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Title:
A PRODUCTION LINE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING OF EDIBLE, BIODEGRADABLE CONTAINERS FOR HOT AND COLD BEVERAGES AND FOOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/119075
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a production line and method for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food. The production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food consists of a kneading machine (1), a dosing machine (2), a forming and baking machine (3), a cooling tunnel (4), a labeling machine (5) and a packaging machine (6) arranged in the above sequence. Conveyor belt (7) is installed between the individual units of the line to transport the produce. The composite parts of the line are also connected to a control unit (8), by means of which adjustment, coordination and automation of the production processes are achieved.

Inventors:
ZAPRYANOV, Miroslav Atanasov (45 Koprivshtiza blv, et. 3 ap. 7, 4002 Plovdiv, BG)
Application Number:
BG2018/000041
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
November 02, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CUPFFEE LTD (45 Koprivshtiza blv, et. 3 ap. 7, 4002 Plovdiv, 4002, BG)
International Classes:
A21C11/00
Foreign References:
BG30571515U2015-07-27
BG2170U12016-01-29
Other References:
"Ingredients for the Production of an Edible Cup for Cold and Hot Beverages", 27 July 2015
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ILARIONOV, Pavko Jordanov (53 "Milin kamak" Str, 1164 Sofia, 1164, BG)
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Claims:
PATENT CLAIMS

1. A production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food , characterized in that it is consisting of a kneading machine (1), a dosing machine (2), a forming and baking machine (3), a cooling tunnel (4), a labeling machine (5) and a packaging machine (6), arranged in series and connected to a conveyor belt (7) and a control unit (8).

2. A production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food according to claim 1, characterized in that the forming and baking machine (3) includes:

at least one forming unit (9) comprising at least one forming socket (10), wherein each forming socket (10) consists of a body (11) in which is mounted a mold 12 with a heater, and

a hollow punch (13) is movably positioned in the mold (12), whereby the punch (13) ends with a flange (14) located outside of the forming socket (10) with openings (26) formed on the periphery of the flange (14),

whereby around the punch (13) beneath the flange (14), an unloading element (15) having the shape of a washer is movably positioned, with openings (27) formed at its periphery, coinciding with the openings (26) of the flange,

s

wherein in the peripheral openings (26) of the flange (14) and in the openings (27) of the unloading element (15) are mounted linear guides, and in the cavity of the punch (13) is placed a heater (16).

X

3. A production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food according to claim 2, characterized in that the mold (12) is in the form of inverted truncated cone whose outer surface is provided with longitudinal channels (17).

4. A production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food according to claim 2, characterized in that the punch (13) in the form of inverted truncated cone whose outer surface is provided with longitudinal channels (18) and cylindrical retaining channels (19), perpendicular to the longitudinal channels (18).

5. A production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food according to claim 2, characterized in that on the inner surface of the unloading element (15) are provided vertical channels (20) and on the upper plane of the unloading element (15) are provided radial channels (21) connected to the vertical channels (20).

6. A production line for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food according to claim 2, characterized in that the forming unit (9) is constituted by a plurality of forming sockets (10) whereby the flanges (14) of the punches (13) - are joined in a common upper plate (23) and the unloading elements (15) are joined in a common movable unloading plate (24), wherein a locking mechanism (25) is provided.

7. A method of manufacturing edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food, characterized in the following steps in sequence:

- Mixing of the ingredients necessary for the production of the edible container to create a dough,

Kneading the dough,

Dosing of the dough based on the desired dimensions of the container(s), Forming and baking of the container (s) further consisting of:

(a) depositing the dough into a mold (12);

(b) compression of the dough by inserting the punch (13) into the mold

(12);

(c) baking of the dough in the pre-heated mold (12) and punch (13) to a baking temperature between 150°C and 180°C for approximately 2 to 2.5 minutes until the dough bakes to a desired degree;

(d) Removing the punch (13) from the mold (12); and

(e) Ejecting the container(s) from the mold (12) using an unloading element (15).

Cooling the container(s) to the room temperature,

Labeling of the container(s) and

Packaging of the finished production, whereby the intermediate and finished products of the different steps are transported by means of a conveyor belt 7.

Description:
A PRODUCTION LINE AND METHOD FOR

MANUFACTURING OF EDIBLE, BIODEGRADABLE CONTAINERS FOR HOT AND COLD BEVERAGES AND

FOOD

The invention relates to a production line and method for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food which will be used in the food industry.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[1] There is a known composition for producing edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food. Edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages are made from a composition, which contains, in certain weight percentages, the following ingredients: oat bran, flour, sugar, gluten, margarine, alginate, stabilizer, salt, potassium sorbate, flavoring and water. The containers with the proposed composition last a long time without decomposing and disintegrating even when used to store hot drinks. An example of such known composition is disclosed in Bulgarian Patent Application No. 3057 (Issued Bulgarian Patent No. BG2170U1) entitled“Ingredients for the Production of an Edible Cup for Cold and Hot Beverages” invented by Miroslav Atanasov Zapryanov which was filed on July 27, 2015 and published in Bulgarian Patent Bulletin No.1 on January 29, 2016.

[21 The edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food are handmade with a very low degree of automation. The manual production of these containers, which includes a number of operations such as kneading, molding and baking, etc., is a difficult and prolonged process with low productivity.

[3] There is no known line for the production of edible, biodegradable hot and cold beverages and food containers to automate the process and increase productivity to meet market needs. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[4] The task of the present invention is to create a line and method for manufacturing of edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food in order to increase productivity and automate the production process.

[5] This task is accomplished by a production line for edible biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food, which consists of a control unit connected to a sequentially installed kneading machine, dosing machine, forming and baking machine, cooling tunnel, labeling machine and packaging machine, all of which are connected by a conveyor belt.

[6] The forming and baking machine comprises at least one forming unit, which includes one or more forming sockets. Each forming socket is composed of a body in which is placed a dismountable mold with a heater. A hollow punch is movably positioned in the mold, whereby a gap with a preselected width is formed between the mold and the hollow punch. A heater is installed in the punch cavity.

The punch ends with a flange located outside of the forming socket, with openings formed on the periphery of the flange. Around the punch, beneath the flange, an unloading element having the shape of a washer is movably positioned, with openings formed at its periphery, coinciding with the openings on the flange. Linear guides are mounted in the peripheral openings of the flange and the unloading element.

[8] According to one embodiment, the mold is in the form of an inverted truncated cone whose outer surface forming the outer surface of the edible container is provided with longitudinal channels for the removal of air and water vapor. In this embodiment, the punch is also in the form of an inverted truncated cone whereby laterally in it are made longitudinal channels for the removal of air and water vapor formed in the container forming process. On the outer surface of the punch are made cylindrical retaining channels, perpendicular to the longitudinal channels.

[9] According to another embodiment of the invention, vertical channels are provided on the inner surface of the unloading element, and radial channels connected to the vertical ones are made bn its upper plane. [10] According to still another embodiment of the invention, the forming unit is constituted by a multitude of forming sockets, which are grouped in a common unit, whereby the flanges of the punches are joined together in a common upper plate and the unloading elements are joined in a common movable plate, in which case the system is provided with locking mechanism.

[11] One advantage of the present invention is that the process of manufacturing edible, biodegradable containers is automated, which increases productivity and reduces the cost per unit of production.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[12] FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the production line for edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food.

[13] FIG 2 is an axonometric view of a forming unit.

[14] FIG 3 is a first axonometric view of a forming socket.

[15] FIG 4 is a second axonometric view of a forming socket.

[16] FIG 5 is an axonometric view of a punch.

[17] FIG 6 is an axonometric view of the unloading element, which removes the finished container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[18] An example of the embodiment of the production line for edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food is shown in FIG 1. This line is particularly adapted for the production of containers for coffee.

[19] The production line for edible, biodegradable containers for hot and cold beverages and food consists of a sequentially installed kneading machine 1, a dosing machine 2, a forming and baking machine 3, a cooling tunnel 4, a labeling machine 5 and a packaging machine 6. Conveyor belt 7 is installed between the individual units of the line to transport the produce. The composite parts of the line are also connected to a control unit 8, by means of which adjustment, coordination and automation of the production processes is achieved.

[20] The main and most important unit of the line' is the forming and baking machine 3, which consists of at least one forming unit 9 as shown in FIG 2. In turn, each forming unit 9 is constituted by at least one forming socket 10 as shown in FIG 3 and

FIG 4.

[21] The forming sockets 10 may be of any shape. For example, the forming sockets 10 may have form of a coffee cup, tea cup, soup bowl, etc. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, an example of a coffee cup forming socket 10 is given.

[22] Each forming socket 10 is formed by a body 11 in which is affixedfjdismountable mold 12. An upper shape-forming body (i.e., a“punch”) 13 is movably positioned in the mold 12.

[23] The punch 13 ends with a flange 14 whose periphery has cylindrical openings 26. Around the punch 13, beneath the flange 14, an unloading element 15 having the shape of a washer and having cylindrical openings 27 located in its periphery is movably positioned. The unloading element 15 is used to remove the already baked container from the punch 13.

[24] In the cylindrical openings 26 of the flange 14 and in the cylindrical openings 27 of the unloading element 15 are mounted linear guides (not shown in the figures) which provide the linear movement of the unloading element 15 relative to the punch 13.

[25] On the inner surface of the unloading element 15 there are fine longitudinal channels as shown in FIG 6.

[26] In the central portion of the punch 13, along its inner cavity, at least one heater 16 is provided for the baking of the edible container (e.g., a coffee cup) as shown in FIG 4 and FIG 5.

[27] As noted above, the mold 12 (which is shown in the drawings as having the shape of an inverted truncated cone) is mounted in the body 11. The mold 12 forms the outer surface of the edible container. The mold 12 can be provided with fine longitudinal channels 17, most often vertical along its inner surface. The longitudinal channels 17 serve to remove air and water vapor that are produced during the forming and baking process of the container. In the body 11, near the mold 12 are mounted heaters for the baking of the edible container. These heaters are not shown in the attached figures. [28] The punch 13 is also in the form of an inverted truncated cone, having on its outer surface longitudinal channels 18, which function is to discharge the air and water vapor produced in the container forming process. On the outer surface of the punch 13, there are also concentric cylindrical retaining channels 19, perpendicular to the longitudinal channels 18. The retaining channels 19 ensure that the finished container (e.g., the ready coffee cup) remains fixed to the punch 13.

[29] On the inner surface of the unloading element 15, vertical channels 20 are provided for the discharge of air and water vapor formed in the container forming process. On the upper plane of the unloading element 15, radial channels 21 are provided which are connected to the vertical channels 20.

[30] In one embodiment of the invention, each forming unit 9 may have a plurality of forming sockets 10 of different number, type and shape, which can form separate containers of the same or different shape depending on the forming sockets used as shown in FIG 2.

[31] The forming sockets 10 may be separated from each other and simultaneously grouped together in a common carrier plate 22 so as to obtain a common forming unit 9. When a plurality of forming sockets 10 are joined to a common forming unit 9, the upper cylindrical parts of the forming sockets 10 - the flanges 14 of the punches 13 - are joined together in a common upper plate 23 and the unloading elements 15 are joined together in a removable unloading plate 24.

[32] In this case, the system is provided with a locking mechanism 25, such as bracket, which function is to ensure that the upper plate 23 remains stationary with regards to the carrier plate 22 during the baking process.

[33] All elements of the forming and baking machine 3 are made of metal suitable for food contact - for example, aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron or others, which possess the required qualities,

[34] The method of manufacturing the containers consists of the following steps in sequence:

1. Mixing of the ingredients necessary for the production of the edible containers to create a dough;

2. Kneading of the dough; 3. Dosing said dough (i.e., apportioning the proper amount of dough);

4. Forming and baking of the edible containers;

5. Cooling of the products;

6. Labeling; and

7. Packaging of the finished containers.

[35] An example of the composition for the production of edible, biodegradable hot and cold beverage and food containers includes (in weight %): oat bran - 24%; flour - 20.5%; sugar - 8.2%; gluten - 5.7%; margarine - 8.2%; alginate - 0.82%; xanthan gum - 0.82%; salt - 0.41%; potassium sorbate - 0.82%; flavoring - 1.23%— with the remainder consisting of water.

[36] The weighing and portioning of the individual components may be accomplished by using a balance and standardized containers designed and meeting the requirements of the food industry. After this, the dry products (e.g., flour, oat bran, dry gluten, sugar, salt and alginate) are mixed, and then weighed. Next comes the addition of the water, margarine, flavoring, and sugar. Then follows a process of mixing of the ingredients, which is carried out using the kneading machine 1 (e.g., a dough mixer) as shown in FIG. 1.

[37] After kneading and resting, the dough, via the conveyor belt 7, is fed to a collecting hopper of a dosing machine 2 (the collecting hopper is not shown in the accompanying figures). The dough is divided into precise doses, each with a weight corresponding to the weight of the container to be manufactured (e.g., cups for coffee).

[38] The dough already dosed is placed in the sockets of the forming and baking machine 3. The forming and baking machine 3 is provided with a hydraulic or pneumatic press (not shown in the figures) and has the necessary forming sockets 10 in which the containers are formed. The forming unit 9 itself may contain forming sockets 10 of a different number, type and shape forming the individual containers.

[39] Then each dose of dough is formed by pressing each pre-heated punch 13 to its respective heated mold 12.

[40] The baking of the dough, after molding is carried out at a baking temperature between 150°C and 180°C for a certain period. For this purpose, the heaters of the mold 12 and the heaters 16 of the punch 13 are constantly heated, while temperature controllers are responsible to maintain the desired temperature.

[41] The baking time is in direct dependence on the baking temperature, cup size and thickness, and the desired degree of baking. Normally, the baking time is approximately 2 to 2.5 minutes.

[42] By closing the individual parts of the forming unit 9 by means of the locking mechanism 25 and starting to bake the dough, water starts to evaporate (i.e., the water in the dough is evaporated). This, in turn, leads to an increase in pressure inside the molds 12. The pressure is desirable to achieve good homogeneity and density of the container, but pressure values greater than desired can lead to an explosion. To prevent this, the air and vapor discharge channels and openings are made, thus controlling the pressure value. In practice, the process for making the wafer containers (e.g., containers for coffee) may be thought of as“baking under pressure.”

[43] As noted, the heating of the forming sockets 10 and the punches 13 is achieved by means of coiled heating elements, but can also be achieved in other ways, for example by gas or by preheated fluid circulating through the mold.

[44] The unloading element 15, or, respectively, the common unloading plate 24, is designed to push the finished container(s) from the punch 13. This happens as the movement of the unloading element 15, or of the unloading plate 24, respectively, is limited a few moments before the press stops its opening movement, after baking is complete. The unloading element 15 may also be in the form of separate rings, a separate element, or embedded in the punch 13.

[45] In order to increase the range of input materials in the forming and baking machine 3, in the mold 12, a space can be provided for the production yams. This space is at the top of the mold 12 and is intended to provide smooth balancing of the pressure inside the mold 12. Due to this balancing, it is possible for the excess material to exit smoothly.

[46] The resulting container is then cooled to room temperature in the cooling tunnel 4 and is transported for labeling and packaging in the machines for labeling 5 and packaging 6.

[47] Optionally, a complementary element may be attached to the container thus obtained. For example, a label, which is an arc-shaped adhesive tape with a folding handle may be atached to the manufactured containers.

[48] In an alternative embodiment, the container of this composition, for the convenience of the user, may be produced with a handle of the same dough.

[49] The entire production process of the line is managed, coordinated, adjusted and automated by the control unit 8.

[50] A container thus prepared is a slightly hygroscopic, edible wafer (biscuit) container, i.e., a cup or bowl. It is designed for serving hot and cold liquids such as soups, coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate, hot and cold milk and other food and beverages. The container thus prepared can be consumed, for example, after drinking of the beverage.

[51] The container thus created, if disposed of in the environment, rather than being eaten, is ecologically safe and 100% biodegradable in a short time.