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Title:
A MACHINE FOR DISPENSING AND MIXING A LIQUID FOOD PRODUCT WITH LIQUID NITROGEN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/162516
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Described is a machine (M) for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen comprising a first containment chamber (1a) configured to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid nitrogen and a second containment chamber (1b) configured to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid food product. The machine (M) also comprises a movement cylinder (2) connected to the first and second containment chambers (1a, 1b) and a dispensing device (3) movable in a sliding fashion in the movement cylinder (2) between a dispensing position and a rest position. The machine (M) also comprises a mixing spiral (4) extending outside the movement cylinder (2) and movable in rotation about a processing axis (X). The mixing spiral (4) is also movable by translation between the dispensing position and the rest position.

Inventors:
SABATINI DANIELE (IT)
LUDOVICI CHRISTIAN (IT)
CESPITES GIULIO (IT)
SABATINI STEFANO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2022/050585
Publication Date:
August 04, 2022
Filing Date:
January 24, 2022
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BITJAM S R L STARTUP COST AI SENSI DELLART 4 COMMA CONVERTITO CON LEGGE N 33/2015 (IT)
International Classes:
A23G9/06; A23G9/08; A23G9/12; A23G9/20; A23G9/22; A23G9/26; A23L3/375; A47J43/04; A47J43/12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BELLOMIA, Paolo (IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A machine (M) for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen, comprising:

- a first containment chamber (la) designed to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid nitrogen;

- a second containment chamber (lb) designed to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid food product;

- a movement cylinder (2) connected to said first and second containment chambers (la, lb) and extending along a vertical processing axis (X);

- a dispensing device (3) movable in sliding fashion in said movement cylinder (2) between a dispensing position, wherein it is at least partly extracted from said movement cylinder (2) for releasing the liquid nitrogen together with the liquid food product in a container (C), and a rest position, wherein said dispensing device (3) is retracted into said movement cylinder (2);

- a mixing spiral (4) extending outside said movement cylinder (2), said mixing spiral (4) being movable in rotation about said processing axis (X) and also being movable in translation between the dispensing position and the rest position.

2. The machine (M) according to claim 1, also comprising sliding means (5) interposed between said mixing spiral (4) and said movement cylinder (2) and configured to allow the translational motion of the mixing spiral (4) along an outer side surface of said movement cylinder (2).

3. The machine (M) according to claim 2, wherein said sliding means (5) comprise gear wheels (5a) made on said mixing spiral (4) and a plurality of guides (5b) angularly distributed at least on an outer surface of the movement cylinder (2) and configured to engage with a respective gear wheel (5a).

4. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said mixing spiral (4) has a substantially drip-shaped extension section. 5. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said mixing spiral (4) extends about said processing axis (X) with a tapered trend, preferably said mixing spiral (4) being of the conical type.

6. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least one portion (4a) of said mixing spiral (4) is made from an elastic material, said elastic material preferably being silicone.

7. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a main body (6) having:

- a loading portion (6a) defining a housing space for said first and second containment chambers (la, lb), the loading portion (6a) being open at the top to allow a filling of said first and second containment chambers (la, lb);

- a closing element (7) which can be removably engaged with said loading portion (6a) to close said housing space;

- a dispensing portion (6b) positioned below said loading portion (6a) and configured for receiving a container (C) in which the liquid nitrogen and the liquid food product are dispensed, said dispensing portion (6b) having at least one opening for inserting or removing said container (C).

8. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a container (8) for making ice lollies (G) comprising:

- a container (8a) configured to receive at least partly said dispensing element (3) and said mixing spiral (4) in the dispensing position;

- a first and a second containing element (8b, 8c) which can be coupled to each other to define a recess (9) for insertion of said container (8a), said insertion recess (9) being shaped to match the container (8a).

9. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said second containment chamber (lb) is inserted in said first containment chamber (la). 10. The machine (M) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the mixing spiral (4) is movable from the rest position to the mixing position after said dispensing element (3).

Description:
DESCRIPTION

A MACHINE FOR DISPENSING AND MIXING A LIQUID FOOD PRODUCT WITH LIQUID NITROGEN

This invention relates to a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen which is widely applied in kitchens in such a way as to obtain products of the ice cream, pastry and similar sectors (by way of a nonlimiting example: ice cream, soft ice cream, granitas, sorbets, shakes, frozen desserts, ice lollies, cold custards).

It is known that, in the kitchens of restaurants, liquid nitrogen is normally used for rapidly cooling food, highlighting the aromas.

In this situation, the liquid nitrogen is contained inside so-called Dewar containers and is drawn as necessary for cooling the dish using spoons or receptacles.

However, handling the liquid nitrogen in the above-mentioned way has drawbacks linked mainly to the health of the cook and the exact use of the nitrogen which is not correctly dosed.

It is also known that large industrial machines are usually used to obtain products of the ice cream and pastry sectors and the like which require relatively long processing times to obtain the finished food product.

Moreover, at the end of the processing operations performed by the above- mentioned machines, the food product must be transported and stored whilst maintaining the so-called "cold chain". During these operations, there is the risk of the product being affected in terms of flavour and/or consistency (for example, numerous ice crystals may be created inside the package).

The technical purpose of the invention is therefore to provide a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen which is able to overcome the drawbacks of the prior art.

The aim of the invention is therefore to provide a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen which allows safe use of the liquid nitrogen.

A further aim of the invention is to provide a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen which is versatile and easy to use. A further aim of the invention is to provide a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen which has small dimensions and which is therefore suitable for household use.

A further aim of the invention is to provide a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen which maximises the flavour and the properties of the liquid food product.

The technical purpose indicated and the aims specified are substantially achieved by a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen comprising the technical features described in one or more of the accompanying claims. The dependent claims correspond to possible embodiments of the invention.

In particular, the technical purpose indicated and the aims specified are achieved by a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen comprising a first containment chamber configured to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid nitrogen and a second containment chamber configured to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid food product. The machine also comprises a movement cylinder connected to the first and second containment chambers and extending along a vertical processing axis and a dispensing device movable in a slidable fashion inside the movement cylinder between a dispensing position and a rest position. In the dispensing position, the dispensing device is at least partly extracted from the movement cylinder for releasing the liquid nitrogen together with the liquid food product in a container. In the rest position, the dispensing device is withdrawn into the movement cylinder. The machine according to the invention also comprises a mixing spiral extending outside the movement cylinder. The mixing spiral is movable by rotation about the processing axis and is also movable by translation between the dispensing position and the rest position.

Advantageously, the machine makes the use of liquid nitrogen safe and versatile even in a domestic kitchen.

Advantageously, the machine is able to render at various stages of cooling (cold, granita, cremolato, ice cream) any liquid food product such as, for example, juice, extract, centrifuged drinks, fruit or vegetable smoothies, wine and alcoholic drinks.

Advantageously, the machine is able to generate, as required at the time, ice creams, cremolato and the like of any flavour with personalised ingredients.

Advantageously, the machine allows a large saving of energy and water because there is no need to control the cold chain or to use a chiller cabinet, a mixer and/or a pasteuriser since the product is created as required at the time by mixing the liquid food product with the liquid nitrogen.

Further features and advantages of the invention are more apparent in the nonlimiting description which follows of an embodiment of a machine for the production and dispensing of liquid or semi-liquid food products.

The description is set out below with reference to the accompanying drawings which are provided solely for purposes of illustration without restricting the scope of the invention and in which:

- Figures 1A and IB show, respectively, an exploded view and a front view of components of the machine according to the invention;

- Figure 2A shows a perspective view of a component of the machine;

- Figures 2B and 2C show a cross-section of the component of Figure 2A in two configurations;

- Figure 2D shows an enlarged view of a detail of Figure 2B;

- Figures 3A and 3B show perspective views of two embodiments of the component of Figure 2 A;

- Figures 4A-4C show an operating sequence of the machine according to the invention;

- Figure 5 shows a perspective view of the machine according to the invention;

- Figures 6A and 6B show, respectively, an exploded and a perspective view of a container for the machine.

With reference to the accompanying drawings, the reference label "M" denotes a machine for dispensing and mixing a liquid food product with liquid nitrogen.

The term "liquid food product" means juice, extract, centrifuged drinks, fruit or vegetable smoothies, wine, alcoholic drinks and the like. The machine "M", according to the invention is configured to release liquid nitrogen together with a liquid food product in such a way as to obtain a food product at various cooling stages such as, for example, ice lollies, granitas, cremolato, cold custards, ice creams and cold juices.

In other words, depending on the quantity of liquid nitrogen which is released and mixed with the liquid food product, it is possible to obtain different cooled products.

With reference to the accompanying drawings, the machine "M" comprises a first containment chamber la configured to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid nitrogen and a second containment chamber lb configured to contain a predetermined quantity of liquid food product.

According to the embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings, the second containment chamber lb is inserted in the first containment chamber la.

According to a further possible embodiment, not illustrated, the first and second containment chambers la, lb are made starting from a same container divided in such a way as to create two compartments and thus define the respective mixing chambers la, lb.

According to the preferred embodiment, the first and second mixing chambers la, lb are made in the form of cups.

Advantageously, this shape facilitates the dispensing of the liquid food product and the liquid nitrogen towards the outside of the chambers la, lb, as described in detail below.

As shown in Figures 4A-4C and 5, the machine "M" also comprises a main body 6 having a loading portion 6a defining a housing space for the first and second containment chambers la, lb. The loading portion 6a is open at the top to allow a filling of the first and second containment chambers la, lb.

Preferably, the loading portion 6a is made of metallic material or plastic material.

The main body 6 also has a closing element 7 which can be removably engaged with the loading portion 6a to close the housing space.

In this situation, once the first and second containment chambers la, lb have been filled, the closing element 7 is applied in such a way that no extraneous body can enter the containment chambers la, lb and/or that part of the liquid food product or of the liquid nitrogen can escape from the machine "M" during its operation.

The main body 6 also comprises a dispensing portion 6b positioned below the loading portion 6a and configured for receiving a container "C" in which the liquid nitrogen and the liquid food product are dispensed to form the desired cooled product.

Preferably, the dispensing portion 6b is made of transparent material such as, for example, plastic or glass.

Preferably, the dispensing portion 6b has at least one opening for inserting or removing the container "C".

Even more preferably, the dispensing portion 6b has a bottom wall having a guide 6b’ for the container "C" in such a way that, during a dispensing of the liquid food product and the liquid nitrogen, the container "C" is correctly positioned and there is no risk that part of the products is dispensed outside the container "C" with consequent waste of the products.

According to the preferred embodiment shown in Figures 4A-4C, the main body 6 has, at the front, a substantially hourglass shape which is harmonious and visually pleasing.

According to the embodiment shown in Figure 5, on the other hand, the main body 6 has, in cross section, a shape substantially representing a quarter of a circle.

Advantageously, this shape allows the machine "M" to be also positioned in corners of the kitchen in such a way as not to occupy an excessive space inside the kitchen.

Advantageously, this shape also allows a plurality of machines "M" to be positioned close to each other along a circumference. This aspect is particularly advantageous if the machines "M" are positioned in a bar or in public premises since it allows different food products to be dispensed simultaneously whilst maintaining a good aesthetic and visual effect.

The machine “M” also comprises a movement cylinder 2 connected to the first and second containment chambers la, lb and extending along a vertical processing axis X.

According to the preferred embodiment, the movement cylinder 2 is applied below the first and second containment chambers la, lb (Figure IB) and is hollow inside.

The machine "M" also comprises a dispensing device 3 configured for dispensing the liquid food product and the liquid nitrogen contained in the respective containment chambers la, lb.

Preferably, the dispensing device 3 is made in the form of a straw and is slidably inserted in the movement cylinder 2.

The dispensing device 3 is movable in a sliding fashion in the movement cylinder 2 between a dispensing position (Figures 4B and 4C) and a rest position (Figure 4A).

In particular, in the dispensing position, the dispensing device 3 is at least partly extracted from the movement cylinder 2 for releasing the liquid nitrogen together with the liquid food product in a container "C".

In the rest position, the dispensing device 3 is withdrawn into the movement cylinder 2. In this position, the container "C" may be extracted for picking up the cooled product obtained at the end of dispensing or it may be inserted in the machine "M" for filling with the above-mentioned cooled product.

Advantageously, the presence of the dispensing device 3 prevents contact between an operator (for example a cook) and the nitrogen. Once the liquid nitrogen has been inserted in the first containment chamber la, the dispensing device 3 dispenses the correct quantity of liquid nitrogen for the cooled product to be obtained without the need for an operator to pick it up using ladles or the like from the containers of the Dewar type.

The machine "M" also comprises a mixing spiral 4 extending outside the movement cylinder 2. The mixing spiral 4 is configured to be inserted in the container "C" and to mix the liquid nitrogen with the liquid food product until obtaining the desired cooled product.

Preferably, the mixing spiral 4 has a substantially drip-shaped extension section. This shape is advantageous since it prevents a large quantity of cooled product (in particular ice cream) from sticking to the mixing spiral 4 whilst the mixing spiral 4 is extracted from the container "C" with consequent reduced waste of cooled product.

Even more preferably, the mixing spiral 4 extends about the processing axis "X" with a tapered trend (Figure 2A). According to the embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings, the mixing spiral 4 is of the conical type.

Advantageously, this aspect makes the mixing spiral 4 easy to insert inside the container "C" since it follows the shape tapered towards the bottom of the container "C".

Preferably, the mixing spiral 4 comprises at least one portion 4a made of an elastic material, such as, for example, silicone.

More in detail, according to the embodiment of Figure 3A, the mixing spiral 4 comprises a plurality of fins positioned at the points of maximum curvature of the mixing spiral 4. The fins are able to bend according to the size of the container "C" in which the mixing spiral 4 must be inserted and are also able to slide along the side wall of the container "C" in such a way as to perform a better mixing of the liquid nitrogen with the liquid food product.

According to the embodiment of Figure 3B, on the other hand, the mixing spiral 4 comprises a strip made of elastic material which follows the profile of extension of the mixing spiral 4.

The mixing spiral 4 is movable by rotation about the processing axis "X" and is also movable by translation between the dispensing position and the rest position. According to a possible embodiment, the mixing spiral 4 is movable from the rest position (Figure 4B) to the dispensing position (Figure 4C) after the dispensing device 3.

In other words, in this situation, the dispensing device 3 passes from the rest position to the dispensing position, releases the liquid food product and the liquid nitrogen and, subsequently, the mixing spiral 4 passes from the rest position to the dispensing position for mixing together the liquid nitrogen and the liquid food product.

Alternatively, the mixing spiral 4 passes from the rest position to the dispensing position and vice versa together with the dispensing device 3.

According to the preferred embodiment shown in Figures 2A-2D, the machine "M" also comprises sliding means 5 interposed between the mixing spiral 4 and the movement cylinder 2. The sliding means 5 are configured to allow the translational motion of the mixing spiral 4 along an outer side surface of the movement cylinder 2.

Preferably, the sliding means 5 comprise gear wheels 5a made on the mixing spiral 4 and a plurality of guides 5b angularly distributed at least on an outer surface of the movement cylinder 2 and configured to engage with a respective gear wheel 5a (Figure 2D).

In use, a machine "M”, as described above, is set up, the first and second mixing chambers la, lb are filled respectively with liquid nitrogen and with the desired liquid food product (for example a syrup) and a container "C" is inserted in the dispensing portion 6b (Figure 4A).

Depending on how much the first and second containment chambers la, lb are filled a different cooled product is obtained. In particular, the greater the quantity of nitrogen dispensed, the more the cooled products such as granitas and ice lollies will be obtained. On the other hand, the smaller the quantity of nitrogen dispensed, the more the products such as cold fruit juices and cremolata will be obtained.

The machine "M" is then operated and the dispensing device 3 is made to slide in the movement cylinder 2 from the rest position to the dispensing position. In this position, the dispensing device 3 dispenses the liquid nitrogen and the liquid food product into the container "C" (Figure 4B).

Subsequently, the mixing spiral 4 is moved in a translational fashion from the rest position to the dispensing position (Figure 4C). In the dispensing position, the mixing spiral 4 performs a rotary motion in such a way as to perform the actual mixing. At the end of this operation, the dispensing device 3 and the mixing spiral 4 are returned to the rest position and the container "C" is extracted from the machine "M".

Advantageously, the machine "M" makes it possible to quickly and easily produce cooled products of any consistency (granitas, ice creams, etc.) and flavour.

Advantageously, the machine "M" allows a dosing of the liquid nitrogen which is precise and weighted depending on the cooled product to be obtained.

Advantageously, the machine "M" reduces the energy resources used for transporting and storing cooled products since there is no need to use mixing machines, pasteurizers and the like.

According to another aspect of the invention, the machine "M" also comprises a container 8 for making ice lollies "G". The container 8 comprises a container 8a configured to receive at least partly the dispensing element 3 and the mixing spiral 4 in the dispensing position.

Preferably, the container 8a is made of transparent material such as, for example, plastic suitable for contact with food.

Even more preferably, the container 8a has a substantially triangular shape in cross section.

Alternatively, the container 8a may be made of any material suitable for contact with the food products and may have a plan cross-section of any shape.

The container 8 also comprises a first and a second containing elements 8b, 8c which can be coupled to define a recess 9 for inserting the container 8a. The insertion recess 9 is shaped to match the container 8a.

In this situation, as required at the time of creating the ice lolly "G", the first and second containing elements 8b, 8c are coupled to each other in such a way that the container 8a is positioned inside the insertion recess 9 (Figure 6B).

Subsequently, the container 8 is inserted in the dispensing portion 6b of the machine "M". In this situation, the dispensing device 3 passes from the rest position to the dispensing position in such a way as to be at least partly inserted in the container 8a.

Subsequently, the dispensing device 3 dispenses a predetermined quantity of liquid nitrogen, contained in the first containment chamber la, and a predetermined quantity of liquid food product, contained in the second containment chamber lb. In this situation, the mixing spiral 4 also passes from the rest position to the dispensing position for mixing the liquid nitrogen with the liquid food product until obtaining micro-crystals of ice forming the ice lolly "G".

At the end of this operation, the dispensing device 3 and the mixing spiral 4 are returned to the rest position and the first and second containment elements 8b, 8c are uncoupled for freeing the container 8 a (Figure 6A).

In this situation, the ice lolly "G" is inserted in the container 8a and has a hole "Gl" at the centre in which the dispensing element 3 and the mixing spiral 4 have operated to make the ice lolly "G".

A juice or, in general, a liquid to be drunk, can be inserted into the hole "Gl" in the ice lolly "G".

Advantageously, the use of the liquid nitrogen allows the flavour and organoleptic properties of the liquid food product not to be affected, giving the final cooled product a higher quality.

The invention achieves the preset aims eliminating the drawbacks of the prior art.

In particular, the machine "M" is compact and easy to use as well as having an attractive design.

The machine "M" makes it possible to avoid a contact between a user and the liquid nitrogen, also guaranteeing an accurate metering of the latter.

The machine "M" allows different cooled products to be created as required at the time without there being waste of any food product.

The machine "M" has a minimum energy and water consumption.

The machine "M" allows the production of cooled products which must not undergo the cold chain and which therefore maintain unchanged the consistency, flavour and food properties.