The present invention refers to a device used for maintaining the
quality of processed meat products, especially sausages.
Various methods for processed meat preservation are known from the
prior art. They refer either to mass additives during meat processing, such as
in publications FR2515933 of 13.5.83, or WO9003118 of 5.4.90, or to sausage body
enveloping films after meat processing as described in publications EP0167477 of
8.1.86 and GB0761856. The above methods succeed in maintaining the quality of the
product from the point it leaves the production line till it reaches the consumer,
but do not solve the problem the consumer faces after he has bought the product
and starts consuming it.
It is known that a part of these sausages are being sliced at the
points of sales and then being sold in smaller amounts. A larger part however is
being sold in whole pieces in order to be later sliced at home.
In this particular case the consumer faces the problem of maintaining
the quality of the product after the initial packaging has been opened and one
surface of the sausage comes into contact with air. A usual solution is to wrap
the cut product into a temporary wrapper or plastic bag that will be generally
thrown away after each time the sausage is being consumed. Another solution, featuring
a covering device, is disclosed in DE-A-3 812 336.
The above problem has not been tackled up till now by the sausage
manufacturers. With the invention we present here we attempt to resolve the above
problem of maintaining product quality throughout the consumption period.
These sausages are of a cylindrical form with two hemispherical ends.
The solution we propose is a cover of an open hemispherical form that corresponds
to the ends of the sausage and is being sold with it. It is manufactured of polypropylene
copolymer or other material that has the same or similar physical qualities. These
qualities allow the cover to attach firmly on the sides of the sausage and does
not permit air entry, so that the sausage will retain its quality while being consumed.
The elasticity of its material so that there is a positive attachment
of the cover on the sausage body, the increased strength of its lip so that it
can stand industrial treatment and consumer re-use, temperature variations resistance,
particularly of low refrigerator temperatures and suitability for food stuff are
the physical qualities required.
The advantages of the proposed solution are evident:
First, it helps maintain the quality of the sausage while being consumed.
Second, the material is appropriate for food use. Third, it can stand multiple
use and certainly till the product is totally consumed. Finally, it makes the product
more attractive to the consumer.
The figures that accompany this document present the details of this
Figure 1 presents a section of the product carrying a cover that is
one embodiment of the object of the present invention.
Figure 2 presents the same section with the cover of our invention,
in the consumption phase.
Figure 3 is a top view of one embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 4 presents a section of one embodiment of the present invention.
Figures 5. 6 and 7 are corresponding to figures 1, 2 and 3 and present
another embodiment of the cover we propose.
In order to improve its mechanical characteristics, cover (1) has
a reinforced zone that runs adjacent to the opening and around the perimeter of
the cover as well as an outwardly inclined surface (4) that facilitates insertion
on the body of the sausage. The largest inner diameter of the cover corresponds
to the largest sausage diameter so that there is the best possible fit between
the two bodies. The existence of the outwardly inclined surface allows for a slightly
larger diameter that will facilitate insertion.
Figure 1 presents the section of a sausage carrying the cover of the
invention. We can see the sausage body (2) that is of cylindrical shape with two
hemispherical ends. On the top end we can see the cover (1) that is the object
of our invention and that fits perfectly on this end before the start of the product
consumption. This cover is added on the sausage after its production and sold with
it at the points of sale. This cover features an open hemispherical shape with
inner diameter D1 and outer diameter D2, where D1<D2 and its thickness is a
= (D2 - D1) / 2. The inner diameter corresponds to the sausage diameter, so that
there exist a tight fit between the two bodies.
In order to improve its mechanical characteristics, the cover (1)
features a reinforced ring (3) along its perimeter and an outwardly inclined surface
(4), that provides for an easier positioning on the sausage. The inner diameter
of the cover corresponds to the maximum sausage diameter, so that the best possible
fit is maintained. The outwardly inclined surface (4) creates at its end a larger
diameter so that placement of the cover on the sausage becomes easier.
In order to achieve a better appearance there exists a horizontal
extension (5) that extends in one direction at the plane of the opening of the
cover. This will produce a more attractive product to the consumer, but it is not
a necessary object of this invention. The material used is polypropylene copolymer,
although any other material that can satisfy the mechanical and hygienic requirements
may also be used.
Figure 2 shows the same sausage in consumption phase. One can observe
the piece already consumed on its upper part and the void (6) that appears between
the cover and the cut sausage surface. One can also see that due to the cover elasticity
there exist a tight attachment of the cover on the sides of the sausage that will
not allow air to enter this space in order to cause drop in sausage quality.
In figure 3 we can see a top view of the object of our invention.
The main part of the cover (1) gets horizontally extended (5) at its opening plane
that makes it look like a baseball hat.
In figure 4 we can identify the reinforced zone (3) as well as the
outwards inclined surface (4) that exists in the periphery of the opening and facilitates
Figures 5. 6 and 7 repeat figures 1, 2 and 3 without however the horizontal
extension (5). This extension (5) does not form part of the invention but only
an alternative look. The shape of this cover may be anything provided that the
formed opening can assure the tight covering of the cut sausage surface.
The above description is a non-binding description of our invention.
The shape of this cover, as well as the used material are open to any alternative
provided they can satisfy the mechanical and geometrical conditions that will make
sure that the cover sits tightly on the sausage at any time after leaving production.