Patent application title: COMBINATION INGESTIBLE-PRODUCT AND BEVERAGE PACKAGING
Steven Collotta (Grafton, MA, US)
Samuel L. Millen (Somerville, MA, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D8132FI
Class name: Packaged or wrapped product having nonedible spacer to segregate all units of multiunit food product diverse food
Publication date: 2010-08-05
Patent application number: 20100196558
Patent application title: COMBINATION INGESTIBLE-PRODUCT AND BEVERAGE PACKAGING
Samuel L. Millen
MINTZ, LEVIN, COHN, FERRIS, GLOVSKY AND POPEO, P.C
Origin: BOSTON, MA US
IPC8 Class: AB65D8132FI
Publication date: 08/05/2010
Patent application number: 20100196558
A combination package, e.g., (10) for both an ingestible product, such as
a medication, e.g., (12) and a beverage, e.g., (14), such as water, is of
a unitary single-use design. The medication and the beverage, of which
only a small amount is provided, can be stored in separate sealed
cavities defined by the package. The combination package can be designed
so as to be easily and conveniently hung from a display rack in a store.
A consumer can open the package to gain access to each cavity and can
then orally consume the medication and then wash it down with the
12. A combination package comprising:a unitary package defining at least two cavities;a liquid beverage in a first of the cavities;an ingestible product that offers a health benefit to a human in a second of the cavities; andone or more pull-tabs configured to open the package and provide access to at least one of the beverage and the ingestible product when pulled by a user.
31. A combination package for use with an ingestible product that offers a health benefit to a human, the package comprising:a molded cap;a backerboard;a bottle defining first and second cavities, the bottle including a flattened portion;the first cavity defining an opening configured to mate with the molded cap such that when the molded cap is mated to the first cavity a leak-proof enclosure is formed;the second cavity being of a predefined size to contain the ingestible product that offers a health benefit to a human, the second cavity defining an opening in the flattened portion;the flattened portion being configured to attach to the backerboard such that when the backerboard is attached to the flattened portion the ingestible product that offers a health benefit to a human is contained in the second cavity;a liquid beverage in the first cavity,wherein the bottle is configured such that when the backerboard is attached to the flattened portion, the ingestible product that offers a health benefit to a human is at least partially visible through the bottle and the liquid beverage in the first cavity.
32. The combination package of claim 31 wherein the backerboard defines a hanging orifice.
33. The combination package of claim 32 wherein the backerboard is sized such that the combination package can be hung with a stack of similar packages from a display rack using the hanging orifice.
34. The combination package of claim 31 wherein the molded cap comprises a threaded portion and the bottle is configured to couple to the threaded portion such that the opening defined by the first cavity mates with the molded cap.
35. The combination package of claim 31 wherein the backerboard includes a visible indicia that is at least partially visible through the bottle when the backerboard is attached to the bottle.
36. The combination package of claim 35 wherein the visible indicia relates to the ingestible product that offers a health benefit to humans.
37. The combination package of claim 31 wherein the liquid beverage comprises a plurality of H20 molecules.
38. The combination package of claim 31 wherein the backerboard is attached to the flattened portion using adhesive.
Various over-the-counter medications are routinely sold in pharmacies and convenience stores in bottles. In recent years, single-dosage-sized packages have also become available and may, e.g., be hung from display racks at the cashier's counter.
Likewise, liquid beverages, such as water, are routinely available at convenience stores and generally sold in the form of a plastic bottle, typically in volumes of 500 mL or more. The bottles typically include a metal or plastic cap that can be screwed on and off of the container part of the bottle. These bottles are generally purchased by customers to quench a thirst or to wash down a meal. Consequently, they are sold in sizes providing for more than a few swallows of the beverage by the consumer, and the replaceable cap allows for the beverage to be consumed in stages; for example a user can take a few sips of the beverage and then replace the cap and finish the beverage at a later time.
Disclosed herein is a combination package containing both an ingestible product that offers a health benefit to humans and a liquid beverage, such as water. A fairly small volume of the beverage can be provided--i.e., just enough for a user to wash down the ingestible product when ingesting it; consequently, the package can be much more compact than previous designs. In one embodiment, the package is of a unitary structure that defines a pair of cavities, one each for the ingestible product and for the beverage.
Additionally, in particular embodiments, no additional (separate) packaging for the ingestible product and beverage is provided. In other words, the beverage is not contained in a bottle, which is then incorporated into the unitary package, and the ingestible product is not contained in a separate sleeve or canister. Rather, the sole containment for the beverage and the ingestible product within the combination package can be the package, itself.
Accordingly, the entire package can be very small and highly portable and convenient; moreover, a tab in the form of a hook or including a defined orifice can be provided so that the package can be hung with a stack of similar packages from a display rack in a store. The design of this combination facilitates easy purchase and use by a consumer, wherein the consumer can easily tear open the package to access the ingestible product and the beverage, consume them and then throw away the package with minimal waste.
The package can be manufactured via a variety of methods that are different from conventional bottling techniques. In one embodiment, a front shell and a back shell are provided. The front shell can have a pair of bubbles into which the ingestible product and the beverage are placed and segregated. The back shell is then placed on top of the front shell and bonded thereto. After the bonding process the two cavities are fully sealed and segregated from one another within the package.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the accompanying drawings, described below, like reference characters refer to the same or similar parts throughout the different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating particular principles of the methods and apparatus characterized in the Detailed Description.
FIG. 1 is an illustration of a combination package in the form of a blister pack structure.
FIG. 2 is an illustration of a combination package in the form of a dual-pocket soft pack
FIG. 3 is an illustration of a combination package in the form of a secondary-lid bottle.
FIG. 4 is an illustration of a combination package in the form of a peel-away-top dual-cavity plastic container.
FIG. 5 is an illustration of combination package in the form of a canister in which a container filled with water and a medication packet are contained.
FIG. 6 is an illustration providing a view of the front shell of another embodiment of a blister pack.
FIG. 7 is a side view (from the left, as shown) of the blister pack of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is an end view (from the top of the page, as shown) of the blister pack of FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 is an end view (from the bottom of the page, as shown) of the blister pack of FIG. 6.
FIG. 10 is a front vie* of a fold-over package in the closed position.
FIG. 11 is a front view of the fold-over package of FIG. 11 with the fold-over section unfolded to provide access to the medication sub-package.
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a one-piece, multi-fold package containing a beverage bottle and a medication sub-package.
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the one-piece, multi-fold package of FIG. 12 unfolded to provide access to the beverage bottle.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a plurality of one-piece, multi-fold packages on display for customers in a display case.
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a bent, one-piece package construction with holes through which joined tubes for a beverage and medication is contained.
FIG. 16 is an exploded view of the tubes in FIG. 15.
FIG. 17 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a package including a bubble section for the beverage and a pull tab under which a medication sub-package is contained, wherein the package also includes a straw.
FIG. 18 is a perspective view the package of FIG. 17 with the straw inserted through a puncture cap on the bubble for the beverage.
FIG. 19 is a view of a backerboard for a package.
FIG. 20 is an exploded view showing the different layers of a laminate package.
FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a bubble for a beverage.
FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a cut-out frame into which the bubble for the beverage is inserted.
FIG. 23 is a perspective view showing the back side of the bubble for the beverage and the back side of the cut-out frame.
FIG. 24 is a front view of a backerboard in which a medication sub-package is contained in a clear adhesive panel.
FIG. 25 is a front view of a backerboard with blisters for the medication.
FIG. 26 is a perspective view of a package with a folding-open separable bubble for the beverage, with the two haves joined by an adhesive pull strip.
FIG. 27 is an illustration of multiple packages horizontally joined together.
FIG. 28 is an illustration of multiple packages vertically joined.
FIG. 29 is a top view of an embodiment of a package including a beverage bottle and a backerboard, with the ingestible product contained in a cavity between the beverage bottle and the backerboard.
FIG. 30 is a front view of the package of FIG. 29.
FIG. 31 is a side view of the package of FIGS. 29 and 30.
FIG. 32 is a top view of an embodiment of a package including a beverage bottle and a cavity containing the ingestible product on the back side of the bottle.
FIG. 33 is a front view of the package of FIG. 32.
FIG. 34 is a side view of the package of FIGS. 32 and 33.
Various embodiments of a (disposable) package or container with two discrete cavities or compartments each hold a single serving of an ingestible product and a small portion of a beverage to aid in the swallowing of the ingestible product are described, below, and illustrated in the figures. The cavity for each can be defined by the unitary (integral) package, itself, or can be defined by a separate structure, such as a bottle for the beverage or a separate blister package for the ingestible product The various embodiments are provided as non-limiting examples, and various features from the different embodiments can also be readily mixed and matched. Each of the packages illustrated and described herein can be sealed in an outer layer of shrink-wrap plastic to maintain the beverage and ingestible product compartments in a clean, sanitary condition. In addition, multi-use configurations are illustrated in FIGS. 27 and 28.
The ingestible product offers a health benefit to a human and generally will have a desired effect on the consumer upon ingestion. For example, the ingestible product can be a medication, a vitamin, an herbal remedy (e.g., ginseng, ginkgo biloba, psyllium, spirulina, or echinacea), etc.
Medications that can be contained in the ingestible product cavity of the package can be of many different types, e.g., antacids, antihistamines, aspirin, ibuprofen, oral contraceptives, pain-relief or anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, methyl salicylate, diflunisal, arylalkanoic acids, diclofenac, indomethacin, dulindac, 2-arylpropionic acids (profens), ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen, carprofen, fenoprofen, ketorolac, n-arylanthranilic acids (fenamic acids), mefenamic acid, oxicams, piroxicam, meloxicam, coxibs, celecoxib, rofecoxib, valdecoxib, parecoxib, etoricoxib, sulphonanilides, and nimesulide. Moreover, the form of the medication (or other ingestible product) contained within the "ingestible product cavity" can be of a variety of forms, including (but not limited to) gel caps, capsules, coated or uncoated pills, powder, etc.
The beverage is a fluid that can safely be orally ingested by humans. Water (in a substantially pure form) is particularly suitable as the beverage. The water can be, for example, spring or distilled water. Alternatively, another type of beverage, such as soda, fruit juice or even a more-viscous fluid, such as drinkable yogurt, can be contained in the beverage cavity.
The package can be formed, e.g., of a plastic such as those marketed under the tradenames, LEXAN (from GE Plastics of Pittsfield, Mass., USA) and LUCITE (from Lucite International of Southampton, UK). Examples of other suitable plastics include polyethylene (PE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyester, etc.
An embodiment of the combination package 10 in the form of a clear blister pack with two discrete blisters 16 and 18 is illustrated in FIG. 1. The first blister 16 defines a cavity in which is contained a pre-packaged single dose of medication 12. While this concept illustrates the ingestible product in the form of a medication 12 in tablet or capsule form, the medication 12 can be liquid or solid and can be contained within its own sub-package, which also may take on a variety of forms. The second blister 18 of the blister pack defines a separate cavity in which is contained a small portion of beverage 14 (e.g., water). This beverage 14, similar to the ingestible product 12, can be in any of a variety of sub-packaging containers ranging from a discrete small bottle 22 with a threaded or molded cap 24 to a separate blister pack (similar to a packet of ketchup or mustard), which can be broken at a corner to allow the beverage 14 to be swallowed along with the ingestible product 12. Both of the sealed cavities defined by the blisters 14 and 16 are surrounded by a substantially planar scaffold 26.
Another embodiment, in the form of a minimal dual-pocket or dual-packet ingestible-product-and-beverage package 10 (similar to a packet of ketchup or mustard except with two discrete pockets 17 and 19 separated by a seal similar to that on the perimeter of a ketchup packet) is illustrated in FIG. 2. The first 17 of the two pockets defines a cavity containing an ingestible product in the form of a single dose of medication 12. The second pocket 19 defines a separate cavity in which is contained a small amount of beverage in the form of water to aid in the swallowing of the medication 12. Each of the cavities defined by the pockets 17 and 19 is accessible via a perforation 30 and/or notch 32 and 34 in the packaging, which allows the user to tear open each of the compartments individually.
A bottle 22 filled with a beverage and having a secondary lid or cap 36 is illustrated in FIG. 3. This secondary lid or cap 36 creates a chamber that holds an ingestible product--in this case, in the form of a single dose of medication 12 in pill or capsule form. A consumer can remove the secondary cap 36 to access the ingestible product 12 and then remove the primary cap 24 to access the small portion of a beverage 14 to aid in the swallowing of the ingestible product 12. In this illustration, the secondary lid or cap 36 can be snapped onto the bottle 22 and secured with a tamper-resistant safety seal wrapped around the bottle 22.
A peel-away-top, dual-cavity, plastic package 10 with two discrete "tops" is illustrated in FIG. 4. The first smaller cavity 38 contains an ingestible product--in this case, in the form of 12 a pill or capsule. The second larger volume (inside the bottle 20) contains a small portion of a beverage 14 to aid in the swallowing of the ingestible product 12. A consumer first peels open the ingestible-product compartment 38 using the pull tab 40 to access the ingestible product 12 for consumption. The consumer then separately opens the cap 24 to the beverage compartment. The consumer can then pour and swallow the beverage 14 to aid in swallowing the ingestible product 12. An alternate version of this concept is a package with two discrete compartments and a single "peel-away" seal. Peeling away the seal provides access to the contents of both compartments in a side-by-side fashion.
A canister 42 for two discrete containers is illustrated in FIG. 5. A container (e.g., a bottle 22) for the beverage can be placed in the canister 42 along with a packet 20 that contains the ingestible product 12. A lid 44 can be snapped onto the top of the canister 42 to enclose both the beverage bottle 22 and the ingestible product packet 20 therein. The canister 42 can be formed of a clear plastic, and the lid 44 can also be formed of plastic. The container 22 for the beverage can likewise be formed of a clear plastic, and the packet 20 for the ingestible product can be formed of plastic, metal foil, or paper.
Another embodiment of a blister-pack package 10 is illustrated from various perspectives in FIGS. 6-9. The package 10 includes a front shell 56, illustrated in FIG. 6, comprising a pair of bubbles (which can also be viewed as bubbles or protrusions, depending on the perspective of the observer) 46 and 52 that define respective cavities when the front shell 56 is joined to a thin, substantially planar back shell 58 having the same length and width as the front shell 56. The front shell 56 is sealed to the back shell 58 along the substantially planar scaffold perimeter 26 of the package 10. The beverage is contained in the larger bubble 46, while the ingestible product is contained in the smaller bubble 52. In this embodiment, the length of the package 10 (measured from top to bottom in the orientation of FIG. 6) is 4.90 inches. The width of the package 10 (measured from left to right in the orientation of FIG. 6) is 2.25 inches. The thickness of the package 10 (measured from left to right in the orientation of FIG. 7) is 0.77 inches; as shown in FIG. 9, the indention 52 for the ingestible product extends about half of this distance. Generally, this package 10 can be constructed in a variety of configurations wherein the greatest dimension is less than six inches or, in this case, less than five inches. The front shell 56 can be formed of a plastic that will hold its shape absent excess stress, while the back shell 58 can be formed of a material having less rigidity, such as a plastic or metal foil, so that it can be readily pealed away by user without spilling the beverage.
The bubble 46 for the beverage includes a neck 48 at one end, wherein the neck 48 has a width substantially less than (e.g., less than half) that of the bulk or majority of the bubble. A cut-out slot 50 is provided around the neck 48 to thereby allow the end of the scaffold 26 (proximate to the tab 28) to be bent back to leave the neck 48 extended from the package. The package 10 can then be tilted to allow the beverage to flow through the neck 48 and into the consumer's mouth after the back shell 58 is peeled away from the neck 48. The bubble 46 for the beverage also includes a flattened portion 54 to enable the package 10 to sit flat when the front shell 56 is placed atop a horizontal surface. The opposite side of the package 10 (i.e., the outer side of the back shell 58) is substantially flat, thereby facilitating stacking of the packages.
A blister pack, such as the package 10 illustrated in FIGS. 6-9, can be fabricated and filled by the following process. First, the formed front shell 56 with the two discrete bubbles 46 and 52 can be placed on the bottom half of an ultrasonic welding die. The ultrasonic welding die follows the perimeter of the two bubbles 46 and 52 in the front shell 56 of the blister pack. An ingestible product, like for example a Medication, either as individual capsules or pills or over-packed in a small packet or other container, can be either automatically or manually placed in a first 52 of the two bubbles. Additionally, either a fluid dispenser passes over the front shell 56 or the front shell 56 passes under the dispensing tip as the dispensing tip dispenses a specific amount of fluid into the second bubble 46 of the front shell 56. After the bubbles 46 and 52 are filled, the back shell 58 is laid (either manually or automatically) on top of the front shell 56, and the assembly is placed under another ultrasonic welding die. Once the entire assembly is in place, the ultrasonic welding die closes down on the assembly, thereby sealing the perimeter scaffold 26 and both bubbles 46 and 52 to seal each cavity defined therein. The ultrasonic welding die generates high-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibrations to weld the shells 56 and 58 together. Absorption of the acoustic-vibration energy in the shells 56 and 58 causes local melting of the plastic in the shells and consequent bonding. If a graphic label is used, the label is applied either to the front or back of the now-sealed assembly. Finally, if a graphic card is used, it is inserted on the front shell 56 before the back shell 58 is laid on top and is contained therein by the ultrasonic weld.
Alternatively, other means, such as a heat-sealing die can be used to thermally seal the back shell 58 to the front shell 56. In another alternative process, the back shell 58 can be sealed to the front shell 56, leaving a fill hole in the back shell 58 over the cavity defined by bubble 46. The needle of a filling tool can then be inserted through the fill hole to fill the bubble 46 with the beverage. Then, a foil decal can be applied to the back shell 58 to seal the fill hole. Finally, a consumer can pierce the fill hole with a pointed straw adhered to the package 10 to enable the consumer to suck the beverage out of the cavity and through the straw.
An embodiment of a fold-over package structure is illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11. The package 10 includes a folder-over section 62 that can be folded up against the front of the scaffold 26 to encase a medication sub-package 20 under a clear polymer panel 60, as shown in FIG. 10. The fold-over section 62 is unfolded in FIG. 11 to reveal a adhesive strip 64 for securing the fold-over section 62 to the scaffold 26.
Another package design is illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13, wherein the package 10 includes a one-piece, multi-fold construction 66 formed, e.g., of a heavy paper or cardboard, which folds over to encase a beverage bottle 22 and medication sub-package 22. The package 10 of FIGS. 12 and 13 includes a tab 28 for hanging incorporated into the one-piece construction 66. Though, in another embodiment, shown in FIG. 14, a plurality of the packages 10 can be stacked in a cardboard display rack 68, which can be mounted, e.g., on a counter in a store.
Another embodiment of a one-piece construction 66, this one merely being bent to contain the beverage and medication sub-packaging, is illustrated in FIG. 15. The one-piece construction 66 here includes a pair of die-cut holes 72 through which tubes 72 and 74 for the beverage and medication can be inserted. Both tubes 72 and 74 are sealed to a cap 24. An exploded view of the tubes with the tube 74 removed to reveal the medication sub-package 20 contained therein. The cap 24 can then be removed from the tube 72 to provide the consumer with access to the beverage contained therein.
An embodiment of a package 10 including a straw 76 sealed under a shrink-perforated pull tab 40 on the scaffold 26 is illustrated in FIG. 17. The straw 76 is punched into a puncture cap 78 on the bubble 46 for the beverage, as shown in FIG. 18, to enable the consumer to drink the beverage through the straw 76. The puncture cap 78 can be formed, e.g., of metal foil. The medication sub-package 20 is likewise sealed under a shrink-perforated pull tab 40.
A backerboard 86 to which a shell including a bubble for the beverage is ultrasonically welded is illustrated in FIG. 19. The shell is ultrasonically welded to the backerboard 86 at the weld line 94, and the bubble is positioned over the outline 88. As shown the distance from the hanging tab 28 to the bottom of the package is 3.5 inches (about 8.9 cm), while the width of the package, measured left to right, as shown, is 2.5 inches (about 6.4 cm).
An exploded view of the different layers of a laminate package 10 is illustrated in FIG. 20. A front shell 56 including a bubble 46 for the beverage forms an outer front surface. Underneath the front shell 56 is a graphic insert 96, which can identify the brand and type of medication or other ingestible product as well as the brand and type of the beverage as well as other source indicia, logos, price, instructions for use, etc. Behind the graphic insert 96 and heat-sealed to the front shell 56 is a plastic backing 98, which together with the front shell 56 forms a leak-proof enclosure for the beverage. A medication sub-package 20 is sealed to the back side of the plastic backing 98 via a tamper-proof adhesive seal 100.
A clear plastic shell including a bubble 46 for containing a beverage is illustrated in FIG. 21. The beverage is sealed in the bubble by a peal-away backing 82. The shell is inserted into a cut-out frame 80, shown in FIGS. 22 and 23, wherein the cut-out orifice 84 matches the outline of the bubble 46.
Two additional embodiments of backerboards 86 to which a front shell including a bubble for the beverage is shown in FIGS. 24 and 25. A medication sub-package 20 is sealed under a clear polymer panel 60 on the front of package in FIG. 24, while the medication 12 is loosely contained under blisters 16 in FIG. 25.
Yet another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 26, includes a bubble separable into two halves 89 and 90. The two halves 89 and 90 are sealed together via an adhesive pull strip 92. The strip 92 can be pulled and the scaffold 26 folded open the bubble and to thereby afford the consumer access to the beverage contained therein.
In other embodiments, a plurality of the packages 10 can be joined side to side or end to end and are able to be separated by tearing at a perforation 30, as shown in FIGS. 27 and 28. A plurality of packages can thereby be purchased as a batch by a consumer. The perforated strip is but one packaging configuration for the multi-use product. Packages can also be separated by notches with easy-tear creases. The consumer can then separate a package from the batch and use each package separately from the others, as needed. Where the package is more cylindrical in shape, as in FIGS. 3 and 5, a plurality of the packages can be joined either side by side, or end to end such that the lid of one is joined to the bottom of the other. The tab 28 can be omitted from packages in this design to facilitate the joining of the containers; the packages can be stacked and sealed in perforated plastic to bind them together. In another embodiment, a plurality of ingestible-product doses can be included in separate cavities in the package.
Another embodiment of a package 10 is shown in FIGS. 29-31. In this embodiment, the beverage (e.g., water) is stored in a beverage bottle 22 formed, e.g., of plastic. The beverage bottle 22 is adhered to a backerboard 86 formed, e.g., of cardboard; and the ingestible product is stored in compartment 38 between the beverage bottle 22 and the backerboard 86. Accordingly, the ingestible product can be accessed by pealing away the backerboard 86 and removing the ingestible product. The beverage, meanwhile, is accessed by unscrewing the cap 24. The package 10 can be hung on a rack of a display stand via the tab 28. The package 10 in this embodiment has a width (measured horizontally in FIGS. 29 and 30) of about 3 inches, a depth (measured vertically in FIG. 29 and horizontally in FIG. 31) of 1.06 inches, and a height (measured vertically in FIGS. 30 and 31) of about 5 inches.
The package 10 of FIGS. 32-34 is similar to the package 10 of FIGS. 29-31, except the package 10 of FIGS. 32-34 does not include a backerboard. Instead, the package 10 of FIGS. 32-34 includes a peal-away beverage backing 82 adhered to the beverage bottle 22 to trap the ingestible product in the resulting cavity 38. The package 10 in this embodiment has a width (measured horizontally in FIGS. 32 and 33) of about 3 inches, a depth (measured vertically in FIG. 32 and horizontally in FIG. 34) of 1.06 inches, and a height (measured vertically in FIGS. 33 and 34) of 4.35 inches.
As an alternative to the consumer ingesting the beverage and the ingestible product separately, the consumer can open the cavities and drop the ingestible product into the beverage; with products such as antacids, the product may dissolve therein. In still other embodiments, a membrane can be provided between the beverage cavity and the ingestible product; and a consumer can break that membrane to immerse the ingestible product in the beverage.
In describing embodiments of the invention, specific terminology is used for the sake of clarity. For purposes of description, each specific term is intended to at least include all technical and functional equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose. Additionally, in some instances where a particular embodiment of the invention includes a plurality of system elements or method steps, those elements or steps may be replaced with a single element or step; likewise, a single element or step may be replaced with a plurality of elements or steps that serve the same purpose. Further, where parameters for various properties are specified herein for embodiments of the invention, those parameters can be adjusted up or down by 1/20th, 1/10th, 1/5th, 1/3rd, 1/2, etc., or by rounded-off approximations thereof, unless otherwise specified. Moreover, while this invention has been shown and described with references' to particular embodiments thereof, those skilled in the art will understand that various substitutions and alterations in form and details may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention; further still, other aspects, functions and advantages are also within the scope of the invention. The contents of all references, including patents and patent applications, cited throughout this application are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. The appropriate components and methods of those references may be selected for the invention and embodiments thereof. Still further, the components and methods identified in the Background section are integral to this disclosure and can be used in conjunction with or substituted for components and methods described elsewhere in the disclosure within the scope of the invention.
Patent applications by Samuel L. Millen, Somerville, MA US
Patent applications by Steven Collotta, Grafton, MA US
Patent applications in class Diverse food
Patent applications in all subclasses Diverse food