US20120312716A1 - One compartment food tray - Google Patents

One compartment food tray Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120312716A1
US20120312716A1 US13/517,553 US201213517553A US2012312716A1 US 20120312716 A1 US20120312716 A1 US 20120312716A1 US 201213517553 A US201213517553 A US 201213517553A US 2012312716 A1 US2012312716 A1 US 2012312716A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
tray
side wall
transverse
visualized
upper side
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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
US13/517,553
Inventor
John M. Mikulka
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Mikulka John M
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Publication date
Priority to US201161496459P priority Critical
Application filed by Mikulka John M filed Critical Mikulka John M
Priority to US13/517,553 priority patent/US20120312716A1/en
Publication of US20120312716A1 publication Critical patent/US20120312716A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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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
    • B65D65/00Wrappers or flexible covers; Packaging materials of special type or form
    • B65D65/38Packaging materials of special type or form
    • B65D65/46Applications of disintegrable, dissolvable or edible materials
    • B65D65/466Bio- or photodegradable packaging materials
    • 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
    • B65D1/00Containers having bodies formed in one piece, e.g. by casting metallic material, by moulding plastics, by blowing vitreous material, by throwing ceramic material, by moulding pulped fibrous material, by deep-drawing operations performed on sheet material
    • B65D1/40Details of walls
    • 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
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A40/00Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production
    • Y02A40/90Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production in food processing or handling
    • Y02A40/96Adaptation technologies in agriculture, forestry, livestock or agroalimentary production in food processing or handling relating to food management or storing
    • Y02A40/961Biopackaging, e.g. packaging containers made from renewable materials, bioplastics or biodegradable materials
    • 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
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02WCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO WASTEWATER TREATMENT OR WASTE MANAGEMENT
    • Y02W90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions mitigation
    • Y02W90/10Bio-packaging
    • Y02W90/11Packing containers made from renewable resources
    • Y02W90/13Biodegradable packaging containers

Abstract

Described herein is a 100% biodegradable molded pulp food tray. In one embodiment, the tray has a base and side walls extending upward from the base, each side wall comprising an upper edge and a flange extending from the upper edge toward a perimeter in a visualized cross-section plane, wherein the base and the side walls are integrally formed of molded pulp. Each upper edge may intersect with a visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized cross-section plane to define an angle of draw of about 13 degrees to be structurally viable for the molded pulp. In related aspects, the tray may be made from bleached Bagasse pulp or the like, and may be freezer/refrigerator safe, as well as microwavable.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • The present Application for Patent claims priority to Provisional Application No. 61/496,459, filed Jun. 13, 2011, entitled “ONE COMPARTMENT FOOD TRAY,” which is hereby expressly incorporated in its entirety by reference herein.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field
  • The present disclosure relates to a food tray, and more particularly to a one compartment pulp tray designed to remain sturdy and repel moisture in even refrigerated environments.
  • 2. Background
  • The use of disposable trays to store food is generally known. Disposable food trays may be made from various materials, and may include thermoformed Polystyrene (PS), Polypropylene (PP), and Polyester (PET) types of trays. Plastic materials such as PS, PP, PET, or the like, provide structural stability in various temperature environments. However, trays and containers made from PS, PP, PET, or the like, are generally less eco-friendly than ones made from more biodegradable materials, such as paper or paper-like substitutes (e.g., bamboo fibers and Bagasse which are nature renewable plants).
  • On the other hand, molded pulp trays can be more eco-friendly than their plastic counterparts. However, traditional molded pulp trays provide less structural rigidity, particularly when stored in moist or refrigerated environments. The need for improved stability is particular pronounced with respect to one compartment good tray designs that a depth of more than three inches. In this context, there is a need for a one compartment deep tray (OCDT) made from a pulp type material, having a depth of more than a given value (e.g., three inches), and yet provide structural stability/rigidity, even in moist or refrigerated environments.
  • SUMMARY
  • The following presents a simplified summary of one or more embodiments in order to provide a basic understanding of such embodiments. This summary is not an extensive overview of all contemplated embodiments, and is intended to neither identify key or critical elements of all embodiments nor delineate the scope of any or all embodiments. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts of one or more embodiments in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.
  • In accordance with one or more aspects of the embodiments described herein, there is provided a food tray having a rigid body. The body may have a base wall along a bottom of the body, the base wall having an outer ring portion surrounding a raised central portion. The body may have sloping side walls extending upward from the outer ring portion of the base wall, each side wall having an upper side wall edge and a flat flange extending from the upper side wall edge toward a perimeter in a visualized top cross-section plane.
  • The body may have sloping transverse side walls extending upward from the outer ring portion of the base wall, each transverse side wall having a transverse upper side wall edge and a transverse flat flange extending from the transverse upper side wall edge toward the perimeter.
  • The base wall, the sloping side walls, and the sloping transverse side walls may be integrally formed of a molded pulp. In related aspects, the upper side wall edge may intersect with a first visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized top cross-section plane to define a first angle of draw of about 13 degrees that is structurally viable for the molded pulp.
  • In further related aspects, the transverse upper side wall edge may intersect with a second visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized top cross-section plane to define a second angle of draw of about 13 degrees that is structurally viable for the molded pulp.
  • To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the one or more embodiments include the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims. The following description and the annexed drawings set forth in detail certain illustrative aspects of the one or more embodiments. These aspects are indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of various embodiments may be employed and the described embodiments are intended to include all such aspects and their equivalents
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a food tray;
  • FIG. 2 is a front side elevational view thereof, the rear side view being identical;
  • FIG. 3 is a left side elevational view thereof, the right side elevational view being identical;
  • FIG. 4 is a top plan view thereof; and,
  • FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view thereof.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Improved food tray designs are described herein. Various aspects are now described with reference to the drawings. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of one or more aspects. It may be evident, however, that the various aspects may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and devices are shown in block diagram form in order to facilitate describing these aspects.
  • In accordance with one or more aspects of the embodiments described herein, there is provided an apparatus (e.g., tray) for containing or storing foodstuffs. With reference to the embodiment illustrated from various views in FIGS. 1-5, the one compartment tray 100 may generally comprise a base 102 and side walls 112, 114 that extend upward from the base 102. One or more of the side walls 112, 114 may have an upper edge 120, as well as a flange 122 extending from the upper edge 120 toward a perimeter 124 in a visualized cross-section plane 140. The upper edge 120 may intersect with a visualized vertical axis 130 that is perpendicular to the visualized cross-section plane 140 to define an angle of draw 132 (e.g., from about 13 degrees to about 15 degrees).
  • In related aspects, the tray 100 may have a depth of at least three inches (e.g., about 3.125 inches, about 3.25 inches, etc.). In further related aspects, the tray 100 may be made from a pulp material, such as, for example, a Bagasse pulp material, versus paper pulp. The Bagasse pulp material may be freezer/refrigerator safe (whereas most trays will deform with moisture) and/or microwave safe (whereas most trays will burn). Further, the Bagasse pulp material may be compostable and biodegradable. In yet further related aspects, the flange(s) 122 may be rigid and generally flat and may extend about 10 mm from the upper edge to the perimeter 124. In still further related aspects, each flange 122 may serve as a rigid flat seat for the application of a lidding film. A lidding film may be applied over the tray 100 at the flat flanges 122 of the side walls 112, 114 and/or transverse flat flanges 122′ of the transverse side walls 116, 118 (collectively referred to herein as the perimeter flange).
  • In one specific example, there is provided a 100% biodegradable molded pulp food tray 100 (e.g., made from bleached Bagasse pulp or the like) having a rigid body 101, wherein the body 101 may include a base wall 102 along a bottom of the body 101, the base wall 102 having an outer ring portion surrounding a raised central portion, resulting in a recess area on the bottom (e.g., see FIG. 5), sometimes collectively referred to as a “table stable” bottom.
  • The body 101 may also include sloping side walls 112, 114 that extend upward from the outer ring portion of the base wall 102, wherein each side wall 112, 114 may have an upper side wall edge and a rigid, flat flange that extends horizontally from the upper side wall edge toward a perimeter in a visualized top cross-section plane 140.
  • The body may similarly include sloping transverse side walls 116, 118 that extend upward from the outer ring portion of the base wall 102, wherein each transverse side wall 116, 118 may have a transverse upper side wall edge and a transverse rigid, flat flange 122′ that extends horizontally from the transverse upper side wall edge toward the perimeter 124. The base wall 102, the sloping side walls 112, 114, and the sloping transverse side walls 116, 118 may be integrally formed of a molded pulp or the like.
  • In related aspects, the upper side wall edge may intersect with a first visualized vertical axis 130 that is perpendicular to the visualized top cross-section plane 140 to define a first angle of draw 132 of about 13 degrees that is structurally viable for the molded pulp. Similarly, the transverse upper side wall edge may intersect with a second visualized vertical axis 130′ that is perpendicular to the visualized top cross-section plane 140 to define a second angle of draw 132′ of about 13 degrees that is structurally viable for the molded pulp. For example, the first angle of draw and/or the second angle of draw may range from about 13 degrees to about 15 degrees to be structurally viable for the molded pulp. An angel of draw 132, 132′ that is greater than about 15 degrees may be structurally viable; however, the resulting tray 100 may not have a deep enough compartment for a given application or use. It would be desirable to minimize the angle(s) of draw 132 and/or 132′ (to maximize the tray's depth) while achieving structural viability for molded pulp. The angle of draw 132, 132′ may be reduced to about 13 degrees while still maintaining structural viability for molded pulp. An angle of draw 132, 132′ that is less than about 13 degrees is not structurally viable for a tray 100 made of molded pulp.
  • In further related aspects, the tray may have a depth of at least three inches (e.g., about 3.125 inches). In yet further related aspects, the flat flanges 122 may be rigid and may extend about 10 mm from the upper side wall edge to the perimeter 124. Similarly, the transverse flat flanges 122′ may be rigid and may extend about 10 mm from the transverse upper side wall edge to the perimeter 124.
  • In accordance with one or more aspects of the embodiments described herein, the tray 100 shown in FIGS. 1-5 may be referred to as a one compartment deep tray (OCDT). For example, the dimensions of the OCDT may be about 8.25 inches (length) by about 6.25 inches (width), with some variations. The depth of the OCDT may be about 3.125 inches. Such a depth may be achieved “thermal formed” Polystyrene (PS), Polypropylene (PP) and Polyester (PET) type of trays, which can be sealed on top with lidding film because of the flat perimeter flange (e.g., with a flange area of about 0.375 inches in width). Such depth and properties are generally not achievable with existing non-plastic, pre-prepared food trays.
  • The OCDT may be a molded pulp type of tray. The depth of about 3.125 inches is used in retail produce; however, typical molded pulp trays do not provide adequate stability for such a depth, particularly in moist conditions Known pulp trays have a “rough” finish that are very susceptible to moisture, which can cause structure breakdown and can lead to contamination with outside bacteria. In contrast, the OCDT design described herein may include the smooth compressed finish of the Bagasse pulp. The compressed pulp and finish give the OCDT firm and sturdy side walls, base (bottom of the tray) and a perimeter flange for sealing the top of the tray with a lidding film. These components repel moisture and maintains a sturdy structure for use and food safety for an extended period of time (e.g., 3-5 days in refrigeration).
  • In one example, the dimensions may be about 220 mm by about 160 mm by about 80 mm The wall thickness may be 0.6 mm ±10%. The weight may be 30 g ±10%. With respect to packaging, there may be 500 pieces per carton, wherein the carton size may be about 595mm by about 460 mm by about 337 mm The net weight may be 15.0 kg per carton, whereas the gross weight may be about 16.0 kg per carton.
  • The previous description of the disclosure is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the disclosure. Various modifications to the disclosure will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other variations without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure. Thus, the disclosure is not intended to be limited to the examples and designs described herein but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features disclosed herein.

Claims (20)

1. A food tray, comprising:
a rigid body, the body having:
a base wall along a bottom of the body, the base wall comprising an outer ring portion surrounding a raised central portion;
sloping side walls extending upward from the outer ring portion of the base wall, each side wall comprising an upper side wall edge and a flat flange extending from the upper side wall edge toward a perimeter in a visualized top cross-section plane; and
sloping transverse side walls extending upward from the outer ring portion of the base wall, each transverse side wall comprising a transverse upper side wall edge and a transverse flat flange extending from the transverse upper side wall edge toward the perimeter;
wherein the base wall, the sloping side walls, and the sloping transverse side walls are integrally formed of a molded pulp;
wherein the upper side wall edge intersects with a first visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized top cross-section plane to define a first angle of draw of about 13 degrees that is structurally viable for the molded pulp; and
wherein the transverse upper side wall edge intersects with a second visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized top cross-section plane to define a second angle of draw of about 13 degrees that is structurally viable for the molded pulp.
2. The tray of claim 1, wherein the tray has a depth of at least three inches.
3. The tray of claim 2, wherein the tray has a depth of about 3.125 inches.
4. The tray of claim 1, wherein the molded pulp comprises biodegradable and compostable Bagasse pulp material.
5. The tray of claim 4, wherein the Bagasse pulp material comprises bleached Bagasse pulp.
6. The tray of claim 4, wherein the Bagasse pulp material is freezer and refrigerator safe.
7. The tray of claim 4, wherein the Bagasse pulp material is microwavable.
8. The tray of claim 1, wherein the flat flange extends about 10 mm from the upper side wall edge to the perimeter.
9. The tray of claim 1, wherein the transverse flat flange extends about 10 mm from the transverse upper side wall edge to the perimeter.
10. The tray of claim 1, further comprising a lidding film applied over the body at each flat flange and transverse flat flange, wherein each flat flange and transverse flat flange serves as a rigid flat seat for application of the lidding film.
11. A tray, comprising:
a rigid body, the body having:
a base wall along a bottom of the body, the base wall comprising an outer portion and a central portion; and
side walls extending upward from the outer portion, each side wall comprising an upper side wall edge and a flange extending horizontally from the upper side wall edge toward a perimeter in a visualized cross-section plane;
wherein the base wall and the side walls are integrally formed of a molded pulp;
wherein the body comprises a first angle of draw defined by the intersection of the upper side wall edge and a first visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized cross-section plane, the first angle of draw ranging from about 13 degrees to about 15 degrees to be structurally viable for the molded pulp.
12. The tray of claim 11, wherein the tray has a depth of at least three inches.
13. The tray of claim 12, wherein the tray has a depth of about 3.125 inches.
14. The tray of claim 11, wherein the molded pulp comprises biodegradable and compostable Bagasse pulp material.
15. The tray of claim 11, wherein the flange is generally flat and extends about 10 mm from the upper side wall edge to the perimeter.
16. The tray of claim 11, wherein the body further comprises transverse side walls extending upward from the outer portion, each transverse side wall comprising a transverse upper side wall edge and a transverse flange extending horizontally from the transverse upper side wall edge toward the perimeter.
17. The tray of claim 16, wherein the body further comprises a second angle of draw defined by the intersection of the transverse upper side wall edge and a second visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized cross-section plane, the second angle of draw ranging from about 13 degrees to about 15 degrees.
18. The tray of claim 17, wherein the transverse flange is generally flat and extends about 10 mm from the transverse upper side wall edge to the perimeter.
19. The tray of claim 11, further comprising a lidding film applied over the body at each flange, wherein each flange serves as a rigid flat seat for application of the lidding film.
20. An apparatus, comprising:
a body, the body comprising a base and side walls extending upward from the base, each side wall comprising an upper edge and a flange extending from the upper edge toward a perimeter in a visualized cross-section plane;
wherein the base and the side walls are integrally formed of a molded pulp;
wherein the upper edge intersects with a visualized vertical axis that is perpendicular to the visualized cross-section plane to define an angle of draw that ranges from about 13 degrees to about 15 degrees to be structurally viable for the molded pulp.
US13/517,553 2011-06-13 2012-06-13 One compartment food tray Abandoned US20120312716A1 (en)

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150158664A1 (en) * 2012-06-01 2015-06-11 Au Optronics Corp. Carrier tray
GB2522295A (en) * 2014-10-08 2015-07-22 Evesham Specialist Packaging Ltd Sealed fibrous container
USD738719S1 (en) * 2013-10-17 2015-09-15 Huhtamaki, Inc. Tray with denesting lugs
USD767940S1 (en) * 2014-09-30 2016-10-04 Eric Gross Food tray
USD780572S1 (en) * 2014-01-22 2017-03-07 Tsann Kuen (Zhangzhou) Enterprise Co., Ltd. Disposable ingredient cartridge for a bread machine
USD793817S1 (en) * 2015-04-01 2017-08-08 Jung-Chih Chen Paper food container
USD797515S1 (en) * 2015-12-17 2017-09-19 Mark Gross Food tray
USD848869S1 (en) * 2016-03-10 2019-05-21 Itel Laboratories, Inc. Carpet cutting template
USD877573S1 (en) * 2018-03-15 2020-03-10 Mpact Limited Tray

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3620403A (en) * 1969-11-19 1971-11-16 Monsanto Co Plastic food container
US3672530A (en) * 1969-12-31 1972-06-27 Phillips Petroleum Co Tray collar and tray-collar combinations
US6007854A (en) * 1996-01-24 1999-12-28 Plexiform Company Tray for the improved packing and cooling of produce
US20090152158A1 (en) * 2007-12-18 2009-06-18 Peninsula Packaging, Llc Carrier tray

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3620403A (en) * 1969-11-19 1971-11-16 Monsanto Co Plastic food container
US3672530A (en) * 1969-12-31 1972-06-27 Phillips Petroleum Co Tray collar and tray-collar combinations
US6007854A (en) * 1996-01-24 1999-12-28 Plexiform Company Tray for the improved packing and cooling of produce
US20090152158A1 (en) * 2007-12-18 2009-06-18 Peninsula Packaging, Llc Carrier tray

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20150158664A1 (en) * 2012-06-01 2015-06-11 Au Optronics Corp. Carrier tray
USD738719S1 (en) * 2013-10-17 2015-09-15 Huhtamaki, Inc. Tray with denesting lugs
USD788578S1 (en) * 2014-01-22 2017-06-06 Tsann Kuen (Zhangzhou) Enterprise Co., Ltd. Disposable ingredient cartridge for a bread machine
USD780572S1 (en) * 2014-01-22 2017-03-07 Tsann Kuen (Zhangzhou) Enterprise Co., Ltd. Disposable ingredient cartridge for a bread machine
USD767940S1 (en) * 2014-09-30 2016-10-04 Eric Gross Food tray
US20160122108A1 (en) * 2014-10-08 2016-05-05 Evesham Specialist Packaging Limited Sealed fibrous container
GB2522295B (en) * 2014-10-08 2016-03-09 Evesham Specialist Packaging Ltd Sealed fibrous container
GB2522295A (en) * 2014-10-08 2015-07-22 Evesham Specialist Packaging Ltd Sealed fibrous container
EP3006370B1 (en) * 2014-10-08 2018-07-04 Evesham Specialist Packaging Limited Sealed fibrous container
USD793817S1 (en) * 2015-04-01 2017-08-08 Jung-Chih Chen Paper food container
USD797515S1 (en) * 2015-12-17 2017-09-19 Mark Gross Food tray
USD848869S1 (en) * 2016-03-10 2019-05-21 Itel Laboratories, Inc. Carpet cutting template
USD877573S1 (en) * 2018-03-15 2020-03-10 Mpact Limited Tray

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