This week’s featured patents are patents for a 3M pressure sensitive adhesive for gentler skin application, pet food with a long-lasting soft texture, and a method of improving pre-baked dough products.

3M Patent for pressure sensitive adhesives for gentler skin application

This patent describes lightly crosslinked silicone gels which are soft, tacky, elastic materials that have low to moderate adhesive strength compared to traditional, tackified silicone pressure sensitive adhesives(PSAs). Silicone gels are typically softer than silicone PSAs, resulting in less discomfort when adhered to skin. The combination of relatively low adhesive strength and moderate tack make silicone gels suitable for gentle to skin adhesive applications.

The patent describes a Tack Test Procedure that uses a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer equipped with a 6 mm diameter polypropylene cylinder probe. The adhesive sample was slit to a width of 1.9 cm (0.75 in.) and length of 10.2 cm (4 in.) and laminated to a brass bar with 10 mm diameter holes through it to allow for the probe to reach the adhesive face of the tape. Test parameters were: Pre-test speed: 0.5 mm/sec, test speed: 1.0 mm/sec, post-test speed: 10.0 mm/sec, applied force: 100 grams, contact time: 5 seconds, trigger force: 1 gram, and withdraw distance: 3 mm.

Patent for pet food composition with a soft texture

A common method for producing pet food is to supplement the formulation with one or more carbohydrate components which generally comprise the polymeric materials amylose and amylopectin. As these compositions using this method cool, the starch polymers can rearrange, form intermolecular hydrogen bonds, and develop into relatively crystalline structures. This process, referred to as retro gradation, can create an undesirably firm structure in the final product.

This patent describes a new method for preparing soft textured pet food compositions in which mixtures comprising appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrate are contacted with an amylase at a temperature to provide the desired degree of softening of the composition.

“The pet food compositions exhibit increased penetrating force and are substantially unchanged with respect to digestibility and stool formation as compared to pet food compositions without added amylase. The disclosed soft-textured pet food compositions are also substantially unchanged as compared to pet food compositions without added amylase with respect to digestibility. The disclosed compositions also do not create gastrointestinal issues in animals fed these soft-textured pet food compositions as indicated by the absence of a substantial change in the nature of the stool produced by animals fed a soft textured pet food composition of the present disclosure.”

The patent describes the use of a TA.XT2 Texture Analyzer to test the texture of samples were aged for at least 14 days before the texture measurement. The control compositions were prepared in the same manner and with the same amounts of ingredients as the test compositions with the exception of no added amylase.

Patent for method of improving pre-baked dough products

This patent describes a method of making a pre-baked biscuit product. This method includes preparing a dough containing pectin, baking the dough to make a biscuit product, freezing or refrigerating the biscuit product to make a refrigerated or frozen biscuit product, and heating the refrigerated or frozen biscuit product to make a prebaked biscuit product having an improved texture in comparison to a corresponding prebaked biscuit product made without pectin.

Compression data was generated on a Texture Analyzer TA.XT2i using both a 100mm diameter plate probe and a 25mm cylinder probe, using 12mm distance and 5mm/sec speed settings. Compression tests were conducted by measuring the peak force required, in g/mm, to push through the baked product to a distance of 10.5 mm. In general, a lower compression value indicates a desirably softer texture.