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Apparatus and System to Fill Single Serve Biodegradable Coffee Pods in Patent Application Approval Process (USPTO 20170283101)

A patent application by the inventors Gorbatenko, George (St. Paul, MN); Roth, Charles (Hudson, WI); Zwettler, Chris (Stillwater, MN), filed on February 9, 2017, was made available online on October 12, 2017, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Single serve brewing devices and methods have become popular recently, as consumer desire a hot beverage on demand without any effort.

“Many factors contribute to an optimum quality of a hot beverage, for example a brewed beverage. For example, brewed coffee may be influenced by the bean, roast, water, grind, ratio of coffee to water, brew time, and temperature of the water. The relationship between grind and the amount of coffee is important. A finer grind extracts more flavors from the coffee, but can easily become bitter. In contrast, a coarser grind produces a smoother flavor, but requires more coffee to achieve the same flavor. Unfortunately, single serve coffee pods do not allow the user to increase the amount of coffee contained in the pods.”

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “The disclosed apparatus and packaging system provides packaged ground coffee in small pods made from materials that are certified 100% bio-compostable. Geared to the smaller specialty coffee roaster, it is affordable, compact, reliable and able to function in a wide range of settings.

“The disclosed apparatus and system are designed to allow the smaller specialty coffee roasters to participate in the fast growing single-serve market while being good stewards of the environment.

“There is ample evidence among specialty coffee roasters that the subtle flavors associated with quality coffee rapidly degrade with time, perhaps hours after roasting. To capture those flavors requires on-site packaging.

“To be viable for the smaller roasters, however, a suitable system must be compact, restricted to the use of readily available power (110/220 VAC), affordable and must be capable of delivering professional results in both quality and quantity.

“While convenient, the growing single-serve market is producing pods that fill current landfills. In contrast, the disclosed coffee pods are comprised of 100% compostable materials, typically polylactic acid (PLA) made from cornstarch.

“In one embodiment of the present disclosure is an apparatus for filling single-serve biodegradable pods, comprising a base supporting a rotatable platform comprising multiple pod holders located at three stations displaced equidistant in 120.degree. sectors around the rotatable top; a filler mounted on the base and adjacent to the rotatable platform comprising a container filled with a food product and multiple augers capable of filling the pods with ground food product, wherein the multiple augers having multiple spouts to deliver the ground food product to multiple pods; a sealer mounted on the base and adjacent to the rotatable platform comprising a heat sealable film winder, a movable heater block assembly fitted with an accurate linear actuator and a heat sealable film trimmer, wherein the heater block assembly is aligned with tops of the pods to apply and seal the heat sealable film to the tops of the pods, and wherein the trimmer cuts the heat sealable film sealed to the pods, and a controller directing rotation of the rotatable platform, filling of the ground food product from the filler, and sealing and trimming of the sealed film tops of the single-serve, biodegradable pods.

“In an embodiment, the pod holders are capable of holding four pods at a single time. The pods may comprise a filter located at a bottom of the pods. The pods may be capable of withstanding temperature up to 325.degree. F. The pods may be biodegradable, for example, made from polylactic acid. In an embodiment, the pods may further comprise 2% TiO.sub.2, 1% IM, (Biomax Strong 129), and 2% Nucleant (CN-L03 (EBS)).

“The apparatus is capable of filling pods with a food product, the food product may be coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and powdered milk, or other similar food product.

“In another embodiment, the apparatus may further comprise an actuator to remove the pods after being filled with the food product.

“Another embodiment of the present disclosure is a system for filling single-use, biodegradable pods, the system comprising a controllable, rotatable platform comprising multiple pod holders located at three stations displaced equidistant in 120.degree. sectors around the rotatable top adapted to move empty pods from a load station on the platform, to a filling station, and then to a sealing and trimming station; a controllable filler comprising a container filled with ground food product and multiple augers and multiple spouts that are adapted to deliver filling ground food product into the pods, wherein the multiple augers and multiple spouts deliver ground food product to the empty pods; a controllable sealer and trimmer comprising a heat sealable film winder, a movable heater block assembly fitted with an accurate linear actuator, and a heat sealable film trimmer, wherein the heater block assembly is aligned with a top of the pods to apply and seal the heat sealable film to a top of the pods, and wherein the trimmer cuts the heat sealable film sealed to the pods; and a controller comprising software controlling and directing movement and operations of the rotatable platform, the filler and the sealer trimmer to fill single serve, biodegradable coffee pods with ground food product, and heat seal a film top to the filled pods.

“In an embodiment, the pod holders are capable of holding four pods at a single time. The pods may comprise a filter located at a bottom of the pods. The pods may be capable of withstanding temperature up to 325.degree. F. The pods may be biodegradable, for example, made from polylactic acid. In an embodiment, the pods may further comprise 2% TiO.sub.2, 1% IM, (Biomax Strong 129), and 2% Nucleant (CN-L03 (EBS)).

“The apparatus is capable of filling pods with a food product that is a food-based product transported by, or that that can be deliver to a pod, using an auger. In some embodiments, the food product may be coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and powdered milk, or other similar food product.

“In another embodiment, the apparatus may further comprise an actuator to remove the pods after being filled with the food product.”

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Gorbatenko, George; Roth, Charles; Zwettler, Chris. Apparatus and System to Fill Single-Serve Biodegradable Coffee Pods. Filed February 9, 2017 and posted October 12, 2017. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220170283101%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20170283101&RS=DN/20170283101

(c) 2017 NewsRx LLC

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