WO2003007767A1 - Device for the heating of products - Google Patents

Device for the heating of products Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2003007767A1
WO2003007767A1 PCT/GB2002/003324 GB0203324W WO03007767A1 WO 2003007767 A1 WO2003007767 A1 WO 2003007767A1 GB 0203324 W GB0203324 W GB 0203324W WO 03007767 A1 WO03007767 A1 WO 03007767A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
phase
temperature
contents
container
change material
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2002/003324
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Matthew John Searle
Original Assignee
Thermotic Developments Limited
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
Priority to GB0117741A priority Critical patent/GB0117741D0/en
Priority to GB0117741.9 priority
Application filed by Thermotic Developments Limited filed Critical Thermotic Developments Limited
Publication of WO2003007767A1 publication Critical patent/WO2003007767A1/en

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28DHEAT-EXCHANGE APPARATUS, NOT PROVIDED FOR IN ANOTHER SUBCLASS, IN WHICH THE HEAT-EXCHANGE MEDIA DO NOT COME INTO DIRECT CONTACT
    • F28D20/00Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00
    • F28D20/02Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00 using latent heat
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J27/00Cooking-vessels
    • A47J27/56Preventing boiling over, e.g. of milk
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J36/00Parts, details or accessories of cooking-vessels
    • A47J36/02Selection of specific materials, e.g. heavy bottoms with copper inlay or with insulating inlay
    • A47J36/027Cooking- or baking-vessels specially adapted for use in microwave ovens; Accessories therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47JKITCHEN EQUIPMENT; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; APPARATUS FOR MAKING BEVERAGES
    • A47J36/00Parts, details or accessories of cooking-vessels
    • A47J36/24Warming devices
    • A47J36/28Warming devices generating the heat by exothermic reactions, e.g. heat released by the contact of unslaked lime with water
    • 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
    • B65D81/3484Packages having self-contained heating means, e.g. heating generated by the reaction of two chemicals
    • 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
    • B65D81/3453Rigid containers, e.g. trays, bottles, boxes, cups
    • 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
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02E60/10Energy storage
    • Y02E60/14Thermal storage
    • Y02E60/145Latent heat storage

Abstract

A phase-change material (55), preferably having a change of phase between solid and liquid phases is held or incorporated in a container (50) having contents (60). When the container (50) is heated, the phase-change material (55) stabilises the temperature of the contents (60). The phase-change temperature of the phase-change material (55) is selected to be appropriate to the application of the contents (60), for example so as to prevent injury to a consumer of the contents or to prevent spoiling of the contents by overheating.

Description

DEVICE FOR THE HEATING OF PRODUCTS

The present invention relates to a container, a method of heating the contents of a container and to a package.

A number of products that require heating before use are characterised by having a maximum appropriate temperature during at least part of the heating process, or a maximum appropriate final delivery or serving temperature.

In many cases, the maximum appropriate temperature is determined by the use to which the product is to be put. One example is food or milk for babies, where a maximum serving temperature must not be exceeded for the safety of the baby. Another is materials that are to be applied to the body surface, for example leg wax, where use at too high a temperature could be injurious to the recipient.

However, there are also a number of products where the product itself will suffer damage by over-heating, for example there are various foodstuffs which should not be boiled because to do so would damage the flavour.

Yet another class of product concerns those where an initial low temperature heating regime is desirable followed by a higher temperature, for example potato products and other foods that need a thorough warming followed by a high temperature crisping.

For each of these types of product the user is currently required to devote attention to checking the temperature of the product while it is being heated and in some case changing the amount of heat energy being applied during the heating process. Clearly, most users are aware of the need for care in heating the products of concern, but nevertheless situations do arise in which the product is incorrectly heated - either being too cold, thus impeding its use, or being too hot, in which case injury may occur. In products where the quality of the product is affected by the temperature regime, the product may well not be presented in its optimum condition due to inadequate temperature monitoring.

It is an object of the present invention to at least partially mitigate the above-referenced difficulties.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a container for receiving contents to be heated in the container, the container containing or incorporating a phase-change material disposed to control the temperature that the container contents may acquire when the container is heated, wherein the phase-change material changes phase at a predetermined phase-change temperature, whereby the phase-change material remains substantially at the predetermined phase-change temperature during heating.

Phase-change materials are well known in the field of energy storage, heat pumps and the like. It is possible to select or design a phase-change material to have a desired temperature at which the material changes phase, typically from solid to liquid.

By selecting a material having a particular temperature at which the phase-change occurs, the particular temperature being related to the temperature to which the contents are to be heated, the contents of a container may be heated to a desired stabilised and predictable temperature.

Preferably, the container comprises a heating chamber containing two or more reagents which react together to produce heat for heating said contents.

Such containers, termed self-heated containers, may produce very high reaction temperatures that can result in injury to the consumer of a foodstuff heated in the container. Embodiments of the invention allow the temperature of the contents to be limited to avoid injury and prevent spoiling of flavours.

Embodiments allow for containers to be created where further heating does not result in increased temperature of the contents.

Conveniently the phase-change material is a solid at the storage temperature of the contents to be heated and the phase-change is to liquid. The phase-change material may be a solid at ambient temperature and at the phase-change temperature the phase material becomes a liquid.

The change from solid to liquid tends to produce less volume change then the change from liquid to gas, which may make embodiments of the invention using the solid-liquid phase change more convenient. Materials that are normally solid are also more easily contained than materials that are normally liquid.

Preferably the phase-change material is microencapsulated.

Microcapsules are easily handled and may be evenly distributed within the container walls. Alternatively other desired distributions may be provided.

In some embodiments the container has walls which sandwich the phase-change material.

The phase-change material may be supported by the walls or contained in a pouch or similar in a cavity defined by the walls.

The phase-change material may at least partly surround the contents.

The phase-change material may be disposed below the contents. Disposing the phase-change material only below the contents is especially useful where direct heating from below is provided, for example heating from an electric element.

The container may comprise further contents for heating with the said contents, the arrangement being such that during heating, the phase-change material does not limit the temperature of said further contents.

In this case contents which are not spoiled by high temperatures or which require high temperatures, may be heated along with those needing temperature limiting.

Preferably the phase-change temperature is below the normal boiling point of water.

Conveniently the phase-change temperature is around 40°C.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of heating the contents of a container, the container holding or incorporating a phase-change material, the phase-change material having a phase-change temperature and being disposed to control the temperature of the contents of the container, the method comprising: applying heat to said container so that the temperature of said phase- change material rises to said phase-change temperature, whereby the phase- change material changes phase, and whereby heat passes from the phase- change material to heat said contents, whereby the temperature of the contents is stabilised.

In one embodiment the container comprises two or more reagents which react together to produce heat, and said step of applying heat comprises causing said reagents to react together. According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided a method of heating the contents of a container, the method comprising disposing a device comprising a phase-change material in association with the said contents wherein said phase-change material has a phase-change temperature; and, applying heat to the device and the contents, whereby the temperature of the phase-change material and the contents rises to substantially the phase- change material temperature, whereby the temperature of the contents is stabilised.

In one embodiment the step of heating comprises applying microwave energy to the contents.

Preferably the temperature at which phase-change occurs is below the normal boiling point of water.

Considerably the temperature at which phase-change occurs is about 40°C.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a package containing a phase-change material, the package being for association with the contents of a container wherein the contents are to be heated in the container, the package comprising a phase-change material, having a phase-change temperature, whereby upon heating a said container to heat both contents of a said container and the phase-change material, the temperature of the contents is stabilised.

Preferably, the phase-change temperature is below the normal boiling point of water.

In one example, the phase-change temperature is about 40°C. Advantageously the phase-change material is a solid at ambient temperature.

Exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:-

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of an example of a container in accordance with the present invention;

Figure 2 shows a perspective view of a package, containing a phase- change substance, of Figure 1 ; Figure 3 shows a perspective view of another example of a container in accordance with the present invention

Figure 4 shows a cross-section through the container of Figure 3; Figure 5 shows a cross-section through an alternative container in accordance with the present invention; and Figure 6 shows a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a self- heating container in accordance with the present invention.

In the various figures, like reference numerals indicate like parts.

Referring to Figure 1 , a container 13 has contents in the form of a substance 14. The contents 14 are disposed in the container 13 for heating therein. The container 13 also contains a phase-change material 11 that changes phase at a predetermined temperature hereinafter referred to as the phase-change temperature. When energy is applied to the container 13 to heat it, the phase-change material 11 becomes heated. As a result, the phase- change material 11 rises in temperature until it reaches the phase-change temperature. Once the phase-change material 11 reaches the phase-change temperature, it remains substantially at the phase-change temperature. This is because all the phase-change material 11 must change phase before its temperature can rise beyond that temperature. Typically the energy required to change phase is high by comparison with the amount of energy needed to increase temperature, and thus a substantial period of time may elapse before the temperature rises beyond the phase-change temperature.

In this embodiment, the phase-change material 11 is a material that is solid at ambient temperatures. It is contained in a package 10 so that when it melts upon change of phase, it remains contained. Again in this embodiment, the contents 14 are disposed in the container 13 on top of the package 10 of phase-change material 11.

This arrangement is well-suited to heating from below. When heat is applied only to the base wall of the container 13 the temperature of the phase- change material 11 rises to the phase-change temperature. Meanwhile, heat is lost from the upper surface of the phase-change material 11 to the contents 14. Thus the temperature of the contents 14 rises.

After a period of time with continuing application of heat, the phase- change material 11 reaches the phase-change temperature. Assuming good thermal conductivity of the phase-change material 11 , the upper surface at this time is at substantially the phase-change temperature. Thus this temperature is applied to the lower part of the contents 14. Hence, the temperature of the contents 14 is controlled by the phase-change material 11.

Again assuming good thermal conductivity of the contents 14, the contents 14 will rise in temperature substantially to the phase-change temperature, the contents 14 acting as a heat sink to the phase-change material 11.

As noted above, the phase-change material 1 of this embodiment is solid at ambient temperature. It changes phase by melting to form a liquid. If heat is only applied to the contents 14 via the phase-change material 11 , the phase-change material 11 prevents the temperature of the contents 14 rising above the phase-change temperature until all the phase-change material has become liquid. It is thus possible to effectively stabilise the temperature of the contents 14 at the phase-change temperature.

In the present example, the contents 14 are leg wax in a pouch 15. The phase-change material 1 1 is selected to have a phase-change temperature substantially 40°C. The phase-change material thus makes it possible to prevent the temperature of the leg wax 14 rising above the 40°C level which is the maximum comfortable temperature of use.

By selecting an appropriate phase-change material, other selected levels of temperature may be provided as required for the contents under consideration.

Referring to Figure 2, the package 10 for association with the contents of the container 13 contains a phase-change material 1 1. The phase-change material 1 1 is selected to have a desired phase-change temperature appropriate to the intended application. The phase-change may be from liquid to gas but more usually is from solid to liquid.

The package shown in Figure 2 is a generally rectangular pouch 10 formed from a thin web of plastics 12, such as polyethylene, to make a sealed envelope. The pouch 10 could alternatively be made of other materials forming a barrier to the fluent phase of the phase-change material 11 , for example metal foil or metallised plastics foil. Where for example the container is to be subjected to heating by microwave radiation, non metallised or non metal walls would be preferred.

Although the package of Figure 2 is generally rectangular it is clear that other configurations can be provided appropriate to the intended use. For example, a circular or cylindrical configuration of package could be provided for use in a generally cylindrical jar containing baby food. In this case, given a suitable phase-change temperature and a suitable quantity of phase-change material, the temperature of the baby food may be stabilised at the correct temperature for consumption, for a long period of time and during continued heating. This provides enhanced convenience to the user in that it is no longer essential to precisely monitor the temperature of the baby food or accurately watch the time for which heating is applied. Viewed another way, the use of the phase-change material can prevent the baby food from exceeding the correct temperature for consumption for a substantial period of time despite continued heating.

One advantage of containers of the invention in general is their ability to maintain the temperature of the contents after heating ceases or is reduced. This is because the phase-change material 11 in changing phase back to its original phase releases latent heat to the contents 14 while maintaining its temperature substantially at the phase-change temperature. Another advantage is that where the heat is applied to the contents 14 of the container 13 via the phase-change material 11, the thermal capacity of the phase-change material 11 tends to reduce hot spots. Where the phase-change material 11 extends across the whole of base wall, heat applied to the base wall is evenly distributed across the contents.

Turning now to Figure 3, a container 20 for a ready meal has a planar surface wall 24, and first and second generally rectangular compartments 21 and 22 recessed into the planar surface wall 24. The compartments 21 , 22 are formed by pressing a sheet of container-forming material such as a plastics material. Containers of this general configuration are well known in the prepackaged food art. The first compartment 21 has a rectangular planar base wall 27, and four side walls 23 depending from the planar surface wall 24. The second compartment has a rectangular planar base wall 29, and four side walls 26 depending from the planar surface wall 24.

In one embodiment, the first compartment 21 in use holds first contents 36 (see Fig 4) for heating in the container 20 such as meat with a sauce and the second compartment 22 holds second contents, such as potato, rice, for heating along with the first contents by disposing the container 20 in an oven or the like.

The first compartment 21 of the container 20 incorporates a phase- change material 28 in that the materials of the walls of compartment 21 , namely the four side walls 23 and the base wall 27 contain the phase-change material 28. The walls 26, 29 of the second compartment 22 do not contain phase- change material.

When the container 20 is heated for example by placing in a heated oven, any contents 36 disposed in the compartment 21 are heated but the temperature they can reach is limited to, and stabilised at substantially the temperature at which the phase-change material 28 changes phase. Any contents in the second compartment 22, by virtue of the walls 26, 29 not containing phase-change material 28, are not so limited in temperature. Thus the temperature of contents of compartment 22 rises towards the oven temperature.

In some embodiments, the quantity of phase-change material 28 incorporated in the walls 23,27 of the compartment 21 is selected so that the food in the compartment 21 is maintained at the limited and substantially constant temperature for only a short period of time. This period of time corresponds to the period during which all of the phase-change material changes phase. If the container 20 is heated further after this time has elapsed, the temperature in compartment 21 starts to rise.

It will be clear that many different arrangements could be provided. For example a two compartment container could be made with a phase-change material incorporated in the walls of both compartments, or even with different phase-change materials incorporated in the walls of each compartment. Plural compartment containers which have phase change materials incorporated in the walls of all compartments may be useful for providing food to hospital patients or elderly people, as the phase-change material can be used both to prevent the temperature of the food within the compartments from rising above a comfortable temperature, and also to assist in keeping the food at the required temperature.

Figure 4 shows a cross-sectional view through a compartment 21 of an example of the container 20 of Figure 3. In the first perimetric region 31 of the planar surface wall 24, the material of the container is of a filler material 32 sandwiched between first and second web materials 33 and 34. A suitable filler material could be cardboard.

In the region of the compartment 21 , the first and second wall sheets 33, 34 sandwich a phase-change material 35. The phase-change material 35 has a phase-change temperature selected for providing a required temperature of contents 36. Where the contents 36 are to be used in a way such that injury may occur if the contents are above a particular value of temperature, the phase-change material 35 is selected to have a phase-change temperature no higher than this injurious temperature. Likewise, if the contents 36 would be damaged if heated to above a particular temperature the phase-change material 35 is selected to have a phase-change temperature no higher than this damaging temperature. The walls 23, 27 surround the contents 36 from below and to the side, and these walls contain the phase-change material 35. Where the contents 36 are heated through walls 23, 27 the heat applied to the contents is limited to the phase-change temperature of the phase-change material 35. Where heating occurs in other ways, e.g. by microwaves or by application of heated air, the phase-change material 35 in the walls acts as a heat sink to control or moderate the temperature of the contents 35. An upper wall or screen (not shown) incorporating phase material may in appropriate cases be provided over the compartment 21. Figure 5 shows a cross-sectional view through part of a wall 40 which may be used as any or all of the walls 23, 27 of the container 20 in Figure 2. The wall 40 consists of a support material 41 such as a plastics material or a pulp, the material 41 being impregnated with micro-capsules 42 of phase- change material. Although the drawing of Figure 5 shows only a small number of micro-capsules 42, any desired number and density of micro-capsules could be provided according to the effect required.

Many other arrangements of phase-change material could be provided. For example the phase-change material can be absorbed into a filler material, disposed between layers of material, or adsorbed onto or absorbed into a non woven fabric.

Referring now to Figure 6, a self-heating container 50 is shown. The self-heating container consists of a first receptacle 51 containing contents 60, here a foodstuff. The receptacle 51 is generally cup-shaped, having a cylindrical peripheral wall 53, a base wall 54 and a peripheral outward flange portion 52. The container 50 incorporates a phase-change material 55. The material of the walls 53,54 of the receptacle 51 and the flange 52 includes the phase-change material, which in this example is micro-encapsulated. In other embodiments the phase-change material is sandwiched between double walls, or is disposed in or on a filler material. The phase change material 55 in this embodiment is a wax, although many other materials and types of material could be used. Given a desire to prevent foodstuffs from being heated to more than 75° C, the phase-change material 55 in this example is selected to have a phase-change temperature of between 70 ° C and 75 ° C. Other temperatures are of course possible depending upon the nature of the contents 60 and the application to which they will be put.

The container 50 further consists of an outer wall 155 which is generally cylindrical, having a base wall 56 and a side wall 59. The side wall 59 has an upper end 59a which engages the outer extremity 52a of the outer flange 52. The outer wall 155 is typically of metal, e.g. aluminium.

The first receptacle 51 is spaced from the outer wall 155, by a reaction chamber containing reagents, such as quicklime 57 supporting a water pouch 58. Other alternative reagents producing heat when brought together could be used in place of the quicklime and water, examples being glycerin and potassium permanganate, and saline, iron and magnesium.

In use, the water pouch is opened, for example by a tear string, a piercing member or otherwise so that the water 58 runs out into the quicklime 57 which is disposed below it. The reagents 57,58 react to provide a high temperature exothermic reaction. The quantity of quicklime 57 and water 58 is selected so as to provide sufficient heat to bring the contents 60 to a desired temperature. The heat energy which is released by the exothermic reaction is absorbed by the latent heat at melting of the phase-change material 55 in the walls of the first inner receptacle 51. As noted above, the temperature of phase-change of the phase-change material 55 in the walls 56,59 is selected so that the contents 60 are at a non-injurious temperature after heating. The quantity of phase-change material 55 is selected with regard to the quantity of reagents 57,58 to be sufficient that even when all the reagents have reacted, not all the phase-change material has changed phase. Hence the temperature of the phase-change material 55, does not exceed the phase-change temperature as a result of heat from the reaction.

After the reaction has started, the heat produced, as noted above, is imparted to the walls 56,59. This causes the phase-change material 55 to rise in temperature, and eventually to reach the phase-change temperature. The increase in temperature is conveyed through the walls 56,69 to the contents 60, and eventually the contents 60 will reach a temperature at least close to the phase-change temperature. Once the contents 60 reach this temperature, their temperature remains at that value even though heat continues to be applied to the walls 56,59. After a time, and as the reagents are consumed the energy production of the reaction falls, and the contents 60 tend to cool down due to heat loss to ambient. However, the phase-change material 55 releases energy due to re-solidification and this energy passes into the contents to keep the temperature fairly stable.

The amount of heat yielded by a given amount of quicklime 57 is well known and by judicious selection of the relevant quantity of water 58, it is possible to predict how long to leave the reaction for the contents 60 to be adequately heated in the presence of the phase-change material 55. It can also be predicted how long the contents 60 can be maintained at the required temperature by the amount of and nature of phase-change material 55 provided.

The contents 60 may be baby food, in which case a lower phase-change temperature is appropriate. Where the contents is a beverage, the serving temperature may need to be lower than 75°C depending on the type of beverage.

It will be clear that the quantity of reagents provided in a self-heated container must be sufficient to heat the contents even when the starting temperature is low. Given that the same container may be used at a much higher starting temperature, the contents would then be heated to a much higher final temperature by the same quantity of reagents. A phase-change material 55 can then be selected having a phase-change temperature that is not reached when the reaction starting temperature is low, but which is reached when the starting temperature of the reaction is higher, to limit the final temperature to a non-injurious level.

The invention has been described with reference to a number of exemplary embodiments. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not restricted to the features of the described embodiments, but extends to the full scope of the appended claims.

Claims

Claims
1. A container for receiving contents to be heated in the container, the container containing or incorporating a phase-change material disposed to control the temperature that the container contents may acquire when the container is heated, wherein the phase-change material changes phase at a predetermined phase-change temperature, whereby the phase-change material remains substantially at the predetermined phase-change temperature during heating.
2. A container according to Claim 1 , comprising a heating chamber containing two or more reagents which react together to produce heat for heating said contents.
3. A container according to Claim 1 or 2 wherein the phase-change material is a solid at the storage temperature of the contents.
4. A container according to Claim 1 or 2 wherein the phase-change material is a solid at ambient temperature.
5. A container according to any preceding claim wherein the container has walls which sandwich the phase-change material
6. A container according to any preceding claim wherein the phase-change material at least partly surrounds the contents.
7. A container according to any of Claims 1 to 5, wherein the phase- change material is disposed below the contents.
8. A container according to any preceding claim, comprising further contents for heating with said contents, the arrangement being such that during heating, the phase-change material does not limit the temperature of said further contents.
9. A container according to any preceding claim, wherein said phase- change temperature is below the normal boiling point of water.
10. A container according to any preceding claim, wherein said phase- change temperature is around 40 degrees C.
1 1. A container according to any preceding claim, wherein the contents of the container comprise a foodstuff.
12. A container according to any preceding claim, wherein the phase- change material is microencapsulated.
13. A method of heating the contents of a container, the container holding or incorporating a phase-change material, the phase-change material having a phase-change temperature and being disposed to control the temperature of the contents of the container, the method comprising: applying heat to said container so that the temperature of said phase- change material rises to said phase-change temperature, whereby the phase- change material changes phase, and whereby heat passes from the phase- change material to heat said contents, whereby the temperature of the contents is stabilised.
14. A method according to Claim 13, wherein said container comprises two or more reagents which react together to produce heat, and said step of applying heat comprises causing said reagents to react together.
15. A method of heating the contents of a container comprising: disposing a device comprising a phase-change material in association with the said contents wherein said phase-change material has a phase- change temperature; and applying heat to the device and the contents, whereby the temperature of the phase-change material and the contents rises to substantially the phase- change material temperature, whereby the temperature of the contents is stabilised.
16. A method of heating according to one of Claims 14 or 15, wherein the step of heating comprises applying microwave energy to the contents.
17. A method of heating according to any one of Claims 14 to 16, wherein the temperature at which phase-change occurs is below the normal boiling point of water.
18. A method of heating according to any one of Claims 14 to 17, wherein the temperature at which phase-change occurs is about 40 degrees C.
19. A package containing a phase-change material, the package being for association with the contents of a container wherein the contents are to be heated in the container, the package comprising a phase-change material, having a phase-change temperature, whereby upon heating a said container to heat both contents of a said container and the phase-change material, the temperature of the contents is stabilised.
20. A package according to Claim 19, wherein the phase-change temperature is below the normal boiling point of water.
21. A package according to Claim 19 wherein the phase-change temperature is about 40 degrees C.
22. A package according to any one of claims 19 to 21 , wherein the phase- change material is a solid at ambient temperature.
PCT/GB2002/003324 2001-07-20 2002-07-19 Device for the heating of products WO2003007767A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0117741A GB0117741D0 (en) 2001-07-20 2001-07-20 Heating of products
GB0117741.9 2001-07-20

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2003007767A1 true WO2003007767A1 (en) 2003-01-30

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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GB (1) GB0117741D0 (en)
WO (1) WO2003007767A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009087608A1 (en) * 2008-01-12 2009-07-16 Vanda Janka Packaging for packaging, regenerating or maintaining a food product at the desired temperature
WO2017051050A1 (en) * 2015-09-22 2017-03-30 Ricardo Oliva Chica Portable recipient for thermosensitive products

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US5916470A (en) * 1997-01-10 1999-06-29 Aladdin Industries, Llc Microwaveable heat retentive receptacle
US5935486A (en) * 1996-08-02 1999-08-10 Tda Research, Inc. Portable heat source
US5954984A (en) * 1996-07-31 1999-09-21 Thermal Solutions Inc. Heat retentive food servingware with temperature self-regulating phase change core
US5984953A (en) * 1998-05-21 1999-11-16 Tempra Technology, Inc. Self-regulating heat pack

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US5954984A (en) * 1996-07-31 1999-09-21 Thermal Solutions Inc. Heat retentive food servingware with temperature self-regulating phase change core
US5935486A (en) * 1996-08-02 1999-08-10 Tda Research, Inc. Portable heat source
US5916470A (en) * 1997-01-10 1999-06-29 Aladdin Industries, Llc Microwaveable heat retentive receptacle
WO1998045208A1 (en) * 1997-04-07 1998-10-15 Kolowich J Bruce Thermal receptacle with phase change material
US5984953A (en) * 1998-05-21 1999-11-16 Tempra Technology, Inc. Self-regulating heat pack

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009087608A1 (en) * 2008-01-12 2009-07-16 Vanda Janka Packaging for packaging, regenerating or maintaining a food product at the desired temperature
WO2017051050A1 (en) * 2015-09-22 2017-03-30 Ricardo Oliva Chica Portable recipient for thermosensitive products

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