Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 52)

Posted in They Invented What? by Mike Dockins on June 20, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 4,645,677: Process for removing flatulence-causing sugars from bean products.

MD Note: I think we would all agree this solves a long-felt need. 

Abstract:

Flatulence-causing sugars can be removed from beans that contain such sugars through ultrafiltration. An ultrafiltration membrane system with a molecular weight cut-off between 30,000 and 100,000 daltons will permit the sugars to permeate through it, but it will retain most proteins.

Claims:

What is claimed is:

1. A method of processing navy beans, including the steps of:

(a) grinding the beans to produce a particulate bean product;
(b) suspending the particulate bean product in water to produce a filterable feed, the water to bean product ratio being between approximately 10:1 and 60:1 by weight;
(c) ultrafiltering the filterable feed using an ultrafiltration membrane system which as a molecular weight cut-off between approximately 30,000 and 100,000 daltons, thereby producing a permeate and a retentate, the ultrafiltration comprising two sequential phases:
(i) a first phase in which water is added to the filterable feed at the same rate as permeate is being produced, until the total permeate produced is approximately 1.0 to 3.0 times the original volume of the filterable feed, and
(ii) a second phase in which no water is added to the filterable feed while ultrafiltration is continued, until the total volume of permeate produced is approximately 1.0 to 3.0 times the original volume of the filterable feed; and
(d) recovering the retentate.

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