. m an example, the starch compound can have a moisture content that is less than the moisture that is less than about 10 weight %, such as less than 8 weight %. In an example, the starch compound can have a moisture content that is greater than about 15 weight %, such as greater than 18 weight % or greater than 20 weight %. m such an example, the starch compound can include one or more preservatives to prevent the starch source from spoiling.

[032] In some examples, the starch source can include a densified starch source. The starch source can be considered densified when the specific density of the starch source is greater than about 1.0, such as greater than about 1.1, greater than about 1.2, about 1 to about 2, about 1 to about 1.5, or about 1.2 to about 1.4. A starch source exhibiting a specific gravity greater than about 1.0 can exhibit a greater expansion ratio. In an example, the starch source can be formed from a plurality of starch grains with or without additives or liquid mixed therein. The specific gravity of the plurality of starch grains is typically about 0.8 or less. The plurality of starch grains can be mixed with a liquid, such as water, to form a solution or a paste. At least a portion of the fluid can be driven off to form a starch source having a moisture content greater than about 0 weight % to about 35 weight %. The resulting starch source can exhibit a specific gravity greater than about 1.0. m an example, a plurality of starch grains can be pressed to form starch source having a specific density greater than about 1.0. In such an example, oils, stearic acid, or other lubricants can be added to the plurality of starch grains to improve the densification process. In another example, any suitable densification process can be used.

[033] In an example, the starch source can exhibit a selected shape. For example, the starch source can exhibit a generally cylindrical shape, a generally spherical shape, a generally cuboid shape, a general toroidal shape, a generally prism shape, or any other suitable shape. In an example, the starch source can be configured to exhibit a relatively high surface area to volume ratio. For example, the starch source can exhibit ridges, channels, divots, other textured features, or at least one relatively flat surface mat increases me surface area to volume ratio. The increased surface area to volume ratio can increase the rate at which the starch source is heated. In an example, the starch source can be formed by extrusion, molding, or any other suitable method.

[034] The starch source can exhibit a ratio of a volume of the exploded starch compound to an initial volume of the starch compound ("expansion ratio") that is about 2 to about SO, such as 2, 4, 5, 10, IS, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, SO, or any range between any of the provided values. The expansion ratio of the starch source can depend on the moisture content of the starch source, the type of liquid, the source of the starch compound (e.g., corn, wheat, etc.), the type of starch compound (e.g., modified, whole grained), the temperature and pressure at which the starch source explodes, the presence, quantity, and type of additives added to the starch source, whether the starch source are homogeneous or heterogeneous.

[035] Figures 1 A and IB are isometric and exploded isometric views, respectively, of a system 100 for forming a starch product 101 (Figures 1F-1H), according to at least one example. The system 100 includes a container 102. The container 102 can be formed from at least one first exterior part and at least one second exterior part attached together. The first exterior part includes at least one body 104 and the second exterior part includes at least one film 106. The body 104 and the film 106 can each include at least one expansion chamber surface 108 (Figure 1C) that at least partially defines at least one expansion chamber 110 exhibiting a selected shape. The body 104 and the film 106 can each include at least one starch chamber surface 112 (Figure 1C) at least partially defining at least one starch chamber 114. The starch chamber 114 and the expansion chamber 110 are positioned adjacent to or proximate to each other. The system 100 further includes at least one food container 116 (Figure IB) that is positioned within the starch chamber 114. The food container 116 includes an enclosure 117. At least one starch source is positioned within the enclosure 117. The system 100 also includes at least one barrier 118 positioned between the starch source 115 and the expansion chamber 110. The various components described in Figures 1A-1B are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated. [036] In operation, as will be discussed in more detail with respect to Figures 1D-1F, the starch source 115 can be heated to increase a temperature thereof. The increased temperature of the starch source US increases an internal pressure in the enclosure 117 to thereby apply pressure to the barrier 118. The barrier 118 is configured to break or at least partially open when the pressure applied thereto is at or about a selected pressure. The pressure difference between the expansion chamber 110 and the starch source 115 (e.g., the pressure within at least one of the starch chamber 114 or the food container 116) can cause the starch source 115 to explode or expand into the expansion chamber 110. The starch source 115 can at least partially fill the expansion chamber 110 to form the starch product 101 that at least partially conforms to a shape of the expansion chamber 110.

[037] The body 104 also includes at least one body exterior surface 120, which can at least partially form an exterior of the system 100. In an example, the body exterior surface 120 can include stickers, logos, marketing materials, paint, nutritional labels, or other items attached thereto. The body 104 also includes at least one body attachment surface 122 (Figure 1C) that is configured to be attached to a portion of the film 106 (e.g., the film attachment surface 124). In an example, the body attachment surface 122 at least partially extends from at least a portion of the body exterior surface 120 to at least a portion of at least one of the expansion chamber surface 108 or the starch chamber surface 112. The body attachment surface 122 can be attached to the film 106 using one or more of an adhesive, welding (e.g., ultrasonic welding, thermal welding), etc. The body attachment surface 122 can be reversibly attached to the film 106. For example, the body attachment surface 122 can be reversibly attached to the film 106 when the film 106 can be detached therefrom without substantially damaging the body 104 or the film 106.

[038] The body 104 can be rigid or semi-rigid. For example, the body can be formed from a polymer (e.g., polyethylene terephthalate (PET), crystallized PET, or nylon), a composite, or a metal or an alloy (e.g., aluminum or an aluminum alloy).

[039] The body 104 can exhibit a minimum thickness greater than about 0.1 mm measured between the body exterior surface 120 and at least one of the expansion chamber surface 108 or the starch chamber surface 112. For example, the minimum thickness of the body 104 can be about 0.1 mm to about 5 mm, about 0.2 mm to about 5 mm, about 0.1 mm to about 1 mm, about 0.5 mm to about 1 mm, or about 1 mm to about 2 mm. The thickness can be selected at least partially based on the yield strength or ultimate tensile strength (collectively or individually referred to as "strength") of the body 104, the force required to detach the film 106 from the body attachment surface 122, or the selected pressure required to break the barrier 118.

[040] The film 106 includes a film interior surface 125 (Figure 1C) and a film exterior surface 126 (Figure 1C) generally opposite the interior surface 125. Figure 1C is an isometric view of the system 100 of Figures 1 A-1B, with the film 106 partially removed to illustrate a portion of the film interior surface 125. As previously discussed, the film interior surface 125 can include the expansion chamber surface 108 and the starch chamber surface 112. The film interior surface 125 can also include at least one film attachment surface 124 that can extend from the expansion chamber surface 108 and the starch chamber surface 112 and can be configured to be attached to the body attachment surface 122. For ease of illustration, the expansion chamber surface 108, the starch chamber surface 112, and the film attachment surface 124 are illustrated on the film 106 in Figure 1C using hatching. However, it is understood that at least some of the surfaces of the film interior surface 125 can be visibly, materially, or otherwise distinct or indistinct from another surface.

[041] The film 106 can exhibit a minimum thickness measured between the film interior surface 125 and me film exterior surface 126. The minimum thickness can be about 0.005 mm to about 0.2 mm For example, the minimum thickness of the film 106 can be about 0.075 mm to about 0.05 mm, about 0.01 mm to about 0.025 mm, or about 0.025 to about 0.05 mm The minimum thickness can be selected based on the strength of the film 106, the force required to detach the film 106 from the body 104, or the selected pressure required to break the barrier 118.

[042] In an example, the film 106 can be at least partially transparent For example, at least a portion of the film 106 can exhibit a total transmittance of visible light of 50%, 60%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, or 99%, including ranges having any of the percentages as end points. For example, the entire film 106 can be at least partially transparent In another example, a selected portion of the film 106 can be at least partially transparent The selected portion of the film 106 can be a portion of the film 106 that includes the expansion chamber surface 108. The transparency of the film 106 can be used to verify that the starch source 115 exploded into the expansion chamber 110.

[043] The film 106 can define one or more holes 128 therein. The holes 128 can extend from the expansion chamber surface 108 to the film exterior surface 126. As such, the holes 128 can enable air from the expansion chamber 110 to flow therethrough when the starch source 115 explodes into the expansion chamber 110. In an example, at least one of the holes 128 can be spaced at least 75% of a length of the expansion chamber surface 108 from the starch chamber surface 112. The length of the expansion chamber surface 108 is defined as a distance between a boundary between the expansion chamber surface 108 and the starch chamber surface 112 to a portion of the expansion chamber surface 108 mat is the farthest removed from the starch chamber surface 112. In such an example, the starch source 115 is unlikely to block (i.e., clog) the hole 128 until the starch source 115 occupies at least 75% of the expansion chamber 110.

[044] In an example, the holes 128 can increase an expansion ratio of the starch source 115. For example, the holes 128 maintain portions of the expansion chamber 110 that do not include the starch source 115 to exhibit a pressure at or near atmospheric pressure before, during, or after the starch source 115 explodes into the expansion chamber 110. Without the holes 128, the portions of the expansion chamber 110 that do not include the starch source 115 can exhibit a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure. The greater than atmospheric pressure of the expansion chamber 110 decreases a pressure gradient between the exploding starch source 115 and portions of the expansion chamber 110 that do not include the starch source 115. Maximizing the pressure gradient can increase the expansion ratio of the starch source 115.

[045] In an example, the holes 128 can be configured to initially prevent air, dirt, or other contaminants from the ambient environment from flowing through the holes 128 into the expansion chamber 110. For example, the holes 128 can exhibit a closed state configured to prevent contaminants from entering the expansion chamber 110 and an open state that enables air to flow through the holes 128. The holes 128 can be configured to switch from the closed state to the open state when the starch source 115 explodes into the expansion chamber 110. For example, the film 106 can include at least one layer defining at least some of the holes 128 and at least one continuous layer that does not define at least some of the holes 128 attached to the at least one layer defining the holes 128. The continuous layer can be configured to rip or otherwise fail when the starch source 115 explodes into the expansion chamber 110 due to a decreased thickness of the film 106 at or near the holes 128. In another example, at least some of the holes can be defined by a plurality of perforations that extend at least partially through the film 106. The perforations can cause the portions of the film 106 about the holes 128 to rip when the starch source 115 explodes into the expansion chamber 110. In another example, at least some of the holes 128 can include one or more stickers (not shown) attached to the film 106 and positioned to cover the holes 128. The stickers can be configured to rip or otherwise fail when the starch source 1 IS explodes into the expansion chamber 110.

[046] When the body 104 is attached to the film 106, the expansion chamber surfaces 108 of the body 104 and the film 106, collectively, at least partially define the expansion chamber 110. The expansion chamber 110 can exhibit any suitable shape. For example, at least a portion of the expansion chamber 110 can exhibit a generally circular shape, a generally elliptical shape, a generally pyramidal shape, a generally cuboid shape, a generally conical shape, a generally cylindrical shape, a generally cubic shape, or another suitable shape. In another example, the expansion chamber 110 can exhibit a generally circular cross-sectional shape, a generally elliptical cross-sectional shape, a generally triangular cross-sectional shape, a generally rectangular cross-sectional shape, a generally pentagonal cross-sectional shape, a generally hexagonal cross-sectional shape, a generally octagonal cross-sectional shape, etc. In an example, the shape (e.g., 3 -dimensional or cross-sectional shape) of the expansion chamber 110 can vary or remain constant along at least a portion of the length of at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 108. In an example, a dimension of the expansion chamber 110 can change or remain constant along at least a portion of the length of at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 108. For example, a width, height, or cross-sectional diameter of the expansion chamber 110 can increase, decrease, or remain substantially constant along the length of at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 108.

[047] Referring back to Figures 1A and IB, the enclosure 117 of the food container 116 is configured to receive the starch source 115 therein. The food container 116 can at least partially form a sealed pressure vessel. The enclosure 117 can be formed of a synthetic material. The synthetic material can include a polymeric material (e.g., PET, crystallized PET, nylon), a material that is stable and maintains structural integrity at temperatures greater than about 150 °C (e.g., greater than 175 °C, greater than 200 °C, greater than 225 °C, or greater than 250 °C), another suitable material, or combinations thereof. The enclosure 117 can exhibit a thickness of about 0.1 mm, 0.2S mm, 0.S mm, 0.75mm, 1 WITH, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm 3.0 mm, 4.0 mm i or 5.0 mm i including ranges between any of the provided thicknesses.

[048] The enclosure 117 at least partially defines a food container chamber 130 and the starch source 115 is positioned in the food container chamber 130. The food container chamber 130 can exhibit, for example, a maximum dimension of about 5 mm j 10 mm i 15 mm, 20 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 35 mm, 40 mm, 45 mm, or 50 mm, including ranges having any of the provided dimensions as end points. In an example, the starch source 115 can substantially or completely fill the food container chamber 130. As such, a ratio of a volume of the food container chamber 130 to a volume of the expansion chamber 110 can be substantially the same as or slightly greater man (e.g., less man 10%, less than 15%, less man 20%, less man 25%, less than 50% greater than) the expansion ratio of the starch source 115. For example, a volume of the expansion chamber 110 can be about 2 to about 50 (e.g., 2, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, or any range between any of the provided values) greater than a volume of the food container chamber 130. The enclosure 117 further defines an opening 132 therein that is in communication with the food container chamber 130. When the food container 116 is placed in the starch chamber 114, the opening 132 can generally face and be aligned with the expansion chamber 110.

[049] In an example, the food container 116 can exhibit a size and shape that substantially conforms or corresponds to the size and shape of the starch chamber 114. In an example, the starch chamber 114 can narrow at or near the expansion chamber 110 to prevent the food container 116 from exiting the starch chamber 114 and entering the expansion chamber 110. As such, the food container 116 can be maintained in the starch chamber 114.

[050] In an example, the barrier 118 of the food container 116 is attached to the enclosure 117. For example, the barrier 118 can be in the form of a disk or flexible membrane having a front surface 134 and a back surface 136. The back surface 136 can exhibit a size and shape sufficient to completely cover the opening 132. As such, the back surface 136 can be positioned to completely cover the opening 132 and attached to the enclosure 117 using any of the attachment methods disclosed therein. The barrier 118 can be formed for a synthetic material, such as a polymeric material (e.g., PET, crystallized PET, or nylon).

[051] The barrier 118 can be configured to break at a selected pressure. For example, the barrier 118 can be monolithic and the selected pressure can be the pressure necessary to cause the barrier 118 to at least partially rupture (e.g., rip, explode). In another example, the barrier 118 can be formed from a plurality of parts attached together, and the barrier 118 can break when the plurality of parts become at least partially detached from each other. In another example, the barrier 118 can break when the back surface 136 and the enclosure 117 become at least partially unattached. The selected pressure can be at least about 400 kPa, such as about 600 kPa, about 800 kPa, about 1.0 MPa, about 1.5 MPa, about 2.0 MPa, or ranges including any of these pressures as end points. In an example, the selected pressure can be less than about 400 kPa or greater man about 2.0 MPa. The selected pressure can be the pressure the barrier 118 breaks at room temperature or when the barrier 118 is at least partially heated (e.g., heated to a temperature similar to the temperature of the starch source 115). Higher selected pressures may increase the expansion ratio of the starch source 115 because higher selected pressures increase the pressure gradient between the starch source 1 IS and the expansion chamber 110. hi an example, the selected pressure should be less than the pressure required to yield (e.g., plastically deform), fracture, rupture, or otherwise fail at least one of the enclosure 117, the body 104, the film 106, or the attachment between the body 104 and the film 106.

[052] In an example, the barrier 118 can be formed of a material that exhibits a strength that is less than a strength of at least one of the enclosure 117, the body 104, or the film 106. In an example, barrier 118 can be formed of a material that exhibits a strength that is substantially the same as or greater than a strength of at least one of the enclosure 117, the body 104, or the film 106. In such an example, the barrier 118 can exhibit a minimum thickness that is less than a thickness of at least one of the enclosure 117, the body 104, or the film 106 such mat the barrier 118 breaks before the enclosure 117, the body 104, or the film 106. In an example, the barrier 118 can include one or more grooves 138 formed in at least one of the front or back surfaces 134, 136 thereof. The grooves 138 can be configured to weaken the barrier 118 in order to decrease the pressure at which the barrier 118 breaks. The grooves 138 can include a single groove, a plurality of grooves that intersect, etc.

[053] In an example, the food container 116 does not include a barrier 118 attached to the enclosure 117. For example, the barrier 118 can be attached to the body 104 and the film 106 between the expansion chamber 110 and the starch chamber 114. In another example, the barrier 118 can be formed by attaching the body 104 and the film 106 together at a location between the expansion chamber 110 and the starch chamber 114. In an example, the food container 116 can be omitted and the starch source 115 can be directly placed in the starch chamber 114.

[054] Figures 1D-1F are cross-sectional views of the system 100 of Figures 1A-1B during operation, according to at least one example. Referring to Figure ID, the fully assembled system 100 is placed within, adjacent to, or proximate to an energy emitting device. The energy emitting device can include any device that is configured to provide energy 140 to the system 100. The energy 140 is configured to heat at least the starch source 115. For example, the energy 140 can be microwave energy, thermal energy, acoustical energy, etc. As such, the energy emitting device can include a microwave oven, a conventional oven, a grill, a range, an infrared emitting device, etc. In an example, at least one of the body 104, the film 106, or the enclosure 117 can enable at least some of the energy 140 to be transmitted to the starch source 1 IS (e.g., be at least semi-permeable to the energy 140).

[055] In an example, the energy 140 can be configured to heat the starch source 115 to a temperature effective to break and at least partially open the barrier 118. The temperature can be at least about 120 °C, such as at least about 180 °C. For example, the temperature can be about 120 °C, 130 °C, 140 °C, 150 °C, 160 °C, 170 °C, 180 °C, 190 °C, 200 °C, 225 °C, 250 °C, or ranges including any of the provided temperatures as end points. The temperature can be also be less than about 120 °C or greater than 250 °C. In an example, the body 104, the film 106, or the enclosure 117 can exhibit a degradation temperature that is greater than the temperature to which the starch source 115 is heated. For example, the body 104, the film 106, or the enclosure 117 can exhibit a degradation temperature of about least about 150 °C, such as about 175 °C, 200 °C, 225 °C, 250 °C, or 300 °C, including ranges having any of the provided temperatures as end points. The degradation temperature can be the temperature at which the body 104, the film 106, or the enclosure 117 degraded (e.g., a melting temperature, a glass-transition temperature, a temperature at which the body 104, the film 106, or the enclosure 117 loses structural stability, or a temperature at which the body 104, the film 106, or the enclosure 117 leaches at least one chemical therefrom).

[056] Not wishing to be bound by theory, increasing the temperature of the starch source 115 gelatinizes the starch source 115. Additionally, the moisture content of the starch source 115 may change phases as the temperature of the starch source 115 increases (e.g., reaches a boiling temperature of the moisture content). Changing the phase of the moisture can apply a pressure to the barrier 118. As such, increasing the temperature of the starch source 115 can cause a pressure to be applied to the barrier 118 until the pressure is at or about the selected pressure.

[057] Referring to Figure IE, the barrier 118 can break when the pressure applied to thereto is at or about the selected pressure, m the illustrated example, the barrier 118 includes one or more grooves 138 and the barrier 118 can rupture at a location at or near the grooves 138. A pressure gradient exists between the starch source 115 and the expansion chamber 110 the instant the barrier 118 breaks. For example, the expansion chamber 110 can exhibit atmospheric pressure and the starch source 1 IS can exhibit the selected pressure. The pressure gradient between the starch source 1 IS and the expansion chamber 110 can cause the starch source 115 to explode into the expansion chamber 110.

[058] As the starch source 115 explodes or expands into the expansion chamber 110, at least some of the air at was initially in the expansion chamber 110 and at least some of the vaporized moisture of the starch source 115 can exit the expansion chamber 110 through the holes 128. As such, at least some of the portions of the expansion chamber 110 that do not include the exploding starch source 115 therein can remain at or near atmospheric pressure. Maintaining atmospheric pressure in at least a portion of the expansion chamber 110 can maintain a pressure gradient between the exploding starch source 115 and portions of the expansion chamber 110 while the starch source 115 explodes into the expansion chamber 110. As such, maintaining atmospheric pressure can increase the expansion ratio of the starch source 115, cause the starch source 115 to expand more rapidly, cause the starch source 115 to expand more controllably (e.g., stably), or cause the starch source 115 to more completely fill the expansion chamber 110.

[059] Referring to Figure IF, the starch product 101 is formed in the expansion chamber 110. For example, the starch product 101 can be formed when the starch source 115 stops expanding. The starch source 115 stops expanding when the pressure of the starch source US is at or about atmospheric pressure or the starch source 115 has solidified (e.g., the starch source 115 rapidly cools due to free expansion). The starch product 101 can at least partially fill the expansion chamber 110. For example, the starch product 101 can fill at least 50% of the expansion chamber 110 or substantially completely fill the expansion chamber 110. The starch product 101 can also substantially conform to (e.g., maintains the shape of) the portions of the expansion chamber 110 mat the starch product 101 contacts. In an example, the expansion chamber 110 can only include a single starch product 101 formed therein. In an example, the container 102 can only include a single starch product 101 formed therein. In an example, the container 102 can include a plurality of starch products 101 formed thereia

[060] Figures 1G and 1H are isometric views of the system 100 of Figures 1A-1B iUustrating a method of using the starch product 101, according to at least one example. Referring to Figure 1G, at least a portion of the film 106 can be detached (e.g., peeled) from the body 104 to expose at least a portion of the starch product 101. The film 106 can be detached from the body 104, for example, after the system 100 has been removed from the energy emitting device or is no longer being exposed to the energy emitted from the energy emitting device. Referring to Figure 1H, at least a portion of the starch product 101 can be removed from the container 102. For example, at least a portion of (e.g., all of) the starch product 101 that is located in the expansion chamber 110 can be removed from the container 102, while at least a portion of (e.g., all of) the starch product 101 that is in the starch chamber 114 remains in me starch chamber 114.

[061] In an example, the starch product 101 can be eaten after the starch product 101 is removed from the expansion chamber 110. In an example, the starch product 101 can have one or more edible items (e.g., flavorings) added thereto. For example, the edible items can be disposed in at least one carton 144. The one or more edible items can include a sauce (e.g., a marinara sauce, sweet or savory sauce, a ketchup, cheese sauce, salsa, etc.), salt, herbs, spices, butter, etc.

[062] The Figures 1D-1H illustrate method steps that are provided for illustrative purposes. In some examples, the method steps can be performed in a different order. In other examples, various method steps can be eliminated, m still other examples, various method steps can be divided into additional method steps, supplemented with other method steps, or combined together into fewer method steps. Other variations of these specific method steps are contemplated, including changes in the order of the method steps, changes in the content of the method steps being split or combined into other method steps, etc. In an example, the food container 116 can be removed from the starch chamber 114 after the starch source 1 IS explodes into the expansion chamber 110.

[063] Figure 2 is an isometric view of a system 200, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 200 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the system 100 (Figures 1A-1H) and its respective materials, components, or elements. The system 200 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 2 are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[064] The system 200 includes at least one body 204 and a film 206 attached to the body 204. The body 204 and the film 206 both include at least one expansion chamber surface (not shown, obscured) that defines an expansion chamber 210. m an example, the body 204 can define one or more holes 228. The holes 228 extend from at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces of the body 204 to at least one exterior surface 220 of the body 204. The holes 228 enable air and vaporized moisture to exit the expansion chamber 210 when a starch compound explodes (e.g., from a food container 216) into the expansion chamber 210. As such, the holes 228 can help maintain at least a portion of the expansion chamber 210 at or near atmospheric pressure when the starch compound explodes into the expansion chamber 210.

[065] Figure 3 is an isometric view of a system 300, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 300 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200 (Figures 1A-2) and then- respective materials, components, or elements. The system 300 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 3 are merely examples, and other variations, including ehminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated

[066] The system 300 includes a container 302 that is at least partially formed from a plurality of bodies 304. For example, the bodies 304 can include a first body 348 and a second body 350 moveably or pivotabry attached together. At least some of (e.g., all of) the bodies 304 can be substantially similar to the body 104 (Figures 1A-1H). For example, at least some of the bodies 304 can include at least one expansion chamber surface 308 at least partially defining an expansion chamber 310, at least one starch chamber surface 312 at least partially defining a starch chamber 314, and at least one exterior surface 326. At least some of the bodies 304 can include at least one abutment surface 322 extending between the exterior surface 326 and at least one of the expansion chamber surface 308 and the starch chamber surface 312.

[067] The bodies 304 can be moveably or pivotably attached together so that the bodies 304 can be moved between a closed state to an open state and from the open state to the closed state. The bodies 304 are in the closed state when the abutment surfaces 322 thereof at least partially abut each other and a user cannot access at least one of the expansion chamber 310 or the starch chamber 314. The bodies 304 are in the open state when a user can access at least one of the expansion chamber 310 or the starch chamber 314. As such, a user can at least one of remove a starch source (e.g., food container 316) from the starch chamber 314, remove a starch product from the container 302, or add a starch source into the starch chamber 314. Additionally, moveably attaching the bodies 304 together can enable the container 302 to be used multiple times. For example, the starch source can be provided in the form of one or more cartridges 351 that can be removed from and loaded into the container 302. [068] In an example, the bodies 304 are moveably or pivotably attached together via at least one hinge 352. For example, the hinge 3S2 can enable the first and second bodies 348, 350 to rotate thereabout between the open and closed states. In an example, the bodies 304 are moveably or pivotably attached together using at least one of one or more screws, one or more clamps, one or more magnets, or one or more snaps. For example, the screws, clamps, magnets, or snap can enable the first and second bodies 348, 350 to be completely detached from each other and then reattached together. In an example, the bodies 304 are moveably attached together using an adhesive, a latch, or any other suitable method.

[069] Figures 4 A and 4B are isometric and exploded isometric views, respectively, of a system 400, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 400 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300 (Figures 1A-3) and their respective materials, components, or elements. The system 400 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figures 4A- 4B are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[070] Referring to Figure 4 A, the system 400 includes a container 402. The container 402 can be formed from one or more exterior parts. The exterior parts can include one or more films 406. For example, the container 402 can be formed from a first film 454 (e.g., a first exterior part) and a second film 456 (e.g., a second exterior part, shown in Figure 4B) attached to the first film 454. In another example, the container 402 can be formed from a single film that is folded and attached to itself.

[071] Referring to Figure 4B, each of the films 406 includes an interior surface 425 and an exterior surface 426 that is generally opposite the interior surface 425. The interior surface 425 can include a plurality of different surfaces. For ease of discussion, at least some of the different surfaces of the interior surface 425 are shown using hatching. In an example, at least some of the different surfaces can be visibly, materially, or otherwise distinct or indistinct from another surface.

[072] The interior surface 425 includes at least two starch chamber surfaces 412 that at least partially define at least two starch chambers 414 (Figure 4C). However, it is understood that the interior surface 425 can include three, four, or more than four starch chamber surfaces that at least partially define two, three, four, or more than four starch chambers. [073] Hie interior surface 42S includes at least one barrier surface 460. A barrier surface 460 can be configured to be attached to another barrier surface 460 to form a barrier 418 between the starch chambers 414. For example, the first and second films 454, 456 can each include a barrier surface 460 attached together. The barrier surface 460 can extend between at least two of the starch chamber surfaces 412. The barrier surfaces 460 can be attached together using any of the attachment methods disclosed herein. In an example, the barrier 418 can be configured to break (e.g., the attachment between the barrier surfaces 460 fail) at a selected pressure.

[074] In an example, the barrier surface 460 of at least one of the films 406 can define one or more holes 428. For example, a portion of the barrier surface 460 that is substantially equidistantly spaced from the starch chamber surfaces 412 can define the holes 428. For example, the barrier surface 460 of the first and second films 454, 456 both define holes 428.

[075] Referring to Figure 4 A, in an example, the barrier surface 460 can define at least one conduit 462 that extends between at least two of the starch chamber surfaces 412. The conduit 462 can be formed by not attaching a portion of the barrier surface 460 to another underlying barrier surface 460. The conduit 462 enables a pressure in one of the starch chambers 414 to be substantially equal to a pressure in another starch chamber 414. As such, the conduit 462 can cause a starch source 415 in one of the starch chambers 414 to explode substantially simultaneously with a starch source 415 in another of the starch chambers 414.

[076] Referring back to Figure 4B, the interior surface 425 also includes at least one attachment surface 424 that is configured to be attached to another attachment surface. For example, the first film 454 can include at least one attachment surface 424 (not shown, obscured) that is configured to be attached to a corresponding attachment surface 424 of the second film 456. At least a portion of the attachment surface 424 can be located at least around a periphery of each of the films 406 and at least partially surround the starch chamber surfaces 412 and the barrier surfaces 460. The attachment surfaces 424 can be attached to another attachment surface using any of the attachment methods disclosed herein, such as using an adhesive or welding. The attachment between the attachment surfaces 424 can be configured to fail at a pressure that is greater than the selected pressure at which the attachment between the barrier surfaces 460 fail. For example, the attachment surfaces 424 can be attached together using an adhesive that is stronger than an adhesive used to attach the barrier surfaces 460 together. In another example, a minimum width of mat attachment surface 424 (e.g., measured from an exterior of the container 402 to at least one of the starch chamber surfaces 412 or the barrier surface 460) can be greater than a minimum distance between one of the starch chamber surfaces 412 and at least one of the holes 428.

[077] Hie interior surface 425 of each of the films 406 can also include at least one expansion chamber surface 408 (Figures 4D-4E) that at least partially defines at least one expansion chamber 410 (Figures 4D-4E). The expansion chamber surface 408 can be at least partially formed from the starch chamber surfaces 412 and the barrier surface 460. As such, at least initially, a portion of the expansion chamber surface 408 can be attached together. In an example, the expansion chamber surface 408 can be partially formed from a portion of the attachment surfaces 424 that is spaced from an exterior of the container 402. For example, the attachment between the portions of the attachment surfaces 424 that parti ally form the expansion chamber surfaces 408 can be configured to fail before or substantially simultaneously with the barrier 418.

[078] Referring to Figure 4C, the barrier 418 can, at least initially, separate the expansion chamber 410 into at least one first portion of the expansion chamber 410a and at least one second portion of the expansion chamber 410b. In an example, each of the first portion of the expansion chamber 410a surface and thee second portion of the expansion chamber 410b includes at least of the starch sources 415 disposed therein

[079] The expansion chamber 410 can exhibit a selected shape and the starch chamber surfaces 412 and the barrier surface 460 can exhibit shapes that cause the expansion chamber 410 to exhibit the selected shape. For example, the barrier surface 460 or at least one of the starch chamber surfaces 412 can exhibit a generally triangular shape when the expansion chamber 410 is configured to exhibit a generally conical shape.

[080] The system 400 includes two or more starch sources 415. The starch sources 415 can exhibit any suitable shape or type. For example, the starch sources 415 can exhibit a generally cylindrical shape, a generally cuboid shape, a generally prism shape, a generally spherical shape, or another suitable shape. In an example, the shape of the starch sources 415 can correspond to the selected shape of the expansion chamber 410. For example, if the expansion chamber 410 exhibits a substantially cylindrical shape, at least one of the starch sources 415 can exhibit a generally cylindrical or semi-cylindrical shape. In an example, at least some of the starch sources 415 can be substantially the same, m an example, at least some of the starch sources 415 can be different. For example, at least some of the starch sources 415 can at least one of include different starch compounds, include different additives, exhibit different shapes, exhibit different volumes, etc.

[081] Referring to Figure 4B, the system 400 can be formed by placing each of the starch sources 415 between the one or more films 406 and adjacent to the two or more starch chamber surfaces 412. The barrier surfaces 460 and the attachment surfaces 424 can then be attached together to form the container.

[082] Figures 4C-4E are cross-sectional views of the system of Figures 4A-4B illustrating a method of operating the system, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise disclosed herein, the method of operating the system 400 can be substantially similar to or the same as the method illustrated in Figures 1D-1F.

[083] Referring to Figure 4C, the fully assembled system 400 is placed with, adjacent to, or proximate to an energy emitting device. The energy emitting device is configured to irradiate at least a portion of the system 400 with energy 440. The energy 440 can heat each of the starch sources 415 to a temperature of at least 120 °C. Heating the starch sources 415 can generate internal pressure within the system 400, thereby causing a pressure to be applied to the barrier 418. In an example, the conduit 462 can cause each of the starch chambers 414 coupled thereto to apply substantially the same pressure to the barrier 418.

[084] Referring to Figure 4D, the pressure applied to the barrier 418 breaks or separates the barrier 418 (e.g., the pressure applied to the barrier 418 is at or about the selected pressure). Breaking the barrier 418 can cause the barrier surfaces 460 to detach from each other. Detaching the barrier surfaces 460 from each other increases a total available volume of the expansion chamber 410 that the starch source 415 can expand into and enables the expansion chamber 410 to exhibit the selected shape. Breaking the barrier 418 can also cause a pressure gradient within the expansion chamber 410. For example, the holes 428 can cause unoccupied portions of the expansion chamber 410 to exhibit atmospheric pressure while the starch sources 415 exhibit pressure that is significantly greater man atmospheric pressure. The pressure gradient causes the starch sources 415 to explode into the unoccupied portions of the expansion chamber 410.

[085] Referring to Figure 4E, the starch sources 415 substantially coalesce together into a single starch product 401, or at least have a pseudo-weld line therebetween. Additionally, the starch sources 415 explode to at least partially (e.g., substantially) fill the expansion chamber 410. As such, the starch product 401 can at least partially conform to and exhibit the shape of the expansion chamber 410. [086] Figures 4F and 4G are isometric views illustrating a method of using the system of Figures 4A-4B after the starch product is formed, according to at least one example. Referring to Figure 4F, the container 402 can be opened such that the starch product 401 can be removed therefrom For example, the container 402 can be opened using scissors. In another example, the films 606 can include a plurality of small perforations that enable the films 606 to be ripped. In another example, a portion of the films 606 can form flaps mat can be pulled to fail at least a portion of the attachment between the attachment surfaces 424. m another example, the container 402 can be opened using another other suitable method.

[087] Referring to Figure 4G, the starch product 401 can be removed from the container 402. For example, all of or a substantial portion of the starch product 401 can be removed from the container 402.

[088] The Figures 4C-4G included in the described example methods are for illustrative purposes. In some examples, the method steps may be performed in a different order. In some other examples, various method steps may be eliminated. In still other examples, various method steps may be divided into additional method steps, supplemented with other method steps, or combined together into fewer method steps. Other variations of these specific method steps are contemplated, including changes in the order of the method steps, changes in the content of the method steps being split or combined into other method steps, etc. In an example, the starch product 401 can be dipped into a sauce after the starch product 401 is removed from the container 402.

[089] Figure 5A is an exploded view of a system 500, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 500 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400 (Figures 1 A-4G) and their respective materials, components, or elements. The system 500 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 5A are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[090] The system 500 includes a container 502 (Figure SB). The container 502 can be formed from one or more exterior parts. The exterior parts can include one or more films 506. For example, the container 502 can be formed from a first film 554 (e.g., a first exterior part) and a second film 556 (e.g., a second exterior part) attached together. In another example, the container 502 can be formed from a single film mat is folded and attached to itself.

[091] Each of the films 506 includes an interior surface 525 and an exterior surface 526 that is opposite the interior surface 525. Hie interior surface 525 can include a plurality of different surfaces. For ease of discussion, at least some of the different surfaces of the interior surface 525 are shown using hatching. In an example, at least some of the different surfaces can be visibly, materially, or otherwise distinct or indistinct from another surface. Hie interior surface 525 can include at least one expansion chamber surface 508 configured to at least partially define an expansion chamber (not shown, obscured). The expansion chamber can exhibit a selected shape. The interior surface 525 can also include at least one starch chamber surface 512 configured to at least partially define the starch chamber (not shown, obscured). The interior surface 525 can also include at least one barrier surface 560 that is configured to be attached to another barrier surface to form the barrier 518 (Figure 5B). However, it is understood that the barrier 518 can be formed from any of the barriers disclosed herein. For example, the barrier 518 can be formed from a disk positioned between the expansion chamber and the starch chamber. The interior surface 525 can further include at least one attachment surface 524 that is configured to be attached to another attachment surface. In an example, the attachment surface 524 can extend from at least a portion of an exterior of the container 502 to at least a portion of at least one of the expansion chamber surface 508, the starch chamber surface 512, or the barrier surface 560.

[092] In an example, the interior surface 525 can also include at least one unattached surface 564 that is distinct from the expansion chamber surface 508 and the starch chamber surface 512. The unattached surface 564 can at least partially define one or more holes 528 that extend from the expansion chamber to an exterior of the container 502. In an example, a width of the expansion chamber 510 (measured perpendicularly relative to a direction the starch source 515 explodes into the expansion chamber 510) can decrease at or near the unattached surface 564 (e.g., decrease at least about 30%, at least about 40%, at least about 50%, at least about 60%, at least about 70 %, at least about 75%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, or at least about 95%). The decreased width of the expansion chamber 510 can substantially prevent the starch source 515 from exiting therethrough when the starch source 515 expands. [093] The system 500 can be formed by placing a starch source SIS between the one or more films 506 and adjacent to the starch chamber surface S12. The barrier surfaces 560 and the attachment surfaces 524 can then be attached together to form the container 502.

[094] Figures SB and 5C are isometric views of the system of Figures 5 A illustrating a method of operating the system, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise disclosed herein, the methods illustrated in Figures SB and 5C are substantially similar to or the same as the methods illustrated in Figures 1D-1F and 4C-4E.

[095] Referring to Figure SB, the fully assembled system 500 can be positioned with, adjacent to, or proximate to an energy emitting device configured to emit energy 540 towards the system 500. The energy 540 can heat the starch source 515 above a temperature of about 120 °C. As the starch source 515 is heated, the starch source 515 can apply a pressure to the barrier 518. At or about a selected pressure, the barrier 518 can break (e.g., the barrier surfaces 560 become detached from each other). Breaking the barrier 518 can cause the starch source 515 to explode or expand into the expansion chamber due to a pressure gradient between the starch chamber 514 and the expansion chamber.

[096] Referring to Figure 5C, the starch source 515 can expand into and at least partially (e.g., substantially completely) fill the expansion chamber. The fully expanded starch source 515 can form the starch product 501. The starch product 501 can exhibit a shape that at least partially conforms to the selected shape of the expansion chamber.

[097] Figure SD is an isometric view of the system of Figures SA illustrating a method of removing the starch product from the container 502, according to at least one example. For example, the container 502 can be opened by pulling a portion of the unattached surfaces 564 away from each other. The pulling motion can cause at least portions of the attachment surface 524 adjacent to and proximate to the unattached surfaces 564 to become detached in a peeling fashion. As such, after detaching at least a portion of the attachment surfaces 524 from each other, a person can remove the starch product 501 from the container 502.

[098] The Figures 5B-5D included in the described example methods are for illustrative purposes. In some examples, the method steps may be performed in a different order. In some other examples, various method steps may be dimuiated. In still other examples, various method steps may be divided into additional method steps, supplemented with other method steps, or combined together into fewer method steps. Other variations of these specific method steps are contemplated, including changes in the order of the metfaod steps, changes in the content of the method steps being split or combined into other method steps, etc. In an example, the starch product 501 can be dipped into a sauce after the starch product SOI is removed from the container 502.

[099] Figure 6 is an isometric view of a system 600, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 600 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 (Figures 1A-SD) and their respective materials, components, or elements. Hie system 600 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 6 are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[0100] The system 600 includes one or more films 606 that are attached together to form a container 602. For example, the one or more films 606 can at least partially define an expansion chamber and a starch chamber (not shown, obscured). In an example, at least one of the films 606 defines one or more holes 628 therein. The holes 628 can extend at least partially through a thickness of the films 606. For example, the holes 628 can extend from an exterior surface 626 to the expansion chamber. In an example, neither of the films 606 includes at least one unattached surface (e.g., unattached surface 564 of Figure 5 A). In an example, each of the films 606 include at least one unattached surface and one or more of the films 606 define the one or more holes 628.

[0101] Figure 7 is a cross-sectional view of a system 700, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 700 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 (Figures 1A-6) and their respective materials, components, or elements. The system 700 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 7 are merely examples, and other variations, including diminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[0102J The system 700 includes a container 702 that is formed from one or more exterior parts. The exterior parts can include one or more films 706. Each of the films 706 includes at least one expansion chamber surface 708 at least partially defining an expansion chamber 710, at least one starch chamber surface 712 at least partially defining a starch chamber 714, and at least one attachment surface 724 that are attached to another attachment surface 724 to form the container 702. m an example, at least one of the films 706 can define one or more holes 728. The holes 728 can extend from an exterior surface 726 to the expansion chamber surface 708.

[0103] The at least one food container 716 can be positioned in the starch chamber 714. The food container 716 also includes an enclosure 717 coupled to at least one barrier 718. The barrier 718 and the enclosure 717 can completely define and enclose a food container chamber 730. In an example, the barrier 718 can be integrally formed with or attached to the enclosure 717. The food container chamber 730 includes a starch source 715 therein. The food container 716 can be positioned in the starch chamber 714 such mat the barrier 718 generally faces the expansion chamber 710.

[0104] The barrier 718 is configured to break at or near a selected pressure that is less than a pressure required to break the enclosure 717. In an example, the barrier 718 and the enclosure 717 are formed of a similar material (e.g., a material having similar strength). In such an example, the barrier 718 can be relatively thinner than a wall thickness of the enclosure 717 or include one or more grooves that weaken the barrier 718. In an example, the barrier 718 can be formed of a material exhibiting a lower strength than a material that forms the enclosure 717. In an example, the attachment between the enclosure 717 and the barrier 718 is configured to fail before the enclosure 717.

[0105] Figure 8 is an isometric view of a system 800 that includes a plurality of containers 802 coupled together, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 800 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700 (Figures 1A-7) and their respective materials, components, or elements. For example, each of the containers 802 can be similar to or the same as the container 502 (Figures 5A-5D). The system 800 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 8 are merely examples, and other variations, including diminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[0106] Each of the containers 802 can be coupled together at or near a peripheral edge 865 thereof. The containers 802 can be coupled together using any suitable method. In an example, at least some of the containers 802 can be monolithically formed. For example, at least some of the containers 802 can be at least partially formed from the same film. In an example, at least some of the containers 802 can be distinctly formed from each other and attached together. For example, the containers 802 can be attached together using tape, an adhesive, ultrasonic welding, thermal welding, or other suitable attachment method.

[0107] In an example, at least some of the containers 802 can be reversibly coupled together. The containers 802 are reversibly coupled together when the containers 802 can be detached from each other without significantly damaging each other. For example, at least some of the containers 802 can include a plurality of perforations therebetween. In another example, at least some of the containers 802 can include a small notch therebetween. In another example, at least a portion of the system 800 can be configured to be cut with scissors.

[0108] Figure 9 is an isometric view of a system 900, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 900 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 (Figures 1A-8) and their respective materials, components, or elements. For example, the system 900 can include a container 902 that is similar to or the same as the container 102 (Figures 1A-1H). The system 900 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 9 are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[0109] In the illustrated example, the container 902 includes at least one body 904 and at least one film 906 that each includes an expansion chamber surface 908 at least partially defining an expansion chamber 910. The expansion chamber 910 can exhibit an irregular shape. An irregular shape can include any moldable shape that is not a generally circular, elliptical, pyramidal, cuboid, conical, cylindrical, or cubic shape. For example, the irregular shape can be any suitable object, such a toy related shape (e.g., a car, train, moon, etc.), a shape related to the flavoring of the starch product (e.g., a fruit, a French fry, etc.), or a figurine (e.g., Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, a superhero, etc.). Thus, a starch product so formed and expanded into the expansion chamber 910 exhibits the selected shape of the expansion chamber 910.

[0110] Figure 10 is an isometric view of a system 1000, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 1000 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 (Figures 1A-9) and their respective materials, components, or elements. For example, the system 1000 can include a container 1002 that is similar to or the same as the container 102 (Figures 1A-1H). The system 1000 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 10 are merely examples, and other variations, including diminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[0111] In the illustrated example, the container 1002 includes at least one body 1004 and at least one film 1006 that each includes an expansion chamber surface 1008 at least partially defining an expansion chamber 1010. The expansion chamber surfaces 1008 can include one or more textured features 1066 thereon. The textured features 1066 can include one or more ridges, one or more notches, one or more recesses, one or more peaks, one or more dimples, one or more cross-hatches, another suitable topography, or combinations thereof. In an example, the textured features 1066 can cover substantially all of at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 1008. In an example, the textured features 1066 can only partially cover at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 1008. For example, at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 1008 can include a first portion having the textured features 1066 and a second portion that does not include the textured features 1066 (e.g., is substantially smooth). In an example, at least one of the expansion chamber surfaces 1008 can include a first portion having a first set of textured features and a second portion having a second set of textured features that are different than the first set of textured features.

[0112] In an example, the textured features 1066 can be used to increase a user's grip on the starch product so formed and expanded into the expansion chamber 1010. m an example, the textured features 1066 can be used to add a logo to the starch product. In an example, the textured features 1066 can be used to improve the appearance of the starch product

[0113] Figure 11 is an exploded isometric view of a system 1100, according to at least one example. Except as otherwise described herein, the system 1100 and its materials, components, or elements can be similar to or the same as the systems 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 (Figures lA-10) and their respective materials, components, or elements. For example, the system 1000 can include a container 1102 that is similar to or the same as the container 102 (Figures 1A-1H). The system 1100 or its materials, components, or elements can be used in any of the system examples disclosed herein. The various components described in Figure 11 are merely examples, and other variations, including eliminating components, combining components, and substituting components are all contemplated.

[0114] The system 1100 includes packaging 1168. The packaging 1168 can be configured to include the container 1102 disposed therein. For example, the packaging 1168 can include a box, at least one film (e.g., a wrapper), a tray, another suitable package, or combinations thereof. In an example, the packaging 1168 can be configured to include one or more additional items disposed therein. For example, the packaging 1168 can be configured to include at least one carton 1144 disposed therein that is similar to or the same as the carton 144 (Figure 1H). In another example, the packaging 1168 can include one or more replacement cartridges disposed therein that are similar to or the same as the cartridge 351 (Figure 3). In another example, the packaging 1168 can include a plurality of containers 1102 disposed therein (Figure 8). In an example, the packaging 1168 is configured to maintain the container 1102 clean. For example, the packaging 1168 can be configured to substantially prevent dirt or other contaminants from entering an expansion chamber 1110 of the container 1102 via one or more holes 1128. In an example, the system 1100 can include an additional package (not shown) configured to include one or more packagings 1168 disposed therein.

[0115] In an example, the system 1100 can be formed by providing the packaging 1168 and disposing the container 1102 and, optionally, the one or more additional items therein. For example, the one or more additional items can include at least one starch source disposed in the container 1102 and at least one starch source disposed outside the container 1102 and inside the packaging 1168 (e.g., cartridge). The packages 1168 can then be closed using any of the attachment methods disclosed herein. In an example, the container 1102 can be removed from the packaging 1168 before the container 1102 is subject to energy (e.g., energy 140 of Figure ID). In an example, the container 1102 can remain in the packaging 1168 when the container 1102 is subject to energy.

[0116] In some examples, a food container comprises an enclosure at least partially defining a food container chamber configured to have a starch source disposed therein, an opening in communication with the food container chamber, and a barrier positioned adjacent to the opening of the enclosure to close the opening. In some examples, an enclosure or other system component may be at least partially formed from, or otherwise comprise, a synthetic material, such as a polymer, such as a polyester, a polyaryletherketone such as a poly ether ether ketone, or any polymer having the FDA designation of generally recognized as safe. [0117] In some examples, a food container may be provided to a consumer with a starch source already disposed therein and, for example, sealed using the barrier before retail. In some examples, a consumer may introduce a starch source into the food container, which may men be optionally sealed with a barrier.

[0118] In some examples, a barrier may be configured to at least partially open the opening responsive to an applied pressure of about 400 kPa or greater, e.g. where the pressure is applied from within the chamber on heating the food container. In some examples, the barrier may be removable from the food container, for example by peeling the barrier off the food container, for example before hearing the food container. In some examples, a barrier may melt, weaken, or otherwise be structurally compromised on heating the food container, which may facilitate the expansion of the starch source into an expansion chamber. A barrier may be attached to the food container by any appropriate method, such as one or more of an adhesive bond, ultrasonic weld, heat seal, or the like. In some examples a barrier may comprise a film having a thickness between 10 and 500 microns, such as 50 um-200 um. In some examples, the barrier may be part of a threaded cap, or a threaded cap used as a barrier (which may, for example, be removed by unscrewing before microwaving). In some examples, a barrier may be mechanically weakened, for example by provision of grooves, thinned portions, or mechanical puncturing before hearing the food container to facilitate egress of expanded contents.

[0119] In some examples, a food container may comprise a heater film For example, the heater film may include a microwave energy absorbing film that is heated by microwave radiation. For example, the heater film may comprise a metal film such as an aluminum film, or other electrically conducting film. A heater film may be disposed proximate the food container, such as on an exterior surface, or within a compartment configured to receive the food container.

[0120] In some examples, a starch source may comprise at least one starch compound. A starch source may comprise (or be formed using) a grain kernel, such as com. In some examples, a food container may be provided having 10 kernels- 100 kernels (or an equivalent quantity of starch, for example in the form of a homogeneous starch mixture) disposed therein, for example 20 kernel s-50 kernels or equivalent thereof. In some examples, the starch source may comprise, for example, a generally homogeneous material (such as a paste, powder, tablet and the like). In some examples, water may be added to the starch source before heating. In some examples, the starch source may comprise cornstarch, for example a cornstarch mixture, e.g. comprising a cornstarch paste. ID some examples, a stanch source may enter the expansion chamber in the form of a fluid, for example a viscous fluid, foam, emulsion, or other flowable form, winch may then form a self-supporting food product (such as a snack bar) on cooling.

[0121] In some examples, an expansion chamber may be partially enclosed by a film. In some examples, the film may allow gases to pass through, for example through holes or a porous region. In some examples, the expansion chamber may be partially enclosed by a combination of a first (e.g. outer) film and a second (e.g. inner) film. The first film may be generally moisture and air impermeable and may be removed prior to heating. The second film may be gas permeable, for example including holes configured to allow gas to pass through while effectively constraining solid or viscous fluid components. In some examples, the second film may comprise a mesh or similar structure. The second film may be removed after heating and subsequent cooling.

[0122] In some examples, one or more additives, such as additional consumable materials, may be included in the food container. Additives may include flavors (e.g. salt, sugar, spices, and the like), colors, preservatives, foaming agents (for example, which may produce gas on exposure to heating), and the like.

[0123] In some examples, a system for forming a starch product comprises a container comprising an expansion chamber, a barrier, and a starch source disposed in a food container. A starch source may comprise a starch compound, and a barrier may be disposed between the starch source and the expansion chamber. In some examples, a container comprising the expansion chamber may be configured to receive a separate food container. In some examples, a container may comprise both a food container and an expansion chamber, optionally separated by a barrier. In some examples, additives (such as additional consumable materials) may be placed in the expansion chamber. These additives may include flavors (e.g. salt, sugar, spices, and the like), colors, preservatives, further foaming agents (for example, which may produce gas on exposure to heating), powders (such as cocoa, spices, and the like), granular materials (such as fruit and/or vegetable pieces, puffed grains, and the like), low density materials (such as puffed grains, edible foams, and the like), and the like. Additives placed in the expansion chamber may include a sauce (such as a sweet sauce and/or a savory sauce), icing, granular materials (e.g. nut pieces, fruit pieces, vegetable pieces, and the like), and any other material that may increase enjoyment during consumption of the food item. Additives may be placed in the expansion chamber just prior to heating the food container, or a product may be retailed with such items already sealed in the expansion chamber.

[0124] In some examples, a food container may comprise or otherwise be associated with a further compartment configured to store a dippable material, such as a dipping sauce or other food material mat may adhere to a food item dipped therein. In some examples, a dippable material may be stored in a tub, which may be detachable from the food container. Hie food item may men be dipped into the dippable material during consumption. A dippable material may comprise one or more of the following: salt, sugar, flavor, cocoa, yoghurt, fruit pieces, nut pieces, viscous sauce (such as a syrup, e.g. a chocolate or caramel syrup), edible gel, and the like. A viscous sauce may be one that does not immediately spill over an edge of a compartment used to store the sauce when the compartment is tipped.

[0125] In some examples, a food container may be configured to be heated by radiant, conducted, or convective heat In such examples, the food container and other system components may comprise metal. In some examples, an oven, stovetop, or grill may be used to convey heat to the starch source.

[0126] Examples include an in-home extruded microwave snack. In some examples, a snack includes a cornstarch mixture at least partially enclosed in a container. Upon application of microwave energy, the cornstarch mixture quickly heats and rapidly expands. The cornstarch mixture may extrude through the container, such as through one or more apertures in a wall of the container. In some examples, the extrusion may occur within one minute or less of application of microwave energy. In some examples, an aperture may be initially sealed with a layer (e.g., a polymer layer), through which the snack expands and extrudes upon application of the microwave energy, for example by tearing and/or detachment of the layer.

[0127] In some examples, application of the microwave energy provides an expanded cornmeal snack ready for eating, or dipping and eating. In some examples, the snack may have an appearance similar to that of a very large popped corn kernel.

[0128J In some examples, a single serving snack size may have a weight in the range 20g to 1 OOg, such as 2Sg to 80g. In some examples, the minimum weight may be 28-30g.

[0129] In some examples, a container may comprise a plastic container, which may in part act as a pressure vessel. A container may comprise is a polymer that can tolerate elevated temperatures (e.g., a temperature in the range 80 °C - 120 °C) without significant softening and/or degradation. Example polymers include polymers such as polyester or PEEK, or other suitable GRAS materials such as another GRAS polymer. In some examples, a container may have a bulb geometry.

[0130] In some examples, a container may be sealed with a burst disk cap design. In some examples, a cap may be ultrasonically welded to the bulb body to achieve an effective seal. In some examples, a polymer membrane (e.g., a polyester membrane) may be used as an initial seal. In some examples, a polymer film or metal foil seal may be used, for example in the form of a disk that bursts above a predetermined internal container pressure.

[0131] In some examples, a container may contain an equivalent of 20 to 50 com kernels; a single serving sample size for a prototype is expected to be a minimum of 28-30g. An example container may be designed to be reused with a sacrificial burst film and/or foil, for example a using polyester or Mylar film, or other suitable material.

[0132] A container may comprise a seam that splits under elevated internal pressure. In some examples, a container may comprise one or more polymer films (such as a polyester and/or a Mylar films). In some examples, one or more polymer films may sandwich a small starch charge. For example, two films may be sealed around the perimeter of the starch charge using a desktop plastic bag heat sealer (or other type of plastic line welder). In some examples, a container may comprise a throat region, or other region that has a weaker seal than the remaining perimeter seam, so it can preferentially burst under elevated internal pressure. In some examples, polymer films may comprise one or more polyester films. In some examples, a polymer film, such as a polyester film, may have a film thicknesses in the range 10 um to 500 um, such as in a range 50 um to 125 um, inclusive.

[0133] The present disclosure is not to be limited in terms of the particular examples described in this application, which are intended as illustrations of various aspects. Many modifications and examples can be made without departing from its spirit and scope, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Functionally equivalent methods and apparatuses within the scope of the disclosure, in addition to those enumerated herein, will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the foregoing descriptions. Such modifications and examples are intended to fall within the scope of the appended claims. The present disclosure is to be limited only by the terms of the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. It is to be understood that this disclosure is not limited to particular methods, reagents, compounds, compositions or biological systems, which can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular examples only, and is not intended to be limiting.

[0134] With respect to the use of substantially any plural and/or singular terms herein, those having skill in the art can translate from the plural to the singular and/or from the singular to the plural as is appropriate to the context and/or application. The various singular/plural permutations may be expressly set forth herein for sake of clarity.

[0135] It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as "open" terms (e.g., the term "including" should be interpreted as "including but not limited to," the term "having" should be interpreted as "having at least," the term "includes" should be interpreted as "includes but is not limited to," etc.).

[0136] It will be further understood by those within the art that if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases "at least one" and "one or more" to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles "a" or "an" limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to examples containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases "one or more" or "at least one" and indefinite articles such as "a" or "an" (e.g., "a" and/or "an" should be interpreted to mean "at least one" or "one or more"); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations. In addition, even if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of "two recitations," without other modifiers, means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations).

[0137] Furthermore, in those instances where a convention analogous to "at least one of A, B, and C, etc." is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., "a system having at least one of A, B, and C" would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). In those instances where a convention analogous to "at least one of A, B, or C, etc." is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., "a system having at least one of A, B, or C" would include but not be limited to systems mat have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that virtually any disjunctive word and/or phrase presenting two or more alternative terms, whether in the description, claims, or drawings, should be understood to contemplate the possibilities of including one of the terms, either of the terms, or both terms. For example, the phrase "A or B" will be understood to include the possibilities of "A" or "B" or "A and B."

[0138] In addition, where features or aspects of the disclosure are described in terms of Markush groups, those skilled in the art will recognize that the disclosure is also thereby described in terms of any individual member or subgroup of members of the Markush group.

[0139] As will be understood by one skilled in the art, for any and all purposes, such as in terms of providing a written description, all ranges disclosed herein also encompass any and all possible subranges and combinations of subranges thereof. Any listed range can be easily recognized as sufficiently describing and enabling the same range being broken down into at least equal halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, tenths, etc. As a non-limiting example, each range discussed herein can be readily broken down into a lower third, middle third and upper third, etc. As will also be understood by one skilled in the art all language such as "up to," "at least," "greater than," "less than," and the like include the number recited and refer to ranges which can be subsequently broken down into subranges as discussed above. Finally, as will be understood by one skilled in the art, a range includes each individual member. Thus, for example, a group having 1-3 items refers to groups having 1, 2, or 3 items. Similarly, a group having 1-5 items refers to groups having 1, 2, 3, 4, or S items, and so forth.

[0140] The herein described subject matter sometimes illustrates different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely examples, and that, in fact, many other architectures can be implemented which achieve the same functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively "associated" such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as "associated with" each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being "operably connected", or "operably coupled", to each other to achieve the desired functionality, and any two components capable of being so associated can also be viewed as being "operably couplable", to each other to achieve the desired functionality. Specific examples of operably couplable include but are not limited to physically mateable and/or physically interacting components and/or wirelessh/ interactable and/or wirelessly interacting components and/or logically interacting and/or logically interactable components.

[0141J While various aspects and examples have been disclosed herein, other aspects and examples will be apparent to those skilled in the art The various aspects and examples disclosed herein are for purposes of illustration and are not intended to be limiting, with the true scope and spirit being indicated by the following claims.