US20020157970A1 - Beverage flavor dispensing cap - Google Patents

Beverage flavor dispensing cap Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020157970A1
US20020157970A1 US09842410 US84241001A US2002157970A1 US 20020157970 A1 US20020157970 A1 US 20020157970A1 US 09842410 US09842410 US 09842410 US 84241001 A US84241001 A US 84241001A US 2002157970 A1 US2002157970 A1 US 2002157970A1
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Prior art keywords
capsule
water
container
dispersible liquid
liquid flavor
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US09842410
Inventor
Stephen Carlson
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Coca-Cola Co
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Coca-Cola Co
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    • 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
    • B65D51/00Closures not otherwise provided for
    • B65D51/24Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes
    • B65D51/28Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes with auxiliary containers for additional articles or materials
    • B65D51/2807Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes with auxiliary containers for additional articles or materials the closure presenting means for placing the additional articles or materials in contact with the main contents by acting on a part of the closure without removing the closure, e.g. by pushing down, pulling up, rotating or turning a part of the closure, or upon initial opening of the container
    • B65D51/2814Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes with auxiliary containers for additional articles or materials the closure presenting means for placing the additional articles or materials in contact with the main contents by acting on a part of the closure without removing the closure, e.g. by pushing down, pulling up, rotating or turning a part of the closure, or upon initial opening of the container the additional article or materials being released by piercing, cutting or tearing an element enclosing it
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S215/00Bottles and jars
    • Y10S215/08Mixing

Abstract

A cap for use with a container includes a ring member having an opening and a capsule provided on the ring member. The capsule extends through the opening. A plunger is provided on an interior wall of the capsule. The capsule contains a substance, such as a water-dispersible liquid flavor. The container having a main chamber and a mouth stores and serves a beverage. The main chamber is filled with a non-flavored single strength beverage, and the capsule is filled with a water-dispersible liquid flavor such as citrus, cranberry, passion fruit, or carambola. The capsule is placed in the mouth of the container contiguous the main chamber, with the capsule being openable to inject the water-dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage in the main chamber in response to manual manipulation of the capsule.

Description

    DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0001]
  • The present invention relates to a cap for a beverage container. More particularly, the present invention relates to a dispensing cap that facilitates injection of a flavoring extract into a beverage matrix within a container. [0002]
  • 2. Background of the Invention [0003]
  • Generally, flavor systems developed for moderate to high acid containing single strength citrus beverages stored at ambient temperatures deteriorate relatively quickly, i.e., they have a limited shelf-life, particularly those stored in glass containers. While the invention is primarily used with glass containers, certain plastic containers also may be used, so long as they can withstand pasteurization temperatures (180° F.). PET is an example of such a plastic. Orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, and limeade are examples of moderate to high acid containing beverages. Other moderate to high acid beverages may include cranberry, passion fruit, and carambola. [0004]
  • Shelf-life can be broadly defined as the length of time between initial packaging of a product and the point at which consumers notice a decrease in product quality. Thus, shelf-life of a product is determined by the least stable aspect of that product or its package. For moderate to high acid-containing single strength citrus beverages, the least stable aspect, as well as the cause of greatest flavor degradation, is extended contact of the favoring extract with acids contained within a beverage matrix. For example, b-pinene, a terpene found in citrus oils, is altered during storage by its contact with beverage containing citric acid, through the process of acid catalyzed hydrolysis, into one or more undesirable compounds. [0005]
  • Conventional citrus-based flavor systems developed to withstand ambient storage in moderate- to high-acid hot-packed beverages are at best compromises. These flavor systems do not impart the fresh, well-balanced characterizing aroma and flavor of the citrus for which the beverage is named. Although they are more stable than other conventional flavor systems that are considered fresher from a taste and/or aroma standpoint, the compromised flavor systems soon begin to degrade themselves, although at a slower rate. In actuality, no ambient shelf stable flavor systems exist for moderate to high acid citrus flavored beverages, particularly those stored in glass containers. While the invention is primarily used with glass containers, certain plastic containers also may be used, so long as they can withstand pasteurization temperatures (180° F.). PET is an example of such a plastic. [0006]
  • For flavoring citrus-based products, the most organoleptically fresh and fruit-characterizing flavored beverages include the extracts made from essential citrus oils and other water-dispersible liquid flavors such as cranberry, passion fruit, and carambola. These citrus and other flavors are manufactured in a manner so as to be completely dispersible in single strength, non-flavored beverages. While the water-dispersible liquid citrus flavors are fresh in both aroma and flavor, they tend to be the least stable flavor systems for use in moderate to high acid single strength citrus fruit juices or citrus fruit drinks. The stability of water-dispersible liquid citrus flavor can, when used to flavor high acid beverage matrixes, be measured in days as opposed to weeks or months for the more stable citrus beverage flavor systems. [0007]
  • Conventional caps and other conventional container closures sometimes include a reservoir for maintaining one component separate from a second component contained within a container. The reservoir is typically formed in the cap or closure. At a later time, the components can be combined. Such conventional caps and closures may include an opener for causing the reservoir to open so that the components can be combined. However, this technology heretofore has not been used to improve the shelf-life of citrus beverages. [0008]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one aspect of the invention, a cap for use with a container includes a ring member having an opening, a capsule provided on the ring member and extending through the opening, a plunger provided on an interior wall of the capsule, and a substance contained within the capsule. [0009]
  • According to another embodiment, the capsule includes a scored rupture point at its bottom apex. When the container is positioned upright, the liquid flavoring rests above this point and interfaces with the capsule headspace above. The capsule headspace, bound between the flavoring extract and capsule top wall, contains nitrogen at a pressure greater than that existing in the beverage headspace located directly below the flavor capsule bottom wall and rupture point. [0010]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a method of storing a beverage includes filling a container to a predetermined level with a non-flavored single strength beverage and filling a capsule with a predetermined amount of a water-dispersible liquid flavor. Thus, when the capsule is ruptured, the water-dispersible liquid flavor will be ejected from the capsule and through the ruptured orifice, by capsule nitrogen pressure, into communication with the non-flavored single strength beverage below. [0011]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a method of storing a beverage includes filling a container to a predetermined level with a non-flavored single strength beverage and filling a capsule with a predetermined amount of a water-dispersible liquid citrus, cranberry, passion fruit, carambola, or such flavor. The capsule can be opened into fluid communication with the container. The method also includes flushing and maintaining the capsule headspace with nitrogen at a pressure greater than that of the beverage container headspace. In glass and rigid plastic bottles, such as those made from PET, the beverage container headspace is normally under less than atmospheric pressure, i.e., a slight partial vacuum. Accordingly, in such a beverage container where the headspace is maintained at a slight partial vacuum and where the flavor capsule headspace is at, or very slightly above atmospheric pressure, water-dispersible liquid flavor injection into the non-flavored single strength beverage is enhanced. [0012]
  • In a preferred embodiment, when the capsule is opened into fluid communication with the container, the pressure of the nitrogen in the headspace assists ejection of the water-dispersible liquid flavor through the rupture point at the bottom apex of the capsule. After injecting the water-dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage, the preferred manner for mixing the two components is through shaking, not through a forceful propulsion of the extract into the matrix that results in turbulent mixing. As another embodiment, the turbulent mixing could be brought about by an appreciably higher capsule headspace pressure. However, the preferred mode of mixing is through a lower pressure (i.e., at or slightly above atmospheric pressure) injection followed by manual shaking. The capsule may be provided with a plunger to at least assist with opening the capsule. [0013]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a method of improving shelf-life of packaged citrus beverages includes providing a container for storing and serving the beverage where the container has a main chamber and a mouth. The method also includes filling the main chamber with a non-flavored single strength beverage and filling a capsule with a water-dispersible liquid flavor. Further, the method includes placing the capsule in the mouth of the container contiguous the main chamber, with the capsule being openable to inject the water-dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage in the main chamber in response to manual manipulation of the capsule. [0014]
  • According to yet another aspect of the invention, a container for beverages that enhances the shelf-life thereof includes a main chamber fillable with a non-flavored single strength beverage and a capsule in a mouth of the container contiguous the main chamber fillable with a water-dispersible liquid citrus flavor. The container also includes an actuation device for propelling water-dispersible liquid flavor from the capsule into the non-flavored single strength flavor with sufficient force to cause turbulent flavor-beverage mixing. [0015]
  • In a preferred embodiment, a water-dispersible liquid flavor may be isolated from the non-flavored single strength beverage during the storage period, i.e., from the time of manufacture to consumption. Thus, the stability of the flavor system quality would not be adversely affected during the storage period, as would a non-isolated flavor system. After injecting the flavor into the beverage, the preferred manner for mixing the two components is through shaking, not through a forceful propulsion of the extract into the matrix that results in turbulent mixing. As another embodiment, the turbulent mixing could be brought about by an appreciably higher capsule headspace pressure. The best mode, though, is through a lower pressure (i.e., at or slightly above atmospheric pressure) injection followed by shaking. According to another preferred embodiment, the combined water-dispersible liquid flavor and non-flavored single strength beverage may be further mixed by shaking the container. Preferably, the capsule containing the water-dispersible liquid flavor is oriented within the container such that its contents can be injected into the non-flavored single strength beverage easily and safely from outside of the glass container. Preferably, once the flavor and beverage are mixed and the container opened, the beverage may be consumed in the same manner as would any other juice or non-juice containing beverage. [0016]
  • It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed. [0017]
  • The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, are included to provide a further understanding of the invention. The drawings illustrate one embodiment of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. [0018]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a side, cross-sectional view of a dispensing cap according to one preferred embodiment of the invention, [0019]
  • FIG. 2 is a side, cross-sectional view of a beverage container including the dispensing cap shown in FIG. 1, and [0020]
  • FIG. 3 is a top view of the dispensing cap shown in FIG. 1.[0021]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiments of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. [0022]
  • The exemplary embodiment of the dispensing cap of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 and is designated generally by reference numeral [0023] 10.
  • As embodied herein and referring to FIG. 1, a cap [0024] 10 for use with a container 20 (shown in FIG. 2), preferably a beverage container, includes a closure ring 30 and a flavor capsule 40. The closure ring 30 sealingly closes the container 20 from ambient air. The closure ring 30 may include a curved bottom end 32 for securing the closure ring 30 with threads or partial threads (not shown) on the container 20. Alternatively, the closure ring 30 may include threads or partial threads complementary to the threads or partial threads on the container 20.
  • In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the closure ring [0025] 30 includes a recessed portion 34 and an opening 36. As shown in FIG. 1, the recessed portion 34 is preferably of a depth such that a top wall 42 of the flavor capsule 40 is substantially flush with the non-recessed portion 38 of the closure ring 30. However, the recessed portion 34 may be more or less recessed, if desired. The opening 36 may be substantially centered on the closure ring 30 as shown in FIG. 3, or it may be radially shifted.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 1, the flavor capsule [0026] 40 is preferably provided in the recessed portion 34 of the closure ring 30. In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the capsule 40 includes two sections, the top wall 42 and a nozzle-shaped section 44. The two sections 42, 44 are sealed together to form the capsule 40. The sections 42, 44 may be heat sealed, sonically sealed, adhesively sealed, or the like. The top wall 42 and nozzle-shaped section 44 may be formed by molding, extrusion, or the like.
  • The capsule [0027] 40 contains a water-dispersible liquid flavor 46, such as citrus, cranberry, passion fruit, as well as other delicate flavors, and a headspace 48. The headspace 48 preferably contains inert nitrogen gas since it affords protection from flavor quality degradation. Other gases such as oxygen cause degradation in the flavor quality of the flavoring extract 46.
  • In a preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, an inner surface [0028] 48 of the top wall 42 of the capsule 40 includes a plunger 50. The plunger 50 can assist opening of the capsule 40 into fluid communication with the container 20. The plunger 50 preferably includes a tapered end 52. The end 52 may be more or less tapered than that shown in FIG. 1. Furthermore, the plunger 50 could have a squared end, a rounded end, or the like instead of a tapered end.
  • Also, as shown in FIG. 1, the capsule preferably includes a scored region at its bottom apex [0029] 54. The scored region 54 facilitates opening of the capsule 40 into fluid communication with the container 20. However, it should be appreciated that the capsule does not require a scored region to be openable.
  • A container with a cap, such as that shown in FIG. 2, can be used to store a beverage. The container is filled to a predetermined level with a first, a component of a beverage. The first component may be any non-flavored single strength diluent, such as, for example, water, carbonated water, fruit or vegetable juice-containing beverages. [0030]
  • The cap includes a capsule, which may be formed from a plurality of sections that can be sealed together. The capsule is filled with a predetermined amount of a water-dispersible liquid flavor. Preferably, the water-dispersible liquid flavor is derived from an essential oil of citrus origin, for example, orange, grapefruit, or lemon. However, the capsule may be filled with cranberry, passion fruit, or other delicate water-dispersible flavorings. The capsule also includes a headspace. In a preferred embodiment, the flavor capsule headspace, prior to sealing, is flushed and pressurized with nitrogen at a pressure only slightly greater than atmospheric pressure. [0031]
  • The container is sealed for storage by the cap, including the capsule. The water-dispersible liquid flavor remains isolated from the first component, the non-flavored single strength beverage. This arrangement is preferably maintained until just before consumption of the beverage. When a person desires to consume the beverage, that person applies a force to the capsule top such that the scored region at the bottom apex of capsule ruptures and propels the water-dispersible liquid flavoring into the first component, the non-flavored single strength beverage. [0032]
  • The capsule may be provided with a plunger on its inner surface to assist with rupturing the capsule. In addition, the capsule may include a scored region to facilitate rupturing. [0033]
  • After injecting the water-dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage, the preferred manner for mixing the two components is through shaking, but with higher pressures of nitrogen a forceful propulsion of the extract into the matrix results in turbulent mixing. Thus, the turbulent mixing could be brought about by an appreciably higher capsule headspace pressure. The preferred mode, though, is through a lower pressure (i.e., at or slightly above atmospheric pressure) injection followed by shaking. [0034]
  • Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the invention being indicated by the following claims. [0035]

Claims (23)

    I claim:
  1. 1. A cap for use with a container, comprising:
    a ring member having an opening therein;
    a capsule provided on the ring member and extending through the opening;
    a plunger provided on an interior wall of the capsule; and
    a substance contained within the capsule.
  2. 2. The cap according to claim 1 wherein the ring member includes a top wall and a peripheral side wall, the top wall having the opening therethrough.
  3. 3. The cap according to claim 1 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing a water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace containing nitrogen at atmospheric pressure.
  4. 4. The cap according to claim 1 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing a water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace of inert gas at a pressure slightly above atmospheric pressure.
  5. 5. The cap according to claim 1 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing a water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace of inert gas at a pressure much greater than atmospheric pressure.
  6. 6. The cap according to claim 1 wherein the plunger is configured to rupture the capsule upon application of a force to the capsule.
  7. 7. The cap according to claim 1 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing a water-dispersible liquid flavor, said bottom end comprising a scored region for facilitating rupture of the capsule.
  8. 8. The cap according to claim 3, wherein, when the capsule is ruptured, the pressure of the nitrogen in the headspace assists ejection of the water-dispersible liquid flavor from the bottom end.
  9. 9. The cap according to claim 1, wherein the container is made of a material chosen from at least one of glass, polymeric material, and cellulose material and derivatives thereof.
  10. 10. A method of storing a beverage, comprising:
    filling a container to a predetermined level with a non-flavored single strength beverage component;
    filling a capsule with a predetermined amount of a water-dispersible liquid flavor, the capsule being openable into fluid communication with the non-flavored single strength beverage component;
    flushing a headspace of the capsule with nitrogen at a pressure slightly greater than atmospheric pressure; and
    sealing the container with a cap that includes the capsule.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10, further comprising rupturing the capsule to assist ejection of the water-dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage at a time proximate consumption of the beverage.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11, further comprising shaking the container after ejection of the water dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage.
  13. 13. A method of improving shelf-life of packaged beverages flavored with delicate water-dispersible liquid flavors, comprising:
    providing a container for storing and serving the beverage, the container having a main chamber and a mouth;
    filling the main chamber with a non-flavored single strength beverage;
    filling a capsule with a water-dispersible liquid flavor; and
    placing the capsule in the mouth of the container contiguous the main chamber, the capsule being openable to inject the water-dispersible liquid flavor into the non-flavored single strength beverage in the main chamber in response to manual manipulation of the capsule.
  14. 14. A container for beverages flavored with delicate water-dispersible liquid flavors for enhancing shelf-life thereof, the container comprising:
    a main chamber fillable with a non-flavored single strength beverage;
    a capsule in a mouth of the container contiguous the main chamber fillable with a water-dispersible liquid flavor; and
    an actuation device for flushing the water-dispersible liquid flavor from the capsule into the non-flavored single strength beverage.
  15. 15. The container of claim 14 wherein the water-dispersible liquid flavor is citrus flavor.
  16. 16. The container of claim 14 wherein the water-dispersible liquid flavor is from the group consisting of citrus, cranberry, and passion fruit.
  17. 17. The method of claim 13 wherein the water-dispersible liquid flavor is citrus flavor.
  18. 18. The method of claim 13 wherein the water-dispersible flavor is from the group consisting of citrus, cranberry, or passion fruit.
  19. 19. The method of claim 13 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing the water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace of inert gas at a pressure slightly above atmospheric pressure.
  20. 20. The method of claim 13 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing the water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace of inert gas at a pressure much greater than atmospheric pressure.
  21. 21. The container of claim 14 wherein the capsule a bottom end containing the water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace of inert gas at a pressure slightly above atmospheric pressure.
  22. 22. The container of claim 14 wherein the capsule includes a bottom end containing the water-dispersible liquid flavor and a headspace of inert gas at a pressure much greater than atmospheric pressure.
  23. 23. The cap according to claim I wherein the capsule includes a nozzle end having a scored rupture point.
US09842410 2001-04-26 2001-04-26 Beverage flavor dispensing cap Abandoned US20020157970A1 (en)

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US09842410 US20020157970A1 (en) 2001-04-26 2001-04-26 Beverage flavor dispensing cap
US10102926 US7017735B2 (en) 2001-04-26 2002-03-22 Dispensing cap with capsule for container
DE2002630036 DE60230036D1 (en) 2001-04-26 2002-04-25 Beverage dispensing cap
PCT/US2002/011852 WO2002087988A3 (en) 2001-04-26 2002-04-25 Beverage dispensing cap
EP20020725681 EP1392576B1 (en) 2001-04-26 2002-04-25 Beverage dispensing cap

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US7017735B2 (en) 2006-03-28 grant

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