(19)
(11)EP 3 247 231 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
23.12.2020 Bulletin 2020/52

(21)Application number: 16740516.6

(22)Date of filing:  12.01.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A24F 25/02(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2016/013047
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/118363 (28.07.2016 Gazette  2016/30)

(54)

HUMIDITY CONTROL INSERT FOR CIGARETTE PACKS

FEUCHTIGKEITSKONTROLLEINSATZ FÜR ZIGARETTENPACKUNGEN

ÉLÉMENT RAPPORTE DE RÉGULATION D'HUMIDITÉ POUR PAQUETS DE CIGARETTES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 20.01.2015 US 201514600914

(43)Date of publication of application:
29.11.2017 Bulletin 2017/48

(73)Proprietor: R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Winston-Salem, NC 27101-3804 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • SEBASTIAN, Andries Don
    Clemmons, North Carolina 27012 (US)
  • BROWN, Lisa
    Lexington, North Carolina 27292 (US)
  • ST. CHARLES, Frank Kelley
    Lewisville, North Carolina 27023 (US)
  • GARCIA, Ercilia B. Hernandez
    Cary, North Carolina 27518 (US)
  • PATEL, Pankaj C.
    Clemmons, North Carolina 27012 (US)
  • DEMAREST, Craig T.
    Oak Ridge, North Carolina 27310 (US)
  • CANTRELL, Daniel V.
    Lewisville, North Carolina 27023 (US)

(74)Representative: Hoeger, Stellrecht & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 
Uhlandstrasse 14c
70182 Stuttgart
70182 Stuttgart (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 0 363 194
US-A- 4 934 524
US-A- 5 037 459
US-B2- 6 693 148
US-A- 4 852 734
US-A- 4 997 082
US-B1- 6 733 845
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to a humidity control insert for cigarette packs. In particular, the present disclosure relates to a humidity control insert comprising a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate and a hygroscopic powder material dispersed within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate.

    DISCLOSURE OF RELATED ART



    [0002] Cigarettes conventionally have been sold in packages, with each package often containing twenty (20) cigarettes. Typical cigarette packages have a generally rectangular parallelepiped form. One type of popular cigarette package employs a container having the form of a so-called "hard pack," "crush proof box" or "hinged lid package." See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,874,581 to Fox et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 3,944,066 to Niepmann; U.S. Pat. No. 4,852,734 to Allen et al.; European Pat. 0392737 to Moeller; and U.S. Pub. Pat. App. No. 2008/0230410 to Jones et al. Another type of popular cigarette package employs a container having the form of the so-called "soft pack." See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,695,422 to Tripodi; U.S. Pat. No. 4,717,017 to Sprinkel et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 5,333,729 to Wolfe. Both types of cigarette packages are normally packed in cartons also of generally rectangular parallelepiped form, typically ten (10) packages to a carton.

    [0003] Additional examples of cigarette packages can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 8,522,515 to Carter et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,118,161 to Guerrera et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,823,731 to Wu; U.S. Pat. No. 7,228,961 to Koetter et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,048,115 to Stringfield; U.S. Pat. No. 7,014,039 to Henson et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,364,106 to Fagg et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,889 to Cobler et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,248,031 to Burrows et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,139,140 to Burrows et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,807,745 to Langley et al.

    [0004] EP 0 363 194 A2 discloses a device for insertion into a substantially sealed container for maintaining a desired relative humidity in the container. The device comprises a buffering substance capable of maintaining the desired relative humidity by liberating water vapor when actual relative humidity falls below the desired relative humidity and by absorbing water vapor when actual relative humidity rises above the desired relative humidity; and a container for the buffering substance, the container allowing liberation and absorption of water vapor.

    [0005] US 4,934,524 A discloses a storage package for storing moisture-laden articles such as cigarettes including a shaped receptacle sized to receive a plurality of cigarettes, the receptacle having a moisture control vehicle disposed therein with an overwrap having a low moisture vapor transmission rate with such vehicle being impregnated with a saturated salt solution having a water activity level preselected to the water activity level of the cigarettes to maintain moisture equilibrium over an extended time period.

    [0006] US 6,733,845 B1 discloses a process for the electrostatic impregnation into a fibrous or filamentary network with powder, for producing a composite comprising a rigid or flexible matrix with which said network is in intimate contact.

    [0007] US 5,037,459 A discloses a device for insertion into a substantially sealed container for maintaining in said container, at substantially all times after sealing, a desired relative humidity. The device comprises a buffering substance capable of maintaining said desired relative humidity and means of enclosure for containing said buffering substance and allowing liberation and absorption of water vapor.

    [0008] US 6,693,148 B2 discloses a humidity-responsive control device that consists of a package having at least one face that is permeable to liquid, gases and water vapor.

    [0009] US 4,997,082 A discloses a package with controlled humidity for storing products such as tobacco and food.

    [0010] Paper inserts are currently used in most commercial cigarette packs for the purpose of product promotion and to carry certain printed information, but do not otherwise offer any functional benefit to the cigarette pack. Some commercial cigarette packs, however, might lose moisture in their internal air space while the packs are being aged on the shelves. This is particularly true for cigarette packs that are manufactured without additives.

    [0011] Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide cigarette packs with improved moisture retention. In addition, it would be desirable to provide additional functional benefits to paper inserts that are currently used in commercial cigarette packs.

    SUMMARY



    [0012] The above and other needs are met by aspects of the present disclosure which, in a first aspect, provides a humidity control insert for cigarette packs according to claim 1, comprising a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate and a hygroscopic powder material dispersed within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate.

    [0013] In second aspect, a cigarette pack is provided according to claim 7 wherein the cigarette pack comprises the humidity control insert described herein. The humidity control insert is adapted to release moisture retained therein into the internal air space of the cigarette pack.

    [0014] In a third aspect, a method for making the humidity control insert described herein and according to claim 12 is provided. The method comprises dispersing a hygroscopic powder material into a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process.

    [0015] A method for making a cigarette pack is also addressed in the present disclosure. The method comprises bringing the insert to a desired moisture level, and inserting the humidity control insert into the cigarette pack.

    [0016] Further features and advantages of the present disclosure are set forth in more detail in the following description.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0017] Having thus described the disclosure in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:

    Figure 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary cigarette pack with which various embodiments of a humidity control insert may be incorporated and/or inserted; and

    Figure 2 shows an example of the dry powder impregnation process for making the humidity control insert described herein.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE



    [0018] The present disclosure now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all aspects of the disclosure are shown. Indeed, the disclosure may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the aspects set forth herein; rather, these aspects are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, will fully convey the scope of the disclosure to those skilled in the art, and will satisfy applicable legal requirements, whereby the scope of the invention is defined by the claims. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout. As used in this specification and the claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

    Humidity Control Insert



    [0019] In various embodiments, the invention described herein relates to a humidity control insert for cigarette packs, comprising a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate and a hygroscopic powder material dispersed within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate.

    [0020] The hygroscopic powder material is dispersed into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process. According to the invention, the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process using an alternating electric field, which can be generated by two face-to-face plate electrodes connected to an alternating high tension generator. The porous nonwoven fibrous substrate is then heated and compacted to immobilize the hygroscopic powder material dispersed therein.

    [0021] In some embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate has a thickness, wherein the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed throughout the thickness of the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed throughout the entire bulk of the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate.

    [0022] The porous nonwoven fibrous substrate can comprise, for example, at least one polymeric material. In some embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate comprises at least one polymer selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinylchloride, cellophane, polycarbonate, polyester, polyamides, polyurethane, ethylcellulose, cellulose acetate, polybutylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinylidene chloride, polyvinylidene fluoride, polyvinyl fluoride, polyvinyl alcohol, and copolymers thereof. In some embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate comprises at least one polymer selected from the group consisting of high density polyethylene, oriented polystyrene, microporous polyethylene, microfiberous polyethylene and polyvinylchloride. In some embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate comprises biodegradable and thermoplastic fibers. Examples of such fibers are polyglycolic acid (PGA), polylactic acid (PLA) (e.g., poly(L-lactic acid) or poly(DL-lactic acid)), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) such as polyhydroxypropionate, polyhydroxyvalerate, polyhydroxybutyrate, polyhydroxyhexanoate, and polyhydroxyoctanoate, polycaprolactone (PCL), polybutylene succinate, polybutylene succinate adipate, and copolymers thereof (e.g., polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV)). Specific examples of commercially available PLA fibers include Ecodear® from Toray of Japan; Ingeo™ based PLA fibers from Fiber Innovations Technology, USA; and PLA fibers from Trevira GmbH. PLA and PHA materials can be sourced from a variety of plant materials, including tobacco. In certain embodiments, the thermoplastic polymer can comprise plasticized cellulose acetate and/or calcium alginate.

    [0023] The hygroscopic powder material can be, for example, adapted to create a desired relative humidity in an air space adjacent to the humidity control insert. The hygroscopic powder material can comprise, for example, at least one salt, sugar, sugar alcohol, and/or polybasic acid. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one salt selected from the group consisting of sodium salts, potassium salts, magnesium salts, calcium salts, ammonium salts, and lithium salts. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one salt selected from the group consisting of sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, sodium chloride, sodium bromide, sodium iodide, potassium nitrite, potassium nitrate, potassium chloride, potassium bromide, potassium iodide, potassium sulfate, potassium carbonate, potassium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate, ammonium carbonate, and calcium chloride. In one embodiment, the hygroscopic powder material comprises potassium citrate monohydrate. A saturated potassium citrate solution has a water activity of 0.625 (i.e., providing a 62.5% RH inside the cigarette pack).

    [0024] In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one sugar selected from the group consisting of sucrose, fructose, glucose, and galactose. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one sugar alcohol selected from the group consisting of sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one polybasic acid or salt thereof selected from the group consisting of citric acid or salts thereof, malic acid or salts thereof, and succinic acid or salts thereof.

    [0025] In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material is substantially free of halogen anions. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material is a food grade material. In some embodiments, the size of the hygroscopic powder material is adapted to fit the pore size of the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate.

    [0026] The hygroscopic powder material accounts for 1-50 wt.% of the dry weight of the humidity control insert. In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material accounts for 5-40 wt.% of the dry weight of the humidity control insert. In more particular embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material accounts for 10-30 wt.% of the dry weight of the humidity control insert.

    [0027] In some embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate accounts for 50-99 wt.% of the dry weight of the humidity control insert. In more particular embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate accounts for 60-95 wt.% of the dry weight of the humidity control insert. In still more particular embodiments, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate accounts for 70-90 wt.% of the dry weight of the humidity control insert.

    [0028] The powder loaded nonwoven substrate may be laminated on both sides with a water vapor permeable film that is resistant to liquid moisture permeation. In addition, the lamination of the insert on all sides prevents cross contamination of the cigarettes with the humidity control chemicals. The film lamination step may be combined with insert cutting (e.g., using an ultrasonic process).

    [0029] The film lamination on both sides of the powder loaded nonwoven substrate can be accomplished in a number of manners. For example, a pouch can be made by sealing only the edges of the substrate. Alternatively, one can completely laminate the powder loaded substrate with polymer so that the final product is a plastic film that encapsulates the powder loaded nonwoven, thereby immobilizing the nonwoven substrate with powder. In both of the above processes, the final product can be loaded with moisture to a desired level, such as 65% RH in one embodiment, before being inserted to the cigarette pack.

    [0030] In some embodiments, at least one side of the humidity control insert is laminated with a paper or film optionally comprising printed information. In some embodiments, both sides of the humidity control insert are laminated with a paper or film optionally comprising printed information.

    Cigarette Pack



    [0031] In various embodiments, the invention described herein relates to a cigarette pack comprising a humidity control insert disposed therein, wherein the humidity control insert comprises a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate and a hygroscopic powder material dispersed within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate, and wherein the humidity control insert is adapted to release moisture retained therein into the internal air space of the cigarette pack. The humidity control insert can be included in various different prior art cigarette packages, such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,852,734 to Allen et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,522,515 to Carter et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,118,161 to Guerrera et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,823,731 to Wu; U.S. Pat. No. 7,228,961 to Koetter et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,048,115 to Stringfield; U.S. Pat. No. 7,014,039 to Henson et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,364,106 to Fagg et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,889 to Cobler et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,248,031 to Burrows et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,139,140 to Burrows et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,807,745 to Langley et al.

    [0032] Figure 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary cigarette pack 10 with which various embodiments of a humidity control insert may be incorporated and/or inserted. The cigarette pack 10 of Figure 1 includes a body portion 15 and a lid portion 20. The body portion 15 includes a front wall 30 (shown as partially cut away), outer side walls 35 and 40, inner side walls 45 and 50, rear wall 55, bottom wall 60, and bottom flaps 62 and 65. The upper edges of the inner and outer side walls of the body portion 15 of the cigarette pack 10 can extend from the front of the cigarette pack 10 to the back thereof at an upward incline of about 30°, or any other desired angle. Generally, the inner and outer side walls of each side of the body portion 15 are of similar shape and dimension. An inner frame or collar 85 (shown as partially cut away) is glued or otherwise secured to the inner surface of a portion of the front wall 30 and the inner side wall 45 and 50. It is understood that packages having integral inner frame can be employed, if desired.

    [0033] The lid portion 20 includes a top wall 90, front wall 92, outer side walls 95 and 100, inner side wall 105 and inner side wall 110 (shown as partially cut away), and rear wall 115 which is integrally hinged to rear wall 55 of the body 15. The lower edges of the inner and outer side walls of the lid portion 20 of the cigarette pack 10 can extend from the front of the cigarette pack 10 to the back thereof at an upward incline of about 30°, or any other desired angle. Generally, the inner and outer side walls of each side of the lid are of similar shape and dimension.

    [0034] The hinge 118 has the form of a crease, fold or score line across the rear wall of the cigarette pack 10. The lid portion also includes top flaps 120 and 125, and reinforcing panel 130. The box 10 also can include tear minimizers 135 and 138, and stress reliever 145 in the region of hinge 118, as is common in conventional hinge lid package manufacture.

    [0035] A tab 150 is integrally connected to one side of the lid reinforcing panel 130 and extends between lid outer side wall 100 and lid inner side wall 110 (shown as cut away). In particular, a fold between the reinforcing panel and the tab 150 allows the tab to fit between the two side wall portions. A similar tab (not shown) is connected to the opposite side of the lid reinforcing panel, and is fit between lid outer side wall 95 and lid inner side wall 105. Additional details concerning the cigarette pack 10 are provided in US Patent No. 4,852,734.

    [0036] In some embodiments, the humidity control insert provides a relative humidity of 1-99%, or 5-95% , or 10-90%, or 20-80%, or 30-70% in the internal air space of the cigarette pack. In more particular embodiments, the humidity control insert provides a relative humidity of 55% to 65% or 57.5% to 62.5% in the internal air space of the cigarette pack. In some embodiments, the inclusion of the humidity control insert extends the time to reach an unacceptable level of relative humidity in the internal air space of the cigarette pack by at least 50%, or at least 100%, or at least 200%, or at least 500%.

    [0037] In some embodiments, the cigarettes are manufactured substantially without additives. In some embodiments, the cigarettes are manufactured substantially without humectants.

    [0038] In alternative embodiments, the cigarette package itself can comprise an inner frame which comprises a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate and a hygroscopic powder material dispersed within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate, and wherein the inner frame of the cigarette package is adapted to release moisture retained therein into the internal air space of the cigarette pack. Still further, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate material can be laminated or otherwise bonded to the inner bundle foil inside the cigarette pack. These processes allow one to avoid the separate manufacture of an insert that needs to be separately inserted into the cigarette pack.

    [0039] In some embodiments, the inner frame of the cigarette package provides a relative humidity of 1-99%, or 5-95% , or 10-90%, or 20-80%, or 30-70% in the internal air space of the cigarette pack.

    [0040] In addition to cigarette packs, the humidity control insert described herein can also be included in a package for a moisture laden article, wherein the package comprise a pack body and the humidity control insert, and wherein the humidity control insert is adapted to release moisture retained therein into an internal air space defined by the pack body.

    [0041] In some embodiments, the moisture laden article is selected from the group consisting of snuff, snus, cigars, dissolvable tobacco products, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. In some embodiments, the moisture laden article is selected from the group consisting of food products and herbs, including intermediate or low moisture foods and herbs.

    Method for Making Humidity Control Insert and Cigarette Pack



    [0042] The present invention described herein also relates to a method for making a humidity control insert, comprising dispersing a hygroscopic powder material into a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process. An example of the dry powder impregnation process is shown in Figure 2.

    [0043] As shown in Figure 2, the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process using an alternating electric field, which can be generated by two face-to-face plate electrodes connected to an alternating high tension generator. The electrodes can be, for example, protected by a suitable dielectric material. The space between the electrodes can be, for example, adjustable according to the thickness of the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate.

    [0044] In some embodiments of the dry powder impregnation process, a suitable quantity of the hygroscopic powder material is scattered onto the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate; the fibrous support is then placed between the two dielectrics; and a strong alternating electric field is created by a high tension applied to the electrodes. At the end of the treatment, the hygroscopic powder material scattered on top of the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate find themselves dispersed inside the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate. In some embodiments of the dry powder impregnation process, a substantially homogeneous distribution of the hygroscopic powder material inside the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate is achieved. In some embodiments of the dry powder impregnation process, substantially no raise in temperature occurs between the electrodes, while at the end of the treatment substantially no static electricity remains inside the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate dispersed with the hygroscopic powder material.

    [0045] In some embodiments, the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by the Fibroline powder impregnation process.

    [0046] The method further comprises heating and compacting the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate to immobilize the hygroscopic powder material disperse therein.

    [0047] The present disclosure also relates to a method for making a cigarette pack, comprising dispersing a hygroscopic powder material into a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process, and inserting a humidity control insert obtained thereby into a cigarette pack.

    [0048] The method further comprises retaining moisture into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate dispersed with the hygroscopic powder material before inserting the humidity control insert into the cigarette pack. The humidity control insert may be stored in a controlled humidity chamber having a desired relative humidity to absorb moisture. In some embodiments, sufficient water is added to the insert to bring the water activity to a desired level or even slight greater than the desired level so the excess water will condition the cigarettes and packaging to the desired final water activity.

    [0049] Many modifications and other aspects of the disclosures set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which these disclosures pertain having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the disclosures are not to be limited to the specific aspects disclosed and that the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A humidity control insert for retaining moisture before insertion into a package (10), comprising a porous nonwoven fibrous substrate and a hygroscopic powder material dispersed within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate; wherein the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process using an alternating electric field, the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate is then heated and compacted to immobilize the hygroscopic powder material within the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate; and wherein the hygroscopic powder material accounts for 1-50 wt. % of the dry weight of the humidity control insert.
     
    2. The humidity control insert of claim 1, wherein the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate comprises at least one polymer selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinylchloride, cellophane, polycarbonate, polyester, polyamides, polyurethane, ethylcellulose, cellulose acetate, polybutylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinylidene chloride, polyvinyl fluoride, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinylidene fluoride and copolymers thereof, or wherein the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate comprises at least one polymer selected from the group consisting of high density polyethylene, oriented polystyrene, microporous polyethylene, microfiberous polyethylene and polyvinylchloride, or wherein the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate comprises at least one polymer selected from the group consisting of polyglycolic acid, polylactic acid, polyhydroxypropionate, polyhydroxyvalerate, polyhydroxybutyrate, polyhydroxyhexanoate, polyhydroxyoctanoate, polycaprolactone, polybutylene succinate, polybutylene succinate adipate, and copolymers thereof).
     
    3. The humidity control insert of claim 1, wherein the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one salt, sugar, sugar alcohol, and/or polybasic acid, which is adapted to create a desired relative humidity in an air space adjacent to the humidity control insert, or wherein the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one salt selected from the group consisting of sodium salts, potassium salts, magnesium salts, calcium salts, ammonium salts, and lithium salts, or wherein the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one salt selected from the group consisting of sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, sodium chloride, sodium bromide, sodium iodide, potassium nitrite, potassium nitrate, potassium chloride, potassium bromide, potassium iodide, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate, potassium carbonate, potassium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, ammonium chloride, ammonium sulfate, ammonium carbonate, and calcium chloride, or wherein the hygroscopic powder material comprises at least one sugar, sugar alcohol, and/or polybasic acid selected from the group consisting of sucrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, citric acid or salts thereof, maleic acid or salts thereof, malic acid or salts thereof, and succinic acid or salts thereof.
     
    4. The humidity control insert of claim 1, wherein the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate accounts for 50-99 wt. % of the dry weight of the humidity control insert.
     
    5. The humidity control insert of claim 1, wherein at least one side of the humidity control insert is laminated with a paper or film comprising printed information.
     
    6. The humidity control insert of claim 1, wherein both sides of the humidity control insert are laminated with a water vapor permeable film that is resistant to liquid moisture permeation.
     
    7. A package (10), comprising
    a package body (15); and
    the humidity control insert of claim 1, the humidity control insert adapted to release moisture retained therein into an internal air space of the package (10).
     
    8. The package (10) of claim 7, wherein the humidity control insert provides a relative humidity of 10-90% in the internal air space of the package (10).
     
    9. The package (10) of claim 7, wherein the package body (15) defines the internal air space, and wherein the humidity control insert is separate from the package body (15).
     
    10. The package (10) of claim 7, wherein the package body (15) is a cigarette package body, in particular, wherein the humidity control insert is bonded to a foil located within the cigarette package body.
     
    11. The package (10) of claim 7 used for a moisture laden article, in particular, wherein the moisture laden article is selected from the group consisting of snuff, snus, cigars, dissolvable tobacco products, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, or wherein the moisture laden article is selected from the group consisting of food products and herbs.
     
    12. A method for making the humidity control insert of claim 1, comprising dispersing the hygroscopic powder material into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate by a dry powder impregnation process, wherein the hygroscopic powder material is dispersed into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate using an alternating electric field, and further comprising heating and compacting the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate so as to immobilize the hygroscopic powder material such that the hygroscopic powder material accounts for 1-50 wt. % of the dry weight of the humidity control insert.
     
    13. The method of claim 12, further comprising retaining moisture into the porous nonwoven fibrous substrate dispersed with the hygroscopic powder material before inserting the humidity control insert into the package (10).
     
    14. The method of claim 13, further comprising inserting the humidity control insert into the package (10).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ein Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz zum Halten von Feuchtigkeit vor Einsetzen in eine Packung (10), umfassend ein poröses Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat und ein hygroskopisches Pulvermaterial, welches innerhalb des porösen Nonwoven-Fasersubstrats dispergiert ist; wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial in dem porösen Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat mittels eines Trockenpulver-Imprägnierprozesses unter Verwendung eines elektrischen Wechselfeldes dispergiert wird, das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat dann erhitzt und verdichtet wird, um das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial innerhalb des porösen Nonwoven-Fasersubstrats zu immobilisieren; und wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial 1 bis 50 Gew.-% des Trockengewichts des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes ausmacht.
     
    2. Der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz nach Anspruch 1, wobei das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat mindestens ein Polymer umfasst, welches ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Polyethylen, Polystyrol, Polyvinylchlorid, Cellophan, Polycarbonat, Polyester, Polyamiden, Polyurethan, Ethylcellulose, Celluloseacetat, Polybutylen, Polypropylen, Polyethylenterephthalat, Polyvinylidenchlorid, Polyvinylfluorid, Polyvinylalkohol, Polyvinylidenfluorid und Copolymeren hiervon, oder wobei das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat mindestens ein Polymer umfasst, welches ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Polyethylen hoher Dichte, orientiertem Polystyrol, mikroporösem Polyethylen, mikrofaserigem Polyethylen und Polyvinylchlorid, oder wobei das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat mindestens ein Polymer umfasst, welches ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Polyglycolsäure, Polymilchsäure, Polyhydroxypropionat, Polyhydroxyvalerat, Polyhydroxybutyrat, Polyhydroxyhexanoat, Polyhydroxyoctanoat, Polycaprolacton, Polybutylensuccinat, Polybutylensuccinatadipat und Copolymeren hiervon.
     
    3. Der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz nach Anspruch 1, wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial mindestens ein Salz, einen Zucker, einen Zuckeralkohol und/oder eine mehrbasische Säure umfasst, mit welchen eine gewünschte relative Feuchtigkeit in einem Luftraum benachbart zu dem Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz erzeugbar ist, oder wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial mindestens ein Salz umfasst, welches ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Natriumsalzen, Kaliumsalzen, Magnesiumsalzen, Calciumsalzen, Ammoniumsalzen und Lithiumsalzen, oder wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial mindestens ein Salz umfasst, welches ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Natriumnitrit, Natriumnitrat, Natriumchlorid, Natriumbromid, Natriumiodid, Kaliumnitrit, Kaliumnitrat, Kaliumchlorid, Kaliumbromid, Kaliumiodid, Kaliumcitrat, Kaliumsulfat, Kaliumcarbonat, Kaliumhydroxid, Ammoniumnitrat, Ammoniumchlorid, Ammoniumsulfat, Ammoniumcarbonat und Calciumchlorid, oder wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial mindestens einen Zucker, einen Zuckeralkohol und/oder eine mehrbasische Säure umfasst, ausgewählt aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Saccharose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Mannitol, Zitronensäure oder deren Salzen, Maleinsäure oder deren Salzen, Apfelsäure oder deren Salzen und Bernsteinsäure oder deren Salzen.
     
    4. Der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz nach Anspruch 1, wobei das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat 50 bis 99 Gew.-% des Trockengewichts des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes ausmacht.
     
    5. Der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz nach Anspruch 1, wobei mindestens eine Seite des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes mit einem Papier oder einem Film laminiert ist, welche/s/r eine gedruckte Information umfasst.
     
    6. Der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz nach Anspruch 1, wobei beide Seiten des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes mit einem wasserdampfdurchlässigen Film laminiert sind, welcher einer Permeation flüssiger Feuchtigkeit widersteht.
     
    7. Eine Packung (10), umfassend:

    einen Packungskörper (15) und

    den Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz ausgebildet ist, eine darin gehaltene Feuchtigkeit in einen inneren Luftraum der Packung (10) freizusetzen.


     
    8. Die Packung (10) nach Anspruch 7, wobei der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz eine relative Feuchtigkeit von 10 bis 90 % in dem inneren Luftraum der Packung (10) bereitstellt.
     
    9. Die Packung (10) nach Anspruch 7, wobei der Packungskörper (15) den inneren Luftraum definiert und wobei der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz von dem Packungskörper (15) getrennt ist.
     
    10. Die Packung (10) nach Anspruch 7, wobei der Packungskörper (15) ein Zigarettenpackungskörper ist, wobei insbesondere der Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatz an eine Folie gebunden ist, welche innerhalb des Zigarettenpackungskörpers angeordnet ist.
     
    11. Die Packung (10) nach Anspruch 7, welche insbesondere für einen feuchtigkeitsbeladenen Artikel verwendet wird, wobei der feuchtigkeitsbeladene Artikel ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Schnupftabak, Snus, Zigarren, löslichen Tabakprodukten und Nicotinersatztherapie-(NRT-)Produkten, oder wobei der feuchtigkeitsbeladene Artikel ausgewählt ist aus der Gruppe bestehend aus Nahrungsmitteln und Kräutern.
     
    12. Ein Verfahren zur Herstellung des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes nach Anspruch 1, umfassend: Dispergieren des hygroskopischen Pulvermaterials in das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat mittels eines Trockenpulver-Imprägnierprozesses, wobei das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial unter Verwendung eines elektrischen Wechselfeldes in das poröse Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat dispergiert wird, und ferner umfassend: Erhitzen und Verdichten des Fasersubstrats, um das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial zu immobilisieren, derart, dass das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial 1 bis 50 Gew.-% des Trockengewichts des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes ausmacht.
     
    13. Das Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, ferner umfassend: Halten von Feuchtigkeit in dem porösen Nonwoven-Fasersubstrat, in welchem das hygroskopische Pulvermaterial dispergiert ist, vor Einsetzen des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes in die Packung (10).
     
    14. Das Verfahren nach Anspruch 13, ferner umfassend: Einsetzen des Feuchtigkeitskontrolleinsatzes in die Packung (10).
     


    Revendications

    1. Insert de régulation de l'humidité pour retenir l'humidité avant insertion dans un emballage (10), comprenant un substrat fibreux non tissé poreux et un matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique dispersé à l'intérieur du substrat fibreux non tissé poreux ; dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique est dispersé dans le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux par un traitement d'imprégnation de poudre sèche utilisant un champ électrique alternatif, le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux est ensuite chauffé et compacté pour que le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique soit immobilisé à l'intérieur du substrat fibreux non tissé poreux ; et dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique représente 1 à 50 % en poids du poids sec de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité.
     
    2. Insert de régulation de l'humidité selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux comprend au moins un polymère choisi dans le groupe constitué par le polyéthylène, le polystyrène, le poly(chlorure de vinyle), le cellophane, le polycarbonate, le polyester, les polyamides, le polyuréthane, l'éthylcellulose, l'acétate de cellulose, le polybutylène, le polypropylène, le poly(téréphtalate d'éthylène), le poly(chlorure de vinylidène), le poly(fluorure de vinyle), le poly(alcool vinylique), le poly(fluorure de vinylidène) et leurs copolymères, ou dans lequel le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux comprend au moins un polymère choisi dans le groupe constitué par le polyéthylène haute densité, le polystyrène orienté, le polyéthylène microporeux, le polyéthylène microfibreux et le poly(chlorure de vinyle), ou dans lequel le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux comprend au moins un polymère choisi dans le groupe constitué par le poly(acide glycolique), le poly(acide lactique), le polyhydroxypropionate, le polyhydroxyvalérate, le polyhydroxybutyrate, le polyhydroxyhexanoate, le polyhydroxyoctanoate, la polycaprolactone, le poly(succinate de butylène), le poly(succinate-adipate de butylène), et leurs copolymères.
     
    3. Insert de régulation de l'humidité selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique comprend au moins un sel, sucre, alcool de sucre, et/ou acide polybasique, qui est adapté pour créer une humidité relative souhaitée dans un espace d'air adjacent à l'insert de régulation de l'humidité, ou dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique comprend au moins un sel choisi dans le groupe constitué par les sels de sodium, les sels de potassium, les sels de magnésium, les sels de calcium, les sels d'ammonium, et les sels de lithium, ou dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique comprend au moins un sel choisi dans le groupe constitué par le nitrite de sodium, le nitrate de sodium, le chlorure de sodium, le bromure de sodium, l'iodure de sodium, le nitrite de potassium, le nitrate de potassium, le chlorure de potassium, le bromure de potassium, l'iodure de potassium, le citrate de potassium, le sulfate de potassium, le carbonate de potassium, l'hydroxyde de potassium, le nitrate d'ammonium, le chlorure d'ammonium, le sulfate d'ammonium, le carbonate d'ammonium, et le chlorure de calcium, ou dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique comprend au moins un sucre, alcool de sucre, et/ou acide polybasique choisi dans le groupe constitué par le saccharose, le fructose, le glucose, le galactose, le sorbitol, le xylitol, le mannitol, l'acide citrique ou ses sels, l'acide maléique ou ses sels, l'acide malique ou ses sels, et l'acide succinique ou ses sels.
     
    4. Insert de régulation de l'humidité selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux représente 50 à 99 % en poids du poids sec de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité.
     
    5. Insert de régulation de l'humidité selon la revendication 1, dans lequel au moins un côté de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité est stratifié avec un papier ou film comprenant des informations imprimées.
     
    6. Insert de régulation de l'humidité selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les deux côtés de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité sont stratifiés avec un film perméable à la vapeur d'eau qui est résistant à la perméation d'humidité liquide.
     
    7. Emballage (10) comprenant
    un corps d'emballage (15) ; et
    l'insert de régulation de l'humidité de la revendication 1, l'insert de régulation de l'humidité étant adapté pour libérer l'humidité contenue dans celui-ci dans un espace d'air interne de l'emballage (10).
     
    8. Emballage (10) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel l'insert de régulation de l'humidité assure une humidité relative de 10 à 90 % dans l'espace d'air interne de l'emballage (10).
     
    9. Emballage (10) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le corps d'emballage (15) définit l'espace d'air interne, et dans lequel l'insert de régulation de l'humidité est séparé du corps d'emballage (15).
     
    10. Emballage (10) selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le corps d'emballage (15) est un corps de paquet de cigarettes, en particulier dans lequel l'insert de régulation de l'humidité est collé à une feuille située à l'intérieur du corps de paquet de cigarettes.
     
    11. Emballage (10) selon la revendication 7 utilisé pour un article chargé d'humidité, en particulier dans lequel l'article chargé d'humidité est choisi dans le groupe constitué par le tabac à priser, le tabac à chiquer, les cigares, les produits de tabac solubles, et les produits de thérapie de remplacement de la nicotine (TRN), ou dans lequel l'article chargé d'humidité est choisi dans le groupe constitué par les produits alimentaires et les fines herbes.
     
    12. Procédé pour produire l'insert de régulation de l'humidité de la revendication 1, comprenant la dispersion du matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique dans le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux au moyen d'un traitement d'imprégnation de poudre sèche, dans lequel le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique est dispersé dans le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux par utilisation d'un champ électrique alternatif, et comprenant en outre le chauffage et le compactage du substrat fibreux non tissé poreux de façon que le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique soit immobilisé afin que le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique représente 1 à 50 % en poids du poids sec de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité.
     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 12, comprenant en outre la rétention d'humidité dans le substrat fibreux non tissé poreux avec le matériau pulvérulent hygroscopique dispersé avant l'insertion de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité dans l'emballage (10).
     
    14. Procédé selon la revendication 13, comprenant en outre l'insertion de l'insert de régulation de l'humidité dans l'emballage (10).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description