OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
The present invention refers to a container for horticultural and
similar products bearing a preservation agent, with the purpose of extending the
period in which a horticultural or similar product can be kept in proper conditions
without any damage or degradation.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Some frangible products, such as horticultural products, start suffering
a degradation process, when cutt off from corresponding plant, due to different
types of pest, typically of bacterian type, causing a progessive degradation of
the product so as to make same inadequate for human consumption.
At present and in order to prevent as much as possible this degradation
process extending the product caducity date, a cooling, and some times a frrezing,
process is applied as it is well known that the lower the temperature there will
be more difficult conditions for germs and pest to grow causing the degradation
of said products. However, that is an expensive solution as there will be refrigeration
chambers required for the storage, transportaion and distribution of said products.
In the state of the art different preservation agents are known, with
different formulations, adequate to generate an atmosphere which helps to extend
the useful life, i.e. the caducity period, of horticultural and food products.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The container covered by the present invention has been specifically
developed for the application of said preservation agents. Thus, the work done
with respect to the preservation of the frangible product inside said container
will only be the wrapping and packaging process of said products in the container.
The present invention provides several options with respect to the
preservation agent shape and its arrangement with respect to the container frame,
said frame having possibly different shapes. In that respect, the preservation
agent can be made as a body or as a substance spreaded partially or totally over
the container frame.
A first embodiment for the arrangement of said preservation agent
is by means of a label or a self sticking patch, with its front side comprising
manufacturers data, trademark, barcode, etc., and its back side containing a coat
of the preservation agent initially protected, together with the adhesive coat,
by a film of waxed paper, silicon or similar material, removable when appliying
the label on the product and, in particular, to the product container. Thus, the
preservation agent can be fastened to any conventional container like a box, bag
Furthermore, the container can have, in a given point of a wall, a
hole or recess to house said preservation agent mass, which will fastened to the
walls of said hole or embedded in the same. It is obvious that tha container bottom
must have a grid type structure, for example, a grid so that the gases exhalated
by the preservation agent flow through into the container so as to impregnate the
surface of the food products housed in said container.
As a complement, the own container interior walls will be integrally
coated with a meshed film, treated and impregnates with a preservation agent, like
that mentioned above, so that, when required, the preservation effect of the container
walls adds to the label preservation effect.
Optionally, the label or patch may include a material to absorbe the
vapor condensation produced inside the container with the label, specially in the
case of a water tight container. In a similar manner, the label can be associated
with a small opening for the removal of the air from inside the container, producing
a vacuum in said container, like, for example, a small piece of an adequate elastomeric
Also, a wrapping film for horticultural and similar products, according
to the invention can incorporate a preservation agent to protect the products covered
by said film.
In particular, said wrapping film made of a conventional transparent
plastic film, for use in the food industry, can incorporate a series of stripes
configuring a meshed structure treated or impregnated with said food preservation
Thus, the protection effect of the specific preservation agent is
added to the physical protection provided by said plastic film.
Advantageously, said film can include a second protection plastic
film, for food use, to cover the said meshed structure, in the opposite side of
the first plastic film, so that said meshed grid in housed between both plastic
films. The second plstic film will be in contact with the food products, preventing
a direct contact of preservation agent with the food products.
In this case, however, the second plastic film will have a proper
thickness and will, preferably, be of bubble type film of the wrapping type, having
the feature of being provided with a series of interior micro holes to allow that
the gases expelled by the presrvation agent come in contact with the food products
inside the container.
According to another embodiment of the present invention, the container
can be a bag made of plastic mesh, textiles, synthetic or natural fibers, susch
as, for example, a tubular configuration bag with ends sealed by welding or stitching,
having the feature that the bag material has been treated with on of said preservation
agents, so that the gases expelled by said preservation agent get in contact with,
and adheres to, the food surface, for protection agaisnt all above mentioned degrading
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In order to complete the description of the present invention and
for a better understanding of the invention features, in accordance with the practical
preferred embodiments of present invention, a set of drawings is incorporated to
said description, which describe, in an illustrative manner, with no limiting purposes,
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
- Figure 1 shows a front view of label acting as a support for a preservation
agent, applicable to horticultural or similar products, accordin to an embodiment,
and in accordance with the object of the present invention.
- Figure 2 shows a back side view of said support label, with the protecting film
partially removed so as to allow for the fastening of said label to a food container.
- Figure 3 shows in detail a cross section of said support label, as per A - B
line of figure 1.
- Figure 4 shows a perspective partial view of a container for horticultural and
similar products having the shape of a box.
- Figure 5 shows a section detail of the container of figure 4, in accordance
with the line A - B in said figure and after the label supporting the preservation
agent has been fastened.
- Figure 6 shows a perspective of a schematic illustration of a horticultural
product wrapping film, partially unwound from a storage reel.
- Figure 7 shows a detail section, widely enlarged, of the film shown in figure
- Figure 8 shows a perspective schematic illustration of a horticultural wrappin
film provided with an additional coat of bubble plastic film, partially extended
from a storage reel.
- Figure 9 shows a widely enlarged detail of a section of the film of figure 8.
- Figure 10 shows an enlarged detail of the bubble plastic film of figure 9, in
a plan view, showing the midro holes made in said plastic film.
- Figure 11 shows a schematic illustration, in side view, of a tubular bag for
horticultural and similar products in accordance with the object of the present
- Figure 12 shows an enlarged detail, in section, of the mesh conforming the bag
of figure 11.
When observing figures 1, 2 and 3, the support for a preservation
agent, prepared for further fastening to a food container, is structured from a
laminated body (1) configuring a label, with a similar aspect to any conventional
label, so that said label will comprise the manufacturer's data (2), the trademark
(3), the barcode (4) and any other information, whereas on its back side, and as
shown in figure 2, said laminated body (1) is provided with a perimetric adhesive
stripe (5) of adequate features to be fastened to the particular food container,
not shown, said adhesive stripe (5) framing a a central area occupied by the preservation
agent (6), with the whole back side covered by a paraffin, silicone or similar
paper film (7), to be removably fastened to the mass of the product (6) before
the label is applied onto the food container.
In accordance with this structure, said label can be fastened to any
container allowing for the access of the preservation agent to the inside, such
as for example a plastic or cardboard box, or a mesh bag, but said label will be
specifically fastened to a closed wall container, whic has a wall opening of adequate
dimension to house the product (2), so that said product may have access to inside
the container through said opening, wheras the label gets correctly fastened to
the perimeter area which is coated with a adhesive coat (5).
In this manner, the gases expelled by the preservation agent (6) spread
inside the container with the horticultural product, to act against germs and pest
responsible for the degration of the food product, and, as a consequence, it extends
the period in which said food product keeps the adequate conditions for human consumption.
Optionally, the label can include, in parallel to the preserved product,
a moisture absorbing agent to eliminate the condensation vapor produced inside
the container to which the label is attached, specially in he case of a water tight
container. In a similar manner, said label can be associated with a small openingfor
the removal of the air from inside the container, and obtain a vacuum, such as,
for example, a small block of an elastomeric material.
Figure 4 represents, in inverted position, a container with a prismatic
rectangular body (8), such as a conventional wooden, cardboard or plastic box for
food use, of variable dimensions, while said container is shown in figure 5 in
normal position and covered with a lid (9) closing its upper end.
Therefore, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention,
sai container (8) is based in the characteristic of, for example, having on its
bottom (10) an opening with an adequate configuration, in this case being of rectangular
shape, for this is the configuration matching the preservation agent block (6)
which will be introduced through said opening (11), properly attached to a self
sticking label (1), which through its perimeter area is fastened to the perimeter
of said opening (11), as it can be seen in particular in figure 5.
Depending on the container wall (10) thickness, said opening (11)
could just be a recess of adequate dimensions to house the block (6) of the preservation
agent, but in this case, in consequence the recess bottom (11) must have a meshed
structure in order to allow the gases expelled by said preservation agent (6) flow
inside the container (8) and get in contact with the food products within said
However, there can be several openings in the container, following
a proper distribution and arranged to receive several labels (1).
As a complement, and as an optional feature, the container body (10)
as well as the lid (9) could be a film provided on its inside surface with a meshed
structure impegnated with a preservation agent, and eventually also provided with
a moisture absorbing agent to improve the efficiency of said patches.
When a vacuum in the container is required, body (10) and lid (11)
will be sealed by means of a perimeter sealing tape or other conventional means,
to seal said coupling.
In all cases, the gases expelled by the preservation and moisture
absorbing agent (6) will spread inside the container, covering the whole surface
of the horticultural products and stopping the action of germs and pest affecting
to the food condition, and, in consequence, extending the caducity period of the
An alternative embodiment of the invention is shown in figures 6 and
7, whrein a film structured from a food wrapping plastic film (12) transparent
and extensible, with a variable width depending on requirements for each case and
with an indefinite length, preferably wound on a conventional reel (13), but having
the feature that this plastic film is provided, on one of its surfaces, to be arranged
as its interior face when applied to the food product, with a mesh or grid (14)
treated or impregnated with a preservation agent (15), adequate to the type of
product to be protected, so that this mesh or grid coating (14) slowly produces
and along a considerable time period, gases which affect to the food product wrapped
with said film, acting on germs and pest that determine the product degradation
and, in consequence, extend considerably the consumption period of said product.
Advantgeously, the said film can comprise a second protective plastic
coat (16) intended for food use, such as it is shown in figures 6, 9 and 10, cobering
th said mesh or grid structure (14) on the opposite side with respect to the first
plastic film (12) in such a way that said mesh (14) is located between both plastic
films (12) and (16). The second plastic film or coat (16) will remain in contact
with the food, preventing any contact of the mesh (14) which is impregnated with
the preservation agent, with the food.
In this case, however, the second plastic film or coat (16) will have
a certain thickness, such as shown in figure 9, preferably like the bubble plastic
films conventionally used for wrapping objects, and having said film inside, a
series of micro holes (17) in order to let the gases expelled by the preservation
agent of the impregnated mesh get into the container housing the food.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in figures 11 and
12, with the configuration of a tubular bag, similar to any conventional bag, made
of a plastic, fabric or natural or synthetic mesh, said bag incorporating in the
practical example shown in figure 11a tubular body (18) and being sealed, after
the food is introduced in the same, by stitching both ends (19 - 19), and particularly
by fastening, but said tubular bag can present a flat configuration, so that by
keeping a tubular structure the ends will be sealed by thermoplastic welding.
In any case and in accordance with the basis of the invention, the
plastic, fabrics, synthetic or natural fiber filaments which constitute the mesh
wall, are treated or impregnated with a coat (21) of an adequate preservation agent,
in accordance with the type of food product housed inside the bag (18), in such
a manner that a slow and progessive sublimation of said agent (4) will create inside
the bag (18) a protective atmosphere for food products located inside said bag,
even with surface impregnation in the case that it does not affect human health,
acting on germs and pest to prevent the product degradation and, in consequence,
extending the period in which the food keeps proper consumption conditions.
It is considered it will not be required to extend this description
as it will be easily undrstood by any expert in the art.
The materials, shapes, sizes and arrangements of the different elements
can be modified as long as they are maintained within the scope of the present
The terms of the description of the present invention should be taken
in its widest non limiting sense.