Nestec, the research & development arm of Swiss food multinational Nestlé, has gained a US patent protecting an invention intended to improve the production process relating to ice confectionery coated with a dry particulate material, notably in the form of cereal flakes. It is not easy to make ice confectionery with flakes in such as way that the flakes retain their shape and crispness during storage and on consumption. Nestec's invention includes a confectionery article produced by the process and a machine for carrying out the process of the invention.

Protected under US patent number 6,242,022, the abstract reads:

    A confectionery article is coated by a fatty material, and cereal flakes are positioned on and adhere to the fatty material coating, and additionally, the cereal flakes may be coated also with a fatty material coating. The article is prepared by applying a fatty material to a plurality of surfaces of the ice confectionery article, cooling the fatty-coated article to cool and solidify the fatty layer and keep the fatty-coated article cold during solidification of the fatty layer, and during cooling and prior to the fatty layer solidifying at its surface, so that the fatty layer surface is tacky, applying cereal flakes on the tacky fatty-coated surface to obtain a cooled article wherein the particulate flakes adhere to the fatty layer and separating particulate material which has not adhered to the fatty layer to obtain a cooled coated confectionery article product.

The first claim (of 19) is for:

    A confectionery product of a process comprising applying a liquid fatty material to a plurality of surfaces of a frozen confectionery article to obtain article surfaces coated with a layer of the liquid fatty material, cooling the fatty-coated article to cool and solidify the fatty layer and keep the fatty-coated article cold during solidification of the fatty layer, and during cooling and prior to the fatty layer solidifying at its surface, so that the fatty layer surface is tacky, applying solid particulate flakes, wherein the flakes consist essentially of cereal ingredients and wherein the flakes are dry and susceptible to absorbing moisture, on the tacky fatty-coated surface to obtain a cooled article wherein the particulate flakes adhere to the fatty layer and separating particulate material which has not adhered to the fatty layer to obtain a cooled coated confectionery article product separated from the non-adhering particulate material.

To see full details of the patent, please click here.