(19)
(11)EP 3 383 203 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 16808973.8

(22)Date of filing:  02.12.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A24B 13/00(2006.01)
B65B 29/00(2006.01)
B65B 51/30(2006.01)
B65B 51/22(2006.01)
B65B 9/10(2006.01)
B65B 51/26(2006.01)
B29C 65/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2016/079593
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/093488 (08.06.2017 Gazette  2017/23)

(54)

AN ORAL POUCHED SNUFF PRODUCT

ORALES SCHNUPFPRODUKT IN BEUTELFORM

PRODUIT ORAL À PRISER EMBALLÉ


(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: 02.12.2015 EP 15197550

(43)Date of publication of application:
10.10.2018 Bulletin 2018/41

(73)Proprietor: Swedish Match North Europe AB
118 85 Stockholm (SE)

(72)Inventors:
  • PERSSON, Tony
    SE-524 93 Herrljunga (SE)
  • KINDVALL, Mårten
    SE-415 24 Göteborg (SE)

(74)Representative: Valea AB 
Box 1098
405 23 Göteborg
405 23 Göteborg (SE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 3 087 852
WO-A1-2015/107484
US-A1- 2008 029 116
US-A1- 2010 059 069
US-B2- 7 810 507
WO-A1-2011/129883
FR-A1- 2 891 188
US-A1- 2010 018 541
US-A1- 2012 103 353
  
      
    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

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to an oral pouched snuff product comprising a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch having a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal. There is also provided a container having a base and a detachable lid together providing an interior container space in which a plurality of these oral pouched snuff products is contained and a method for its manufacturing.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Smokeless tobacco for oral use includes chewing tobacco, dry snuff and moist (wet) snuff. Generally, dry snuff has a moisture content of less than 10 wt% and moist snuff has a moisture content of above 40 wt%. Semi-dry products having between 10% to 40 wt% moisture content are also available.

    [0003] Smokeless tobacco products for oral use are made from tobacco leaves, such as lamina and stem of the tobacco leaf. The material from roots and stalks are normally not utilized for production of smokeless tobacco compositions for oral use.

    [0004] There are two types of moist snuff, the American type and the Scandinavian type which is also called snus. American-type moist snuff is commonly produced through a fermentation process. Scandinavian-type moist snuff is commonly produced by using a heat-treatment process (pasteurization) instead of fermentation. The heat-treatment is carried out in order to degrade, destroy or denature at least a portion of the microorganisms in the tobacco preparation.

    [0005] Both the American-type and the Scandinavian-type of moist snuff for oral use are available in loose form or portion-packed in a saliva-permeable, porous wrapper material forming a pouch. Pouched moist snuff, including snus, is typically used by the user by placing the pouch between the upper or lower gum and the lip or cheek and retaining it there for a limited period of time. The pouch material holds the tobacco in place while allowing saliva to pass into the interior of the pouched product and allowing flavors and nicotine to diffuse from the tobacco material into the user's mouth.

    [0006] There are also oral pouched nicotine-containing non-tobacco snuff products and oral pouched nicotine-free non-tobacco snuff products available which may be offered as alternatives to oral pouched smokeless tobacco products. These oral pouched non-tobacco snuff products are generally used in the same manner as the corresponding oral pouched tobacco snuff products.

    [0007] Examples of oral pouched nicotine-containing non-tobacco snuff products and the manufacture thereof are provided in WO 2012/134380.

    [0008] Examples of nicotine-free non-tobacco snuff products and the manufacture thereof are provided in WO 2007/126361 and WO 2008/133563.

    [0009] Oral pouched snuff products, such as tobacco-containing snuff products and non-tobacco snuff products, may be produced by measuring portions of the filling material (snuff composition) and inserting the portions into a nonwoven tube.

    [0010] US 4,703,765 discloses a device for packaging precise amounts of finely divided tobacco such as snuff tobacco or the like, in a tubular packaging material into which snuff portions are injected via a fill tube. Downstream from the tube, welding means are positioned for transverse sealing of the packaging material, and also cutting means for severing the packaging material in the area of the transverse seal to thus form discrete or individual portion packages.
    EP 2428450 B1 relates to a snus dosing method, wherein a portion of tobacco is filled into a dosing chamber of a dosing device and then blown out of the dosing chamber by means of blow-out air to which water vapor has been added.
    Document EP 3087852 A1 discloses according to its abstract an oral pouched product, such as an oral pouched smokeless tobacco product, which comprises a filling material, such as tobacco material, and a saliva-permeable pouch enclosing the filling material, the product having a rectangular shape with a maximum length and a maximum width, wherein the maximum width of the product is within the range of from 3 mm to 10 mm, the maximum length of the product is within the range of from 25 mm to 40 mm, the ratio of maximum length to maximum width is within the range of from 3 to 6, and the oral pouched product has a weight within the range of from 0.3 to 0.7 g.
    Document US 2010/0018541 A1 discloses according to its abstract a smokeless tobacco product is provided. A tobacco product configured for insertion into the mouth of a user of that product comprises a water-permeable pouch containing a tobacco formulation that includes a granular tobacco composition and miraculin.
    Document US 7,810,507 B2 discloses according to its abstract a smokeless tobacco product configured for insertion into the mouth of a user of the product is provided. The tobacco product includes a water-permeable pouch containing a tobacco formulation, the tobacco formulation including a tobacco material and a plurality of microcapsules dispersed within the tobacco material, the plurality of microcapsules including an outer shell encapsulating an internal payload. The internal payload may include an additive such as water, flavorants, binders, colorants, pH adjusters, buffering agents, fillers, disintegration aids, humectants, antioxidants, oral care ingredients, preservatives, additives derived from herbal or botanical sources, and mixtures thereof. Microencapsulated flavorants include tobacco-containing flavorants, such as tobacco extracts or a particulate tobacco material, sweeteners, and vanillin.

    [0011] Oral pouched snuff products, such as tobacco-containing snuff products and non-tobacco snuff products, may alternatively be produced by placing portions of tobacco-containing or tobacco-free moist snuff composition on a nonwoven web using a pouch packer machine in accordance with the device disclosed in US 6,135,120. This device comprises feeding means for feeding the snuff composition into pockets formed in a rotary portioning wheel for portioning the composition into portions, at least one compression means for compressing the snuff portions, a unit for advancing a packaging material, such as a nonwoven web, in synchrony with the compressed portions, at least one discharge means for discharging the portions from the pockets to the packaging material, and a forming unit for forming individual portion packages (such as pouched smokeless tobacco products) from the discharged portions and the packaging material. At the intended point of discharge of the portions of to the packaging material, said packaging material has the form of a tape, the compression means being arranged to compress the portions in a direction which differs from the discharging and the feeding directions. The compression is preferably effected in a direction perpendicular to the discharging and the feeding directions. The compression may be effected in the axial direction of the portioning wheel whereas the feeding and discharging may be effected in the radial direction of said wheel. This technique is herein referred to as the "NYPS" technique.

    [0012] The packaging material forming the pouch in oral pouched snuff products is typically a dry-laid bonded nonwoven comprising viscose rayon fibres (i.e. regenerated cellulose) and an acrylic polymer that acts as binder in the nonwoven material and provides for heat-sealing of the pouches during manufacturing thereof. The viscose nonwoven normally used for pouched smokeless tobacco products is similar to the fabric used in tea bags. Nonwovens are fabrics that are neither woven nor knitted. Methods for the manufacturing of nonwoven materials are commonly known in the art. Further information on nonwovens is found in "Handbook of Nonwovens" by S. Russel, published by Woodhead Publ. Ltd., 2007.

    [0013] The packaging material forming the pouch of an oral pouched snuff pouch should during manufacturing of the pouch provide for sealing, upon storage of the pouch exhibit none or a low degree of discoloration and upon usage by a consumer preserve integrity and strength, allow for a desired release profile of nicotine and flavors and provide a pleasant mouth-feel.

    [0014] The organoleptic properties, such as texture, aroma, taste, shape and appearance, of the pouched snuff product, such as an oral pouched smokeless tobacco product, are of high importance to the user. It is generally desirable to provide oral pouched snuff products with rapid release of flavor and/or nicotine to provide an initial strong flavor experience and/or reduce nicotine craving.

    [0015] Oral pouched snuff products are normally sized and configured to fit comfortably and discreetly in a user's mouth between the upper or lower gum and the lip. In general, oral pouched snuff products have a generally rectangular shape. Some typical shapes (length x width) of commercially available oral pouched snuff products are, for instance, 35 mm x 20 mm, 34/35 mm x 14 mm, 33/34 mm x 18 mm, and 27/28 mm x 14 mm. The thickness ("height") of the pouched product is normally within the range of from 2 to 8 mm, such as 5 to 7 mm. The total weight of commercially available oral pouched snuff tobacco products, such as an oral pouched smokeless tobacco product, are typically within the range from about 0.3 to about 3.5 g, such as from about 0.5 to 1.7 g, per pouched product.

    [0016] The individual portioned-packed snuff products are sealed and cut apart thereby forming rectangular "pillow shaped" (or any other desired form) pouched products. Generally, each final pouched product includes parallel transverse seals at opposite ends and a longitudinal seal orthogonal to the transverse seals. The seals should be of sufficient strength to preserve the integrity of the pouched product during use while not disturbing the user's experience. Heat melt-welding is commonly used today in the production of oral pouched snuff products to create the seals of the oral pouched snuff product. Heat melt-welding is generally performed by using welding apparatus heated to a temperature ranging from about 200°C to 350°C.

    [0017] US 8122893 B2 discloses a machine for manufacturing pouches of a smokeless tobacco product. The machine comprises an intermittently rotatable dispensing disc with peripheral cavities, a station at which each cavity is filled with a given quantity of tobacco equivalent to a single portion, a push rod mechanism by which the portions of tobacco are ejected from each cavity of the disc at a transfer station, and a connecting duct through which the portion of tobacco ejected by the push rod from each cavity passes directly to a wrapping station where the pouches are formed, filled with the tobacco product and sealed. A rectilinear duct connects the transfer station with the wrapping station. The wrapping station comprises a tubular element positioned at the outlet end of the rectilinear duct, around which a tubular envelope of wrapping material is formed. The tubular envelope is sealed longitudinally by ultrasonic welders operating in close proximity to the tubular element. The machine also comprises sealing means located beneath the tubular element, of which the function is to bond the tubular envelope transversely in such a manner as to form a continuous succession of pouches, each containing a relative portion of tobacco. Downstream of the transverse sealing means, the machine comprises a pair of transport belts looped around respective pulleys positioned to take up and direct the continuous succession of pouches toward cutting means by which the succession of pouches is divided up into single units.

    [0018] Moreover US 2012/0067362 relates to a smokeless oral product comprising a permeable pouch of woven polylactide material which may be sealed by, for instance, a ultrasonic welding. These seams are disclosed to be smaller and more precise and therefore tidier and more visually appealing. They may also be more comfortable in the mouth of the user. Smaller seams have the further advantage that the required amount of woven material is reduced. However, apart from these advantages, ultrasonic welding and heat melt-welding are considered as equivalent welding techniques.

    [0019] US 2010/059069 A1 relates to a machine for manufacturing individual bags or sachets of cohesionless material, such as pouches of snuff for oral use. The machine comprises an intermittently rotatable dispensing disc with peripheral cavities, a station at which each cavity is filled with a given quantity of tobacco equivalent to a single portion, a push rod mechanism by which the portions of tobacco are ejected from each cavity of the disc at a transfer station, and a connecting duct through which the portion of tobacco ejected by the push rod from each cavity passes directly to a wrapping station where the pouches are formed, filled with the tobacco product and sealed. The sealing may be performed using ultrasonic welders.

    [0020] US 2008/029116 A1 relates to a smokeless tobacco product comprising a water-permeable pouch containing a tobacco formulation and an outer packaging material enveloping said pouch and being sealed so as to allow a controlled environment to be maintained within. An exemplary granulated tobacco formulation is disclosed to contain about 15 to about 30 parts mannitol powder and to have a moisture content of about 4 percent (see Example 2).

    [0021] WO 2011/129883 A1 relates to a pouch product including a pouch wrapper formed of a web having a longitudinal integrated fin and lap seal. The pouch wrapper contains a filling material including tobacco or non-tobacco material and optional additives.

    [0022] Generally, oral pouched snuff products are packaged in a container, such as a box, a can or canister made of plastic, metallic or cardboard material. The oral pouched snuff products may be filled randomly in the container or positioned in a pattern, for instance as described in WO 2012/069505.

    [0023] It is from an economic perspective as well as from a consumer experience perspective desirable to pack the containers densely with pouched snuff products. When randomly filling pouched snuff products into containers during the packaging procedure, some products will rise above the upper edge of the container base. This means that there is a risk for squeezing some pouched snuff products between the base and the lid of the container when the lid is attached to the base of the container. In order to reduce this risk, the containers are normally slightly shaken before the lid is attached to the base of the container. However, containers with squeezed pouched snuff products may anyhow occur. These containers are generally disqualified for distribution to consumers since, for instance, the storage stability of the products may be impaired. Thus, there is a need to reduce the waste resulting from these disqualified containers.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0024] An object of the present disclosure is to alleviate at least the problem discussed above, and to provide advantages and aspects not provided by hitherto known technique.

    [0025] According to a first aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided an oral pouched snuff product according to claim 1, the oral pouched snuff product comprising a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch enclosing the filling material, the oral pouched snuff product having a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction perpendicular to said longitudinal direction; the saliva-permeable pouch comprising a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal, each of said first elongated seal and second elongated seal having a seal length extending along said transverse direction of the product and a seal width extending along the longitudinal direction of the product, wherein the seal width of each of first and second elongated seals being within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm, said first elongated seal sealing a first outermost end portion of the pouch, and said second elongated seal sealing a second outermost end portion of the pouch. Thus, the first and second outermost end portions of the pouch are located at opposite peripheral sides of the oral pouched snuff product.

    [0026] According to a second aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided a container for oral pouched snuff products, said container having a base and a detachable lid together providing an interior container space in which a plurality of oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein is contained. The plurality of oral pouched snuff products may occupy at least 30% by volume of the interior container space.

    [0027] As mentioned above, it is desirable to pack the pouched snuff products densely in the containers. Moreover, in order to preserve moisture in moist oral pouched snuff products, it may be advantageous to minimize the amount of excess air in the sealed container.

    [0028] It has been found that the above-mentioned problem that oral pouched snuff products may be squeezed between the base and the lid when packaging the products in a container may be avoided or at least reduced by the oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein. When a plurality of the oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein is randomly filled into an interior container space, the products will spontaneously pack more densely than previously known products when the same number of products, having the same maximum length along the longitudinal direction of the product and containing the same weight of filling material per product, is packed. This means that fewer products will rise above the upper edge of the container base and the risk for squeezing products between the base and the lid of the container when the lid is attached to the base will be reduced.

    [0029] Moreover, the tendency for compression of the pouched products when the lid is attached to the base may also be reduced.

    [0030] Furthermore, the ratio of packaging material to filling material, herein also referred to as filling composition or snuff composition, of the oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be decreased in comparison to commercially available oral pouched snuff products. Thus, the amount of filling material per product weight may be increased.

    [0031] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein is enabled by an apparatus and a method which provide for simultaneous ultrasonic welding and cutting thereby providing a cut in a welded area. Ultrasonic welding enables the formation of seals having a reduced seal width in comparison to seals formed by heat melt-welding. Moreover, by providing a cut in a welded area, the entire region of the seam(s) of the pouch will be sealed and the pouch will lack protruding unsealed outermost end portions. In other words, the seal will be coterminous with an end edge of the packaging material forming the pouch. Thus, the outermost end portions of the pouch are sealed by the first and second elongated seals having a seal width within the range of from 0.1 to 1 mm, and the pouch will thus lack protruding unsealed edges which may affect how densely the products spontaneously will pack when randomly filled into an interior container space.

    [0032] According to a third aspect of the present disclosure, there is provided a method according to claim 11 for producing a container having a plurality of oral pouched snuff products contained in its interior space, the container having a base and a detachable lid together providing the interior container space, in particular the plurality of oral pouched snuff products occupying at least 30% by volume of the interior container space, the method comprising
    • supplying and advancing at least one web of packaging material, the at least one web of packaging material advancing in a direction of travel;
    • supplying the filling material to the at least one advancing web of packaging material;
    • ultrasonically welding and cutting the at least one advancing web of packaging material to which the filling material has been supplied to provide a plurality of pouches enclosing the filling material, each thereby provided oral pouched snuff product having a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction perpendicular to said longitudinal direction, each pouch comprising a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal, each of said first elongated seal and a second elongated seal having a seal length extending along the transverse direction of the product and a seal width extending along the longitudinal direction of the product, the seal width being within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm, the first elongated seal is sealing a first outermost end portion of the pouch, and the second elongated seal is sealing a second outermost end portion of the pouch, wherein said ultrasonic welding and cutting are performed simultaneously thereby providing a cut in a welded area; and
    • supplying the thereby provided plurality of oral pouched snuff products to the container.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0033] 

    Fig. 1 illustrates an exemplary sealing device which may be used when producing the oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein.

    Fig. 2 is a detailed cross-sectional view showing the sealing device in operation.

    Fig. 3a-g illustrate an arrangement which may be used for manufacturing portion-packed oral pouched snuff products in accordance with the method as disclosed herein.

    Fig. 4 illustrates a cross-section through a nip of a pulling unit.

    Fig. 5 illustrates another exemplary sealing device which may be used when producing the oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein.

    Fig. 6 is a detailed view of the anvil of the sealing device of Fig. 5.

    Fig. 7 is a detailed view of an alternative anvil.

    Fig. 8 illustrates spontaneous distribution of pouched snuff products having ultrasonically welded transverse seals in comparison to reference products having heat-melt welded transverse seals.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0034] By "tobacco" as used herein is meant any part, e.g., leaves, stems, and stalks, of any member of the genus Nicotiana. The tobacco may be whole, shredded, threshed, cut, ground, cured, aged, fermented, or treated otherwise, e.g., granulated or encapsulated.

    [0035] The term "tobacco material" is used herein for tobacco leaves or parts of leaves, such as lamina and stem. The leaves and parts of leaves may be finely divided (disintegrated), such as ground, cut, shredded or threshed, and the parts of leaves may be blended in defined proportions in the tobacco material.

    [0036] "Oral" and "oral use" is in all contexts used herein as a description for use in the oral cavity of a human, such as buccal placement.

    [0037] The term "oral pouched snuff products" as used herein includes oral pouched non-tobacco snuff products, which may be nicotine-containing or nicotine-free, as well as oral pouched tobacco snuff products (also called oral pouched smokeless tobacco products).

    [0038] As used herein the terms "pouched snuff product for oral use" or "oral pouched snuff product" refer to a portion of smokeless tobacco or tobacco-free filling material, which may be nicotine-containing or nicotine free as described herein, packed in a saliva-permeable pouch material intended for oral use.

    [0039] As used herein, the term "moisture content" refers to the total amount of oven volatile ingredients, such as water and other oven volatiles (e.g. propylene glycol) in the preparation, composition or product referred to. The moisture content is given herein as percent by weight (wt%) of the total weight of the preparation, composition or product referred to.

    [0040] Some fibrous materials may exhibit hygroscopic properties. Hygroscopic materials maintain equilibrium moisture content depending on the ambient moisture and temperature.

    [0041] The moisture content as referred to herein may be determined by using a method based on literature references Federal Register/ vol.74, no. 4/712-719/Wednesday, January 7, 2009/Notices "Total moisture determination" and AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemics), Official Methods of Analysis 966.02: "Moisture in Tobacco" (1990), Fifth Edition, K. Helrich (ed). In this method, the moisture content is determined gravimetrically by taking 2.5±0.25 g sample and weighing the sample at ambient conditions, herein defined as being at a temperature of 22°C and a relative humidity of 60%, before evaporation of moisture and after completion of dehydration. Mettler Toledo's Moisture Analyzer HB43, a balance with halogen heating technology, is used (instead of an oven and a balance as in the mentioned literature references) in the experiments described herein. The sample is heated to 105°C (instead of 99.5±0.5°C as in the mentioned literature references). The measurement is stopped when the weight change is less than 1 mg during a 90 seconds time frame. The moisture content as weight percent of the sample is then calculated automatically by the Moisture Analyzer HB43.

    [0042] The term "additional ingredient" as used herein denotes substances other than tobacco material, salt (e.g. sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and any combinations thereof), pH adjuster (e.g. sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate) and water.

    [0043] "Flavour" or "flavouring agent" is used herein for a substance used to influence the aroma and/or taste of the snuff product, including, but not limited to, essential oils, single flavour compounds, compounded flavourings, and extracts.

    [0044] As used herein "finely divided" means an average particle size of less than 2 mm. The particles of the finely divided tobacco material may be sized to pass through a screen of about 10 (US) mesh, i.e. sieve size 2.0 mm, or 18 (US) mesh, i.e. sieve size 1.0 mm.

    [0045] As used herein "% w/w" or "wt %" or "weight %" refers to weight percent of the ingredient referred to of the total weight of the preparation, composition or product referred to.

    [0046] As used herein, reference to "dry weight percent" refers to weight percent of the ingredient referred to on the basis of the total weight of dry ingredients, i.e. all ingredients of the preparation, composition or product referred to excluding moisture content.

    [0047] As used herein, the term "seam" refers to those parts of the pouch material (packaging material) which are brought into contact with one another in order to form the pouch of the pouched product.

    [0048] The seam further comprises a sealed portion, which is referred to as the seal of the pouched product. In case the outermost portion of the seam is unsealed, the seal is narrower in width than the seam. In case the entire region of the seam is sealed, the width of the seam and the seal is the same.

    [0049] A lap seam/seal is formed by bringing an outer surface portion of the pouch material and an inner surface portion of the pouch material into a superposed relation.

    [0050] A fin seam/seal is formed by bringing inner surface portions of the pouch material into a superposed relation.

    [0051] A combined lap-and-fin seam/seal is formed by first bringing inner surface portions of the pouch material into a superposed relation, optionally sealing to form a fin seal, and then lap sealing the fin seam/seal to an outer surface portion of the pouch material.

    [0052] In this context, "inner surface" of the pouch material refers to the surface of the pouch material that will form the interior of the final pouch, i.e. the side of the pouch material that will face the filling material enclosed in the pouch. "Outer surface" of the pouch material refers to the surface of the pouch material that will form the exterior of the final pouch.

    [0053] As used herein, the "seal width" or "width of a seal" of a pouch refers to the maximum width of the sealed portion in the planar extension of the packaging material forming the pouch.

    [0054] As used herein, the "seal length" or "length of a seal" of a pouch refers to the maximum length of the sealed portion in the planar extension of the packaging material forming the pouch.

    [0055] Thus, an elongated seal has a seal length extending along the elongation of the seal and a seal width extending transverse (orthogonal) to the elongation of the seal.

    [0056] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be an oral pouched smokeless tobacco product, an oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-containing snuff product or an oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-free snuff product.

    [0057] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein are intended for use in the oral cavity, such as buccal placement (e.g. by placing the pouched product between the upper or lower gum and the lip or cheek), and may therefore be referred to as portion-packed (pouched) product for oral use. The oral pouched product is sized and configured to fit comfortably and discreetly in a user's mouth between the upper or lower gum and the lip or cheek.

    [0058] The oral pouched product as disclosed herein may have an oblong shape, such as a substantially rectangular shape (as seen from above when the product is placed on a planar surface). In such case, the longitudinal direction of the product corresponds to the length of the substantially rectangular product and the transverse direction of the product corresponds to the width of the substantially rectangular product.

    [0059] The total weight of the oral pouched product (including filling material and pouch) may be within the range of from 0.2 g to 2.0 g, such as within the range of from 0.3 g to 1.5 g or from 0.3 to 0.7 g.

    [0060] The pouch of the oral pouched product may be made of any suitable saliva-permeable (and preferably non-dissolvable) pouch material, such as non-woven.

    [0061] A binder may be included in the pouch material to facilitate sealing of the material by ultrasonic welding. The binder may be any suitable adhesive material, and suitable binders will be known to the skilled person. For example, thermoplastic binders based on polyacrylates can be used as suitable polymer binders.

    [0062] The pouch material (herein also called packaging material) may be a nonwoven material comprising staple fibres of regenerated cellulose, such as viscose rayon staple fibres, and a binder, such as a polyacrylate.

    [0063] The pouch material (herein also called packaging material) may be nonwoven comprising viscose rayon staple fibres and within the range of from 35% to 45% by weight, based on dry weight of the nonwoven, of a binder, such as a polyacrylate.

    [0064] The pouch material may also comprise additional ingredients, such as flavouring agents and/or colorants.

    Oral pouched smokeless tobacco products



    [0065] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be an oral pouched smokeless tobacco product.

    [0066] The oral pouched smokeless tobacco product may include a tobacco composition (as filling material) comprising divided (e.g. ground or cut) tobacco material, water, salt (e.g. sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride or any combinations thereof), pH adjuster (e.g. sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, sodium carbonate , sodium bicarbonate or magnesium carbonate) and optionally one or more additional ingredients, such as flavouring agents, cooling agents, heating agents, sweetening agents, colorants, humectants (e.g. glycerol or propylene glycol), antioxidants, preservatives (e.g. as potassium sorbate), binders, fillers, non-tobacco plant fibers and/or disintegration aids.

    [0067] Typically, the amount of tobacco material in the smokeless tobacco composition is within the range of from about 50 to about 80% w/w based on dry weight of the smokeless tobacco composition. The tobacco material is typically finely divided, such as cut (shredded) or ground tobacco material, in granulated form or in powder form, i.e. tobacco flour, for instance having an average particle size of about 1 mm to about 2 mm. The tobacco material may be cured (aged) tobacco material. The tobacco material may be a bleached tobacco material.

    [0068] Generally, cured and ground or cut tobacco material has moisture content within the range of from 3% to 15% w/w, such as within the range of from 3 to 10% w/w or 5% to 8% w/w. Generally, the pH of such finely divided tobacco material is within the range of from 4 to 6, such as within the range of from 4.5 to 6.

    [0069] pH of divided tobacco material, such as tobacco flour, can be measured by adding 100 ml of distilled water to 5 gram of tobacco material, for instance in a 100 ml Erlenmeyer flask, stirring the resulting mixture at room temperature with a magnetic stirrer at 100 rpm for about 5 minutes, and then measuring the pH of an extract obtained therefrom with a calibrated (according to the manufacturer's instructions) pH meter. For correctness of readings, the sample solutions shall be analyzed within one hour.

    [0070] Salt, such as sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and any combinations thereof, is added mainly for its effect on taste but it also has a preservative action which contributes to improved shelf life of the product. Salt, such as sodium chloride lowers the water activity of the products, thus preventing microorganisms from growing. The natural occurrence of sodium chloride in tobacco material is normally below 2% w/w, typically below 1% w/w, based on dry weight of the tobacco material. Normally, the amount of added salt in the smokeless tobacco composition is within the range of from about 0.5 to about 10% w/w based on dry weight of the tobacco composition.

    [0071] pH adjusters, such as sodium carbonate, are added to bring the pH value to the slightly alkaline side, such as about pH 7.5 to 8.5. Sodium carbonate may also be used to give the products their characteristic aroma profile. Typically, the amount of pH adjuster in the smokeless tobacco composition is less than about 7% w/w, such as within the range of from 3 to 5% w/w, based on dry weight of the tobacco composition.

    [0072] Humectants, such as propylene glycol or glycerol, may also be added. Normally, the amount of humectant in the smokeless tobacco composition is within the range of from about 5 to about 10% w/w based on dry weight of the tobacco composition.

    [0073] Flavours used are generally natural or nature identical compounds that comply with food regulations. Flavours may be dissolved in ethanol when added.

    [0074] In addition, the smokeless tobacco composition may optionally comprise other botanical filling material as filler, such as any non-tobacco plant fiber. Examples of non-tobacco plant fibers are maize fibers, oat fibers, tomato fibers, barley fibers, rye fibers, sugar beet fibers, buck wheat fibers, potato fibers, apple fibers, cocoa fibers, bamboo fibers and citrus fibers. The amount of non-tobacco plant fiber material, such as bamboo fibers, in the smokeless tobacco composition may be within the range of from about 1 to about 60% w/w, such as from about 2 to about 20% w/w, based on dry weight of the smokeless tobacco composition.

    [0075] Other fillers, which may be used to, for instance, increase the volume of the smokeless tobacco composition, may be microcrystalline cellulose, cellulose and other polysaccharides, cellulose derivatives, polyols, such as xylitol, maltitol, mannitol and sorbitol, and any combinations thereof.

    [0076] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be a post-moisturized or non-post-moisturized oral pouched smokeless tobacco product.

    [0077] The moisture content of the oral pouched smokeless tobacco product as disclosed herein may be within the range of from 3 to 60% w/w, such as within the range of from 10 to 60% w/w or from 15 to 60% w/w or from 20 to 60% w/w or from 30 to 60% w/w or from 30 to 55% w/w or from 40 to 55% w/w or from 45 to 55% w/w or from 50 to 55% w/w, based on the total weight of the product.

    Oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-free snuff products



    [0078] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be an oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-free snuff product.

    [0079] The oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-free snuff product may include a non-tobacco nicotine-free composition (as filling material) comprising divided non-tobacco plant material (e.g. in flour form), salt (e.g. sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and any combinations thereof), and optionally one or more additional ingredients, such as flavouring agents, cooling agents, heating agents, sweetening agents, colorants, humectants (e.g. propylene glycol or glycerol), antioxidants, preservatives (e.g. potassium sorbate), binders, fillers, and disintegration aids.

    [0080] Typically, the amount of non-tobacco plant material in the nicotine-free non-tobacco snuff composition is within the range of from about 50 to 80% w/w based on dry weight of the composition.

    [0081] Examples of non-tobacco plant fibres used in the non-tobacco plant material are dietary plant fibres, such as maize fibers, oat fibers, tomato fibers, barley fibers, rye fibers, sugar beet fibers, buck wheat fibers, potato fibers, apple fibers, cocoa fibers, bamboo fibers, citrus fibers and any combinations thereof.

    [0082] The additional ingredients and the amounts thereof normally used are similar as described herein in relation to oral pouched smokeless tobacco products.

    [0083] Examples of non-tobacco nicotine-free snuff products and their manufacturing are described in WO 2007/126361 and WO 2008/133563.

    Oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-containing snuff products



    [0084] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be an oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-containing snuff product.

    [0085] The oral pouched non-tobacco nicotine-containing snuff product may comprise a particulate material (as filling material) comprising nicotine or a salt thereof, such as nicotine bitartrate, and one or more fillers, such as polysaccharides (e.g. maltitol and mannitol) and/or microcrystalline cellulose.

    [0086] Examples of oral pouched nicotine-containing non-tobacco snuff products and their manufacturing are described in WO 2012/134380.

    [0087] The portion-packaging procedure (i.e. the formation of pouches enclosing the filling material) of oral pouched non-tobacco snuff products, which also may be referred to as oral smokeless non-tobacco snuff products, is similar to the procedure of manufacturing oral pouched smokeless tobacco products except for that the tobacco material is replaced by a non-tobacco material.

    [0088] The oral pouched non-tobacco snuff products as disclosed herein are used in the same manner as the corresponding oral pouched tobacco snuff products. Oral pouched non-tobacco snuff products may also be used for the administration of drugs, as delivery systems intended for oral use and controlled release of biologically active substances.

    [0089] The oral pouched snuff product may be packaged in a box, can, canister, cardboard box, bag, stick-pack wrapping, plastic wrapping, paper wrapping, foil wrapping, blister pack or on a tray.

    [0090] The oral pouched (i.e. portion-packed) snuff products, produced in accordance with the method as disclosed herein, may be positioned randomly in a container or in a pattern, for instance as described in WO 2012/069505. Alternatively or additionally, each oral pouched snuff product may be placed in a sachet.

    [0091] In welding, materials are joined by fusing. The materials to be joined are melted in order to allow formation of a solid-state weld.

    [0092] Melting occurs when the internal energy of a solid increases, typically by the application of heat or pressure. At the melting point the change in Gibbs free energy ΔG of the material is zero, but the enthalpy (H) and the entropy (S) of the material are increasing (ΔH, ΔS > 0). Melting occurs when the Gibbs free energy of the liquid becomes lower than the solid for that material.

    [0093] As discussed above, ultrasonic welding may generate seals that are narrower in width (smaller) and more precise than seals created by heat melt-welding. Such seals are therefore generally tidier, more visually appealing and more discrete than seals created by heat melt-welding. They may also be more comfortable in the mouth of the user. Narrower seals have the further advantage that the amount of pouch material required may be reduced.

    [0094] Ultrasonic welding causes local melting of the materials to be joined due to absorption of vibration energy. The vibrations are introduced across the joint to be welded. Generally, melting of the material to be sealed is caused by applying high frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibrations. Ultrasounds have frequencies higher than the upper audible limit of a human, which is about 20 kHz for a young adult.

    [0095] The present disclosure provides an oral pouched snuff product comprising a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch enclosing the filling material, the oral pouched snuff product having a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction perpendicular to said longitudinal direction, the saliva-permeable pouch comprising a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal, each of said first elongated seal and said second elongated seal having a seal length extending along the transverse direction of the product and a seal width extending along the longitudinal direction of the product, wherein the seal width of the at least one elongated seal being within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm, , said first elongated seal is sealing a first outermost end portion of the pouch, and said second elongated seal is sealing a second outermost end portion of the pouch.

    [0096] Thus, in the oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein, the entire region of each seam extending along the transverse direction of the product is sealed and the width of the seam and the seal is the same. Thus, the pouch of the oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein lacks protruding unsealed outermost end portions.

    [0097] The saliva-permeable pouch of the oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein comprises an additional elongated seal having a seal length extending along the longitudinal direction of the product and a seal width extending along the transverse direction of the product, said seal width being equal to or less than 2 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 2 mm or from 0.1 mm to 1 mm or from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm.

    [0098] The additional seal may be an ultrasonically provided weld. The first elongated seal and the second elongated seal are ultrasonically provided welds.

    [0099] A plurality of the oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein may be provided in an interior container space of a container having a base and a detachable lid together providing the interior container space. The plurality of oral pouched snuff products may occupy at least 30% by volume, such as at least 35% by volume, of the interior container space.

    [0100] In certain cases, the plurality of oral pouched snuff products may occupy at least 40% by volume or at least 45% by volume or at least 50% by volume of the interior container space.

    [0101] The container may be a canister having an inner diameter within the range of from 50 mm to 75 mm, such as within the range of from 50 mm to 70 mm, for instance 51 mm, 63 mm or 67 mm.

    [0102] The container may contain within the range of from 10 to 30 oral pouched snuff products, such as 15, 18, 20 or 24 oral pouched snuff products.

    [0103] An example of a container, as disclosed herein, is a canister having an inner diameter of 63 mm, an interior container space of about 39 cm3, and containing within the range of from 15 to 20 oral pouched snuff products having a total product weight within the range of from 6.0 to 10.0 g.

    [0104] Each oral pouched snuff products may have a maximum length within the range of from 25 to 35 mm along the longitudinal direction of the product and a maximum width within the range of from 12 to 20 mm along the transverse direction of the product.

    [0105] An exemplary oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may have a product weight of about 0.4 g, a maximum length of 28 mm along the longitudinal direction of the product and a maximum width of 12 mm along the transverse direction of the product.

    [0106] The tapped apparent volume of 20 of these exemplary oral pouched snuff products was determined to be about 18 ml by using the herein described method, Thus, the volume per pouched product was determined to be about 0.90 ml.

    [0107] When placing 15 of these pouched products in the above mentioned container having an interior container space of about 39 cm3 (i.e. 39 ml), the pouched products will occupy at least 35% by volume, such as about 36% by volume, of the interior container space.

    [0108] When placing 18 of these pouched products in the above mentioned container having an interior container space of about 39 cm3 (i.e. 39 ml), the pouched products will occupy at least 40% by volume, such as about 42% by volume, of the interior container space.

    [0109] When placing 20 of these pouched products in the above mentioned container having an interior container space of about 39 cm3 (i.e. 39 ml), the pouched products will occupy at least 40% by volume, such as about 47% by volume, of the interior container space.

    [0110] A further example of a container, as disclosed herein, is a canister having an inner diameter of 67 mm, an interior container space of about 66 cm3, and containing within the range of from 20 to 24 oral pouched snuff products having a total product weight within the range of from 16 - 24 g.

    [0111] An example of a presently commercially available oral pouched snuff product is an oral pouched smokeless tobacco product having a product weight of about 0.8 g, a maximum length of 34 mm along the longitudinal direction of the product and a maximum width of 18 mm along the transverse direction of the product. The tapped apparent volume of 20 of these pouched products was determined to be about 24 ml by using the herein described method. Thus, when placing 20 of these pouched snuff products in the above mentioned container having an interior container space of about 66 cm3 (i.e. 66 ml), the pouched products will occupy at least about 35%, such as about 36%, of the interior container space.

    [0112] The volume (VP) occupied by the oral pouched snuff products may be determined using a volumeter normally used for determining bulk density or tap density of powders.

    [0113] A powder poured into a cylinder will have a certain bulk density. If the cylinder is disturbed, the powder particles will usually pack more densely resulting in a higher bulk density. For this reason, the bulk density of powders is usually reported both as "freely settled" (or "poured" density) and "tapped" density, where the tapped density refers to the bulk density of the powder after a specified compaction process, usually involving vibration of the container.

    [0114] The volume occupied by the oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein may be determined using, for instance, Tapping Density and Apparent Volume Tester PT-TD200 from Pharma Test. In the test described hereinafter, 20 pouched snuff products and 100 g microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200, are placed in a graduated measuring cylinder of 250 ml and the cylinder is thereafter mechanically tapped.

    [0115] By reading off the tapped apparent volume (VXP) for the microcrystalline cellulose and the pouched products, the tapped apparent volume (VP) of the oral pouched products may be determined. The density of the microcrystalline cellulose is determined in a separate measurement and the tapped apparent volume of the microcrystalline cellulose (VX) is calculated.



    [0116] The tapped apparent volume (VP) of the oral pouched products, as measured in accordance with the herein described method, may be used to determine the volume occupied by the plurality of oral pouched snuff products in the container as disclosed herein.

    [0117] Details about the method for measuring the tapped apparent volume of oral pouched snuff products are given in the Examples hereinafter.

    [0118] The detachable lid of the container as disclosed herein may, for instance, be a snap-fit lid or a hingedly-connected lid.

    [0119] The oral pouched snuff product as disclosed herein may be produced by a method according to claim 11, comprising:
    • supplying and advancing at least one web of packaging material, the at least one web of packaging material advancing in a direction of travel;
    • supplying a filling material to the at least one advancing web of packaging material;
    • ultrasonically welding and cutting the at least one advancing web of packaging material to which the filling material has been supplied to provide a plurality of pouches enclosing the filling material.


    [0120] The method further comprising:
    • forming the at least one advancing web of packaging material into a tubular web, said forming being performed before or after supplying said filling material, thereby providing an advancing tubular web of packaging material containing the filling material; and
    • ultrasonically welding and cutting said advancing tubular web of packaging material containing the filling material.


    [0121] In particular, the method may further comprise simultaneous ultrasonic welding and cutting of the advancing web of packaging material to which the filling material has been supplied, such as an advancing tubular web of packaging material containing the filling material, thereby providing a cut in a welded area.

    [0122] A plurality of oral pouched snuff products produced in accordance with the above method may then be supplied to a container.

    [0123] In particular, the oral pouched snuff products may be randomly distributed in the container.

    [0124] Each product of the plurality of oral pouched snuff products as disclosed herein has a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction perpendicular to said longitudinal direction, the pouch comprising a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal, each of the first and second elongated seals has a seal length extending along the transverse direction of the product and a seal width extending along the longitudinal direction of the product, the seal width being within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm, the first elongated seal is sealing a first outermost end portion of the pouch, and the second elongated seal is sealing a second outermost end portion of the pouch.

    [0125] Figures 1 and 2 illustrate a sealing device 1 for sealing a packaging material enclosing a snuff composition to provide portion-packed oral pouched snuff products using the method as disclosed herein.

    [0126] The sealing device 1 comprises an anvil 3 and a sonotrode 5, which is arranged opposite to the anvil 3 to allow passage of the packaging material 7 in a gap 9 formed between the sonotrode 5 and the anvil 3. The sonotrode 5 is adapted for transmitting ultra-sonic energy. In the illustrated embodiment of Figure 1, a portion 10 of a filling material has already been enclosed by the packaging material 7 before reaching the sealing device 1. A portion-packed oral pouched snuff product comprises the portion 10 of the filling material and a piece of the packaging material 7, the packaging material 7 enclosing the portion 10 of the snuff composition.

    [0127] The anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are configured for simultaneous welding and cutting of the packaging material 7. The welding operation is utilized to provide the pouched snuff product with one or more seals, which may be longitudinal seals and/or transverse seals. The cutting operation is utilized to cut the packaging material 7, e.g. to separate two consecutive pouched products from each other or to separate superfluous packaging material from a longitudinal seal.

    [0128] The packaging material 7 is adapted to advance in a direction of travel DT through the gap 9. The orientation of the direction of travel DT in relation to the orientation of the sonotrode 5 and the anvil 3 depends on whether a longitudinal or transverse seal is to be formed. For a longitudinal seal, the direction of travel would be out of the paper in Figure 1. For providing a transverse seal 6, as is illustrated in Figure 1, the direction of travel DT is downwards in Figure 1.

    [0129] The packaging material 7 is formed to a tubular web, which may comprise a longitudinal seal 8. At the desired location of the transverse seal 6, there is no filling material. Instead a first portion 7a of the packaging material 7 directly faces a second portion 7b of the packaging material 7. These two portions 7a, 7b are to be welded together in the transverse seal 6.

    [0130] The anvil 3 comprises a first operation surface 11 and the sonotrode 5 comprises a second operation surface 13, which is located opposite to the first operation surface 11. The first operation surface 11 of the anvil 3 comprises a first welding surface 11a and a second welding surface 11b. A cutting edge 15 delimits the first welding surface 11a and the second welding surface 11b from each other. The cutting edge 15 is located at a portion of the first operation surface 11 being adjacent to the narrowest portion of the gap 9. The cutting edge 15 is adapted to cut through the packaging material 7. In the illustrated embodiment, the cutting edge 15 is adapted to cut through the first and second portions 7a, 7b of the packing material 7. The second operation surface 13 is non-angled, i.e. flat. The direction of travel DT is substantially parallel to the non-angled operation surface 13 of the sonotrode 5. The first and second welding surfaces 11a, 11b provide the welding, and the cutting edge 15 provides the cutting. Thus, ultrasonic welding and cutting are performed simultaneously thereby providing a cut in a welded area. With the sealing device 1, the cut is placed in the welded area, i.e. there are no non-welded portions adjacent to the cut. In other words, the seal will be coterminous with the cut edge (end edge) of the packaging material. The cutting and welding is thereby made simultaneously in time, in the same operation step and next to each other.

    [0131] The extension direction of the cutting edge 15 defines a first direction D1 of the anvil 3. A main direction A of the anvil 3 defines a second direction D2, which is perpendicular to the first direction D1. A third direction D3 is perpendicular to both the first direction D1 and to the second direction D2. Since Figures 1 and 2 illustrates providing the transverse seal 6, the first direction D1 substantially coincides with a transverse direction of the packing material 7 and the third direction D3 coincides with the direction of travel DT of packaging material 7 but pointing in the opposite direction.

    [0132] The first welding surface 11a defines a first extension plane. In the illustrated exemplary device, the first welding surface 11a constitutes an inclined planar surface, such that the first extension plane is defined by the inclined planar surface. In case, the first welding surface 11a does not form a planar surface, e.g. by having a curved surface, the first extension plane is defined as a mean plane to the first welding surface 11a, i.e. the plane having the least squared distance from the first welding surface 11a to that plane.

    [0133] The first extension plane assumes an angle α being between 70° and 90° in relation to the main direction A of the anvil 3, being parallel to the second direction D2, preferably the angle α being in the range from 72° to 89°, more preferably from 75° to 88°, most preferably from 80° to 85°. In the illustrated exemplary device the angle α is substantially 82°.

    [0134] The second welding surface 11b defines a second extension plane. In the illustrated exemplary device, the second welding surface 11b constitutes an inclined planar surface, such that the second extension plane is defined by the inclined planar surface. The orientation of the second extension plane differs from that of that the first extension plane. The second extension plane assumes an angle β being between 70° and 90° in relation to the main direction A of the anvil 3, preferably the angle β being in the range from 72° to 89°, more preferably from 75° to 88°, most preferably from 80° to 85°. In the illustrated embodiment, the angle β is substantially 82°. Hence, the angles α, β of the first and second welding surfaces 11a, 11b are of equal size but different orientation in the illustrated exemplary device of Figures 1 and 2. However, also their sizes may differ.

    [0135] As mentioned above, the second operation surface 13 is non-angled. It thus assumes an angle of 90° in relation to the second direction D2.

    [0136] The cutting edge 15 delimits one side of the first welding surface 11a and the corresponding side of the second welding surface 11b. When viewed along the main direction A, the first welding surface 11a and the second welding surface 11b form a rectangular region. One side of the rectangles is delimited by the cutting edge 15.

    [0137] The cutting edge 15 thus separates the first welding surface 11a from the second welding surface 11b. Yet the two welding surfaces 11a, 11b extend all the way to the cutting edge 15, such that there is no interspace between the weld and the cut, i.e. there are no non-welded portions adjacent to the cut.

    [0138] The first welding surface 11a comprises a first welding zone 17a delimited at one side by the cutting edge 15, and the second welding surface 11b comprises a second welding zone 17b also delimited at one side by the cutting edge 15. In the first and second welding zones 17a, 17b, the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are close enough to be able to melt the first and second portions 7a, 7b of the packaging material and thereby join them by welding. The widths w1, w2 of the first and second welding zones 17a, 17b in the third direction D3 depend on characteristics of the sealing device 1, the packaging material 7 and their interaction. Examples of device characteristics are angles of the operation surfaces 11, 13 relative to each other, distance between the operation surfaces 11, 13, material properties of the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5, frequency and energy of the ultra sound of the sonotrode 5. Examples of packaging material characteristics are type of material, melting point, thickness, surface roughness. In the illustrated exemplary device, the first and second welding zones 17a, 17b have the same widths w1, w2, but the widths w1, w2 may also differ. Further, the width w1 of the first welding zone 17a may be the same as for the first operation surface 11 and/or the width w2 of the second welding zone 17b may be the same as for the second operation surface 13. However, typically the welding zone is narrower than the operation surface, i.e. the width of the weld is less than the width of the gap 9 as seen along the direction of travel DT.

    [0139] By using the exemplary sealing device, the packaging material 7 is welded on both sides of the cutting edge 15. This configuration could suitably be used for a transverse seal 6, as is illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, wherein the cut performed by the cutting edge 15 is utilized to separate individual pouched products and for which there is a desire that both ends of the individual pouched products should be adequately sealed. The direction of travel DT would thus be parallel to the non-angled second operation surface 13 but substantially perpendicular to the extension direction of the cutting edge 15, see Figures 1 and 2. For such a transverse seal 6, it may be advantageous that the angles α, β of the extension planes are of the same sizes and the first and second welding zones 17a, 17b have the same widths w1, w2.

    [0140] A sealing device like the one illustrated in Figures 1 and 2 would also be suitable for making a longitudinal seal. The direction of travel would then be in the first direction D1, i.e. parallel to the extension direction of the cutting edge 15, i.e. out of the paper in Figure 2. In that case, parts of the packaging material 7 being outside the cut, which parts are to be removed e.g. as strips, are joined to each other. The combined strip will be stronger than the individual strips and will thus better withstand a pulling force, such that it is less likely to be torn off.

    [0141] Figures 3a-g illustrate an arrangement 19 useful for manufacturing portion-packed oral pouched snuff products 43 in accordance with the method as disclosed herein. The arrangement 19 comprises a first feeding unit 23 for supplying a planar web 25 of the packaging material 7, a second feeding unit 27 for supplying a filling material 29 to the advancing web 25, a forming unit 31 for forming a tubular web 32 of the planar web 25 of the packaging material 7, a device 33 for making a longitudinal seal and a device for making a transverse seal, illustrated as the sealing device 1 of Figures 1 and 2.

    [0142] The second feeding unit 27 may be located downstream or upstream of the forming unit 31. If placed downstream, the web 25 is first formed to a tubular web 32 and thereafter the filling material 29 is placed in the tubular web 32 as a portion 10, as for the arrangement 19 illustrated in Figures 3a-g. Alternatively, the filling material 29 may be placed on the planar web 25 as a portion 10 before the planar web 25 is formed to a tubular web, such that the packaging material 7 is arranged around the snuff portion to form the tubular web, thereby enclosing the snuff portion 10.

    [0143] At least one of the devices for making a longitudinal seal and the device for making a transverse seam may utilize ultra-sound to perform simultaneous welding and cutting, e.g. by the sealing device as described in conjunction with Figures 1-2, in order to obtain a seal. Hence, in the arrangement 19, welding and cutting is performed simultaneously and in the same operation step for at least one of the seals.

    [0144] In the illustrated embodiment of Figures 3a-g, the transverse seal 6 is formed by a device like the one described in conjunction with Figures 1 and 2. The transverse seal 6 has a width within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of 0.1 to 0.5 mm, although the width is exaggerated in Figures 3a-g in order to better illustrate what happens in the gap 9 between the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 during welding and cutting.

    [0145] The sonotrode 5 and the anvil 3 are arranged to be displaced in a reciprocating way in relation to the tubular web 32 in the second direction D2, between a first position, illustrated in Figure 3a, being in contact with the tubular web 32 and a position, illustrated in Figure 3c, being out of contact with the tubular web 32.

    [0146] Further, the sonotrode 5 and the anvil 3 are adapted to follow the tubular web 32 when moving in the direction of travel DT, i.e. in a direction opposite to the third direction D3, while performing the simultaneous welding and cutting, in order to be able to follow the tubular web 32 to a downstream position, illustrated in Figure 3b.

    [0147] The anvil 3 moves along a path 37 which has a first portion 37a parallel to and adjacent to the tubular web 32, a second portion 37b moving the anvil 3 away from the tubular web 32, a third portion 37c bringing the anvil 3 back upstream and a fourth portion 37d bringing the anvil 3back into contact with the tubular web 32. The sonotrode 5 follows a corresponding path 39, having corresponding portions 39a, 39b, 39c, 39d. See paths 37, 39 illustrated in Figure 3a. The paths 37, 39 are further described below.

    [0148] Figure 3a illustrates a start of the method. A longitudinal seal, e.g. like the longitudinal seal 8 illustrated in Figure 1, is continuously formed in the advancing tubular web 32 by the device 33 for making a longitudinal seal. The anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 assume the first position, in which they start welding. A portion 10 of the filling material 29 is filled from above into the tubular web 32. The filling material moves downwards, e.g. by gravity until it reaches the portion of the tubular web 32, which is in the gap 9 between the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5.

    [0149] The anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 move downstream together with the tubular web 32 while performing the welding along the respective first portions 37a, 39a of their paths. The anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 then reach a second position being downstream of the first position but yet in contact with the tubular web 32. See Figure 3b. The tubular web 32 is cut by the cutting edge 15 leaving a transverse seal 41.

    [0150] Thereafter the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are moved away from the tubular web 32 along the second portions 37b, 39b of their respective paths until they reach a respective third position, such that they are no longer in contact. The already formed transverse seal 41 prevents the portion 10 of the filling material from falling out; see Figure 3c.

    [0151] As a next step, the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are moved back upstream along the third portions 37c, 39c of their respective paths to a fourth position being out of contact with the tubular web 32; see Figure 3d.

    [0152] Then the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are moved back to the first position along the fourth portions 37d, 39d of their respective paths, such that they start forming a new transverse seal; see Figure 3e.

    [0153] The anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 move along the respective first portions 37a, 39a of their paths together with the tubular web 32 while performing the welding until the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 reach the second position being downstream of the first position but yet in contact with the tubular web 32; see Figure 3f. The tubular web 32 is cut by the cutting edge 15, leaving a transverse seal 45 at the upper edge of the pouched product 43 and a corresponding transverse seal 46 at the lower edge of the next pouched product, which has been filled by a next portion 10 of the filling material.

    [0154] Thereafter the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are moved away from the tubular web 32 along the second portions 37b, 39b of their respective paths until they reach a respective third position, illustrated in Figure 3g, such that they are no longer in contact, as is already described above for Figure 3c. The anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 continue to move along their paths 37, 39 described above, while the tubular web 35 moves in the direction of travel DT.

    [0155] In order to help separating the tubular web 32 in the cut, the arrangement 19 may further comprise a pulling unit, illustrated in Figure 3f and 3g as a nip 47 between a pair of rollers 49, 51 arranged to pull the pouched product 43 in the direction of travel DT. Thereby the tubular web 32 is tensioned in a controllable way in order to make a separation of the pouched product 43 from the next pouched product easier. The distance z between the nip 47 and the cutting edge 15 when the sealing device is in the second position, see Figure 3f, roughly corresponds to the extension of the pouched product 43 in the direction of travel DT. Hence, if the arrangement 19 is utilized for manufacturing portion-packed oral pouched snuff products of different sizes, the distance z is preferably adjustable. After passing the nip 47, the pouched product 43 is placed on a conveyer 52; see Figure 3g.

    [0156] Figure 4 illustrates a cross-section through the nip 47 as seen from above in Figure 3g. In order to be able to pull the pouched product 43 filled with the portion 10 of the filling material without destroying the pouched product 43 in the nip 47, at least one of the rolls, illustrated as the left-hand roll 49, is provided with a plurality of ridges 53, having interspaces 55 between the ridges 53. The ridges 53 will help to pull the pouched product 43, while the interspaces 55 give room for the filling material. Thereby, it is possible to pull the pouched product 43 through the nip 47 without destroying it. There are at least two ridges 53. The other roll 51 may be flat as is illustrated or it may also comprise ridges.

    [0157] The longitudinal seal, e.g. like the longitudinal seal 8 illustrated in Figure 1, may be performed by heat-melt welding in the device 33 for making a longitudinal seal.

    [0158] As an alternative to the arrangements described above in conjunction with Figures 3a-g, oral pouched snuff products, such as pouched smokeless tobacco products, may be produced by placing portions of moist snuff on a nonwoven web using a device disclosed in US 6,135,120, as mentioned above. This technique is herein referred to as the "NYPS" technique. According to the "NYPS" technique, the individual portion of smokeless tobacco composition is placed on the packaging material, which forms a tape. In order to enclose the portion of the filling material, the packaging material is wrapped around the portion of the filling material and sealed by a longitudinal seal. Both lateral edges of the packaging web may face in the same direction, e.g. upwards, such that a fin seal is made. Alternatively, the lateral edge portions of the packaging web may overlap, such that a lap seal is created. A combined fin and lap seal may be formed by letting the lateral edges of the packaging web face in the same direction forming a fin, optionally forming a fin seal in the fin, and then lap sealing the fin to the outer surface of the pouch.

    [0159] Figure 5 illustrates an exemplary device 101 for making simultaneous welding and cutting for a longitudinal seal 102. Upstream of the device 101, a tubular web 132 is formed, e.g. by folding plates, not illustrated. The tubular web 132 may e.g. be formed as in the "NYPS" technique. In the exemplary device of Figure 5, the anvil 103 comprises a rotary disc. Also the sonotrode 105 comprises a rotary disc. A gap 109 is formed between the sonotrode 105 and the anvil 103, through which two lateral edge portions 107a, 107b of the packaging material 107 pass. The first operation surface 111 of the anvil 103 comprises two welding surfaces 111a, 111b separated by a cutting edge 115. The welding surfaces 111a, 111b and the cutting edge 115 follow the perimeter of the disc-shaped anvil 103 in a circumferential direction. Preferably, they extend all the way around the circumference. The sonotrode 105 comprises a second operation surface 113.

    [0160] Figure 6 illustrates a detailed view of the anvil 103 as seen in cross-sectional view. The first welding surface 111a is delimited from the second welding surface 111b by the cutting edge 115. The details are corresponding to those already described in conjunction with Figure 2. The first welding surface 111a forms a first extension plane forming an angle α and the second welding surface 111b forms a second extension plane forming an angle β. The first welding surface 111a comprises a first welding zone having a width w1 delimited at one side by the cutting edge 115, and the second welding surface 111b comprises a second welding zone having a width w2 also delimited at one side by the cutting edge 115. In the first and second welding zones the anvil 3 and the sonotrode 5 are close enough to be able to melt the first and second portions 107a, 107b of the packaging material and thereby join them by welding.

    [0161] In the longitudinal seal 102, the packaging material being outside of the cut is superfluous and may hence be removed. In the embodiment of Figure 5, the packing material 107 is welded on both sides of the cutting edge 115, i.e. both above and below the cut. This may be advantageous when removing the packaging material outside the cut. The superfluous packaging material may be removed as an edge strip 117. Since the edge strip 117 in the illustrated embodiment comprises cut-away material from both edge portions 107a, 107b welded together, the strength of the combined edge strip 117 is higher than would be the case, if the two edge strips were removed separately, i.e. not welded to each other.

    [0162] However, it is also feasible to remove each edge strip separately. In that case, an anvil with a single welding surface would be feasible, e.g. like the one illustrated in Figure 7, wherein the anvil 103' comprising the welding surface 111' and the cutting edge 115' is located opposite to the sonotrode 105'. Both the anvil 103' and the sonotrode 105' comprise a rotary disc. The welding surface 111' and the cutting edge 115' extend in the circumferential direction along the peripheral surface of the anvil 103', corresponding as for the embodiment illustrated in Figure 5.

    [0163] Going back again to the embodiment of Figure 5, as a next step after forming the longitudinal seal 102, transverse seals are formed, e.g. by a sealing device 201 according to a third embodiment of the invention, also illustrated in Figure 5. The sonotrode 205 comprises a rotary disc. Also the anvil 203 comprises a rotary disc. A gap 209 is formed between the sonotrode 205 and the anvil 203, through which the tubular web 132 filled with portions 10 of the filling material passes. Since the seal is to be made in a transverse direction, the operation surface 211 of the anvil 203 is located at the perimeter of the anvil 203 extending in an axial direction. The anvil comprises one or more operation surfaces 211, three in the illustrated exemplary device, which are evenly distributed in the circumferential direction, such that the distance between two cutting edges 215 correspond to the longitudinal extension of the pouched product. Correspondingly, the operation surface 213 of the sonotrode 205 is located at the perimeter of the sonotrode 205. The sonotrode may comprise one or more operation surfaces, which are evenly distributed in the circumferential direction, such that the distance between two operation surfaces correspond to the longitudinal extension of the pouched product. A cross-section through the gap 209 may look like illustrated in Figure 2.

    [0164] The characteristics of the cut and weld performed by the sealing device as described herein depend on characteristics of the sealing device and of the packaging material and their interaction. Examples of device characteristics are angles of the operation surfaces relative to each other, distance between the operation surfaces, material properties of the anvil and the sonotrode, frequency and energy of the ultra sound of the sonotrode. Examples of packaging material characteristics are type of material, melting point, thickness, surface roughness. Examples of interaction characteristics are gap width in relation to thickness of packaging material and pressure used by the anvil and the sonotrode during cutting and welding.

    [0165] The invention will now be illustrated by means of the following non-limiting examples wherein an arrangement as described above in Fig. 3a-3g were used for portion-packing a filling material and thereby providing oral pouched snuff products. The frequency used for the sonotrode in the sealing device as described herein may be in the range of from 20 kHz to 45 kHz, e.g. 20 kHz, 35 kHz or 40 kHz. The effect may be in the range of from 100 Watt to 300 Watt. The frequency and the effect are suitably adapted to the material to be welded, and may thus vary for different packaging materials.

    EXAMPLES


    Example 1



    [0166] Two identical batches of powder mixture, including 50% by weight of maltitol (Maltidex CH 16835, supplied by Cargill) and 50% by weight of microcrystalline cellulose, MCC (Avicel PH-200, supplied by FMC Biopolymer), were mixed according to Table 1, using a Dinnissen Pegasus PG-10(VC) lab mixer. The mixing time was 2 minutes and the mixing speed was 70 Hz.
    Table 1
    BatchAmount of maltitol (g)Amount of MCC (g)Transverse sealing method
    Reference 2 500 2 500 Heat-melt welding
    Example 1 2 500 2 500 Ultrasonic welding


    [0167] The Reference batch was packed in pouches using a Merz SB 53-2/T packer with pressured air powder dosing of the powder mixture into an advancing tubular web of pouch material. Sealing of the tubular web along the direction of travel as well as transverse to the direction of travel were made by heat-melt welding. The temperature of the welding parts was about 300°C and the pouch packing speed was 200 pouches per minute.

    [0168] The Example 1 batch was packed in pouches using a Merz SB 53-2/T packer with pressured air powder dosing of the powder mixture into an advancing tubular web of pouch material. Sealing of the tubular web along the direction of travel was made by heat-melt welding and sealing transverse to the direction of travel of the tubular web was made by ultrasonic welding using a Rinco UGH35-750P-230 ultrasonic welding apparatus. The packing speed was 200 pouches per minute.

    [0169] The pouch material, which were used both for the Reference and Example 1 products, was a dry-laid (carded) bonded nonwoven comprising viscose staple fibres and about 35-45 % by weight, based on the total dry weight of the nonwoven, of an acrylic polymer that acts as binder in the nonwoven material.

    [0170] The product weight of the pouched products in both Reference and Example 1 was 0.45 g ± 0.01 g of which the weight of the pouch material was 0.03 g.

    [0171] Each pouched product in both Reference and Example 1 had a maximum length of 28 mm along the longitudinal direction of the product and a maximum width of 12 mm along the transverse direction of the product.

    [0172] Each pouched product of Example 1 contained a pouch having a heat melt-welded longitudinal seal and two ultrasonically provided transverse (opposite) side seals, each transverse seal having a seal width of about ≤ 1 mm and sealing an outermost end portion of the pouch.

    [0173] Each pouched product of Reference contained a pouch having a heat-melt welded longitudinal seal as well as heat-melt welded transverse (opposite) side seals. Each protruding side seam of these pouches had a width of about 4 mm.

    [0174] Samples of 2 x 50 pouched products were taken from each batch. 50 products were dropped, at ambient conditions, into a 250 ml volumetric cylinder in portions of 10 products at a time. The (untapped) apparent volume thereof was defined as the volume corresponding to the level of highest protruding pouched product in each test. The test was repeated 10 times for each batch (i.e. 5 repetitive measurements per sample of 50 pouched products) and the average apparent volume was calculated. The result of the test is presented in Table 2 and Figure 8.
    Table 2
    BatchAverage apparent volume of 50 pouched products (ml)
    Reference 205
    Example 1 175


    [0175] Figure 8 shows the spontaneous distribution of the pouched products of Example 1 (to the right) and the spontaneous distribution of the Reference products (to the left).

    [0176] When visually comparing the distribution of the pouched products in the volumetric cylinders shown in Figure 8, it is seen that the pouched products of Example 1 are packed more densely in the cylinder than the Reference products.

    Method to determine tapped apparent volume and tapped apparent density of oral pouched snuff products



    [0177] The average tapped apparent volume and the average tapped apparent density of oral pouched snuff products may be determined by using Tapping Density and Apparent Volume Tester PT-TD200 from Pharma Test and the test procedure described below. The test is performed at ambient conditions, herein defined as being at a temperature of 22°C and a relative humidity of 60%.

    [0178] First, the tapped apparent density of about 100 g microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200 (at least 85% of the particles having a size within the range of from 200 to 355 µm according to the supplier's product information) is determined by the following procedure.
    1. a) A graduated measuring cylinder of 250 ml is placed on a reset scale and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    2. b) About 100 g microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200, is added to the graduated measuring cylinder of 250 ml (on the scale) and the mass (mX1) thereof is recorded.
    3. c) The thereby resulting measuring cylinder containing about 100 g of microcrystalline cellulose is thereafter tapped 900 times from a height of 3 ± 0.2 mm and the tapped apparent volume thereof is read off; herein called VX1. The tapped density (ρx) of the microcrystalline cellulose is calculated as



    [0179] Then, the tapped apparent volume and the tapped apparent density of the pouched snuff products are determined by the following procedure.
    1. a) A graduated measuring cylinder of 250 ml is placed on a reset scale and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    2. b) About 10 g microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200, is added to the graduated measuring cylinder of 250 ml (on the scale) and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    3. c) 7 pouched snuff products are added to the measuring cylinder and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    4. d) Additional microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200, is added to the measuring cylinder to cover the pouched snuff products and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    5. e) 7 additional pouched snuff products are added to the measuring cylinder and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    6. f) Additional microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200, is added to the measuring cylinder to cover the pouched snuff products and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    7. g) 6 additional pouched snuff products are added to the measuring cylinder and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    8. h) Additional microcrystalline cellulose, Cellets® 200, is added to the measuring cylinder to cover the pouched snuff products and the mass thereof is recorded. The scale is thereafter reset.
    9. i) The thereby resulting measuring cylinder containing 20 pouched snuff products and about 100 g of microcrystalline cellulose are thereafter tapped 900 times from a height of 3 ± 0.2 mm and the tapped apparent volume thereof is read off, herein called VXP.


    [0180] The total mass of pouched snuff products (mP) in the measuring cylinder is calculated by summarizing the above respective measured weights in steps c), e) and g).

    [0181] The total mass of microcrystalline cellulose (mX2) in the measuring cylinder is calculated by summarizing the above respective measured weights in steps b), d), f) and h).

    [0182] The tapped apparent volume of the pouched products; herein called VP, may be calculated by the following formula:



    [0183] The tapped apparent density of the pouched products (ρP) may be calculated by the following formula:



    [0184] The average tapped apparent volume and density of three determinations using three different sample preparations is calculated.


    Claims

    1. An oral pouched snuff product comprising a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch enclosing the filling material, said oral pouched snuff product having a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction perpendicular to said longitudinal direction, said saliva-permeable pouch comprising a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal, each of said first and second elongated seals having a seal length extending along said transverse direction of said product and a seal width extending along the longitudinal direction of the product, said saliva-permeable pouch further comprising a single additional elongated seal having a seal length extending along the longitudinal direction of the product and a seal width extending along the transverse direction of the product,
    characterized in
    said seal width of each of said first elongated seal and said second elongated seal being within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm,
    each of said first elongated seal and said second elongated seal being an ultrasonically provided weld,
    said first elongated seal sealing a first outermost end portion of the pouch, and said second elongated seal sealing a second outermost end portion of said saliva-permeable pouch,
    each of said first elongated seal and said second elongated seal being coterminous with an end edge of a packaging material forming said pouch.
     
    2. An oral pouched snuff product according to claim 1, wherein said seal width of said additional elongated seal is equal to or less than 2 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 2 mm or from 0.1 mm to 1 mm or from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm.
     
    3. An oral pouched snuff product according to claim 2, wherein said additional elongated seal is an ultrasonically provided weld.
     
    4. An oral pouched snuff product according to any of the preceding claims, wherein said saliva-permeable pouch is made of nonwoven comprising staple fibres of regenerated cellulose and a binder.
     
    5. An oral pouched snuff product according to claim 4, wherein the staple fibres of regenerated cellulose are viscose rayon staple fibres.
     
    6. An oral pouched snuff product according to claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the binder comprises a polyacrylate.
     
    7. An oral pouched snuff product according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the oral pouched snuff product is selected from the group consisting of oral pouched smokeless tobacco products, oral pouched nicotine-containing tobacco-free snuff products and oral pouched nicotine-free tobacco-free snuff products.
     
    8. A container for oral pouched snuff products, said container having a base and a detachable lid together providing an interior container space in which a plurality of oral pouched snuff products according to any one of claim 1-7 is contained.
     
    9. A container according to claim 8, wherein the plurality of oral pouched snuff products occupy at least 30% by volume of the interior container space.
     
    10. A container according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein the plurality of oral pouched snuff products is randomly distributed in the container.
     
    11. A method for producing a container having a plurality of oral pouched snuff products contained in its interior space, said container having a base and a detachable lid together providing said interior container space, said method comprising:

    - supplying and advancing at least one web of packaging material, said at least one web of packaging material advancing in a direction of travel;

    - supplying the filling material to said at least one advancing web of packaging material;

    - ultrasonically welding and cutting said at least one advancing web of packaging material to which the filling material has been supplied to provide a plurality of pouches enclosing the filling material, each thereby provided oral pouched snuff product having a longitudinal direction and a transverse direction perpendicular to said longitudinal direction, each pouch a first elongated seal and a second elongated seal, each of said first and second elongated seals having a seal length extending along the transverse direction of the product and a seal width extending along the longitudinal direction of the product, said seal width being within the range of from 0.1 mm to 1 mm, such as within the range of from 0.1 mm to 0.5 mm, said first elongated seal is sealing a first outermost end portion of the pouch, and said second elongated seal is sealing a second outermost end portion of the pouch, each of said first elongated seal and said second elongated seal being coterminous with an end edge of the packaging material forming the pouch; and

    - supplying the thereby provided plurality of oral pouched snuff products to the container,
    said method further comprising

    - forming said at least one advancing web of packaging material into a tubular web, said forming being performed before or after supplying said filling material, thereby providing an advancing tubular web of packaging material containing the filling material; and

    - ultrasonically welding and cutting said advancing tubular web of packaging material containing the filling material.


     
    12. A method according to claim 11, wherein said ultrasonic welding and cutting are performed simultaneously thereby providing a cut in a welded area.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform, umfassend ein Füllmaterial und einen das Füllmaterial umschließenden speicheldurchlässigen Beutel, wobei das orale Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform eine Längsrichtung und eine Querrichtung senkrecht zu der Längsrichtung aufweist, wobei der speicheldurchlässige Beutel eine erste längliche Versiegelung und eine zweite längliche Versiegelung umfasst, wobei jede der ersten und zweiten länglichen Versiegelungen eine Versiegelungslänge, die sich entlang der Querrichtung des Produkts erstreckt, und eine Versiegelungsbreite, die sich entlang der Längsrichtung des Produkts erstreckt, aufweist, wobei der speicheldurchlässige Beutel weiterhin eine einzige zusätzliche längliche Versiegelung umfasst, die eine sich in Längsrichtung des Produkts erstreckende Versiegelungslänge und eine sich in Querrichtung des Produkts erstreckende Versiegelungsbreite aufweist,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet,
    dass die Versiegelungsbreite jeder der ersten länglichen Versiegelung und der zweiten länglichen Versiegelung im Bereich von 0,1 mm bis 1 mm liegt, beispielsweise im Bereich von 0,1 mm bis 0,5 mm,
    wobei jede der ersten länglichen Versiegelung und der zweiten länglichen Versiegelung eine mit Ultraschall versehene Schweißnaht ist,
    wobei die erste längliche Versiegelung einen ersten äußersten Endabschnitt des Beutels versiegelt und die zweite längliche Versiegelung einen zweiten äußersten Endabschnitt des speicheldurchlässigen Beutels versiegelt,
    wobei jede der ersten länglichen Versiegelung und der zweiten länglichen Versiegelung an eine Endkante eines Packstoffes angrenzt, das den Beutel bildet.
     
    2. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Versiegelungsbreite der zusätzlichen länglichen Versiegelung gleich oder weniger als 2 mm beträgt, beispielsweise innerhalb des Bereichs von 0,1 mm bis 2 mm oder von 0,1 mm bis 1 mm oder von 0,1 mm bis 0,5 mm.
     
    3. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform nach Anspruch 2, wobei die zusätzliche längliche Versiegelung eine mit Ultraschall versehene Schweißnaht ist.
     
    4. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der speicheldurchlässige Beutel aus einem Vliesstoff hergestellt ist, der Spinnfasern aus regenerierter Zellulose und ein Bindemittel umfasst.
     
    5. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform nach Anspruch 4, wobei die Spinnfasern aus regenerierter Zellulose Viskose-Rayon-Stapelfasern sind.
     
    6. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform nach Anspruch 4 oder Anspruch 5, wobei das Bindemittel ein Polyacrylat umfasst.
     
    7. Orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das orale Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform aus der Gruppe bestehend aus oralen nicht zum Rauchen bestimmten Tabakprodukten in Beutelform, oralen nikotinhaltigen tabakfreien Schnupfprodukten in Beutelform und oralen nikotinfreien tabakfreien Schnupfprodukten in Beutelform ausgewählt ist.
     
    8. Behälter für orale Schnupfprodukte in Beutelform, wobei der Behälter einen Boden und einen abnehmbaren Deckel aufweist, die zusammen einen Innenraum des Behälters bilden, in dem eine Vielzahl von oralen Schnupfprodukten in Beutelform nach einem der Ansprüche 1-7 enthalten ist.
     
    9. Behälter nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Vielzahl der oralen Schnupfprodukte in Beutelform mindestens 30 Volumenprozent des Innenraums des Behälters einnehmen.
     
    10. Behälter nach Anspruch 8 oder Anspruch 9, wobei die Vielzahl der oralen Schnupfprodukte in Beutelform zufällig im Behälter verteilt ist.
     
    11. Verfahren zur Herstellung eines Behälters, der in seinem Innenraum eine Vielzahl von oralen Schnupfprodukten in Beutelform aufweist, wobei der Behälter einen Boden und einen abnehmbaren Deckel aufweist, die zusammen den Innenraum des Behälters bilden, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    - Zuführen und Vorwärtsbewegen mindestens einer Packstoffbahn, wobei sich die mindestens eine Packstoffbahn in einer Laufrichtung vorwärts bewegt;

    - Zuführen des Füllmaterials zu der mindestens einen sich vorwärts bewegenden Packstoffbahn;

    - Ultraschallschweißen und -schneiden der mindestens einen sich vorwärts bewegenden Packstoffbahn, der das Füllmaterial zugeführt worden ist, um eine Vielzahl von Beuteln bereitzustellen, die das Füllmaterial umschließen, wobei jeder dadurch ein orales Schnupfprodukt in Beutelform bereitgestellt wird, das eine Längsrichtung und eine Querrichtung senkrecht zu der Längsrichtung aufweist, wobei jeder Beutel eine erste längliche Versiegelung und eine zweite längliche Versiegelung aufweist, wobei jede der ersten und zweiten länglichen Versiegelungen eine Versiegelungslänge, die sich entlang der Querrichtung des Produkts erstreckt, und eine Versiegelungsbreite, die sich entlang der Längsrichtung des Produkts erstreckt, aufweist, wobei die Versiegelungsbreite im Bereich von 0,1 mm bis 1 mm liegt, beispielsweise im Bereich von 0,1 mm bis 0,5 mm, wobei die erste längliche Versiegelung einen ersten äußersten Endabschnitt des Beutels versiegelt und die zweite längliche Versiegelung einen zweiten äußersten Endabschnitt des Beutels versiegelt, wobei jede der ersten länglichen Versiegelung und der zweiten länglichen Versiegelung an einer Endkante des Packstoffes angrenzt, das den Beutel bildet; und

    - Zuführen der dadurch bereitgestellten Vielzahl von oralen Schnupfprodukten in Beutelform in den Behälter,
    wobei das Verfahren weiterhin umfasst

    - Formen der mindestens einen sich vorwärts bewegenden Packstoffbahn zu einer Schlauchbahn, wobei das Formen vor oder nach der Zufuhr des Füllmaterials durchgeführt wird, wodurch eine sich vorwärts bewegende Schlauchbahn aus Packstoff bereitgestellt wird, die das Füllmaterial enthält; und

    - Ultraschallschweißen und -schneiden der sich vorwärts bewegenden Schlauchbahn aus Packstoff, die das Füllmaterial enthält.


     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 11, wobei das Ultraschallschweißen und -schneiden simultan durchgeführt werden, wodurch ein Schnitt in einem geschweißten Bereich entsteht.
     


    Revendications

    1. Produit à priser oral en sachet comprenant un matériau de remplissage et un sachet perméable à la salive renfermant le matériau de remplissage, ledit produit à priser oral en sachet ayant une direction longitudinale et une direction transversale perpendiculaire à ladite direction longitudinale, ledit sachet perméable à la salive comprenant un premier joint allongé et un second joint allongé, chacun desdits premier et second joints allongés ayant une longueur de joint s'étendant dans ladite direction transversale dudit produit et une largeur de joint s'étendant dans la direction longitudinale du produit, ledit sachet perméable à la salive comprenant en outre un joint allongé supplémentaire unique ayant une longueur de joint s'étendant dans la direction longitudinale du produit et une largeur de joint s'étendant dans la direction transversale du produit,
    caractérisé en ce que
    ladite largeur de joint de chacun dudit premier joint allongé et dudit second joint allongé se trouvant dans la plage de 0,1 mm à 1 mm, par exemple dans la plage de 0,1 mm à 0,5 mm,
    chacun dudit premier joint allongé et dudit second joint allongé étant une soudure effectuée par ultrasons,
    ledit premier joint allongé rendant étanche une première partie d'extrémité la plus extérieure du sachet, et ledit second joint allongé rendant étanche une seconde partie d'extrémité la plus extérieure dudit sachet perméable à la salive,
    chacun dudit premier joint allongé et dudit second joint allongé coïncidant avec un bord d'extrémité d'un matériau d'emballage formant ledit sachet.
     
    2. Produit à priser oral en sachet selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite largeur de joint dudit joint allongé supplémentaire est inférieure ou égale à 2 mm, par exemple dans la plage de 0,1 mm à 2 mm ou de 0,1 mm à 1 mm ou de 0,1 mm à 0,5 mm.
     
    3. Produit à priser oral en sachet selon la revendication 2, dans lequel ledit joint allongé supplémentaire est une soudure effectuée par ultrasons.
     
    4. Produit à priser oral en sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite poche perméable à la salive consiste en un non-tissé comprenant des fibres discontinues de cellulose régénérée et un liant.
     
    5. Produit à priser oral en sachet selon la revendication 4, dans lequel les fibres discontinues de cellulose régénérée sont des fibres discontinues de rayonne viscose.
     
    6. Produit à priser oral en sachet selon la revendication 4 ou la revendication 5, dans lequel le liant comprend un polyacrylate.
     
    7. Produit à priser oral en sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le produit à priser oral en sachet est sélectionné dans le groupe consistant en des produits de tabac à priser oraux en sachet sans fumée, des produits à priser oraux en sachet sans tabac et contenant de la nicotine et des produits à priser oraux en sachet sans tabac et sans nicotine.
     
    8. Récipient pour produits à priser oraux en sachet, ledit récipient ayant une extrémité de base et un couvercle détachable obtenant ensemble un espace intérieur de récipient dans lequel une pluralité de produits à priser oraux en sachet selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7 est contenue.
     
    9. Récipient selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la pluralité de produits à priser oraux en sachet occupent au moins 30 % en volume de l'espace intérieur du récipient.
     
    10. Récipient selon la revendication 8 ou 9, dans lequel la pluralité de produits à priser oraux en sachet sont répartis de manière aléatoire dans le récipient.
     
    11. Procédé de production d'un récipient ayant une pluralité de produits à priser oraux en sachet contenus dans son espace intérieur, ledit récipient ayant une base et un couvercle détachable obtenant ensemble ledit espace intérieur, ledit procédé comprenant :

    - la fourniture d'au moins une bande de matériau d'emballage et le fait de la faire avancer, ladite au moins une bande de matériau d'emballage avançant dans une direction de déplacement ;

    - la fourniture du matériau de remplissage à ladite au moins une bande avançant de matériau d'emballage ;

    - le soudage par ultrasons et la découpe de ladite au moins une bande avançant de matériau d'emballage à laquelle le matériau de charge a été fourni pour obtenir une pluralité de sachets renfermant le matériau de charge, chaque produit à priser oral en sachet ainsi obtenu ayant une direction longitudinale et une direction transversale perpendiculaire à ladite direction longitudinale, chaque sachet comprenant un premier joint allongé et un second joint allongé, chacun desdits premier et second joints allongés ayant une longueur de joint s'étendant dans la direction transversale du produit et une largeur de joint s'étendant dans la direction longitudinale du produit, ladite largeur de joint se trouvant dans la plage de 0,1 mm à 1 mm, par exemple dans la plage de 0,1 mm à 0,5 mm, ledit premier joint allongé rendant étanche une première partie d'extrémité la plus extérieure du sachet, et ledit second joint allongé rendant étanche une seconde partie d'extrémité la plus extérieure du sachet, chacun dudit premier joint allongé et dudit second joint allongé coïncidant avec un bord d'extrémité d'un matériau d'emballage formant ledit sachet ; et

    - la fourniture de la pluralité de produits à priser oraux en sachet ainsi obtenue au récipient,
    ledit procédé comprenant en outre

    - la mise en forme d'au moins une bande avançant de matériau d'emballage en une bande tubulaire, ladite mise en forme étant réalisée avant ou après la fourniture dudit matériau de remplissage, obtenant ainsi une bande tubulaire avançant de matériau d'emballage contenant le matériau de remplissage ; et

    - le soudage par ultrasons et la découpe de ladite bande tubulaire avançant de matériau d'emballage contenant le matériau de remplissage.


     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 11, dans lequel lesdits soudage par ultrasons et découpe sont réalisés simultanément, obtenant ainsi une découpe dans une zone soudée.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description