WO2012143963A1 - Method for the production of pre-cooked and frozen food, to be heated in microwave or conventional oven - Google Patents

Method for the production of pre-cooked and frozen food, to be heated in microwave or conventional oven Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012143963A1
WO2012143963A1 PCT/IT2012/000116 IT2012000116W WO2012143963A1 WO 2012143963 A1 WO2012143963 A1 WO 2012143963A1 IT 2012000116 W IT2012000116 W IT 2012000116W WO 2012143963 A1 WO2012143963 A1 WO 2012143963A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
sauce
deep
portion
frozen
package
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IT2012/000116
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Massimiliano MONTINARO
Original Assignee
Montinaro Massimiliano
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

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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
    • B65D81/343Containers, 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 in a conventional oven, e.g. a gas or electric resistance oven
    • 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
    • B65D77/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks or bags
    • B65D77/08Materials, e.g. different materials, enclosed in separate compartments formed during filling of a single container
    • 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
    • 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
    • B65D2581/3404Cooking pasta dishes, e.g. noodles
    • 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

Abstract

A package (C) for a foodstuff product, made of a material suitable for freezing and being heated in a traditional oven or microwave oven, comprising a lid for hermetic closing and a tray/container (3), comprises a deep-frozen portion of sauce (1) and a corresponding amount of deep-frozen food (2) to which said portion of sauce (1) is to be added, wherein said portion of sauce (1) and said food (2) are deep-frozen separately and are not mixed together. Said portion of sauce (1) is positioned above the food (2) at a certain distance therefrom or rests thereon.

Description

METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF PRE-COOKED AND FROZEN FOOD, TO BE HEATED IN MICROWAVE OR CONVENTIONAL OVEN

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The present invention relates to the foodstuff sector, and in particular regards the industrial production of uncooked or pre-cooked or partially cooked foodstuff products, packaged in containers that can be used for preserving them in the freezer and for heating them in microwave ovens or traditional ovens before they are served.

Basically, it envisages the production of a portion of sauce deep-frozen apart, to be added to the pre-cooked pasta (or rice, or polenta, etc.) to be unfrozen, warmed up, or heated in a microwave oven or traditional oven, possibly completing cooking during these operations.

This portion of sauce consists of a pre-set amount of sauce of any type, made of meat, fish, or vegetables, or with a base of tomato, butter, oil, cream, water, milk, etc., either cooked or uncooked, such as, for example, the sauce known as "pesto alia genovese" . The amount of foodstuff that constitutes the sauce to be deep-frozen is the amount necessary for a given amount of pasta or rice or polenta or other dish to which it is to be added, which will then have to be packaged together with the portion of sauce itself for subsequent deep-freezing.

It should be noted that none of the first courses in trays that are' deep-frozen for being cooked in microwave ovens currently available on the market uses deep-frozen portions of sauce.

All the ones available on the market are packaged by mixing the sauce with the pasta before deepfreezing, therefore they are deep-frozen after they have already been mixed. Consequently, in deep-frozen first-course dishes currently available on the market multiple defects may be encountered after they have been warmed up:

- in the already existing first courses, the sauce is mixed to the pasta when it is still liquid, before deep-freezing; consequently, the pasta absorbs . the moisture of the sauce before being deep-frozen and, once it is warmed, swells and dries up;

- in commercially available first courses, the sauce mixed to the pasta when it is still liquid, before deep-freezing, tends to precipitate to the bottom of the package, without mixing to the pasta in a uniform way, so that the parts of pasta in the top part and at the edges of the pack get burnt and harden because the majority of moisture is absorbed by the pasta on the bottom where the sauce tends to deposit;

- the microwave oven prevalently acts on the water molecules and hence overcooks the pasta, which has swelled up too much with water given that it has absorbed the water contained in the sauce mixed prior to deep-freezing;

- in commercially available first courses, the sauce is mixed to the pasta when it is still liquid, prior to deep-freezing; consequently, the pasta absorbs the moisture of the sauce before being deep-frozen,- causing the fat present in the sauce, which has been deprived of the. moisture and is in . direct .contact with the pasta throughout heating thereof in the microwave oven, to sizzle on the surface of the pasta, drying up even more and in fact frying the pasta, which dries up and hardens;

- in the majority of the first courses available on the market it is recommended to mix the dish when it is half-cooked and to add oil when cooking is completed, in an attempt (by mixing it) to distribute the moisture and prevent any burning and hardening and to restore to the dish (by adding oil) the viscosity that it has lost;

- moreover, the sauce added to the pasta when it is still liquid, by penetrating between the pasta and then being deep-frozen creates a large block of ice that is difficult! to deep-freeze and very difficult to unfreeze .

The object of the invention is to overcome the problems referred to above by providing an innovative. packaged and deep-frozen foodstuff product, ready for being heated, in a traditional oven or microwave oven, basically comprising a portion of sauce, which is deep- frozen separately from the food to which it is, to be added (pre-cooked pasta, or rice, or polenta, etc.) and is packaged so as to remain separate from said food until the latter has been unfrozen, warmed up, or heated to be consumed hot.

To enable a better understanding of the invention reference will be made to the attached figures, which illustrate, purely by way of non-limiting example, a preferred embodiment thereof. In the drawings:

Figure 1 shows the main parts that make up the package;

Figure 2 shows the package assembled;

Figure 3A and 3B show the first steps of warming/heating, in which water vapour is formed by the moisture contained in the portion of sauce; and

Figure 4 shows the foodstuff product ready for being mixed before being consumed.

According to the invention, the aforesaid portion of sauce is deep-frozen in the preferred shape, amount and dimensions, i.e., in a mould that preferably has the same shape as the container that is to contain the pre-set portion, with the purpose of adding it to (preferably laying it on) the pre-cooked pasta (Figure 1), which may be already deep-frozen or not yet deep- frozen, thus preventing the sauce from mixing with the pasta before it is warmed up in the microwave oven or in a traditional oven.

' The portion of sauce will then be packaged in the container together with the pasta, with hermetic sealing, as envisaged by current standards.

Before consuming . the food present in the package described above, it will suffice to introduce the package as it is (it is recommended to make a small hole in the sealing film to prevent puffs of water vapour and sauce) into the microwave oven or traditional oven, to warm it up. In the case of warming/heating in a traditional oven, it is possible to keep the lid on . the package or, in order to shorten the time required for warming it up, to remove said lid so that the heat can come into direct contact with the sauce, which - by covering the underlying pasta completely - prevents the latter from burning or overcooking: the sauce, in fact, while unfreezing drips directly thereon, continuing to cover it completely, and is then mixed once the desired degree of heating is reached .

The purpose of using the portion of sauce is precisely to prevent the sauce and the pasta from being deep-frozen after they are already mixed together.

From the operating standpoint, the procedure is as follows:

- any type of sauce is prepared;

- it is dispensed in the moulds;

- said filled moulds are set in a blast chiller;

- once deep-frozen, said portions of sauce are ready for being introduced into the container to be packaged together with the corresponding amount of pasta or rice or other pre-cooked, and preferably already deep-frozen, food;

- the package is sealed for subsequent storage and/or transport.

It should be noted that, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the portion of sauce has a substantially plane shape of small thickness, and this enables freezing in less time as compared to the products already available on the market, precisely because the sauce has not been mixed to the pasta and consequently has not formed a single block. In fact, by keeping the pasta separate from the sauce the thickness of the two masses is markedly reduced so that the core of the products reaches the' right temperature in an extremely short time.

It should be noted that, even though the portion of sauce 1 is preferably planar in shape, it could also present various other shapes. For example, it could be shaped like a U turned upside down in order to envelop the pasta also at the sides, or else it could be divided into two portions to be set close to one another, or else again into two thinner portions to be set one on top and one underneath the pasta with which it is to be mixed.

The portion of sauce can be produced using moulds made of any suitable material for foodstuffs, or also using' disposable trays as moulds.

Even though the portion of sauce can be positioned anywhere in the package, it should be emphasized that, surprisingly, the best result is obtained by positioning the portion of sauce itself directly on the pasta or, even better, by forming the portion of sauce so that it has the exact size and shape as. the internal top part of the tray so that the deep-frozen portion remains separate and detached from the underlying pasta or rice or other food present in the sealed package.

According to the non-limiting example described herein, trays may be used having oblique side walls or with a contrast step on the top edge, and the portion of sauce is rested horizontally in the top part of the tray so that its perimeter rests on said contrast step or directly on the side walls of the tray, which since they converge towards the open part keep the portion of sauce itself detached from the underlying pasta' (Figure 2) .

Advantageously, the portion of sauce will melt only at the moment when it is to be consumed, i.e., when the package C is introduced into a traditional oven or microwave oven. In fact, as it heats up, the portion ' of sauce will release the moisture which has turned into vapour and this will spread throughout the package, creating an environment suitable for unfreezing the pasta (Figure 3) , warming it up as if it had been cooked there and then, thus obtaining that the portion of sauce comes into contact with the pasta with which it is to be mixed (Figure 4) only., at that moment, i.e., at the moment of use of the product, and, in the case of the traditional oven, preventing the pasta from coming into direct contact with the heat, whilst, in the case of the microwave oven, preventing the pasta from coming into direct contact with the dry heat in the absence of the moisture created by the sauce that the pasta has not absorbed.

According to the method described, just the precooked pasta is deep-frozen directly in the final package (suitable for a traditional oven or microwave oven, e.g., a tray, dish, etc.) or else it is introduced therein already deep-frozen.

Once the sauce and the pasta have been deep-frozen separately (Figure 1) , they are packaged, preferably setting the sauce on the pasta (Figure 2), which by thus unfreezing in the microwave oven, in addition to producing water vapour (Figures 3a and 3b) will drip directly onto the hot pasta (Figure 4) .

Once warming-up is completed, i.e., unfreezing and heating of the portion of sauce and of the food to which it is to be added contained in the package, it will suffice to mix the sauce with the pasta, which will be fragrant as if it had just been prepared.

A peculiar characteristic of the present invention is precisely the fact that the portion of sauce is deep-frozen by itself in a mould, of the most convenient size and shape (preferably the shape of the container that is to contain the dish at the moment of warming thereof) , and only afterwards is the portion of sauce thus obtained added to the pasta already deep- frozen in the container, dish, tray, glass, etc., which is to contain the finished foodstuff product ready for consumption.

This means that, in particular when using the microwave oven:

- thanks to the provision of the portion of sauce, deep-frozen and hence solidified separately, the pasta is deep-frozen without absorbing the moisture of the sauce, with which it is in contact only after deepfreezing: in this way, the pasta does not swell up and does not deprive the sauce of moisture.

- in the package according to the invention, after softening, no area of pasta presents hardened or burnt parts, because the pasta, given that it has not swelled up with the moisture of the sauce, heats up less and is moreover protected by the moisture that is withheld by the sauce so that said moisture spreads through the package only during cooking (Figure 3a) , thus undergoing a cooking with steam (Figure 3b) , which bestows on the pasta the effect of having been strained there and then (Figure 4) ;

- since the sauce is already deep-frozen when it is introduced into the package, it does not yield its liquid part to the pasta, and hence the fat contained in the sauce does not sizzle on the pasta but, having preserved the water, reaches boiling point, contributing to unfreezing and preventing the pasta from assuming the characteristics of a fried dish, hardening, getting burnt, and turning rubbery;

- since the masses of the sauce and of the pasta are kept separate and deep-frozen individually, they prevent the sauce, while still liquid, from penetrating between the parts of pasta, thus forming a single block: this considerably reduces the time for chilling, because the deep-freeze time is inversely proportional to the thickness of the product to be deep-frozen, with considerable advantages in terms of production;

- the fact that the masses of the sauce and of the pasta are separate and deep-frozen individually also' enables a considerable reduction in the time for warming-up, with the dual advantage of speeding up the task of the end user and of subjecting the dish to a shorter stress for warming-up so as to prevent or reduce the formation, referred to above, of hardened and burnt parts on the pasta.

- with the portion of sauce described so far, it is not necessary to mix the dish when it is half- cooked; indeed, it would be deleterious. In fact, interrupting the process of warming, the foodstuff up and opening the package is certainly not recommended because the water vapour, which is extremely useful for proper heating of the pasta, would cool off and would even come out of the package, thus frustrating the success of the warming-up process;

- with the portion of sauce, it is of no use even to add oil at the end of cooking because, according to the invention, the oil present in the sauce does not dry up by sizzling on the pasta but has remained fluid together with the sauce, bestowing upon the dish a more authentic savour;

- according to the invention, the pasta unfreezes in an environment charged with the moisture released by the sauce, as if it were immersed in a pan of boiling water, which bestows thereon the flavour of a dish of pasta al dente, as soon as it is strained and mixed with the sauce; and

- the package so far described simply has to be introduced into the microwave oven, with the right time setting, and the foodstuff only needs to be taken out of the package, mixed, and consumed when it has already been warmed up;

- with the present invention, in the case of the traditional oven, during heating the pasta, which has not yet been mixed with the sauce, does not come into direct contact with the heat, whilst, in the case of a microwave oven, the pasta is prevented from coming into direct contact with the dry heat that there would be as a result of the absence of the moisture created by the sauce that has not yet been absorbed.

Finally, a simplified variant of the procedure so far described envisages pouring the sauce, which is not yet completely deep-frozen but is at a low temperature and hence almost solid - in a distributed and homogeneous way on the pasta (for example, with purposely designed flat nozzles it would be possible to cover the surface of the pasta completely) so that the sauce itself does not penetrate into, or much less is absorbed. by, the pasta 2, which is itself at a very low temperature or even already deep-frozen, thus creating a sort of undulated covering instead of the deep-frozen portion 1 obtained in the mould.

LEGEND

1 frozen/deep-frozen portion of sauce

\' heated sauce

2 food to which the sauce is to be added (pasta, rice, polenta, etc.)

3 tray/container

C package

Claims

1) A package (C) of foodstuff product, made* of a material suitable for freezing and heating in a traditional oven or microwave oven, comprising a lid for hermetic closing and a tray/container (3) , said package being characterized in that it comprises a deep-frozen portion of sauce (1) and a corresponding amount of deep-frozen food (2) to which said portion of sauce (1) is to be added, wherein said portion of sauce (1) and said food (2) are deep-frozen separately and are not mixed together.
2) The package (C) according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said portion of sauce (1) is positioned above the food (2) at a certain distance therefrom or rests thereon.
3) The package (C) according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said tray/container (3) envisages oblique side walls or has a contrast step in the proximity or on the top edge of the container itself, so that in the top part of the tray (3) the portion of sauce (1) can be rested set in a horizontal position so that its perimeter rests on said contrast step or. directly on the side walls of the tray, which, since they converge towards the open part, keep the portion of sauce itself detached from the underlying pasta (2) .
4) The package (C) according to the preceding claim, characterized in that the deep-frozen portion of sauce (1) has a substantially plane shape of small thickness and has a perimetral shape corresponding to that of the tray on which it is rested. 5) The package (C) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the deep-frozen portion of sauce (1) is constituted by a sauce of meat, fish, or vegetables, or with a base of tomato, butter, oil, cream, water, milk, etc.; said sauce possibly being cooked or uncooked, homogeneous or containing pieces.
6) The package (C) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the portion of sauce (1) has a shape imposed by purposely designed moulds made of any material for foodstuffs, also of a disposable type, in which it is deep-frozen.
7) The package (C) according to any one. of the preceding claims, characterized in that to be added to food (2) that is completely cooked or at different stages of cooking said portion of sauce (2) contains an appropriate percentage of moisture.
8) The package (C) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said food (2) to which said portion of sauce (1) is to be added is without sauce or is partially mixed with a liquid sauce or a deep-frozen flaked sauce.
9) A method for producing packages of foodstuffs according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises the following operating steps:
- preparing any type of sauce;
- dispensing said sauce into purposely . designed moulds ;
- setting and keeping said filled moulds in a blast chiller until complete deep-freezing of the portion of sauce contained therein is obtained;
- setting the food to which the sauce is to be added in the container;
- cooling or' deep-freezing said food;
- setting each of said deep-frozen portions of sauce in a corresponding container to be packaged containing a corresponding amount of food to which the sauce is to be added;
- sealing the package for subsequent storage and/or transport.
10) The method for producing packages of foodstuffs according to one or more of Claims 1 to 8, characterized in that it comprises the following operating steps:
- preparing any type of sauce;
- cooling an appropriate amount of said sauce, still not completely deep-frozen but already cooled at a
. low temperature - and hence almost solid - and laying it in a distributed and homogeneous way on the pasta until the surface of the pasta itself is covered completely so that the sauce itself does not penetrate into, or much less is absorbed by, the pasta, which is itself already cooled to a very low temperature or even already deep-frozen, thus creating a sort of covering on the food;
- sealing the package for subsequent storage and/or transport.
PCT/IT2012/000116 2011-04-20 2012-04-20 Method for the production of pre-cooked and frozen food, to be heated in microwave or conventional oven WO2012143963A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
ITRM2011U000069 2011-04-20
ITRM20110069 2011-04-20

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2012143963A1 true true WO2012143963A1 (en) 2012-10-26

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ID=44899976

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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Country Link
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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2768086A (en) * 1954-10-20 1956-10-23 Leo E Bliley Method of preparing a precooked frozen food package
US4794008A (en) * 1987-02-27 1988-12-27 General Foods Corporation Method of preparing a packaged frozen confection
US20040108313A1 (en) * 2002-12-10 2004-06-10 Mars Incorporated Differential temperature microwavable container
US20090186133A1 (en) * 2008-01-22 2009-07-23 Chris Bjork Microwaveable cup arrangement and methods
EP2277802A1 (en) * 2009-07-21 2011-01-26 Barilla G. e R. Fratelli S.p.A. Packaged frozen ready-made meal

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2768086A (en) * 1954-10-20 1956-10-23 Leo E Bliley Method of preparing a precooked frozen food package
US4794008A (en) * 1987-02-27 1988-12-27 General Foods Corporation Method of preparing a packaged frozen confection
US20040108313A1 (en) * 2002-12-10 2004-06-10 Mars Incorporated Differential temperature microwavable container
US20090186133A1 (en) * 2008-01-22 2009-07-23 Chris Bjork Microwaveable cup arrangement and methods
EP2277802A1 (en) * 2009-07-21 2011-01-26 Barilla G. e R. Fratelli S.p.A. Packaged frozen ready-made meal

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None

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