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Title:
EDIBLE DRINKING STRAW AND PROCESS FOR PRODUCING THE SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/174258
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to an edible drinking straw made from natural ingredients, where a batch of premix powder comprises 50-75 wt% wheat flour, 4-14 wt% com flour, 5-15 wt% oat flour, 8-18 wt% sweetener, and 0.1-3 wt% on-demand premix supplementary ingredients, and a batch of gel comprises 10-25 wt% water, 0.5-2 wt% gelling agent, 0.5-15 wt% humectant, and 0.1-3 wt% on-demand gel supplementary ingredients, and said premix powder and gel are kneaded together and extruded, and an edible drinking straw is produced, and either the interior or both the interior and exterior surfaces of the drinking straw may be coated with flavouring syrup. The invention also pertains to the process for producing the edible drinking straw.

Inventors:
FELFÖLDI JÓZSEF (HU)
Application Number:
PCT/HU2020/000002
Publication Date:
September 03, 2020
Filing Date:
January 23, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FELFOELDI JOZSEF (HU)
International Classes:
A21D13/48; A21D2/18; A21D13/062; A23P30/20; A47G21/18
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016083495A12016-06-02
WO2016181004A12016-11-17
Foreign References:
US20050037112A12005-02-17
DE202018004337U12018-10-08
CN109315679A2019-02-12
US20050260304A12005-11-24
US20040013772A12004-01-22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KORMOS, Ágnes (HU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1./ An edible drinking straw made from natural ingredients, characterised in that a batch of premix powder comprises, in percentages by weight of the total composition, 50-75 wt% wheat flour, 4-14 wt% com flour, 5-15 wt% oat flour, 8-18 wt% sweetener, and 0.1-3 wt% on-demand premix supplementary ingredients, and a batch of gel comprises 10-25 wt% water, 0.5-2 wt% gelling agent, 0.5-15 wt% humectant, and 0.1-3 wt% on-demand gel supplementary ingredients, and said premix powder and gel are combined and extruded, and an edible drinking straw is produced, and either the interior or both the interior and exterior surfaces of the drinking straw may be coated with flavouring syrup.

2./ The drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that the premix supplementary ingredients are 0.5-3 wt% spices, 0.1-2 wt% antioxidants, 0.1-2 wt% flavourings, 0.1-2 wt% vitamins, and 0.1-2 wt% colourants.

3./ The drinking straw according to claim 2, characterised in that the antioxidant is ascorbic acid and/or tocopherol and/or rosemary extract and/or thyme extract, or a mixture thereof.

4./ The drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that the sweetener is sorbitol and/or sucralose, and/or stevia or steviol glycoside, or a mixture thereof, or natural sweeteners.

5./ The drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that the gelling agent is carboxymethyl cellulose and/or xanthan gum and/or guar gum, or a mixture thereof.

6./ The drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that the humectant is glycerine or sorbitol.

7./ The drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that the gel supplementary ingredients are selected from the group of glycerine, colourants, flavourings, other gelling/stabilising agents, sucralose.

8./ The drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that the flavouring syrup comprises sucralose, water, and natural flavourings, where sucralose may be replaced by other natural sweeteners such as stevia and/or steviol glycosides.

9./ A process for producing the edible drinking straw according to claim 1, characterised in that in a planetary mixer a premix powder compound is prepared from 50-75 wt% wheat flour, 5-15 wt% oat flour, 4-14 wt% com flour, 8-18 wt% sweetener, and premix powder supplementary ingredients, while a gel is formed in a high speed knife mill using 10-25 wt% water, 0.5-2 wt% gelling agent, and 0.1-3 wt% gel supplementary ingredients, and said premix powder and gel are kneaded together, and the resulted dry compound is sifted through a 1.2-2.8 mm mesh size sieve, then the paste is extruded by an extruder with kneading elements having a size of 0.5- 1.2 cm in tube diameter and 0.3-0.8 cm in core diameter, while the interior surface of the drinking straw is coated with flavouring syrup if desired, then the straw is cut into 14-30 cm long pieces (tubes) by a cutting device, and forwarded by a conveyor belt into an infrared tunnel oven, and baked at 200-650 °C for 3 to 15 minutes, and the interior and exterior surfaces of the straw tubes are coated with flavouring syrup if desired, then the tubes are cooled down to 10-30 °C in a cooling unit, and the finished product is packaged.

10./ The process according to claim 9, characterised in that the flavouring syrup is prepared in a mixing tank using sucralose, water, and natural flavourings, and in a coating unit the extmded drinking straw tubes are immersed in the flavouring syrup, and are coated with the flavouring symp on their interior and exterior surfaces, then the product is dried, cooled down, and packaged.

11./ The process according to claim 9, characterised in that only the interior surface of the drinking straw is coated with flavouring syrup, such that during the extrusion process the flavouring syrup is sprayed and/or dripped onto the interior surface of the straw, preferably through specific nozzles built in the outlet die of the extruder.

Description:
Edible drinking straw and process for producing the same

The present invention relates to an edible drinking straw made from natural ingredients, which is sugar free, and preferably contains natural sweeteners, and a process for producing said drinking straw, wherein the straw has a shelf life of at least twelve months, and if inserted into liquid food products (milk, water, soft drinks, etc.), the straw releases no substances for up to 15 minutes, it remains rigid, retains its consistency, stability, and function, and it may also flavour and sweeten the liquid sucked through the straw. After the liquid has been consumed, the drinking straw becomes edible, or if thrown away without packaging, it degrades in the natural environment within six months.

Among the prior art documents there are some solutions known for the production of edible drinking straws, however, our invention is essentially different from them.

The prior art document closest to our solution is international patent application W02016181004A1, which relates to the composition of a straw made of an edible material for drink consumption, and a process for the production thereof. The straw comprises the following ingredients in the following percentages by weight of the total composition: water 3-15 wt%, gelling agent 0.5-2 wt%, sweetening agent 75-90 wt%, stabilising/thickening agent 0.5-2 wt%, plasticising/humectant agent 0.10 % - 1.5 %. It can be seen that the composition comprises a major proportion of sweetening agent, which is selected from the group formed by cane sugar, refined sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar, fructose, honey, steviol and sucrose, as well as mixtures thereof. The process contains steps of preparing a paste from sugar and other ingredients, extruding the paste, and pre-drying it with cold air (at 0-10 °C) for a period of 2 to 10 minutes, then drying it in an oven (at 40-80 °C) for 2 to 3 hours until obtaining a maximum moisture of 12 wt%.

Two other items of prior art are US patent documents US20050260304 and US20040013772A1, where a straw is produced by extrusion of 2 or 3 layers of sugar. Providing that 3 layers of sugar are used, the straw contains a third edible member formed in a tubular shape and coupled to a first edible member and a second edible member. Said first edible member is hard candy, the second edible member is soft candy, and the third edible member is hard candy, which members are coupled together. The solution according to the present invention is essentially different from the above prior art with regard to both its ingredients and process, since the above inventions refer to edible straws where the ingredients kneaded together and dried are mainly sugar and some gelling agent.

Containing sugar as their major component, the straws cannot flavour the liquid sucked through them unless the straws dissolve, which however, leads to losing their rigidity and stability. A further disadvantage is that the straws contain aromas and/or colourants.

In creating the present invention, our objective was to produce an edible, sugar free, drinking straw made from natural ingredients, where the drinking straw has a shelf life of at least twelve months, and if inserted into liquid food products (milk, water, soft drinks, etc.), the straw remains rigid, retains its form, consistency and stability without losing its function for at least up to 15 minutes. After the liquid is consumed, the drinking straw is to become edible, giving off a pleasant taste, or if thrown away without packaging, it is to degrade in the natural environment within six months, besides, the straw is to be produced economically from tasty and natural ingredients. If desired, through a coat of syrup of sweeteners and/or natural flavourings applied on its interior and/or exterior surfaces, the drinking straw is also to flavour and sweeten the liquid sucked through its body without becoming deformed.

The present invention is based on our realisation that if the drinking straw is produced from a basic ingredient of premix powder comprising wheat flour, oat flour, and com flour, and the premix powder is mixed and kneaded to produce drinking straws which are then extmded, cut into size, and baked instead of the general prior art process of being dried, then the resulting straw is not only more rigid, but also edible and tasty thanks to the ingredients. The drinking straw is made from natural components, where the main component is flour, therefore, without packaging it degrades within a period of six months causing no environmental pollution.

We also realised that if the interior and/or exterior surfaces of the drinking straw are coated with concentrated syrup made of sweeteners, it flavours the liquid during consumption, whereas the straw does not dissolve or deform in the meantime, it keeps its consistency and stability, and it is free of sugar. Another realisation was that it is possible to substitute sugar with cereal flours and humectants, as a result of which a sugar free product is produced.

A further realisation was that it is possible to coat the interior and/or exterior surfaces of the drinking straw, because the basic material of the straw is a premix powder that comprises wheat flour, oat flour, and com flour.

The subject matter of the present invention is an edible drinking straw produced from the following ingredients: a batch of premix powder comprising 50-75 wt% wheat flour, 4-14 wt% com flour, 5-15 wt% oat flour, 8-18 wt% sweetener, and 0.1-3 wt% on- demand premix supplementary ingredients, and a batch of gel comprising 10-25 wt% water, 0.5-2 wt% gelling agent, 0.5-15 wt% humectant, and 0.1-3 wt% on-demand gel supplementary ingredients, and said premix powder and gel are combined and extruded, and an edible drinking straw is produced, and either the interior or both the interior and exterior surfaces of the drinking straw may be coated with flavouring syrup.

The specific ingredients of the formula are defined in the dependant claims.

The premix supplementary ingredients are 0.5-3 wt% spices, 0.1-2 wt% antioxidants, 0.1-2 wt% flavourings, 0.1-2 wt% vitamins, and 0.1-2 wt% colourants.

The antioxidant is ascorbic acid and/or tocopherol and/or rosemary extract and/or thyme extract, or a mixture thereof; the sweetener is sorbitol and/or sucralose, and/or stevia or steviol glycoside, or a mixture thereof.

The gelling agent is mainly carboxymethyl cellulose and/or xanthan gum and/or guar gum, or a mixture thereof; the humectant is glycerine or sorbitol; the gel supplementary ingredients are selected from the group of glycerine, colourants, flavourings, other gelling/stabilising agents, sucralose.

Another subject of the invention is a process for producing the edible drinking straw, where the major steps are the following: in a planetary mixer a premix powder compound is prepared from 50-75 wt% wheat flour, 5-15 wt% oat flour, 4-14 wt% com flour, 8-18 wt% sweetener, and premix powder supplementary ingredients; while a gel is formed in a high speed knife mill using 10-25 wt% water, 0.5-2 wt% gelling agent, and 0.1-3 wt% gel supplementary ingredients; and said premix powder and gel are kneaded together by use of kneading elements, and the resulted dry compound is sifted through a 1.2-2.8 mm mesh size sieve, then the paste is extruded by an extmder with kneading elements having a size of 0.5-1.2 cm in tube diameter and 0.3-0.8 cm in core diameter, while the interior surface of the drinking straw is coated with flavouring syrup if desired, then the straw is cut into 14-30 cm long pieces (tubes) by a cutting device, and transported by a conveyor belt into an infrared tunnel oven, and baked at 200-650 °C for 3 to 15 minutes, and the interior and exterior surfaces of the straw tubes are coated with flavouring syrup if desired, then the tubes are cooled down to 10-30 °C in a cooling unit, and the finished product is packaged.

The process of coating the interior or both the interior and exterior surfaces of the drinking straw is defined in dependant claims.

Example 1

The edible drinking straw premix powder comprises: 55 wt% wheat flour (BL-55), 12 wt% water, 10 wt% oat flour, 10 wt% com flour, 8 wt% sweetener (sorbitol, sucralose), and as premix powder supplementary ingredients 0.5 wt% spices (cinnamon), 0.5 wt% antioxidants (ascorbic acid), 0.1 wt% flavourings, 1 wt% vitamins, 0.1 wt% colourants. The gel comprises: 2 wt% gelling agent (carboxymethyl cellulose), 1.7 wt% humectants (glycerine, sorbitol), 1 wt% gel supplementary ingredients, from which a gel is prepared, and said premix powder and gel are kneaded together to produce the basic material of the drinking straw.

The operational steps of the process according to the invention are as follows:

- measuring the ingredients for a premix powder and gel,

- a premix powder compound is prepared in a planetary mixer and/or kneading element mixer and/or knife mixer and/or paddle mixer and/or Z-arm mixer,

- a gel is formed in a high speed knife mill and/or a whisk element mixer,

- the ingredients, the premix powder and gel, are kneaded into a paste by use of a planetary mixer and/or kneading element mixer and/or knife mixer and/or paddle mixer and/or Z-arm mixer, homogeniser,

- the resulted compound is sifted through a sieve, then extruded by a screw extruder,

- the extruded paste is cut into tubes by a cutting device, and transported by a conveyor belt,

- the tubes are baked in an (infrared) tunnel oven,

- the tubes are cooled down in a cooling unit,

- then packaged by 1 / 5 / 6 / 10 / 13-piece-sets into paper and or metallised and/or plastic film and/or boxes. Providing that we choose to coat the straw with flavoured, sweetened, transparent syrup, the following supplementary steps occur:

- Mixing the syrup in containers by a paddle mixer, where the syrup comprises sucralose, water, and natural flavourings, and sucralose may be replaced by other natural sweeteners, such as stevia and/or steviol glycosides.

- When only the interior surface of the straw is to be coated with flavouring syrup, mainly as a measure of economy and functionality, then during the extrusion process the flavouring syrup is sprayed and/or dripped onto the interior surface of the straw, preferably through specific nozzles built in the outlet die of the extruder.

- If both the interior and exterior surfaces of the drinking straw are to be coated with a concentrated, transparent syrup made of sweeteners, then the extruded drinking straws are immersed in the prepared flavouring syrup in a coating unit, and dried in an (infrared) tunnel oven, cooled down in a cooling unit, and packaged in packaging units.

The steps of the process are described in detail in the following example:

Example 2

A premix powder is mixed in a planetary mixer using 55 wt% wheat flour (BL-55), 12 wt% water, 10 wt% oat flour, 10 wt% com flour, 8 wt% sweetener (sorbitol, sucralose), and as premix powder supplementary ingredients 0.5 wt% spices (cinnamon), 0.5 wt% antioxidants (ascorbic acid), 0.1 wt% flavourings, 1 wt% vitamins, and 0.1 wt% colourants.

A gel is formed in a high speed knife mill using 2 wt% gelling agent (carboxymethyl cellulose), 1.7 wt% humectants (glycerine, sorbitol), and 1 wt% gel supplementary ingredients.

The premix powder and the gel are kneaded together by use of kneading elements, a homogeniser, and the resulted dry compound is sifted through a 2 mm mesh size sieve, then the paste is extruded by an extmder with kneading elements having a size of 1 cm in tube diameter and 0.6 cm in core diameter, then the straw is cut into 22 cm long tubes by a cutting device, and transported by a conveyor belt into an infrared tunnel oven, and baked at 250 °C for 5 minutes, then in a coating unit the tubes are immersed into a transparent syrup prepared beforehand in mixing containers from sucralose, water, and natural flavourings, and both the interior and exterior surfaces of the tubes are coated with the syrup, then the tubes are cooled down to 25 °C in a cooling unit, and the finished product is packaged into foil by sets of 5. Thus, the invention has met our objectives, its benefits being as follows:

Technical benefits:

The use of an infrared tunnel oven may decrease drying time, and a rigid, hardly breakable product is possible to attain.

The process of sifting results in a more homogeneous quality.

Thus, the paste becomes easier to handle for the extruding device, while the application of a specific extruder provides better kneading efficiency, which helps the formation of gluten structure, thus resulting in higher stability of the straw.

Economic benefits of the invention:

The production of the straw requires relatively low materials costs due to the non- expensive ingredients, and applying an infrared tunnel oven decreases the time and energy spent on drying.

The product is more beneficial for consumers, as coating the interior and exterior surfaces of the straw with transparent syrup results in a better tasting product, and flavours the liquid sucked through the straw, as well. The product comes with an attractive appearance, while also being edible.

The unpackaged straw degrades in a period of six months in the natural environment, without causing pollution, its main component being wheat flour.

Being produced from natural ingredients, the straw is a healthy product, a good source of fibre, and it may also come in a sugar free version.

The invention is suitable for use in catering services, in restaurants, cafes, and also for home use.