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Патент USA US2403871

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.Èuìy 9, 1946.
Filed Oct. 5, 1942
" 2 SAh`eVetSÃ-Sheet 1
July 9,1946.
,_ `2,403,871
4 Filed oct. 5. 1942
2 'sheets-sheet 2
Patented July 9, 1_946
Douglas M. McBean, Rochester, N.» Y.
Application October 5, 1942,~Ser`ial No. 460,918
10 Claims.
(Cl.v 99-103`)
My invention relates to a method and appa
ratus for blanching‘ food products. The method
and apparatus of my invention may be employed
in any of the conventional processes of food
preservation, such as canning freezing or dehy
steam, continuously'in motion from a charging
point to a discharging point.
othery objects and advantages of my invention
will loev setïforth in the Aclaims and ‘will be ap
An object of my invention» is they provision of
an improved process of blanching and an appa
ratus for carrying out vsaid process, wherein the
parent from `the following description,v when
taken in connection with the -accornpany'ing‘
temperature at which the> edibles, such as fruits, 10
vegetables, meats andiish, are‘bianched and the
time during which such blanching occurs maybe .
compartments, including "the redibles and Àthe
more accurately controlled.
veying means >'being provided to maintain the
which; /
_ .p
Fig. *1*V is aside elevation Vof' the' apparatus' of 'my
Fig. 2> is ra ' partial 'sectional lView `of' >the piston
Another object of my invention is to »provide
an improved processgof Iblanchirig, wherein the 15
edibles are maintained injconstantp'ositive"mo~l
tion while ybeing subjectedv to‘heat and pressure.
Another `object of/ my invention is the provision
of a process of blanching` in which the edibles are
and connecting chainv assembly;` .
vFig. 3 is a face view of ’one of thepistons;
Fig. 4 isa face View of one' of‘ the sprockets for
driving `-the `chain assembly;v
Fig. 5 is a sectional View> taken substantially on
the'iine 4__4 of Vvlï‘ig."5; and
‘ "Fig,> 6 `is> >aT view -similar' to Fig. ‘ 4 `s'howving ‘aA mod
blanched in `segregated batches in'a‘manner such 20 i'fied iormMofzthe piston andjehain assemblyof
that all portions of the vegetables are uniformly
my invention.
treated, the process being carried out >in ai con
tinuous manner with the uedibles and the> heating
medium being .positively maintained in motion
during the Iblanching cycle.
canning, ireeZing, lorV dehydration, it is'. necessary ’
' to `inactivate 'the 4,perœcidase> and eatalase sys;V
A further object'of my' invention ís'to provide
a continuous process oi b-lanching wherein suc.
I cessive batches of edibles are segregated and sepe
In thejpreservation’ -of most> food ’ products Yby ~
tems` of' the food ^ product. In. 4this -conventie:‘ral
enzyme’inactivation- process, which isknown as
blanchingit is‘customary toheat .the edibles to
a predetermined temperature for a'predetermined
period of' time by the use. of 'steam or not water;
while maintained in continuous motion, the steam 30 TheÍ accurate ~control of the tempertaure vtime
arately treated by' the direct-action of ‘steam and
' being preferably underfpre'ssure and the pres
sure being 'gradually reduced toward the en'd’of
blanching process.
stiuenotner object of my invention is' the ero'-`
vision of a'inethod of- continuous blanching 'and
an apparatus for carrying outsaid method where
in the food product is‘ heated under pressure in
relatively small "pressure vessels-or retorts each
segregated fromthe other :to vthe endy that the
blanchingV medium may more lreadily »and more
uniformly permeatel the product Vand so that cold
spots and improperly blanched portions of the
. foodrproduct are avoided.V
relationship' is extremely- importantin order that
the Venzyinesî may be thoroughly inactivated with
outinj-uring the edible as a food. " Within rea
sonable temperature limits thelolaneinngteniper
ature. may be increased, .but in such case the .time
. should'be' decreased ‘toprev'ent the destruction
or loss Vofl valuable Vfood properties vof thel edibles.
Moreoveniithas been generally found desirable
by those skilled" in the‘ ‘art that it is oradva'ntage
to quicklyfinactivateïthe enzymesfby employing
higher-g' temperatures and 'a shorter blancning
timel `The temperature -and `time ì variations
which are permissible are well 'known‘in'the art
My invention further has for an object the pro
to which this invention applies Aand vaiyrsome-À
vision of- a‘method of _continuousblanching and 45 what 'with Vthe species _of kfood lprecinct bein-g
an apparatus for carrying out said method where- '
in exhaust steam or steam which has already been
blancned and .the sizeof' the pieces.
The advantages A of ' continuous proef-iss"r nover
used for blanching may be yemployed to flushl or
hatchl processes of lo'lanclni'ngA haweaIso»loeeirree-blow air out of the pressureïvessel or retortV into
ognizeclf> The' 'continuous process 'not only" re#
which the unblanched food product is charged;
50 quires-le'sssteain îor hjotwat‘er, vbut‘a'lso elî'ects a
‘ My inventionv further contemplates 4the pro-_
' vision of apparatus adapted to carry out myv novel
g’ tremendous saving in' labor and equipment inthe
process ofY blanching wherein the foodrmay be
tant advantagel of _the continuous -process' ‘of
blanching is'that thetemperature> of the product
handling of thefoodprdouct.
'Aifurtner-impor-Y v
blanched in segregated batches' in separate- com
Y partments by steam under~pressure-^with con'-`- 55 can :be quickly - raised '- suñìci-entl-y’ to inactivate
ends, as indicated at I9, to links of the chain to
the enzymes by placing the continuous blanching
equipment in close proximity with the slicing,
form a continuous assembly.
a ratio of six to one is employed, although it
will be apparent that this may be varied.
the batch process of blanching the mechanical
operations necessary to charge the pressure vessel
or retort cause an appreciable time lapse between
t the cutting or dicing operation and the blanching
For the purpose of preventing leakage between
the external diameter oi the connecting link and
the bore of the piston, a seal 2I is provided at
operation. The time interval between cutting
and blanchingis important for the reason that
one 0r bothends of theconnecting 1~link I8. In
the chain and piston assembly, illustrated in the
drawings, I have shown a single connecting link
passing axially vof the piston. With some vege
tables as, for example, lsauerkraut, it may be de
sirable to employ two chains with two connect
ing links extending through the pistons. If two
connecting links and chains are employed they
after cutting there is a very rapid loss from the
vegetable or other food product of ascorbic acid
and other essential Vitamins.
Insofar as I am aware, the present continuous
processes of blanching do not enable the desired
accurate control of the temperature time rela
tionship With respect to each particle or portion
of the edible being blanched. Where a large vol
ume of the food product is exposed to the blanch
are spaced so that the connecting links extend
through the pistons adjacent the peripheries
thereof. This arrangement minimizes the Wrap
ing medium uniformity of blanching, between
ping of the Sauerkraut around the chain.
The tube II may be supported in any suitable
diiîerent portions of the mass, is difficult to ob
For purposes which
will appear later the length of the connecting
link from pivot to pivot is a multiple of the pitch
of the chain. In the particular illustration shown
dicing, or other cutting machines. Thus it is
possible to bring material to blanching temper
ature perhaps within a minute after cutting. In
I have found that more acurate control of
manner, as by a frame structure 22 upon which
the temperature- time relationship may be ob
tained, while still carrying the process out in a
the bearings or Supports 23 for the sprockets may
also be mounted. The tube, at its entrance open
continuous manner, if the edibles are blanched in
ing„ has a tapered mouth piece 2d adapted to
guide the pistons and properly center them with
vessels or retorts, with the batches being moved
respect to the tube as they successively enter
continuously at a predetermined rate of speed
predetermined in accordance with the tempera 30 the tube. Adjacent the entrance end of the tube
is a hopper 26 which has a free opening 21 into
turel of the heating medium. 'Moreoven in such
the tube.
a system of pressure blanching I provide means
The usual practice in blanching is to ñrst wash
gradually to reduce the pressure on the edibles
the edibles and then slice, dice, or otherwise cut
near the end of the blanching cycle and also pro
vide means enabling the vuse of exhaust steam :1, up, for example, the vegetables into small pieces
so that the heating medium maymore readily
for driving as much air as possible away from
penetrate to the center of the ypieces for the pur
contact with the edibles.
pose or" thoroughly inactivatingthe enzymes.
For the purpose of carrying out the method of
After the edibles have been thus prepared they
my invention I have shown in Fig. 1, in a some
are preferably immediately dumped into the hop
whatV diagrammatic manner, an apparatus suit
per and as the conveyer moves, each piston or
able for this purpose which comprises a cylin
pressureA vessel picks up a charge or batch of
drical or other shaped tube II through .which a
edibles and carries such batch along the tube.
chain or other continuous belt `I2aV passes. The
Since each compartment is substantially sealed
cylindricaltube' II may be made in separate sec
small segregated batches in separate pressure
tions, as shown in the drawings, 0r may be made ~
by the pistons from its adjacent compartment,
in one piece and is preferably of a length suffi
cient‘to carry out -the complete blanching proc
there is a minimum loss of heating medium and
also eachrbatch of edibles- is segregated and seh
arately treated., With this arrangement more
ess while the edibles are carried through the tube.
The_chain I2va is mounted on suitable sprockets
accurate control ofthe temperature to which each
I2, vone of which may be driven by any suitable
‘_ particle is heated may be maintained and cold
spots and inadequately blanched portions of the
prime mover (not shown). Preferably'the chain
conveyor isdriven by a prime mover the speed
mass are avoided.
blanching may be accurately controlled and reg
Extending through the .walls of the tube are
a series of openings 28 through which steam may
of which may be varied so that the time of
Ul Si
Mounted on the chain conveyer is a seriesY of
spaced pistons I3 which are of a diameter such
as to Vfit snugly the internal diameter of the tube
be introduced.
desired number of steam
openings may be employed depending upon con
ditions. Although steam is the preferred blanch
ing medium, it might be possible to use the ap
paratus of my invention with a hot water blanch
I I. The pistonsare adapted to form the end walls
of a series of compartments, indicated by the Gil ing medium. I have foundthat better heat trans
ier to the edibles being blanched may be ob
numeral I4. The end walls and the inner wall
tained when the edibles are subjected to the di
ofthe tube form segregated blanching chambers
rect Contact of the heating medium. An im
or pressure vessels for the reception of the `food
products.k The amount -of food Vproduct each
lblanching chamber will carry is dependent upon
portantl aspect of the invention is that the prod
uct being blanched and the heating medium are
its size and the 'speed'of the conveyer. For dif
ferent food products it may be desirable to vary
thesize of, the blanching chambers soA as to in
crease or decrease the size of the batches.
The pistons I3, as shown most clearly in Fig. l~~
2, may be made of wood reenforced’ by suitable
in positive motion` which facilitates circulation
of the steam between the pieces of material and
tends to produce a uniformity in the tempera
ture towhich each particle oi food is heated.
facing plates I6 through which extend rivets I‘I.
Each of the ypistons’ is provided with a central
bore >through which a connectinglink lI8 extends.
Theconnecting link I8
>pivoted adjacent its ì
296° F._ to 220° F.` -.The higher the -temperature
the more rapid the chemical reaction resulting
in enzyme inactivation, and with my method and
apparatus. for blanching high temperatures and „
The preferred temperature range for carrying
out the bianching process is' from approximately
pressuresare possible. Ifthevegetables or other
between >the Vlivesteam supplied >through the
food products are'heatedto 206°
'about six
minutes vis »usually Arequired for the. blanching
process, -while .if the vegetables are heatedfto
foodproduct, is reduced to a minimum. »Thus
openings 28> and the desired temperature vof the '
steam, which would normally be wasted, flows
229°5F.¿fromY two to: three> minutes is required for 5 through the by-pass 3|, -enters the compartments
blanching. This temperature time relationship: successively and drives or flushes the air - out
ïwill, of course, vary~for~dilferent food products
as is’wellknown inthe art.
through a vent 34. `It will be noted'thatthe by
pass enters ther tube 33 and the vent 34 is located
To heat the vege
tables tothe above temperatures somewhat higher
so that the following piston passes the right hand
edge of the hopper before both the by-pass and
steamr-temperatures are required. While a uni
form'temperature and pressure of steam may be
the vent 34 have access to the compartment ad
employed substantially throughout the blanch
jacent thereto. When the edibles reach the end
of the .tube they are discharged through a dis
ing. process, the pressure should be dropped near
charge opening 36'and may be picked up bya
the endl of the cycle to prevent the cells of the
vegetables» from disintegrating> as a result of the l5 conveyer (not shown) which may be located be
neath the discharge opening 36.
explosive action Yof moisture in the cells caused
by a suddendrop-in pressure.
This is accom
As .previously mentioned, the ' connecting- links
plished by means vwhichwill be presently de
I8 are, in length, a multiple of .the pitchof' the
chain. To enable the chain, together with the
pistons, properly to pass around the ïspro'ckets
and/be. driven thereby, a novel sprocket construc
tion is employed, clearly shown in Figs. 4 and 5.
Each sprocket comprises a plate 4| having teeth
Instead of employing a uniform temperature
and pressure substantially throughout the blanch
ing cycle, I have found in sorne cases that it is
preferable to gradually increase the temperature
and pressurerat the‘beginning of the blanching
cycle and then gradually decrease the tempera
42 adapted to enter the the chai-n for
,thev purpose of driving the same. LSpaced around
the periphery of the sprocket area plurality of
cut-outs 43. V'lîhenumber of cut-outs employed
ture and pressure toward the end of the cycle. Y
It willbe appreciated that such variations in
the temperature-require adjustments of the speed
maybe varied, .but inthe example shown four
vcut-outsare provided. The. distance around the
ofthe conveyer so as to adjust thefblanching
time'to‘the'temperature. For example, it might 30 sprocket from the center of - one cut-out to the
center of the next, 'corresponds to the center line
be _desirable to introduce steam through the ñrst
distance between the pistons. To permit the
opening 28 kat one pound pressure, at a tein
pistons properly to register with the cut-outs as
Aperature Ícorresponding to that pressure, and
the sprocketseare rotated tomove Athe chain, the
through the second opening 29 at two »pounds
pressure at a temperature corresponding to that 35 cut-:outs `are provided withentrance and> exit
curves‘ä4. andßâ.
pressure, -thus gradually increasing the pressure
r'It will »be appreciated, when a piston liesiin
until'th'e `maximum pressure desired is reached.
oneoffthe .cut-outs, that the piston and the con
Similarly the pressure and temperature may be
>necting links of the adjacentl portions of-'the
reduced in steps toward the end of the cycle.
While asteam pressure of four pounds is usually 40 `>chain tend to assume a chordal position or- to sag
below the lcircle defined by the radius' of the
sufñcient, with some~edibles it may be desirable
sprocket?r Thus thel piston, together with its as
sociated chain, attempts to lie along thefshorter
distance between, for example, the points» 41 and
to use steam pressures> as high as twenty pounds
and a steam temperature corresponding to that
.' 4B ofthe sprocket. This interferes with the
proper meshing of the teethof the sprocket with
ing the pressure on the edibles so as to prevent Y the >openings’ in the links ofl ther-chain and» may
resultin improper mating and jamming. For
the cells thereof from “exploding” as a result of
the purpose yof preventing this, on` each side of
too rapid a drop in pressure. Such means com
prises a by-pass 3| which has access, as» indicated 50 thesprocket adjacent each of Ethe cut-outs there
is provided a plate 49. The plates 49 form to
at 32, to the tube. As the compartments suc
gether a semi-circular support in which a piston
cessively are brought into communication with
may lie. That is, the radius of the semi-circle
the by-pass, steam may flow through the by-pass
@ne of the important features of my inven-`
=tion is thev means provided for gradually reduc-k
formed by the plates 49 corresponds substantially
to gradually reduce the pressure in the compart
' ‘
ment in communication with the by-pass. The 55 to the radius of the piston.
The plates 49 are secured to the sprocket by
gradual> reduction in the pressure is accom-l
‘ means of nut and bolt assemblies 5| which ex
plished by reason of the fact ythat there is a re
tend through openings in the sprocket and
sistance to now of> steam through- the by-pass,
through elongated openings or slots 52'in the
which is effective to `control and prevent the
rapid fluctuation in pressure and instead gradu 60 plates » 49. LThus vthe plates may be` adjusted
ally reduce the same.
radially with respect to the sprocket. By proper
adjustment the pistonsA may be supported in an -
The by-pass 3| is extended toward the en
outward position so that inthe position of sup»
trance end of the tube where it communicates
port the combined length of chain .from the point
therewith,y as shown at 33. I have found i1; ex
tremely desirable to drive off as much air from 65 41 tothe connecting link pivot, the length of the _
connecting link, and the length of the chain from
contact with the edibles as possible. The air to
the other end of the connecting link pivot' to the
some extent insulates the vegetables. Better
point 48 is substantially equal Vto lthe distance
heat transfer and penetration of `the edibles is
across the cut-out along the arc of `the circle
obtained if the amount of air in the compart
whose radius is .the radius of the sprocket. Thus
ments is 'reduced to a minimum. Moreover, the
the piston and the adjacent links of the chain
presence of air and other non-condensable gases
in the blanching chambers reduces the tempera
ture ltherein for a given steam pressure.
thoroughly flushing out the blanching chambers
with exhaust steam, the temperature gradient
are prevented from- assuming a substantially
y, chordal or sagging position from the'points 4-1
and 48 and proper meshing of the teeth of the
sprocket with the chain is obtained.
This proper mating of the teeth of the sprocket
with the openings in the links of the chain may
also be obtained (instead of in the manner de
prises forming a series of closed chambers adapt
ed to contain the edibles being blanched, sub
stantially sealing said chambers against commu
nication between them, admitting a heating me
dium at a blanching temperature in a gaseous
form and under pressure to said closed chambers,
and continuously moving said closed chambers
together with the edibles and the heating
with the adjacent chain links, will assume a
6. A method of blanching edibles which com
chordal portion across from the point 41 to the 10
prises moving said edibles through a blanching
point 48.
cycle, subjecting said edibles to a heating medium
While I have described my novel process of
at blanching temperature and under pressure as
blanching and have shown a novel apparatus suit
the edibles are continuously moved, and gradu
able for carrying out said process, it will be ap
ally reducing said pressure toward the end of said
preciated that various changes and modiñcations
blanching cycle.
may be made therein, particularly in the form and
7. A method of blanching edibles which com
relation of parts, without departing from the
prises moving said edibles through a blanching
spirit of my invention as set forth in the ap
cycle, subjecting said edibles to a steam heating
pended claims.
20 medium at blanching temperature and under
I claim:
pressure as the edibles are continuously moved,
l. A method of blanching edibles which com
and gradually reducing said pressure toward the
prises forming a series of closed chambers adapt
end of said blanching cycle.
ed tol contain the edibles being blanched, admit
8. A method of blanching edibles which com
ting a heating medium to said closed chambers,
and continuously moving said closed chambers 25 prises moving said edibles through a blanching
cycle, subjecting said edibles to a steam heating
together with the edibles.
medium at blanching temperature, and subject
V2. A method of blanching edibles which com
ing said edibles to a gradually increasing pressure
prises forming a series of closed chambers adapt
at the beginning of said blanching cycle and a
ed to contain the edibles being blanched, admit
ting a heating medium of a blanching tempera 30 gradually decreasing pressure toward the end of
said blanching cycle.
ture under pressure to said closed chambers, and
9. A method of treating a food product which
continuously moving. said closed chambers to
comprises forming a series of closed chambers
gether with the edibles.
adapted Vto contain the food product, directing a
3. A method of blanching edibles which com
prises forming aseries of closed chambers adapt 35 fluid heating medium under pressure into said
closed chambers and into contact with the prod
ed to contain the edibles being blanched, admit
uct, and continuously moving saidclosed cham
ting a heating medium to said closed chambers,
bers together with the food product.
and continuously and positively moving said
10. A method of treating a food product which
closed chambers together with the heating medi
40 comprises forming a series of closed chambers
um and the edibles.
adapted to contain the food product, directing a
4. A method of .blanching edibles which com
fluid heating medium under pressure into said
prises íorming a series of closed chambers adapt
closed chambers and into contact with the prod
ed to contain the edibles being blanched, sub
uct, and continuously and positively moving- said
stantially sealing said chambers against com
munication between them, admitting a heating 45 closed chambers together with the food product
from a chamber charging point to a chamber dis'
medium to said closed chambers, and continuous
charging point.
1y moving the edibles.
5. A method of blanching edibles >which com
scribed above) by shortening the length of the
connecting link, as illustrated in Fig. 6. In this
method, the chordal distance across the cut-outs
is measured and the length of the connecting link
I8 is made such that the connecting link, together
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