US Patent Application No: 2002/0034,573

Number of patents in Portfolio can not be more than 2000

Apparatus and method for making stackable tortilla chips

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Abstract

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An apparatus and method for making uniformly shaped snack food chips which can be stacked for packaging, e.g., in a cylindrical canister or a canister which conforms to the contour or perimeter of the snack food chips. The apparatus features two-part mold cavities in which chip preforms are restrained and transported through hot oil to be cooked. Preferably, the mold cavities are defined between a pair of rotating belts, one lower belt and one upper belt, which together 'encase' or 'sandwich' and thereby restrain the chips. According to the method, a continuous sheet of dough is toasted and then proofed before being cut into individual chip preforms. The preforms are then placed into the mold cavities and transported through hot oil to be cooked. Vacuum transfer rollers are used to facilitate placement of the chip preforms into the mold cavities and extraction of the cooked chips from the mold cavities.

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First Claim

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Patent Owner(s)

Patent OwnerAddressTotal Patents
FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA, INC.PLANO, TX366

International Classification(s)

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Inventor(s)

Inventor Name Address # of filed Patents Total Citations
Chen, Nelson Shih-Hsun Frisco, TX 2 24
Graham, Lawrence Alan Corinth, TX 4 27
McNeel, Todd Charles Flower Mound, TX 6 66

Cited Art Landscape

Patent Info (Count) # Cites Year
 
KETTLE FOODS, INC. (1)
* 5,298,274 Methods for making tortilla chips and tortilla chips produced thereby 25 1992
 
KRAFT FOODS HOLDINGS, INC. (1)
* 4,844,919 Concave shaped snack food and process for preparing same 55 1987
 
PARADOX CAPITAL FUNDING LLC (1)
* 4,985,269 Continuous extrusion for tortilla chip production 61 1990
 
Willard; Miles J. (1)
* 4,650,687 Float-frying and dockering methods for controlling the shape and preventing distortion of single and multi-layer snack products 89 1986
 
INTERCONTINENTAL GREAT BRANDS LLC (1)
* 6,004,612 Production of shredded snacks with chip-like appearance and texture 19 1997
 
GENERAL MILLS, INC. (1)
* 5,529,799 Apparatus and methods for recouping scrap dough material 44 1994
* Cited By Examiner

Patent Citation Ranking

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Patent Info (Count) # Cites Year
 
Other [Check patent profile for assignment information] (3)
* 7,527,492 Device for rounding of dough pieces 0 2005
* 2007/0166,422 Device for rounding of dough pieces 0 2005
D577876 Frozen confection 0 2007
 
ROSWELL FOOD GROUP, LLC (1)
* 2013/0108,766 GRIT CHIPS 0 2012
 
MARS, INCORPORATED (3)
* 8,012,522 Method and apparatus for vacuum forming contoured edible pieces 1 2006
* 2006/0182,856 Method and apparatus for vacuum forming contoured edible pieces 11 2006
8,769,857 Apparatus for vacuum forming contoured edible pieces 0 2011
 
BAPTISTA'S BAKERY, INC. (4)
D643178 Food product 7 2010
D694987 Food product 4 2012
D683106 Food product 3 2012
D721867 Food product 0 2013
 
KELLOGG COMPANY (1)
* 2011/0135,794 PROCESS FOR PRODUCING PRECISELY SHAPED GRAIN BASED PRODUCTS 0 2010
 
FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA, INC. (2)
7,700,143 Method for making a stable stacked snack food configuration 3 2005
* 2013/0036,919 METHOD FOR CONTROLLING BULK DENSITY OF FRIED SNACK PIECES 0 2012
* Cited By Examiner