New! View global litigation for patent families

US20010043971A1 - Microwavable steamer bags - Google Patents

Microwavable steamer bags Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20010043971A1
US20010043971A1 US09858559 US85855901A US2001043971A1 US 20010043971 A1 US20010043971 A1 US 20010043971A1 US 09858559 US09858559 US 09858559 US 85855901 A US85855901 A US 85855901A US 2001043971 A1 US2001043971 A1 US 2001043971A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
food
product
bag
packaging
pad
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
US09858559
Other versions
US6455084B2 (en )
Inventor
John Johns
Original Assignee
Johns John Jay
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D81/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D81/34Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents for packaging foodstuffs or other articles intended to be cooked or heated within the package
    • B65D81/3446Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents for packaging foodstuffs or other articles intended to be cooked or heated within the package specially adapted to be heated by microwaves
    • B65D81/3461Flexible containers, e.g. bags, pouches, envelopes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L5/00Preparation or treatment of foods or foodstuffs, in general; Food or foodstuffs obtained thereby; Materials therefor
    • A23L5/10General methods of cooking foods, e.g. by roasting or frying
    • A23L5/15General methods of cooking foods, e.g. by roasting or frying using wave energy, irradiation, electrical means or magnetic fields, e.g. oven cooking or roasting using radiant dry heat
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2581/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D2581/34Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents for packaging foodstuffs or other articles intended to be cooked or heated within
    • B65D2581/3401Cooking or heating method specially adapted to the contents of the package
    • B65D2581/3402Cooking or heating method specially adapted to the contents of the package characterised by the type of product to be heated or cooked
    • B65D2581/3428Cooking unusual food, i.e. none of the above foods
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2581/00Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents
    • B65D2581/34Containers, packaging elements, or packages, for contents presenting particular transport or storage problems, or adapted to be used for non-packaging purposes after removal of contents for packaging foodstuffs or other articles intended to be cooked or heated within
    • B65D2581/3401Cooking or heating method specially adapted to the contents of the package
    • B65D2581/3429Packages containing a secondary product to be cooked and discharged over the primary product
    • B65D2581/3433Packages containing a secondary product to be cooked and discharged over the primary product to add moisture to the product, e.g. steaming

Abstract

Packaging for microwavable convenience foods, such as tamales, and a related method for microwave steam heating or cooking of such foods. The food packaging includes an unvented, sealed, stretchable plastic bag enclosing a food product and a moisture pad which is placed on top of the food product. The pad serves to shield the food product from direct microwave radiation, and to provide a source of steam generated by absorption of the waves in the water of the pad.

Description

  • [0001]
    The present application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. Section 119 (e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/205,075, entitled MICROWAVABLE STEAMER BAGS AND OVENABLE STEAMER BAGS, filed May 18, 2000, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety into this application.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    This invention relates to food packaging and, more particularly, to a microwavable bag for steaming foods.
  • [0003]
    The Mexican food known as a tamale (e.g., corn masa with a meat or vegetable filling) is best cooked or reheated by steaming. If such a food product is microwaved in a conventional microwave package, i.e., a plastic bag, Mylar™ or an oxygen barrier film, its outer portions become brown and dry, rendering the product unappetizing. Also, the bag may break due to the steam pressure, which results in incomplete steam cooking and/or further browning or drying. If the bag is instead cut prior to use, so as to prevent splitting of the bag during heating, the tamale cannot be steam heated.
  • [0004]
    Efforts have been made to provide bags with internal moisture sources for steam cooking. For example, Japanese Reference No. 62-191675 describes a bag, most likely a Mylar™ or metallic, having a water absorbent pad under the food product in an attempt to facilitate steam cooking of the contents. Such bags are believed designed for an electric range top using dry heat. They either do not expand under steam pressure in a microwave environment, and burst, unless vented, or are non-compatible with microwave energy, e.g., the metallized nature of the bag prevents its use in a microwave oven. The pad is intentionally placed under the food product since electric ranges heat from below. Of course, since the food product sits on the water absorbent food, it is possible that the food will absorb the water during storage and transportation, which may result in a soggy food product. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,376,392, col. 2, lines 41-51. Since the food is uncovered by the absorbent pad, if it were used in a microwave environment where the rays emanate to the sides and top of the food product, the sides and top of the food product may still be susceptible to drying and browning from the microwave exposure. Further, such Mylar™, oxygen barrier film, and metallic bags are very expensive to manufacture.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    It is a purpose of the present invention to provide packaging which results in hot steaming foods, without using an external source of steam, and without having to open the packaging prior to heating.
  • [0006]
    It is also a purpose of the present invention to provide food packaging which prevents contamination of the food, and the microwave oven, by remaining aseptically sealed during the entire heating process and up to consumption.
  • [0007]
    It is another purpose of the present invention to provide food packaging that can be microwaved without the food becoming dry or brown, thereby providing a more appetizing food appearance and texture.
  • [0008]
    It is a further purpose of the present invention to provide a microwave food packaging that can be steam heated and held unopened, to retain for a longer period of time the steam heat, prior to the need for consumption.
  • [0009]
    It is also a purpose of the present invention to provide food packaging with a water absorbent pad on the top of the food product, which pad shields the food product from uneven microwave energy.
  • [0010]
    It is, in addition, a purpose of the present invention to provide a ventless, steamable microwave food packaging which retains all of the steam therein to better cook the food product, and provides a more sanitary microwave oven by not allowing release of water condensation into the oven.
  • [0011]
    It is also a purpose of the present invention to provide a method for steam heating or cooking foods which is more efficient, and leads to a more palatable food product.
  • [0012]
    Finally, it is a purpose of the present invention to provide a less equipment- and labor-intensive food steaming method.
  • [0013]
    To achieve the foregoing and other purposes of the present invention there is provided a packaging for food, particularly microwavable convenience foods, and a related method for microwave heating or cooking of such foods. The food packaging includes a bag for enclosing a food product and a moisture pad which is placed on top of the food product. The bag is a stretchable plastic, but is unvented to retain all of the steam. The pad is a material that can absorb water and can release the water as steam into the bag. The pad is preferably moistened with purified water prior to insertion in the bag. The bag is preferably a rectangle made of an elongated tubular sheet sealed at one end, preferably by heat sealing, filled with the food product, with the moistened pad on the top thereof, and sealed at the other end. The pad serves to shield the food product from direct microwave radiation, and to provide a source of steam generated by absorption of the microwaves in the water of the pad.
  • [0014]
    Other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the figures thereof.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 1 is a top view of the food packaging according to the present invention.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the food packaging;
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 3 is a bottom view of an alternate embodiment of the food packaging;
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 4 is a bottom view of still another embodiment of the food packaging;
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 5 is a side, cross sectional view of the food packaging shown in FIG. 4, taken along line 5-5.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0021]
    The present invention is packaging for food, particularly microwavable convenience foods, and a related method for microwave steam heating of such foods. By “heating” it is meant a temperature sufficient to either re-heat a pre-cooked food product, or to originally cook a food product, as needed. The preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-5.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIGS. 1 and 2 show the preferred embodiment of the present invention, with FIG. 1 illustrating a top view, and FIG. 2 illustrating a bottom view. As shown generally therein, the food packaging 10 includes a bag 12 enclosing a food product 14 and a moisture pad 16.
  • [0023]
    More particularly, the packaging 10 contains a sheet 18 that forms the bag 12. The sheet 18 is a stretchable polymer film, such as a polyethylene-based plastic. For example, the sheet 18 could be laminar, including polyethylene and known additives, e.g., Selin™. These additives impart, e.g., improved strength or oxygen barrier properties to the polyethylene.
  • [0024]
    The thickness of the sheet 18, as would be known in the art, is dependent upon the weight, size and density of the food product, the temperature of the food product when steam heating begins, and the desired finished heating temperature. Preferably the thickness is about 2.5 to 5 mil. In this regard, it has been found that about a 3 mil bag is adequate for lower power microwave ovens, or on the lower power setting of a commercial microwave oven, especially with relatively lower weight food products (such as a 1-2 oz. appetizer tamale), to prevent breakage of the plastic material from steam pressure. With greater power and a higher weighted food product, such as a multiple serving tamale pie, a 4-5 mil plastic is preferred.
  • [0025]
    The sheet 18 may contain indicia 20 thereon, such as advertising, preparation instructions and warnings, product description, nutrition information, etc.
  • [0026]
    The food product 14 can include such convenience food items as a meat or vegetable tamale wrapped in a corn husk, a soft taco, a rice item or vegetables in a container, etc.
  • [0027]
    The pad 16 is absorbent and serves as a “sacrificial” moisture pad, as described below. The pad 16 is much like the pads placed under poultry and meat during retail display to absorb fluids juices and blood), and thereby improve the appearance of the poultry and meat. An example of a commercially available and acceptable pad is offered by Paper-Pak Products, Inc., which is sold under the “Zap Super Soaker™” brand. The use of such an absorbent pad is preferred because only one side (16 a in FIG. 4) of the pad 16 is absorbent. The other side (16 b in FIG. 4) is impermeable to moisture. Therefore, such a pad can be laid directly over the food product 14 with the impermeable side 16 b facing the food product 14, so that the food product 14 does not get soggy during storage, transportation or heating.
  • [0028]
    Other materials capable of absorbing moisture would also be suitable as the pad 16, such as paper, cellulose, cloth, etc., as long as the water is absorbed, and can be emitted freely as steam into the bag 12 to steam the food product 14, and as long as the material is not toxic and otherwise would not damage the food product 14 or bag 12. In any case, the pad 16 should be USDA or FDA approved, as it is used with a food product 14.
  • [0029]
    The pad 16 is preferably moistened with purified water, placed over the food product 14, placed in the bag 12, sealed and then frozen. In the preferred embodiment, only one pad 16 is placed on top of the food product 14.
  • [0030]
    The pad 16 is preferably configured such that it extends beyond the perimeter of the food product 14.
  • [0031]
    Once the bag 12 is filled with the food product 14 and the pad 16, the bag 12 is sealed to capture the moisture. Sealing could be done conventionally by, e.g., heat sealing or adhesive. The sealed bag 12 is unvented, and rendered essentially air tight. That is, plastic films are not necessarily impervious to fluid exchange. Other than this inherent fluid exchange property, there should be no openings in the sheet 18 to allow steam escape.
  • [0032]
    The sealed packaging 10 is then quick frozen to prolong the shelf life of the food product 14, and to make the food product 14 less easily damaged during handling and shipping. In this regard, the packaging 10 is preferably packed and shipped frozen to convenience stores, supermarkets, etc., with the absorbent pad 16 on the top. Therefore, should the packaging 10 thaw to some extent during shipping and handling, the food product 14 will not be sitting on the pad 16 and therefore get soggy, as in the prior art.
  • [0033]
    More particularly, in the preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bag 12 is elongated, and somewhat flat, although many shapes and sizes would be known to one of ordinary skill in the art. A suggested size of the bag 12 is about 4 inches wide and about 8 ½ inches long. The food packaging 10 is made with about 3-5 mil polyethylene sheet 18 into a bag 12 form. That is, the bag 12 is preferably a rectangle made of an elongated tubular sheet sealed at one end 22, preferably by heat sealing, filled at the opposite open end 24 with the food product 14, such as a pre-cooked 4 ounce meat tamale wrapped in a natural corn husk 15, and the moistened pad 16, which is preferably a rectangle about 3 ½ inches by 7 inches, and sealed at the end 24.
  • [0034]
    Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 3, the bag 12 can instead be made of a single, elongated, flat sheet 18 folded over itself, wherein one end 30 is sealed, and an overlapping longitudinal edge 34 is sealed, leaving an open, opposite end 32 in which to insert the food product 14 and pad 16. Thereafter, the end 32 is sealed.
  • [0035]
    In another embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the food product 14 and the pad 16 are placed on a lower sheet 18 b, an upper sheet 18 a is placed thereon, and all four sides 44, 46, 48 and 50 are sealed.
  • [0036]
    Of course, lower sheet 18 b and upper sheet 18 a could be sealed along only three sides, e.g., 44, 46 and 48, the food product 14 and pad 16 inserted in the remaining open end 50, and the end 50 sealed, as desired.
  • [0037]
    Any conventional bag-making machine capable of sealing polyethylene or other steam stretchable films can be used. The methods of fabricating the bag, i.e., sealed tubes and sheets described above, are commonly used for convenience food packaging due to their relative high speed and low cost. Another method is the use of a roll stock machine that seals all four sides using heat.
  • [0038]
    The purpose for using the pad 16 is not for its conventional use, i.e., to absorb fluids emanating from food. Conversely, the pad 16 is a storage container for purified water, which serves as the water source to attract microwaves, thereby creating steam therefrom. In this way, the bag 16 is a self-contained steamer for foods. For microwave cooking, because water is being added via the pad 16 and turned to steam, the water already in the food product 14 is less likely to be evaporated, which would cause the food product 14 to undesirably brown or dry out from the loss of its inherent moisture. Further, the pad 16 and the steam diffuse the microwave energy, thereby creating a more evenly heated food product 14.
  • [0039]
    It should not be necessary to add a vent to the packaging 10, as used in some conventional microwave bags, since the bag 12 will expand with the steam generation. Also, it is not necessary to cut the bag 12 prior to heating, as is usually the case with microwave cooking bags. Opening the bag 12 would, in fact, frustrate the steam generation capabilities of the present invention.
  • [0040]
    In order to steam the food product 14, the purchaser would put the frozen or thawed food packaging 10 into the microwave. The side of the packaging 10 with the pad 16 thereon (e.g., the upper sheet 18 a in FIG. 4) faces up in the microwave, and the bottom of the bag 12 (e.g., sheet 18 b in FIG. 4), rests on the microwave shelf. As noted above, the bag 12 should not be opened prior to heating, unlike conventional food packaging.
  • [0041]
    The microwave heating is applied, e.g., for a thawed tamale weighing 4 oz., at “high” (1000 watts) for about 2 mins., and for a frozen tamale of the same weight, at “high” for about 2.5 mins. For a commercial microwave of about 1500 watts, these times are each reduced by about 15 seconds. The water turns to steam in the package 10, to steam the food product 14, and the plastic of the bag 12 stretches from the internal steam pressure.
  • [0042]
    In comparison to the prior art, the relative heating time for a food product 14 is reduced. That is, due to the unvented steam, the heating time is reduced about 10-15% relative to conventional microwave packaging, depending upon the size, density and weight of the food product 14 being heated. Of course, such a reduction in heating time results in improved throughput, reduced energy costs, and reduced number of microwave ovens needed in, e.g., fast food restaurants, convenience stores or institutional food service operations.
  • [0043]
    Unlike conventional pre-opened packaging used in the microwave, the present closed packaging 10 traps the steam inside the package 10, to steam the food product 14 and keep it hot until the package 10 must be opened for consumption. In the last regard, the present invention allows the holding time of microwave steamed foods to be extended. That is, the packaging retains more steam heat than the prior art packaging, because the present packaging can remain unopened after heating, until the need for consumption. Such an ability to hold heated foods, that still taste freshly steamed, is also a significant benefit to fast food restaurants, institutional food service operations, etc.
  • [0044]
    Again, since the food packaging 10 is not opened until after the heating is completed, other problems associated with conventional microwave food packaging that is opened prior to heating are eliminated, including contamination of the food from external sources during handling and cooking, and conversely contamination of the microwave oven from the food in an open package that splatters.
  • [0045]
    As can be seen from the above, the pad 16 serves the purposes of shielding the food product 14 from direct microwave radiation, and serves as a source of steam generation by absorption of the waves in the water of the pad 16. In this way, the water of the pad 16 is sacrificed to prevent the evaporation of the water in the food product 14. More particularly, while microwaves heat the food directly with conventional packaging, the present invention shields the actual food product 14 from the microwaves, and instead creates live steam, thereby keeping the food product 14 moist. This presence of additional moisture from the pad 16 prevents the food product from dehydrating or browning. In these regards, the pad 16 is placed on top of the food product 14, and the food packaging 10 is cooked with the pad 16 on the top. Further, the package 10 is opened only after heating to reveal a hot steaming food product 14, which appears and tastes more like a conventionally steamed product.
  • [0046]
    Of course, in addition to placing a food product 14, such as a tamale 15, directly into the bag 12, the food product 14 can be received by a cup or other container suitable for microwave use, such as a plastic or foam tray 36, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. As a preferred example, a pre-cooked rice dish would be placed in such a cup or tray 52 that is placed in the bag 12 during manufacture thereof, as described above, i.e., prior to sealing the bag 12 and freezing the packaging 10.
  • [0047]
    The foregoing is considered illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. Accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to that fall within the scope of the invention and the appended claims.

Claims (34)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. Microwavable food packaging, comprising:
    a plastic bag having an upper portion corresponding to a portion of the packaging that faces substantially upward when the packaging is placed in a microwave oven;
    a food product contained in the bag and having an upper portion; and
    a pad contained in the bag, being water absorbent and containing water, and being positioned over the upper portion of the food product, below the upper portion of the bag.
  2. 2. The packaging as recited in
    claim 1
    , wherein the pad has a first surface which absorbs and contains the water, and a second, opposite surface which is moisture impermeable, and
    wherein the second surface is positioned on the upper portion of the food product, with the first surface being between the second surface and the upper portion of the bag.
  3. 3. The packaging as recited in
    claim 1
    , wherein the pad extends slightly beyond a perimeter of the food product.
  4. 4. The packaging as recited in
    claim 1
    , wherein the bag is sealed essentially airtight.
  5. 5. The packaging as recited in
    claim 1
    , wherein the food product is at least one of a tamale, a soft taco, rice and vegetables.
  6. 6. The packaging as recited in
    claim 1
    , wherein the food product is contained by a container inside the bag.
  7. 7. The packaging as recited in
    claim 6
    , wherein the container is one of a cup and tray.
  8. 8. The packaging as recited in
    claim 1
    , wherein the bag is about 3 to 5 mil thick.
  9. 9. Microwavable food packaging, comprising:
    a stretchable plastic bag having an upper portion corresponding to a portion of the packaging that faces substantially upward when the packaging is placed in a microwave oven;
    a food product contained in the bag and having an upper portion; and
    a separate pad contained in the bag, being water absorbent and containing water, and being positioned between the food product and the upper portion of the bag,
    wherein the pad covers the upper portion of the food product, and
    wherein the bag is sealed essentially air tight about the food product and the pad.
  10. 10. The packaging as recited in
    claim 9
    , wherein the pad has a first surface which absorbs and contains the water, and a second, opposite surface which is moisture impermeable, and
    wherein the second surface is positioned on the upper portion of the food product, with the first surface being between the second surface and the upper portion of the bag.
  11. 11. The packaging as recited in
    claim 9
    , wherein the pad extends slightly beyond the upper portion of the food product.
  12. 12. The packaging as recited in
    claim 9
    , wherein the bag is sealed via one of a heat seal and an adhesive.
  13. 13. The packaging as recited in
    claim 9
    , wherein the food product is at least one of a tamale, a soft taco, rice and vegetables.
  14. 14. The packaging as recited in
    claim 9
    , wherein the bag includes indicia thereon.
  15. 15. The packaging as recited in
    claim 9
    , wherein the bag is about 3-5 mil thick.
  16. 16. Microwavable food packaging, consisting of:
    a plastic bag having an upper portion and a lower portion, the upper portion corresponding to a portion of the packaging that faces substantially upward when the packaging is placed in a microwave oven;
    a food product contained in the bag and having a lower portion that extends in a direction of the lower portion of the bag, and an upper portion;
    a separate pad contained in the bag, being water absorbent and containing water, and being positioned at the upper portion of the food product, below the upper portion of the bag; and
    wherein the bag is essentially air tight.
  17. 17. The packaging as recited in
    claim 16
    , wherein the pad has a first surface which absorbs and contains the water, and a second, opposite surface which is moisture impermeable, and
    wherein the second surface is positioned on the upper portion of the food product, with the first surface being between the second surface and the upper portion of the bag.
  18. 18. A method for microwave steam heating of a food product, comprising the steps of:
    forming packaging as a plastic bag having an upper portion, a food product contained in the bag and having an upper portion, and a pad being water absorbent and containing water, and being positioned between the upper portion of the food product and the upper portion of the bag;
    placing the packaging, without opening an interior of the packaging to the external air, into a microwave oven, with the upper portion of the bag facing substantially upward; and
    heating the packaging in the microwave oven so that steam is formed in the bag from the water in the pad to heat the food product.
  19. 19. The method as recited in
    claim 18
    , wherein the pad is formed to include a first surface which absorbs and contains the water, and a second, opposite surface which is moisture impermeable, and
    wherein the second surface is positioned on the upper portion of the food product, with the first surface being positioned between the second surface and the upper portion of the bag.
  20. 20. The method as recited in
    claim 18
    , wherein between the forming and placing steps, the packaging is frozen.
  21. 21. The method as recited in
    claim 18
    , wherein the forming step includes the step of heat sealing edges of the bag.
  22. 22. The method as recited in
    claim 18
    , wherein the food product is chosen to be at least one of a tamale, a soft taco, rice and vegetables.
  23. 23. The packaging as recited in
    claim 18
    , wherein the food product is contained by a container inside the bag.
  24. 24. The packaging as recited in
    claim 23
    , wherein the container is one of a cup and tray.
  25. 25. The method as recited in
    claim 18
    , wherein the bag is formed to include indicia thereon.
  26. 26. A method for microwave steam heating of a food product, comprising the steps of:
    forming packaging as an essentially air tight, stretchable, plastic bag having an upper portion, a food product contained in the bag and having an upper portion, and a separate pad being water absorbent and containing water, and being positioned between the upper portion of the food product and the upper portion of the bag;
    freezing the packaging;
    placing the frozen packaging, without opening an interior of the packaging to the external air, into a microwave oven, with the upper portion of the bag facing substantially upward; and
    heating the packaging in the microwave oven so that steam is formed in the bag from the water in the pad to heat the food product.
  27. 27. The method as recited in
    claim 26
    , wherein the pad is formed to include a first surface which absorbs and contains the water, and a second, opposite surface which is moisture impermeable, and
    wherein the second surface is positioned on the upper portion of the food product, with the first surface being positioned between the second surface and the upper portion of the bag.
  28. 28. The method as recited in
    claim 26
    , wherein, after the heating step, the bag is opened to the external air.
  29. 29. The method as recited in
    claim 26
    , wherein between the freezing and placing steps, the packaging is thawed.
  30. 30. The method as recited in
    claim 26
    , wherein the forming step includes the step of heat sealing edges of the bag.
  31. 31. The method as recited in
    claim 26
    , wherein the food product is chosen to be at least one of a tamale, a soft taco, rice and vegetables.
  32. 32. The method as recited in
    claim 26
    , wherein the bag is formed from one of a tubular sheet material, a single folded-over flat sheet material, and two superposed flat sheet materials.
  33. 33. A method for microwave steam heating of a food product, consisting of the steps of:
    forming a packaging as a plastic bag having an upper portion, a lower portion, a food product contained in the bag and having an upper portion and a lower portion with the lower portion of the food product extending in a direction of the lower portion of the bag, and a separate pad being water absorbent and containing water, and being positioned between the upper portion of the food product and the upper portion of the bag;
    freezing the packaging;
    placing the packaging, without opening an interior of the packaging to the external air, into a microwave oven, with the upper portion of the bag facing upward;
    heating the packaging in the microwave oven so that steam is formed in the bag from the water in the pad to heat the food product; and
    opening the bag to the external air.
  34. 34. The method as recited in
    claim 33
    , wherein the pad is formed to include a first surface which absorbs and contains the water, and a second, opposite surface which is moisture impermeable, and
    wherein the second surface is positioned on the upper portion of the food product, with the first surface being positioned between the second surface and the upper portion of the bag.
US09858559 2000-05-18 2001-05-17 Microwavable steamer bags Active US6455084B2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US20507500 true 2000-05-18 2000-05-18
US09858559 US6455084B2 (en) 2000-05-18 2001-05-17 Microwavable steamer bags

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09858559 US6455084B2 (en) 2000-05-18 2001-05-17 Microwavable steamer bags

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20010043971A1 true true US20010043971A1 (en) 2001-11-22
US6455084B2 US6455084B2 (en) 2002-09-24

Family

ID=22760683

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US09858559 Active US6455084B2 (en) 2000-05-18 2001-05-17 Microwavable steamer bags

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (1) US6455084B2 (en)
WO (1) WO2001087737A1 (en)

Cited By (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2846196A1 (en) * 2002-10-28 2004-04-30 Alain Sebban Microwave cooking procedure for pasta mixed with hydrated sauce uses pasta that has been cooked for 15 - 35 per cent of time needed for 'al dente' quality
US20070218241A1 (en) * 2006-03-16 2007-09-20 Brian Eckerman Method and device for adding moisture during cooking
US20080110878A1 (en) * 2006-11-09 2008-05-15 3M Innovative Properties Company Nonwoven microwave thawing apparatus
US20080138473A1 (en) * 2006-12-08 2008-06-12 Adam Pawlick Dual-ovenable food packaging
US20090053371A1 (en) * 2007-08-21 2009-02-26 Carolie Hancock Package for storing, shipping, preparing and dispensing a meal
US20090297673A1 (en) * 2005-07-05 2009-12-03 Alain Sebban Packaging Box for Packaging, Preserving, Microwave Steam Cooking and Consumption of Foods
USD610903S1 (en) 2007-03-02 2010-03-02 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly
EP2181939A3 (en) * 2002-02-08 2010-08-04 Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Insulating microwave interactive packaging
EP2248492A1 (en) * 2009-05-05 2010-11-10 Fastform Research Limited Thermo-formable support products and heating means therefor
USD635817S1 (en) 2006-06-09 2011-04-12 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly
US20110120993A1 (en) * 2009-11-19 2011-05-26 Kathryn Marie Birchmeier Multi-Component Food Packaging For Microwave Oven
USD638701S1 (en) 2010-09-08 2011-05-31 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container
USD639186S1 (en) 2010-09-08 2011-06-07 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container with sleeve
USD639656S1 (en) 2010-09-08 2011-06-14 Con Agra Foods RDM, Inc. Container lid
WO2011106041A1 (en) * 2010-02-24 2011-09-01 Multisorb Technologies, Inc. Printed sorbents
WO2011107727A2 (en) 2010-03-01 2011-09-09 Planit Products Ltd Self adhesive bags for steam cooking in a microwave oven
US8302528B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2012-11-06 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking method and apparatus
USD680426S1 (en) 2012-06-12 2013-04-23 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container
US8613249B2 (en) 2007-08-03 2013-12-24 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking apparatus and food product
US8850964B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2014-10-07 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking method and apparatus
USD717162S1 (en) 2012-06-12 2014-11-11 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container
US8887918B2 (en) 2005-11-21 2014-11-18 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Food tray
US9027825B2 (en) 2012-06-12 2015-05-12 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly and foldable container system
US9132951B2 (en) 2005-11-23 2015-09-15 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Food tray
US9211030B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2015-12-15 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Steam cooking apparatus
US9676539B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2017-06-13 Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Package for combined steam and microwave heating of food

Families Citing this family (24)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7262393B2 (en) * 2000-05-11 2007-08-28 The Procter & Gamble Company Releasably sealable, air and liquid impermeable bags and methods for low temperature food preparation using the same
FR2822933B1 (en) * 2001-03-27 2004-11-19 Atmosphere Controle Apparatus steam generator water can be introduced into a packaging for heating foodstuffs including microwave and packaging comprising such a device
FR2822932A1 (en) * 2001-03-27 2002-10-04 Atmosphere Controle Dispsoitif steam generator water can be introduced into a packaging for heating foodstuffs including microwave and packaging comprising such a device
US7323669B2 (en) 2002-02-08 2008-01-29 Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Microwave interactive flexible packaging
US7172780B1 (en) * 2002-10-11 2007-02-06 The Vivian A. Skaife Trust, C/O Margaret Skaife, Trustee Food packaging for microwave pressure cooking and method of using same
US20060134287A1 (en) * 2003-08-20 2006-06-22 Vimini Robert J Packaging and cooking bag and method for packaging and preparing a meat product
US20050118315A1 (en) * 2004-10-28 2005-06-02 Leitch Steven D. Method of cooking a frozen turkey
US7458195B2 (en) * 2005-01-14 2008-12-02 Frito-Lay North America, Inc. Method for making a multi-compartment microwavable package having a permeable wall between compartments
US8492689B2 (en) * 2005-07-20 2013-07-23 Frito-Lay North America, Inc. Microwaveable package having a steam source
US9242780B2 (en) 2006-02-10 2016-01-26 Provita Cuisine, Llc Frozen food package and method of use
US20070187397A1 (en) * 2006-02-10 2007-08-16 Carre Eric A Frozen food package and method of use
US7750274B2 (en) * 2006-02-10 2010-07-06 Amazing Food Creations, Llc Frozen food package and method of use
US8057832B2 (en) * 2006-09-13 2011-11-15 Kraft Foods Global Brands Llc Microwavable food products
US20080063755A1 (en) * 2006-09-13 2008-03-13 Renee Gan Baked Microwavable Frozen Bread and Bakery Products
US20080063760A1 (en) * 2006-09-13 2008-03-13 Raymond Megan N Packaging System for Storage and Microwave Heating of Food Products
US8354131B2 (en) * 2006-09-13 2013-01-15 Kraft Foods Global Brands Llc Microwavable food products
US20090155426A1 (en) * 2006-09-13 2009-06-18 Renee Gan Baked Microwavable Frozen Bread and Bakery Products
US20080063759A1 (en) * 2006-09-13 2008-03-13 Raymond Megan N Packaging Method for Storage and Microwave Heating of Food Products
US20080175961A1 (en) * 2007-01-24 2008-07-24 Phaselocd, Inc. Packaged-corn-on-the-cob
US20090039076A1 (en) * 2007-08-09 2009-02-12 Albert Vincent Maslowski Multi-Compartment Microwaveable Food Container
US20100255158A1 (en) * 2009-04-02 2010-10-07 David Luther Packaged Food Product and Method of Heating on a Roller Grill
US9191999B2 (en) * 2009-09-01 2015-11-17 Manitowoc Foodservice Companies, Llc Method and apparatus for venting a cooking device
US8033393B2 (en) 2009-09-18 2011-10-11 Nike, Inc. Method of custom fitting an article of footwear and apparatus including a container
US9193515B2 (en) 2012-09-06 2015-11-24 Frito-Lay North America, Inc. Package for microwaving dry foods

Family Cites Families (43)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2495435A (en) * 1947-01-14 1950-01-24 Raytheon Mfg Co Method of treating foodstuffs
US2600566A (en) * 1949-11-23 1952-06-17 Jr Frank Wesley Moffett Method of heating frozen food packages
US2714070A (en) * 1950-04-04 1955-07-26 Raytheon Mfg Co Microwave heating apparatus and method of heating a food package
US3854023A (en) * 1968-02-09 1974-12-10 M Levinson Microwave oven heating member
GB1235971A (en) * 1969-01-30 1971-06-16 Ici Ltd Packaging method
US3821915A (en) 1972-07-11 1974-07-02 Paper Pak Prod Inc Fiber cutting apparatus with self-contained blade sharpener
US4390555A (en) * 1975-04-28 1983-06-28 Levinson Melvin L Microwave oven cooking method
US4390554A (en) * 1975-04-28 1983-06-28 Levinson Melvin L Microwave heating of certain frozen foods
US4316070A (en) 1979-08-21 1982-02-16 Prosise Robert L Cookware with liquid microwave energy moderator
US4419373A (en) * 1982-03-29 1983-12-06 American Can Company Method of heating contents in a self venting container
US4701156A (en) 1982-09-29 1987-10-20 Paper-Pak Products, Inc. Method and apparatus for fabricating three-fold pads
US4596713A (en) 1983-04-14 1986-06-24 Burdette Darrell C Microwave food packets capable of dispersing a food additive during heating
US4602975A (en) 1984-02-23 1986-07-29 Paper-Pak Products, Inc. Adhesive strip applicator method and apparatus
US4803088A (en) 1985-05-01 1989-02-07 House Food Industrial Company Limited Container packed with instant food for use in microwave oven
CA1283384C (en) 1985-09-26 1991-04-23 Curtis L. Larson Microwave food package
US4961944A (en) * 1985-10-19 1990-10-09 Gourmec Laboratory Co., Ltd. Package for microwave oven cooking and method of use
JPS62191675A (en) * 1986-02-17 1987-08-22 Matsushita Electric Ind Co Ltd Compressor
US4735846A (en) 1986-04-08 1988-04-05 Paper-Pak Products, Inc. Lamination anchoring method and product thereof
US4770920A (en) 1986-04-08 1988-09-13 Paper-Pak Products, Inc. Lamination anchoring method and product thereof
US4762113A (en) 1986-08-04 1988-08-09 Chori Company, Ltd. Self-heating container
US4874620A (en) 1986-10-01 1989-10-17 Packaging Concepts, Inc. Microwavable package incorporating controlled venting
JPH0833211B2 (en) * 1986-11-21 1996-03-29 藤森工業株式会社 Steam heating method using microwave
US4786513A (en) * 1986-12-05 1988-11-22 Conagra, Inc. Package for sliced bacon adapted for microwave cooking
US4925684A (en) 1988-08-19 1990-05-15 Campbell Soup Company Food package with a microwave releasable sealed closure
US4890439A (en) * 1988-11-09 1990-01-02 James River Corporation Flexible disposable material for forming a food container for microwave cooking
JPH03226477A (en) * 1990-01-29 1991-10-07 Nichiro Corp Food package for use in steaming by electronic oven and food receiving container serving as steamer
US4987280A (en) 1990-02-20 1991-01-22 Recot, Inc. Method for microwave heating of low moisture food products
US5081330A (en) 1990-07-11 1991-08-27 Golden Valley Microwave Foods Inc. Package with microwave induced insulation chambers
EP0500931A4 (en) 1990-08-13 1994-06-01 Kohjin Co Food packaging bag
US5096722A (en) 1991-02-15 1992-03-17 E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And Company Food package for microwave cooking containing a grease-absorbing pad
US5370042A (en) 1991-11-01 1994-12-06 Tolchin; Norman Container for cooking foods
US5414248A (en) 1991-12-24 1995-05-09 Eastman Chemical Company Grease and moisture absorbing inserts for microwave cooking
JPH05178377A (en) * 1991-12-24 1993-07-20 Toshiyuki Tejima Container for electromagnetic cooking apparatus
US5317118A (en) 1992-02-05 1994-05-31 Golden Valley Microwave Foods Inc. Package with microwave induced insulation chambers
US5252374A (en) 1992-02-18 1993-10-12 Paper-Pak Products, Inc. Underpad for incontinent patients
JP2654886B2 (en) * 1992-03-12 1997-09-17 正敏 磯田 Food set steamed for microwave cooking
JP2660368B2 (en) * 1992-03-12 1997-10-08 正敏 磯田 Steamed cooking method of food by microwave oven
JPH06153821A (en) * 1992-11-20 1994-06-03 Ajinomoto Co Inc Food filled into container for microwave oven
US5320895A (en) 1993-03-05 1994-06-14 Paper-Pak Products, Inc. Perforated absorbent pad with tufts of tissue projecting from the underside
JPH0769384A (en) * 1993-08-30 1995-03-14 Mitsubishi Plastics Ind Ltd Package for oven range
JP3497565B2 (en) * 1994-06-07 2004-02-16 正敏 磯田 Food case for electromagnetic cooking
US5945021A (en) 1996-10-07 1999-08-31 Chung; Jing-Yau Microwave and steam cooking system
JPH11139463A (en) * 1997-11-10 1999-05-25 Meiwa Packs:Kk Packing body

Cited By (39)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP2181939A3 (en) * 2002-02-08 2010-08-04 Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Insulating microwave interactive packaging
FR2846196A1 (en) * 2002-10-28 2004-04-30 Alain Sebban Microwave cooking procedure for pasta mixed with hydrated sauce uses pasta that has been cooked for 15 - 35 per cent of time needed for 'al dente' quality
US20090297673A1 (en) * 2005-07-05 2009-12-03 Alain Sebban Packaging Box for Packaging, Preserving, Microwave Steam Cooking and Consumption of Foods
US9211030B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2015-12-15 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Steam cooking apparatus
US8850964B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2014-10-07 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking method and apparatus
US8302528B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2012-11-06 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking method and apparatus
US9505542B2 (en) 2005-10-20 2016-11-29 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking method and apparatus
US8887918B2 (en) 2005-11-21 2014-11-18 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Food tray
US9815607B2 (en) 2005-11-21 2017-11-14 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Food tray
US9132951B2 (en) 2005-11-23 2015-09-15 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Food tray
US20070218241A1 (en) * 2006-03-16 2007-09-20 Brian Eckerman Method and device for adding moisture during cooking
USD653495S1 (en) 2006-06-09 2012-02-07 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container basket
USD635816S1 (en) 2006-06-09 2011-04-12 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container basket
USD636218S1 (en) 2006-06-09 2011-04-19 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly
USD635817S1 (en) 2006-06-09 2011-04-12 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly
US20080110878A1 (en) * 2006-11-09 2008-05-15 3M Innovative Properties Company Nonwoven microwave thawing apparatus
WO2008057825A1 (en) * 2006-11-09 2008-05-15 3M Innovative Properties Company Nonwoven microwave thawing apparatus
US20080138473A1 (en) * 2006-12-08 2008-06-12 Adam Pawlick Dual-ovenable food packaging
US8866056B2 (en) 2007-03-02 2014-10-21 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Multi-component packaging system and apparatus
USD610903S1 (en) 2007-03-02 2010-03-02 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly
US8613249B2 (en) 2007-08-03 2013-12-24 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Cooking apparatus and food product
US20090053371A1 (en) * 2007-08-21 2009-02-26 Carolie Hancock Package for storing, shipping, preparing and dispensing a meal
US20110114635A1 (en) * 2009-05-05 2011-05-19 Fastform Research Limited Thermo-Formable Support Products and Heating Means Therefor
US8853603B2 (en) 2009-05-05 2014-10-07 Fastform Research Ltd. Thermo-formable support products and heating means therefor
EP2248492A1 (en) * 2009-05-05 2010-11-10 Fastform Research Limited Thermo-formable support products and heating means therefor
US8748786B2 (en) 2009-11-19 2014-06-10 Kraft Foods Group Brands Llc Multi-component food packaging for microwave oven
US9737085B2 (en) 2009-11-19 2017-08-22 Kraft Foods Group Brands Llc Multi-component food packaging for microwave oven
US20110120993A1 (en) * 2009-11-19 2011-05-26 Kathryn Marie Birchmeier Multi-Component Food Packaging For Microwave Oven
CN102892495A (en) * 2010-02-24 2013-01-23 多种吸附技术公司 Printed sorbents
WO2011106041A1 (en) * 2010-02-24 2011-09-01 Multisorb Technologies, Inc. Printed sorbents
US9701457B2 (en) 2010-03-01 2017-07-11 Guy Darell Unwin Self adhesive bags for steam cooking in a microwave oven
WO2011107727A2 (en) 2010-03-01 2011-09-09 Planit Products Ltd Self adhesive bags for steam cooking in a microwave oven
USD639186S1 (en) 2010-09-08 2011-06-07 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container with sleeve
USD638701S1 (en) 2010-09-08 2011-05-31 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container
USD639656S1 (en) 2010-09-08 2011-06-14 Con Agra Foods RDM, Inc. Container lid
USD717162S1 (en) 2012-06-12 2014-11-11 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container
USD680426S1 (en) 2012-06-12 2013-04-23 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container
US9027825B2 (en) 2012-06-12 2015-05-12 Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc. Container assembly and foldable container system
US9676539B2 (en) 2013-05-24 2017-06-13 Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Package for combined steam and microwave heating of food

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
US6455084B2 (en) 2002-09-24 grant
WO2001087737A1 (en) 2001-11-22 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3689291A (en) Cooking package for freeze-dried eggs
US3573069A (en) Combination frozen food and breading composition package
US3615646A (en) Food package and process
US3042532A (en) Method and apparatus for seasoning foods
US4803088A (en) Container packed with instant food for use in microwave oven
US5075119A (en) Microwavable package for packaging combination of products and ingredients
US5741534A (en) Packaged food product using partitioned receptacles with removable thin partition walls and method of making it
US4911938A (en) Conformable wrap susceptor with releasable seal for microwave cooking
US4745249A (en) Package and method for microwave heating of a food product
US5084601A (en) Microwave receptive heating sheets and packages containing them
US4806371A (en) Microwavable package for packaging combination of products and ingredients
US7351942B2 (en) Insulating microwave interactive packaging
US4935252A (en) Microwave oven preparation of waffle
US5334820A (en) Microwave food heating package with accordion pleats
US5214257A (en) Tub-shaped packaging container for microwave popcorn
US20090035433A1 (en) Cooking apparatus and food product
US4961944A (en) Package for microwave oven cooking and method of use
US6380524B1 (en) Microwavable food package having valve and method of use
US3891775A (en) Ventable toaster package
US5317118A (en) Package with microwave induced insulation chambers
US4133896A (en) Food package including condiment container for heating food
US5053594A (en) Cook and serve food package for the storing and heating by microwave energy of a food item
US4857342A (en) Ovenable package for bacon and the like
US4596713A (en) Microwave food packets capable of dispersing a food additive during heating
US6261611B1 (en) Hand-held food package and method of use

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
REMI Maintenance fee reminder mailed
FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 4

SULP Surcharge for late payment
FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 8

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 12