Packaging is a much under-reported area of the food industry. Dedicated packaging companies and food manufacturers alike devote significant resources to developing modern packaging offering. Just one of the many companies active in the area is Pillsbury.

The US group behind the Green Giant and Doughboy brands has been awarded a patent protecting its new packaging system for refrigerated doughs or batters. The packaging system is designed to sustain pressure within the interior of the package and still be easily opened by the end consumer.

Protected under US patent number 6,242,024, the abstract reads:

    The invention is a vented or unvented packaging system for refrigerated leavened compositions. The packaging system is easily opened by the end consumer and yet is capable of sustaining a desired environment within the package during the storage life of the composition. The invention includes a method for determining package seal strength for a refrigerated leavened composition. The system provides an environment within the package such that the composition attains a desired specific volume upon baking or cooking. The method includes the process of determining the specific volume required for the refrigerated leavened composition after baking, determining internal equilibrium pressure required to attain the specific volume after baking, determining the package dimension subject to the internal equilibrium pressure, and defining the pressure holding capacity required to maintain this pressure during the storage life of the refrigerated composition. The pressure holding capacity is defined by the package dimension subject to the internal equilibrium pressure, which depends on the particular package geometry selected.

The first claim (of 18) is for:

    A packaged dough product, comprising:

    • a package defining an interior cavity, the package including a first package edge and a second package edge which are secured together to form a seal, wherein the package does not include a venting mechanism while the first and second edges are sealed;

    • a leavened dough composition positioned within the interior cavity, said leavened dough composition comprising flour, water and a leavening agent, said leavened dough composition generating an internal equilibrium pressure inside said package; and

    • a head space defined within the interior cavity around the leavened dough composition, the head space having an oxygen concentration of below about 1%.

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