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Title:
FOOD PROCESSING APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/174003
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A food processing appliance (100) for processing foods and/or food ingredients is proposed. The food processing appliance comprises a body (105) having a component portion (105COMP) adapted to house at least part of the components that allow operating and controlling the food processing appliance (100), an arm portion (105ARM) comprising an actuating element (135) adapted to actuate a food processing tool, and a bowl container (110; 110') adapted to contain part of a bowl (115) for receiving the foods and/or food ingredients to be processed, the bowl container (110, 110') comprising an inductive heating element (235; 235') for heating the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl (115). The bowl container (110; 110) further comprises: a thermally conductive portion (220; 220') adapted to come in contact with bowl (115); a heat-exchanger element (225; 225) coupled with the thermally conductive portion (220; 220'), and an electromagnetic transparent portion,(230; 230'). The inductive heating element (235; 235') is provided beneath said bottom electromagnetic transparent portion (230; 230').

Inventors:
TASSAN MANGINA, Franco (Electrolux Professional S.p.A, Viale Treviso 15, Pordenone PN, 33170, IT)
CAMATTA, Massimiliano (Electrolux Professional S.p.A, Viale Treviso 15, Pordenone PN, 33170, IT)
FADELLI, Marino (Electrolux Professional S.p.A, Viale Treviso 15, Pordenone PN, 33170, IT)
PIN, Gilberto (Electrolux Professional S.p.A, Viale Treviso 15, Pordenone PN, 33170, IT)
Application Number:
EP2016/059231
Publication Date:
November 03, 2016
Filing Date:
April 26, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTROLUX PROFESSIONAL S.P.A. (Viale Treviso 15, Pordenone PN, 33170, IT)
International Classes:
A47J43/044; A47J27/00; A47J36/02; A47J43/07
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015040997A12015-03-26
Foreign References:
US20110186668A12011-08-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRARE, Paolo (Electrolux Italia S.p.A, Corso Lino Zanussi 30, Porcia Pordenone, 33080, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A food processing appliance (100) for processing foods and/or food ingredients, the food processing appliance comprising a body (105) having a component portion (105COMP) adapted to house at least part of the components that allow operating and controlling the food processing appliance (100), an arm portion (105ARM) comprising an actuating element (135) adapted to actuate a food processing tool, and a bowl container (110; 110') adapted to contain part of a bowl (115) for receiving the foods and/or food ingredients to be processed, the bowl container (110, 110') comprising an inductive heating element (235; 235') for heating the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl (115),

characterized in that

the bowl container (110; 110) further comprises:

a thermally conductive portion (220; 220') adapted to come in contact with bowl (115); a heat-exchanger element (225; 225) coupled with the thermally conductive portion (220; 220'), and

an electromagnetic transparent portion,(230; 230'),

and in that

the inductive heating element (235; 235') is provided beneath said bottom electromagnetic transparent portion (230; 230').

2. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 1, wherein the thermally conductive portion is defined by a jacket (220; 220') delimiting an upper portion (215u; 215u') of a recess (215; 215') of the bowl container (110; 110') and an aperture (210; 210') thereof for the insertion of the bowl (115) within the recess (215; 215), wherein the heat-exchanger element (225; 225) is coupled with an external surface (220b; 220b) of the jacket (220; 220') and wherein the electromagnetic transparent portion is defined by a bottom element (230; 230') that delimits a lower portion (2151; 215Γ) of the recess (215; 215') of the bowl container (110; 110') which is adapted to receive at least partially the bowl (115).

3 The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 1 , wherein the bottom element (230; 230') is made of a material transparent to at least variable electromagnetic fields having a field frequency ranging from 10 kHz to 100kHz.

4. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the inductive heating element (235; 235') is coupled with an external surface (230b; 230b') of the bottom element (230; 230') opposite to an internal surface (230a; 230') thereof, said internal surface (230a; 230a') of the bottom element (230; 230') facing the recess (215; 215') of the bowl container (110; 110').

5. The food processing appliance (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein an internal surface (220a; 220a') of the jacket (220; 220') opposite to the external surface (220b; 220b') thereof is shaped to be fitted at least partially by a sidewall (115a) of said bowl (115).

6. The food processing appliance (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said heat-exchanger element (225; 225') comprises a pipe (225; 225') wrapped around the external surface (220b; 220b') of the jacket (220; 220'), said pipe (225; 225') being an evaporator portion of a refrigerating system.

7. The food processing appliance (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bowl container (110; 110') further comprises a temperature sensor (240; 240') adapted to provide a temperature information referred to a temperature of the foods and/or food ingredients stored in the bowl (115).

8. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 6, wherein the temperature sensor (240; 240') comprises a sensing end (240a; 240a') adapted to directly contact the bowl (115) when the latter is inserted in the recess (215; 215') of the bowl container (110; 110').

9. The food The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 7, wherein the temperature sensor (240') is coupled with the jacket (220') in such a way that the sensing end (240a') substantially is flush with an internal surface (220a') of the jacket (220') and faces the recess (215') of the bowl container (110').

10. The food processing appliance (100) according to any one of the preceding, further comprising a moving element (405) adapted to move the bowl container (115) and the arm portion (105ARM) relative to one another from a loading position which allows an insertion of the bowl (115) in the bowl container (110) to an operating position which allows an effective interaction of the food processing tool with the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl (115).

11. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 9, wherein the food processing appliance (100) further comprises a stop part (410) adapted to stop said relative movement of the bowl container and the arm portion when the bowl (115) is inserted in the recess (215; 215) of the bowl container (110; 110') and the bowl container (110; 110') and the bowl (115) are in the operating position which allows an effective interaction of the food processing tool with the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl (115).

12. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 12, wherein the stop part (410) comprises a stopper element (415), said stopper element being adapted to contact at least a portion a rim (115d) of the bowl (115) when the latter is in the operating position within the bowl container (110; 110').

13. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 13, wherein the stopper element (415) is made of a resilient material for preventing damages to the rim (115d) of the bowl (115) when the stopper element (415) contacts the rim (115d) of the bowl (115).

14. The food processing appliance (100) according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a blocking system (300) for blocking the bowl (115) in the bowl container (110; 110'), the blocking system (300) comprising two or more blocking elements (305a, 305b) provided on the side surface (205c; 205c') of the bowl container (110; 110'), each blocking element (305a, 305b) being adapted to engage with the bowl (115) in a blocking configuration of the blocking system (300), the blocking system (300) in the blocking configuration maintaining the bowl (115) in contact with a surface of the recess (215; 215') of the bowl container (110; 110').

15. The food processing appliance (100) according to claim 13, wherein the at least two blocking elements (305a, 305b) each comprise a respective frame (310a, 310b) mounted to a side surface (205c; 205c) of the bowl container (110; 110), a respective handle element (315a, 315b) rotatably coupled with the respective frame (310a, 310b), and a respective engaging element (320a, 320b) rotatably coupled with the respective handle element (315a, 315b).

Description:
FOOD PROCESSING APPLIANCE

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to food processing appliances or machines. In more detail, the present invention refers to appliances for processing foods, such as appliances for mixing, blending and/or kneading foods, both for domestic and professional use. More particularly, the present invention relates to a food mixer.

Background of the invention

The sector of domestic and professional cooking comprises a large variety of food processing machines.

Among the food processing machines, mixing machines or mixers are widely used in professional and home cooking for their versatility. Indeed, mixers may be used for kneading, whipping, blending and grinding food ingredients to be processed.

In general, a mixer comprises a, usually removable, receptacle or bowl for storing the food ingredients to be processed, rotatable, and usually removable, tools (e.g., a kneading arm, cutting blades etc.) used for processing food ingredients that are driven by a (electric) motor and controlled by a control unit usually housed within a casing of the mixer. The casing of the mixer is generally suited for supporting the receptacle.

In the art, are known mixers comprising heating means arranged for heating food ingredients while they are processed by the mixers. Similarly, mixers known in the art comprise refrigerating means arranged for cooling food ingredients while they are processed by the mixers.

For example, US 2011/186668 discloses an electrically-driven kitchen machine, comprising a food mixer or a food processor and having a support platform for supporting a receptacle for foodstuffs to be mixed or otherwise processed. The machine has an electric motor used to drive mixing or processing tools disposed in the receptacle and a heater for heating the foodstuffs in the receptacle. In order to ensure that the temperature of the foodstuffs is accurately determined, the base of the receptacle consists of multiple layers, comprising a first metallic material, such as aluminium, having a relatively high thermal conductivity, sandwiched between outer and inner skins of a second metallic material of lower thermal conductivity than the first metallic material, and the machine is also provided with first and second probes, each protruding through the receptacle-supporting platform and urged upwardly to contact the inner skin and the first metallic material respectively. The second metallic material typically comprises stainless steel, and the heater typically comprises an induction heater, in which case the probes are constructed so as to resist absorption of heat from the energy field generated by the heater. Summary of invention

The Applicant has realized that the art do not provide a satisfactory solution for mixers able to combine an induction heating functionality with a refrigerating functionality for heating and refrigerating, respectively, foods and/or food ingredients being processed by a mixer.

Moreover, the Applicant has observed that prior art solutions fail in providing a support element for a receptacle, or bowl, suitable to comprise a heat exchanger adapted to refrigerate the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl.

The Applicant has tackled the problem of devising an improved solution able to overcome the drawbacks of the prior art.

One or more aspects of the solution according to embodiments of the invention are set out in the independent claims, with advantageous features of the same solution that are indicated in the dependent claims.

An aspect of the solution according to one or more embodiments of the present invention relates to a food processing appliance for processing foods and/or food ingredients is proposed. The food processing appliance comprises a body having a component portion adapted to house at least part of the components that allow operating and controlling the food processing appliance, an arm portion comprising an actuating element adapted to actuate a food processing tool, and a bowl container adapted to contain part of a bowl for receiving the foods and/or food ingredients to be processed, the bowl container comprising an inductive heating element for heating the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl. The bowl container further comprises: a thermally conductive portion adapted to come in contact with bowl; a heat-exchanger element coupled with the thermally conductive portion, and an electromagnetic transparent portion. The inductive heating element is provided beneath said bottom electromagnetic transparent portion.

In an embodiment of the invention, the thermally conductive portion is defined by a jacket delimiting an upper portion of a recess of the bowl container and an aperture thereof for the insertion of the bowl within the recess, wherein the heat-exchanger element is coupled with an external surface of the jacket and wherein the electromagnetic transparent portion is defined by a bottom element that delimits a lower portion of the recess of the bowl container which is adapted to receive at least partially the bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom element is made of a material transparent to at least variable electromagnetic fields having a field frequency ranging from 10 kHz to 100kHz.

In an embodiment of the invention, the inductive heating element is coupled with an external surface of the bottom element opposite to an internal surface thereof, said internal surface of the bottom element facing the recess of the bowl container.

In an embodiment of the invention, said internal surface of the bottom element is shaped to receive a bottom of said bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom element is made of glass-ceramic.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom element is made of polypropylene.

In an embodiment of the invention, the jacket is made of a diamagnetic material.

In an embodiment of the invention, the jacket is made of aluminum.

In an embodiment of the invention, an internal surface of the jacket opposite to the external surface thereof is shaped to be fitted at least partially by a sidewall of said bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, said heat-exchanger element comprises a pipe wrapped around the external surface of the jacket, said pipe being an evaporator portion of a refrigerating system.

In an embodiment of the invention, the pipe is made of a diamagnetic but thermally conductive material.

In an embodiment of the invention, the pipe is made of copper.

In an embodiment of the invention, the external surface of the jacket comprises a spiral groove adapted to at least partly house the pipe wrapped around the external surface of the jacket.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bowl container further comprises a temperature sensor adapted to provide a temperature information referred to a temperature of the foods and/or food ingredients stored in the bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, the temperature sensor comprises a sensing end adapted to directly contact the bowl when the latter is inserted in the recess of the bowl container.

In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom element comprises a bottom element aperture and the inductive coil comprises a coil aperture, the bottom element aperture and the coil aperture being aligned one with the other and being sized in such a way to house at least the sensing end of the temperature sensor, in order to ensure that the sensing end reaches and directly contacts the bottom of the bowl when the latter is inserted in the recess of the bowl container.

In an embodiment of the invention, the temperature sensor is coupled with the jacket in such a way that the sensing end substantially is flush with an internal surface of the jacket and faces the recess of the bowl container.

In an embodiment of the invention, the food processing appliance further comprises a moving element adapted to move the bowl container and the arm portion relative to one another from a loading position which allows an insertion of the bowl in the bowl container to an operating position which allows an effective interaction of the food processing tool with the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, the food processing appliance further comprises a stop part adapted to stop said relative movement of the bowl container and the arm portion when the bowl is inserted in the recess of the bowl container and the bowl container and the bowl are in the operating position which allows an effective interaction of the food processing tool with the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, the stop part comprises a stopper element, said stopper element being adapted to contact at least a portion a rim of the bowl when the latter is in the operating position within the bowl container.

In an embodiment of the invention, the stopper element is made of a resilient material for preventing damages to the rim of the bowl when the stopper element contacts the rim of the bowl.

In an embodiment of the invention, the food processing appliance further comprises a blocking system for blocking the bowl in the bowl container, the blocking system comprising two or more blocking elements provided on the side surface of the bowl container, each blocking element being adapted to engage with the bowl in a blocking configuration of the blocking system, the blocking system in the blocking configuration maintaining the bowl in contact with a surface of the recess of the bowl container.

In an embodiment of the invention, the at least two blocking elements each comprise a respective frame mounted to a side surface of the bowl container, a respective handle element rotatably coupled with the respective frame, and a respective engaging element rotatably coupled with the respective handle element.

In an embodiment of the invention, each one of the two or more blocking elements is adapted to engage with a respective one of two or more receiving elements provided on an outer surface of a sidewall of the bowl, the receiving elements each comprising a respective tab element protruding from the outer surface of the sidewall of the bowl, and wherein the engaging element of the at least two blocking elements each comprise a free end having a hooked shape adapted to engage with the tab elements of the receiving elements.

In an embodiment of the invention, the food processing appliance further comprises a bowl for receiving foods and/or food ingredients adapted to be inserted in the bowl container, the bowl comprising a bottom having an internal portion, a heat-diffusing layer adapted to diffuse received heat evenly in the bowl, and a ferromagnetic layer adapted to be heated by an electromagnetic field reaching the ferromagnetic layer, the heat-diffusing layer being coupled with the ferromagnetic layer for receiving heat therefrom and being coupled with the internal portion of the bottom of the bowl for diffusing heat thereto.

In an embodiment of the invention, heat-diffusing layer comprises a heat-diffusing layer aperture and the ferromagnetic layer comprises a ferromagnetic layer aperture that are aligned one with the other and with the bottom element aperture of the bottom element and the coil aperture of the inductive coil of the bowl container, and sized in such a way to house at least the sensing end of the temperature sensor in such a way that the sensing end is in contact with the internal portion of the bottom of the bowl when the latter is inserted in the recess of the bowl container.

Brief description of the annexed drawings

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be made apparent by the following description of some exemplary and non limitative embodiments thereof. For its better intelligibility, the following description should be read making reference to the attached drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a schematic side view of a food processing appliance, or mixer, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2A is a schematic cross-sectional side view of a bowl container of the mixer of Figure 1 containing a bowl for food ingredients;

Figure 2B is a schematic cross-sectional side view of an alternative bowl container of the mixer of Figure 1 according to an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 3A and 3B are schematic perspective views of a blocking system for blocking a bowl within the bowl container of the mixer according to an embodiment of the present invention, and

Figures 4A - 4C are schematic cross-sectional side and front views of the mixer comprising a different blocking system for blocking a bowl within the bowl container of the mixer according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention

Referring now to the drawings, Figure 1 is a schematic side view of a food processing appliance, or mixer 100, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

The mixer 100 comprises a body 105 and a bowl container 110 adapted to contain a bowl 115 for housing foods and/or food ingredients (e.g., vegetables, wheat, sugar, salt, water, milk, eggs, etc. ) to be processed by the mixer 100.

Preferably, the body 105 of the mixer 100 comprises a component portion 105COMP and an arm portion 105ARM.

The component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 houses at least part of the components that allow operating and controlling such operating of the mixer 100. As a non- limiting example, the component portion 105COMP comprises a electric motor (not shown) adapted to actuate movable parts of the mixer 100, a part of a refrigerating system (not shown) for refrigerating the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 (as described in the following), a part of a heating system (not shown) for heating the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 (as described in the following), an electronic control unit 117 (schematically shown as a dashed block in Figure 1) for controlling the operation of the mixer 100 and a power circuitry (not shown) for (electrically) powering the aforementioned components.

Preferably, the component portion 105COMP of the mixer 100 comprises an electric cord (not shown) that may be coupled with the power grid for receiving electric power supply for powering electronic/electromechanical components of the mixer 100.

Preferably, the component portion 105COMP comprises a casing 120 adapted to enclose all the aforementioned components comprised in the component portion 105COMP. Advantageously, the casing 120 may comprise a plurality of casing parts, such as for example the casing parts 120a and 120b in the example of Figure 1.

A user interface 125 is provided preferably, although not strictly necessarily, on the casing 120 of the component portion 105COMP. Advantageously, the user interface 125 allows a user selecting operating procedures (e.g., a blending operation, a kneading operation etc.) or operating options (e.g., operating speed or rotation, operating temperature, etc.) of the mixer 100.

The arm portion 105AR of the body 105 of the mixer 100 preferably protrudes from a top end 130a of the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 opposite to a standing end 130b that is adapted to lie on a support surface, such as for example a tabletop (not shown), on which the mixer 100 may be positioned.

Preferably, although not strictly necessarily, the arm portion 105ARM protrudes substantially transversally from the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100.

The arm portion 105ARM comprises an actuating element, such as a planetary drive 135 that is arranged on the arm portion 105ARM in order to face the bowl 115 when the latter is placed within the bowl container 110 at least in operation.

The planetary drive 135 comprises a tool socket 140 that is adapted to engage with one or more (removable) food processing tools (not shown; e.g., a kneading arm, cutting blades etc.). For example, the food processing tools and the tool socket 140 may be formed in such a way that the food processing tools perform a bayonet mounting to the tool socket 140.

The arm portion 105 ARM further comprises transmission elements (not shown; e.g., gearings, transmission belt etc. ) operatively coupling the planetary drive 135 with the motor comprised in the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100.

Preferably, the arm portion 105ARM further comprises an arm casing 145 adapted to enclose the aforementioned transmission elements.

The bowl container 110 is operatively coupled with the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100.

The bowl container 110 is coupled with the component portion 105COMP in such a way that the bowl 115, when inserted in the bowl container 110, is positioned beneath the planetary drive 135 of the arm portion 105ARM of the body 105 of the mixer 100.

In one embodiment of the invention, the bowl container 110 is movable from a loading position, which allows a simple insertion of the bowl 115 in the bowl container 110, to an operating position (shown in Figure 1), which allows an effective interaction of the food processing tool with the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl 115.

To this extent, the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 comprises a moving element, such as for example a lifting element (not visible in Figure 1, and numbered 405 in Figures 4A - 4C) operatively coupled with the bowl container 110. For example the lifting element 405 may comprise joining elements, such as a couple of beams (not visible in Figure 1, and numbered 405a and 405b in Figures 4A - 4C, which slidable couple the bowl container 110 with the body 105 of the mixer 100. The lifting system 405 further comprises a lifting element (not shown), such as for example a rack and pinion arrangement with the rack formed on the beams 405a and 405b and the pinion comprised either in the component portion 105COMP or in the arm portion 105 ARM of the body 105 and actuated by the motor in the component portion 105COMP.

In alternative embodiments of the present invention (not shown), the bowl container is rigidly fixed to the body 105 of the mixer 100, while the moving element comprises an hinging structure by means of which the arm portion 105ARM of the body 105 of the mixer 100 is hinged to the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 so as to be rotatable from a loading position to an operating position.

Considering now Figure 2A, which is a schematic cross-sectional side view of the bowl container 110 of the mixer 100 containing the bowl 115 for food ingredients, the bowl container 110 and the bowl 115 according to an embodiment of the present invention are described.

The bowl container 110, preferably, has a cylindrical shape with two opposite bases, a top base 205a and bottom base 205b, separated by a side surface 205c.

On the top base 205a, an aperture 210 is, preferably, provided. The aperture 210 opens on a cavity or recess 215 provided within the bowl container 110. Both the aperture 210 and the recess 215 are shaped and sized in such a way to receive at least partially the bowl 115. Preferably the aperture 210 and the recess 215 are shaped and sized in such a way to allow a (at least partial) tight fit insertion of the bowl 115.

The bowl container 110 comprises a jacket 220 that delimits the aperture 210 and an upper portion 215u of the recess 215 of the bowl container 110.

Therefore, an internal surface 220a of the jacket 220 is shaped to be fitted at least partially by a sidewall 115a of the bowl 115. The fitting between the sidewall 115a of the bowl 115 and the internal surface 220a of the jacket 220 ensures a good thermal contact and thus a good heat transfer between jacket 220 and the bowl 115.

In the example of Figure 2A, the jacket 220 has substantially a hollow frustoconical (or preferably semispherical) shape with a larger base thereof that delimits the aperture 210.

The jacket 220 is preferably made of a good thermally conductive material such as aluminum.

A heat-exchanger element is provided and is (thermally) coupled with an external surface 220b of the jacket 220.

In the example of Figure 2A, the heat-exchanger element comprises a refrigeration pipe 225 preferably made of good thermally conductive material such as for example copper and tightly wrapped around the external surface 220b of the jacket 220.

The pipe 225 is fluidly coupled with the part of a refrigerating system comprised in the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 thus forming a whole refrigerating system (e.g., in the form of a conventional refrigeration system using compressor technology). Preferably, the pipe 225 operates as an evaporator of the whole refrigerating system.

Preferably, although not strictly necessarily, the external surface 220b of the jacket 220 is provided with a spiral groove adapted to at least partly house the pipe 225 wrapped around the external surface 220b of the jacket 220. Advantageously, the spiral groove increases the heat transfer surface between the jacket 220 and the pipe 225 by increasing a contact surface between the jacket 220 and the pipe 225.

Alternatively, in other embodiments of the present invention (not shown), the pipe 225 may be provided completely drowned (i.e. embedded) inside the jacket 220.

The bowl container 110 further comprises a bottom element 230 that delimits a lower portion 2151 (substantially a bottom) of the recess 215.

Preferably, the bottom element 230 has a cup-like shape.

The bottom element 230 is preferably made of an insulating material able to withstand steep temperatures (e.g., in the order of the hundredth of Celsius degrees) reached by the bowl 115 during the operation of the mixer 100.

More preferably, bottom element 230 is made of a material substantially neutral, i.e. substantially transparent, to electromagnetic fields. With the wording 'material substantially neutral to electromagnetic fields' or 'material substantially transparent to electromagnetic fields' it is meant materials that absorbs a limited, i.e. negligible, amount of energy associated with an electromagnetic field at least in the range of frequencies between 10 kHz and 100 kHz, or at least associated with a magnetic field of such an electromagnetic field extending through the material. In other words, the material substantially transparent to electromagnetic fields according to the present disclosure only slightly attenuates an intensity of a magnetic field of such an electromagnetic field extending through the material

For example, a material substantially transparent to electromagnetic fields absorbs an amount of energy associated with an electromagnetic field at least in the range of frequencies between 10 kHz and 100 kHz, equal to, or lower than, 20%, more preferably equal to, or lower than, 15% of the energy associated with such an electromagnetic field.

Examples of materials for the bottom element 230 comprise suitable polymers such as for example polypropylene or suitable alternative materials, for example polycrystalline materials such as glass-ceramic.

The bottom element 230 is coupled with a smaller base of the jacket 220 (i.e., the base facing towards the bottom base 205b of the bowl container 110).

For example, the bottom element 230 may be coupled with the jacket 220 by gluing the former to the latter. Alternatively, the bottom element 230 may be overmoulded to the jacket 220. As a further alternative, the bottom element 230 and the jacket 220 may both be provided with corresponding treads in such a way to allow screwing the bottom element 230 and the jacket 220 together. As a yet further alternative or in addition, a sealing gasket may be provided between the bottom element 230 and the jacket 220 in such a way to prevent seepage of fluids towards the induction element.

Preferably, bottom element 230 and the jacket 220 delimit the whole recess 215 of the bowl container 110.

Advantageously, an internal surface 230a of the bottom element 230 may be shaped to receive a bottom 115b of the bowl 115.

An external surface 230b of the bottom element 230 (opposite to the internal surface 230a) is coupled with a heating element. The heating element is operatively coupled with the part of a heating system comprised in the component portion 105coMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100, thus forming a whole heating system.

Preferably, the heating element is an inductive heating element, such as for example an inductive coil 235 (and therefore the whole heating system is an inductive heating system). In this case the inductive coil 235 is coupled with the part of a heating system comprised in the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 by means of a suitable wiring 235a.

The inductive coil 235 preferably generates an electromagnetic field that is variable with a field frequency substantially equal to an electric current frequency of a powering current provided to the inductive coil 235. Generally, the electric current frequency of the powering current varies within an operating frequency range, for example the electric current frequency may vary between 10 kHz and 100 kHz; correspondingly, the electromagnetic field generated by the electric current oscillates at frequencies between 10 kHz and 100 kHz.

The material of the bottom element 230 is selected in such a way to be substantially transparent to the electromagnetic field (as previously described), or at least transparent to the variable magnetic field of such a variable electromagnetic field, having a field frequency comprised in the operating frequency range (e.g., 10 kHz - 100 kHz).

It should be noted that the bottom element 230 avoids contacts between the inductive coil 235 and the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 when the latter is inserted in the recess 215. Therefore, the bottom element 230 protects the inductive coil 235 from damages and mechanical wear out that could follow by a prolonged and/or repeated contact with the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 while allowing the electromagnetic field generated by the inductive coil 235 reaching the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 substantially without any attenuations.

Advantageously, the bowl container 110 further comprises a sensor element, such as for example a temperature sensor 240. The temperature sensor 240 is adapted to provide a temperature information referred to a temperature of the foods and/or food ingredients in the bowl 115.

Preferably, although not strictly necessarily, the temperature sensor 240 is provided with a sensing end 240a adapted to directly contact the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 when the latter is inserted in the recess 215 of the bowl container 110. To this extent, in the example of Figure 2A, both the bottom element 230 and the inductive coil 235 comprise apertures 230c and 235b, respectively.

The apertures 230c and 235b are aligned one with the other and are sized in such a way to house at least the sensing end 240a of the temperature sensor 240 ensuring that the sensing end 240a reaches and directly contacts the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 when the latter is inserted in the recess 215 of the bowl container 110.

The temperature sensor 240 is operatively coupled with the control unit 117 comprised in the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 by means of a suitable wiring 240b. Advantageously, the temperature sensor 240 is adapted to provide a temperature information to the control unit 117 (e.g., a voltage difference related to a temperature of the bowl 115 such as for example in case that he temperature sensor 240 is a thermocouple).

Preferably, the sidewalls 115a and an internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 are formed as one (seamless) piece element. Even more preferably, the sidewalls 115a and an internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 are made of food compliant and thermally conductive material. For example, the sidewalls 115a and an internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 are manufactured as a single-piece element. Preferably, the bowl 115 is made of a metal material such as for example stainless steel, e.g. AISI304.

Advantageously, the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 comprises a heat-diffusing layer 250 made of a good thermally conductive material, such as for example a layer of aluminum or ferromagnetic steel, e.g. AISI430. The heat-diffusing layer 250 is coupled with the internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115.

The heat-diffusing layer 250 is adapted to diffuse substantially evenly in the bowl 115 (or at least in the bottom 115b thereof) the heat provided by the inductive coil 235 (as described in the following).

If the heat-diffusing layer 250 is made of a diamagnetic material such as for example aluminum, the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 is further provided with a ferromagnetic layer 255 made of a ferromagnetic material, such as for example ferromagnetic steel, e.g. AISI430.

The ferromagnetic layer 255 is (thermally) coupled with the heat-diffusing layer 250. Preferably, the ferromagnetic layer 255 is coupled with a surface of the heat-diffusing layer 250 opposite to another surface of the heat-diffusing layer 250 coupled with the internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115.

Preferably, a thickness th of the heat-diffusing layer 250 is substantially greater than a thickness tf of the ferromagnetic layer 255. For example, thickness th of the heat-diffusing layer 250 may vary between 5 mm and 30 mm, such as for example 15 mm, while the thickness tf of the ferromagnetic layer 255 may vary between 0, 5 mm and 2 mm, such as for example 1 mm.

Preferably, although not strictly necessarily, the heat-diffusing layer 250 and the ferromagnetic layer 255 comprise respective apertures 250a and 255a that are aligned one with the other and with the apertures 230c and 235b when the bowl 115 is housed in the bowl container 110. Advantageously, the apertures 250a and 255a are sized in such a way to house at least the sensing end 240a of the temperature sensor 240 in such a way that the sensing end is in contact with the internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115. With such an arrangement, the sensing end 240a of the temperature sensor 240 is as close as possible to the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl 115 and thus the temperature information provided by the temperature sensor 240 results to be a highly reliable indication of the temperature of the foods and/or food ingredients contained in the bowl 115.

Opposite to the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 a rim 115d of the sidewall 115a of the bowl 115 delimits an aperture 115e.

Turning now to Figure 2B, it is a schematic cross-sectional side view of an alternative bowl container 110' of the mixer 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

The bowl container 110' differs from the bowl container 110 just described in what follows wherein similar elements are denoted by similar reference and their description is not repeated for sake of conciseness.

In the bowl container 110' a temperature sensor 240' is provided with a sensing end 240a' adapted to directly contact a side surface of the sidewall 115a of the bowl 115 when the latter is inserted in the recess 215' of the bowl container 110'.

Preferably, although not strictly necessarily, the temperature sensor 240' is coupled with the jacket 220' in such a way that the sensing end 240a' substantially flushes with the internal surface 220a' of the jacket 220' and faces the recess 215' of the bowl container 110'.

For example, a through hole may be provided in the jacket 220' with a size and shape adapted to house the temperature sensor 240'.

Moreover, since the temperature sensor 240' is now coupled with the jacket 220' the bottom element 230' does not comprise an aperture as the aperture 230c of the bottom element 230 previously described. Conversely, the bottom element 230' has continuous internal surface 230a and external surface 230b.

It should be noted that, generally, the working of the material of the jacket 220', e.g. aluminum, (i.e. the provision of the through hole in the jacket 220') results to be simpler than a working of the material of the bottom element 230', e.g. glass-ceramic, (i.e. the provision of the aperture 230c in the bottom element 230). Thus, the bowl container 110' may be manufactured in a manner faster and less prone to faults (e.g. cracks in the bottom element 230' caused by the working thereof) with respect to the bowl container 110 previously described.

In addition, the position of the temperature sensor 240' spaced apart from the inductive coil 235' reduces to a negligible extent any interferences of the electromagnetic field generated by the inductive coil 235' (during operation) on the temperature sensor 240' ensuring a more reliable temperature information.

Having described the structure of the mixer 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention, an operation of the mixer 100 will now be discussed.

Generally, a user (not shown) provides foods and/or food ingredients in the bowl 115, inserts the bowl 115 in the bowl container 110 and couples a selected food processing tool with the tool socket 140.

Then, the user sets, or selects from a list, a food processing operation through the user interface 125.

Preferably, the user may set a temperature at which the food processing has to be carried out. More preferably, the user may set a sequence of temperatures to be used during various phase of the food processing operation.

Once the setting of the food processing operation is completed, the user starts the operation of the mixer 100 (e.g., by pushing a 'start' pushbutton of the user interface 125).

Accordingly, the bowl container 110 and the bowl 115 contained therein are positioned in a working operation, e.g. the bowl container 110 and the bowl 115 are raised by the lifting element 405 in such a way that the food processing tool is inserted into the bowl 115 (i.e., through the aperture 115e).

The planetary drive 135 is generally actuated by the control unit 117 in the component portion 105COMP according to the user settings in order to operate the food processing tool.

Moreover, the refrigerating system and/or the heating system may be actuated according to the user settings in order to refrigerate and/or heat, respectively, the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 (according to the user-specified food processing operation settings).

When the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 are to be refrigerated the refrigerating system is actuated. Accordingly, the pipe 225, which operates as the evaporator portion of the refrigerating system, removes heat from the jacket 220 and, by thermal conduction, from the bowl 115, which is in contact with the jacket 220, and from the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 that are thus refrigerated.

It should be noted that the jacket 220, with the pipe 225 wrapped on its outer surface 220b, ensures a even heat exchange (i.e., refrigeration) of the bowl 115 and of the foods and/or food ingredients therein, thanks to the wide contact surface between the jacket 220 and the bowl 115 due to the internal surface 220a of the jacket 220 designed to be fitted by the bowl 115.

Conversely, when the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 are to be heated, the heating system is actuated. Accordingly, the inductive coil 235 is energized and generates an electromagnetic field. The magnetic field comprised in the electromagnetic field induces eddy currents in the heat-diffusing layer 250 (if made of a ferromagnetic material) or in the ferromagnetic layer 255 (provided coupled to a nonmagnetic heat-diffusing layer 250) of the bowl 115. The eddy currents generate heat by Joule heating in the heat-diffusing layer 250 (if made of a ferromagnetic material) or in the ferromagnetic layer 255 (provided coupled to a nonmagnetic heat-diffusing layer 250) of the bowl 115.

The heat generated at the heat-diffusing layer 250 (if made of a ferromagnetic material) or at the ferromagnetic layer 255 (provided coupled to a nonmagnetic heat-diffusing layer 250) of the bowl 115 is evenly diffused by the heat-diffusing layer 250 throughout the bottom 115b of the bowl 115 and, therefore, the foods and/or food ingredients housed in the bowl 115 are effectively heated by thermal conduction, being in contact with the internal portion 115c of the bottom 115b of the bowl 115.

It should be noted that, by making the jacket 220 and the pipe 225 of a diamagnetic material, such as for example aluminum for the jacket 220 and copper for the pipe 225, it is avoided that in the jacket 220 and the pipe 225 the magnetic field produced by the inductive coil 235 induces eddy currents. Therefore, the jacket 220 and the pipe 225 made of diamagnetic materials do not heat even if reached by the magnetic field produced by the inductive coil 235.

Advantageously, the control unit 117 adjusts the operation of the refrigerating system and/or of the heating system according to the temperature information received (e.g., continuously or periodically) from the temperature sensor 240 in order to ensure that the foods and/or food ingredients in the bowl 115 are at the desired temperature. In other words, the temperature information provided by the temperature sensor 240 allows the control unit 117 implementing a temperature feedback loop that ensures a precise control of the temperature of the foods and/or food ingredients in the bowl 115 during the food processing operation.

The mixer 100 according to the present invention is thus adapted to refrigerate and/or heat foods and/or food ingredients provided in the bowl 115 in addition to the food processing performed by the food processing tool mounted to the tool socket 140.

Advantageously, the foods and/or food ingredients in the bowl 115 may be cooled or frozen even while being processed by the food processing tool (e.g., for ice creams preparation).

Similarly, the foods and/or food ingredients in the bowl 115 may be warmed or cooked even while being processed by the food processing tool (e.g., for hot creams preparation).

A blocking system 300 for blocking the bowl 115 to the bowl container 110 of the mixer 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention will now be described by making reference to Figures 3A and 3B that are schematic perspective views thereof.

In the embodiment according to the present invention, the blocking system 300 comprises at least a pair of (flip) blocking elements 305a and 305b, which are preferably structured substantially as flip-buckles and are preferably located at opposite sides of the bowl (if two), or evenly distributed on it (if more than two).

Preferably, the blocking elements 305a and 305b each comprise a respective frame 310a and 310b mounted to the side surface 205c of the bowl container 110, and a respective handle element 315a and 315b rotatably coupled with the frame 310a and 310b, respectively, and a respective engaging element 320a and 320b rotatably coupled with the handle element 315a and 315b, respectively.

For example, the frames 310a and 310b each comprise two wall sections 325a and 325b, respectively, protruding from the side surface 205c of the bowl container 110 (preferably, substantially transversally thereto). Preferably, the frames 310a and 310b are provided on the side surface 205c of the bowl container 110 substantially at the edge between the side surface 205c and the top base 205a.

The handle elements 315a and 315b are rotatably mounted to the two wall sections 325a and 325b, respectively, of the respective frame structure 310a and 310b by means of hinging pins 330a and 330b, respectively, fitted in two faced holes located on said two walls sections 325a and 325b.

According to this embodiment, the engaging elements 320a and 320b are rotatably mounted to the respective handle elements 315a and 315b, for example by means of a further hinging pin (not visible in the figures) fitted in two faced holes located on two faced wall sections of each handle elements 315a and 315b, in such a way that a rotation axis of the handle elements 315a and 315b with respect to the frames 310a and 310b, respectively, are parallel to a rotation axis of the engaging elements 320a and 320b, respectively, with respect to the handle elements 315a and 315b.

In addition, the bowl 115 comprises, on an outer surface of the sidewall 115a, at least a pair of receiving elements 335a and 335b adapted to engage with the engaging elements 320a and 320b. For example, the receiving elements 335a and 335b each comprises a tab element 340a and 340b, respectively, protruding from the outer surface of the sidewall 115a of the bowl 115. Preferably, the tab elements 340a and 340b each defines an eyelet 345a and 345b, respectively, with the sidewall 115a.

The eyelets 345a and 345b are adapted to receive a free end of the engaging elements 320a and 320b. Preferably, the free ends of the engaging elements 320a and 320b have a hooked shape adapted to engage with the tab elements 340a and 340b and the eyelets 345a and 345b are adapted to receive a bent portion of the engaging elements 320a and 320b.

In order to block the bowl 115 in operating position, once inserted in the bowl container 110, the bowl 115 is positioned inside the recess 215 of the bowl container 110 in such a way that each receiving elements 335a and 335b of the bowl 115 is aligned with a respective one of the blocking elements 305a and 305b. With the term 'aligned' it is meant that each receiving elements 335a and 335b substantially shares a symmetry axis with one of the flip blocking elements 305a and 305b.

In a blocked configuration (Figures 3B), the handle elements 315a and 315b are in a position substantially parallel to the side surface 205c of the bowl container 110, and the free end of the engaging elements 320a and 320b engage with a respective one of the receiving elements 335a and 335b (i.e., with the hooked free ends of the engaging elements 320a and 320b that are received in the eyelets 345a and 345b).

In the blocked configuration, the blocking elements 305a and 305b maintain the bowl 115 in firm contact with a surface of the recess 215 (i.e., with the jacket 220 and with the bottom element 230) of the bowl container 110. Therefore, the blocking system ensures that the bowl 115 is firmly coupled with the bowl container 110 during the food processing operation, even though the food processing operation may exert strong mechanical stresses on the bowl 115 (e.g., in case of the processing of a heavy dough).

In order to release the bowl 110, the blocking elements 305a and 305b are brought to the unlocked configuration by rotating the handle elements 315a and 315b around the respective hinging pins 330a and 330b. As the handle elements 315a and 315b rotate around the respective hinging pins 330a and 330b, the position of the further hinging pins translates with respect to the bowl 115 and the bowl container 110, until the engaging elements 320a and 320b disengage the receiving elements 335a and 335b, respectively. Once the blocking elements 305a and 305b have been unlocked, the bowl 115 may be easily removed from the bowl container 110.

It should be noted, that the blocking system 300 just described is independent from the typology of heating and /or refrigerating system implemented in the bowl container 110.

In alternative embodiment of the present invention, the receiving elements 335a and 335b may be omitted and the engaging elements 320a and 320b may be adapted to engage with the rim 115d of the bowl 115.

A different blocking system 400 for blocking the bowl 115 to the bowl container 110 of the mixer 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention will be now described by making reference to Figures 4A - 4C that are schematic cross-sectional side views and front view thereof.

In the embodiment of the present invention, the mixer 100 further comprises a stop part 410 adapted to intercept the bowl 115 when the latter is in the operating position.

For example the stop part 410 is comprised in the arm portion 105 ARM adjacent to the component portion 105COMP of the body 105 of the mixer 100 (or, viceversa, the stop part 410 is comprised in the component portion 105COMP adjacent to the arm portion 105 ARM of the body 105 of the mixer 100) and adjacent to the lifting element 405.

Preferably, the stop part 410 comprises a stopper element 415 provided on the stop part 410 in such a way to face the bowl 115 when the latter is inserted in the bowl container 110.

The stopper element 415 is adapted to contact at least a portion the rim 115d of the bowl 115 when the latter is in its operating position. Preferably, the stopper element 415 is made of a resilient material (such as for example rubber or plastic) for preventing damages to the rim 115d of the bowl 115 due to contact with the latter.

In detail, when the bowl container 110, in which the bowl 115 is inserted, is lifted by the lifting element 405 towards the arm portion 105ARM of the body 105 in the operating position, a portion of the rim 115d of the bowl 115 is pressed, and maintained pressed for the whole food processing operation, against the stopper element 415 of the stop part 410.

Advantageously, the portion of the rim 115d of the bowl 115 pressed against the stopper element 415 of the stop part 410 ensures that the bowl 115 is firmly coupled with the bowl container 110, particularly, during the food processing operation, even though the food processing operation may exert strong mechanical stresses on the bowl 115 (e.g., in case of the processing of a heavy dough).

It should be noted, that the blocking system just described is independent from the typology of heating and /or refrigerating system implemented in the bowl container 110.

Naturally, in order to satisfy local and specific requirements, a person skilled in the art may apply to the solution described above many logical and/or physical modifications and alterations.

For example, in a further embodiment of the present invention (not shown), the heat- exchanger element may comprise one or more Peltier cells, the refrigerating system thus being an electronic refrigerating system.

In another embodiment of the present invention (not shown), the bowl and the bowl container may be a single structure either provided as a single piece element or provided as two distinct elements permanently coupled together.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention (not shown), both the blocking system 300 and the blocking system 400 may be implemented in order to attain an enhanced stability for the coupling between the bowl 115 and the bowl container 110.

In a still further embodiment of the present invention, the heating system and the refrigerating system may be comprised in their entirety within the bowl container.