Skip over navigation
FOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B TO A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT (shaping or working, not fully covered by this subclass, A23P); PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Any foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages that are not covered by the following subclasses:

  • A21D (Treatment, e.g. preservation, of flour or dough for baking, e.g. by addition of materials; Baking; Bakery products; Preservation thereof)
  • A23B (Preserving, e.g. by canning, meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, edible seeds; Chemical ripening of fruit or vegetables; The preserved, ripened, or canned products)
  • A23C (Dairy products, e.g. milk, butter, cheese; Milk or cheese substitutes; Making thereof)
  • A23D (Edible oils or fats, e.g. margarines, shortenings, cooking oils)
  • A23F (Coffee; Tea; Their substitutes; Manufacture, preparation, or infusion thereof)
  • A23G (Cocoa; Cocoa products, e.g. chocolate; Substitutes for cocoa or cocoa products; Confectionery; Chewing gum; Ice-cream; Preparation thereof)
  • A23J (Protein compositions for foodstuffs; Working-up proteins for foodstuffs; Phosphatide compositions for foodstuffs).

Examples of foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages covered by this subclass are:

  • Foods or foodstuffs containing gelling or thickening agents;
  • Marmalades, jams, jellies or similar products;
  • Honey, royal jelly or other apiculture products;
  • Cereal-derived products including pasta;
  • Malt products, puddings or cream substitutes;
  • Spices, flavouring agents or condiments, whether natural or synthetic; artificial sweeteners; table salts;
  • Meat, poultry, egg, fish or seafood products;
  • Food consisting mainly of nut meat or seeds, e.g. peanut butter;
  • Soups or sauces; and
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, e.g. fruit or vegetable juices; dry compositions or concentrates thereof; preparation thereof.

Preparation or treatment of the above foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages provided for in this subclass, including:

  • Cooking e.g. by roasting or frying;
  • Removing unwanted matter;
  • Physical treatment e.g. with wave energy, electric or magnetic fields;
  • Preparation of fruit or vegetables, e.g. to make snacks, chips, sauerkraut or pickles;
  • Colouring or decolouring; and
  • Modifying the nutritive qualities, e.g. by adding vitamins, minerals or dietary fibres.

Modification of such foods or beverages to change their nutritional content for dietary reasons, and these modified foods or beverages per se.

Preservation of foods or foodstuffs in general, e.g. by pasteurising, sterilising, heating, freezing, drying, pressurising, irradiation or treatment with chemicals, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

In relation to foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages per se, and in relation to their preparation and treatment including physical treatment, this subclass is residual to subclasses A21DA23B, A23CA23D, A23FA23G or A23J. These subclasses relate to flour or dough (A21D), dairy products (A23C), edible oils or fats (A23D), coffee, tea or their substitutes (A23F), cocoa, chocolate, confectionery or ice-cream (A23G) and protein compositions (A23J).

In relation to preservation of foods or foodstuffs in general, this subclass is the primary home for this subject-matter. However, preservation subject matter specifically adapted for certain foods can also be found in any of the above subclasses. For example, preservation of flour or dough or bakery products is subject-matter for subclass A21D, and preservation of meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables and edible seeds e.g. cereals is subject matter for subclass A23B. Preservation of milk or milk preparations is subject matter for subclass A23C.

In relation to preservation, deciding between this subclass and the other subclasses listed above is generally a matter of function or application (see Guide Paragraphs 85-87). Where the particular preservation technology is the main point of interest classification is made in this subclass, and where the application to particular foodstuffs is the main interest classification is made in the subclasses listed above. Some double-classification is evident.

References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass/group does not cover:
Treating harvested fruit or vegetables in bulk
Machines or apparatus for extracting juice
Shaping or working of foodstuffs not fully covered by this or a single other subclass
Preserving foods or foodstuffs in association with packaging
Packages for foodstuffs with provision for absorbing fluids
Preparation of malt for brewing
Preparation of non-alcoholic beverages by removal of alcohol
C12H3/00
Edible extracts or preparations for medicinal purposes
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Apiculture
Machines for making
Enriched flour
Processes specially adapted for particular foods or foodstuffs
A23
Milk products
Milk preparations
Milk substitutes, coffee whitener compositions
Coffee, tea or their substitutes
Natural coffee or tea flavour
Working-up proteins for foodstuffs
Animal foods
Apparatus for baking, roasting, grilling or frying
Emulsifiers in general
Purifying water, e.g. by ion-exchange
Essential oils in general
Preservation of alcoholic beverages
Devices for drying foodstuffs
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Food, foodstuffs
In addition to the commonly accepted foods or foodstuffs, the term in this subclass also extends to cover less traditional items such as thickening agents (e.g. starch), flavouring agents, artificial sweeteners, food colouring agents, etc.
Foods or foodstuffs; Their preparation or treatment (preservation thereof in general A23L 3/00; [N: mechanical aspects A23P])
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Any foods, foodstuffs that are not covered by the following subclasses :

A21D (Treatment, e.g. preservation, of flour or dough for baking, e.g. by addition of materials; Baking; Bakery products; Preservation thereof)

A23B (Preserving, e.g. by canning, meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, edible seeds; Chemical ripening of fruit or vegetables; The preserved, ripened, or canned products)

A23C (Dairy products, e.g. milk, butter, cheese; Milk or cheese substitutes; Making thereof)

A23D (Edible oils or fats, e.g. margarines, shortenings, cooking oils)

A23F (Coffee; Tea; Their substitutes; Manufacture, preparation, or infusion thereof)

A23G (Cocoa; Cocoa products, e.g. chocolate; Substitutes for cocoa or cocoa products; Confectionery; Chewing gum; Ice-cream; Preparation thereof)

A23J (Protein compositions for foodstuffs; Working-up proteins for foodstuffs; Phosphatide compositions for foodstuffs).

Examples of foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages covered by this subclass are:

Foods or foodstuffs containing gelling or thickening agents;

Marmalades, jams, jellies or similar products;

Honey, royal jelly or other apiculture products;

Cereal-derived products including pasta;

Malt products, puddings or cream substitutes;

Spices, flavouring agents or condiments, whether natural or synthetic; artificial sweeteners; table salts; colouring agents;

Meat, poultry, egg, fish or seafood products;

Food consisting mainly of nut meat or seeds, e.g. peanut butter;

Soups or sauces; and

Preparation or treatment of the above foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages provided for in this subclass, including:

Processing, technological aspects other than apparatuses as such, cooking, shaping, physical treatments of food not covered by other specific subclasses.

Cooking e.g. by roasting or frying;

Removing unwanted matter;

Physical treatment e.g. with wave energy, electric or magnetic fields;

Preparation of fruit or vegetables, e.g. to make snacks, chips, sauerkraut or pickles;

Colouring or decolouring; and

Modifying the nutritive qualities, e.g. by adding vitamins, minerals or dietary fibres.

Modification of such foods or beverages to change their nutritional content for dietary reasons, and these modified foods or beverages per se.

Dietetic methods, functional foods, food or nutritional supplements

Relationship between large subject matter areas

In relation to foods, foodstuffs or non-alcoholic beverages per se, and in relation to their preparation and treatment including physical treatment, this main group is residual to subclasses A21D, A23B, A23C, A23D, A23F, A23G or A23J. These subclasses relate to flour or dough (A21D), dairy products (A23C), edible oils or fats (A23D), coffee, tea or their substitutes (A23F), cocoa, chocolate, confectionery or ice-cream (A23G) and protein compositions (A23J).

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Treating harvested fruit or vegetables in bulk
Machines or apparatus for extracting juice
Shaping or working of foodstuffs not fully covered by this or a single other subclass
Preparation of malt for brewing

Examples of places where the subject matter of this main group is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Edible extracts or preparations for medicinal purposes

Places in relation to which this main group is residual:

See above
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Apiculture
Machines and equipments for baking
Machines and equipments for making doughs
Bakery products
Enriched flour
(Mechanical)processing meat or fish products
Milk preparations
Milk substitutes, coffee whitener compositions
Natural coffee or tea flavour
Working-up proteins for foodstuffs
Animal foods
Machine for treating vegetal products
Kitchen equipment
Apparatus for baking, roasting, grilling or frying
Preparations for medical purpose
Emulsifiers in general
Sugars and derivatives, nucleotides
Polysaccharides
Perfumes, essential oils
Microorganisms and processes using them
Processing sugar
Analysing food
Special rules of classification within this main group

All specific examples should be classified as additional information e.g. formulation examples of a new sweetener in a chewing gum formulation, bakery product, yogurt, ice cream, chocolate, beverage should be classified in the corresponding subclasses in addition to the relevant subgroup for the sweetener itself.

Dietetic beverages should also be classified in A23L 1/29 or lower subgroups (in addition to A23L 2/00)

When classifying in A23L 1/00, A23V 2002/00 indexing system should also be used when appropriate in accordance with A23V 2002/00 classification rules.

A23L 1/0014 : concerns products and processes only, apparatus/device for shaping food should be classified in A23P. Double classification is possible.

A23L 1/22033 : includes cyclodextrin complexes

A23L 1/2205 : includes dissolvable flavoured films to placed in the mouth

A23L 1/236 : concerns sweetening agents. Sugars or other carbohydrates used for non-sweetening purposes (e.g. freezing point reducing agent, filler) are classified in A23L 1/09, double classification is occasionally possible.

A23L 1/29 : modification of nutritive value without additive e.g. by selection, specific treatment (e.g. cultivation, cooking, processing)

A23L 1/293 : only dietetic methods e.g. special dietetic or dietary regimens, not only for losing weight

A23L 1/296 : food formulations comprising at least all macronutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates). Pre- or post-operative nutritional compositions, complete foods formulations for special purposes or population (infant, elderly, pregnancy, etc.)

A23L 1/30 : Functional food (food or dietary supplement with dietetic or therapeutic indication) are classified in A23L 1/30 which is the main group for functional foods.

A23L 1/30 Also includes mixtures of additives and other additives not covered by subgroups A23L 1/3002 to A23L 1/3088. Those additives may also be classified in appropriate subgroups of A23L 1/00 (e.g. A23L 1/09 for sugars, A23L 1/28 for fungi). Multiple classification for combination of ingredients is preferred when the ingredients are essential for the invention.

In addition, Indexing Codes A23V 2002/00 should be used for indicating a combination of additives and possibly together with their the function.

A23L 1/3014 : is used for microorganism having an effect on health, generally probiotics. A23L 1/0345 is used when the microorganism is used for other purposes, e.g. flavouring, bioconversion of substances, fermentation.

A23L 1/31409 : comminuted meat is optional; additives in whole meat pieces are also classified here

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

In this main group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

Food
In addition to the commonly accepted foods or foodstuffs, the term in this subclass also extends to cover less traditional items such as thickening agents (e.g. starch), flavouring agents, artificial sweeteners, food colouring agents, etc.
Functional food /dietetic food / nutraceutical
food composition, formulation or supplement having an alleged effect on health or prevention of diseases.
Essential oil
A concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aromatic compounds from plants
Nutritive value
The nutritive value represents the energetic or calorific content of nutrition
Non-alcoholic beverages; Dry compositions or concentrates therefor; Their preparation
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

This main group covers:

Non-alcoholic beverages

  • Processing, technological aspects other than apparatuses as such, juice extraction, clarification, filtration, other physical treatments.
  • Beverages formulations
  • Incorporation of additives e.g. sweetening agents, clouding agents, preservatives, gases.
Relationship between large subject matter areas

A23L 2/00 covers non-alcoholic beverages not covered by other specific subclasses :

A23C (milk, milk preparations, yogurt), A23F (coffee, tea), A23G 9/045 (semi-frozen beverages), A23K (animal food), A23L 1/40 (soups).

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Introducing gases into liquids in general, apparatus for impregnating liquids with gases per se,
Preparation of malt for brewing
Preparation of non-alcoholic beverages by removal of alcohol
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Milk products
Milk preparations
Milk substitutes, coffee whitener compositions
Coffee, tea or their substitutes
Chocolate, cocoa drink
Semi-frozen beverages
Machines for extracting juices
Apparatus for making beverages
Preparations for medical purpose
Apparatus for dispensing beverages
Purifying water, e.g. by ion-exchange
Essential oils in general
Alcoholic beverages
Analysing food
Special rules of classification within this group

All specific examples should be classified as additional information e.g. formulation example of a new sweetener in a beverage composition should be classified in the corresponding subclass in addition to the classification for the sweetener itself.

Drink compositions (formulations) are classified in A23L 2/38 or A23L 2/52. A23L 2/38 covers beverages that do not contain fruit or vegetable juices (which are classified in A23L 2/02);

A23L 2/52 covers beverages that may contain fruit or vegetable juices in addition to other ingredients.

If a beverage contains both fruit or vegetable juices and other ingredients, it will be classified in both A23L 2/02 and A23L 2/52.

Gas containing (e.g. soda) : A23L 2/54

When classifying in A23L 2/00, A23V 2002/00 indexing system should also be used when appropriate, in accordance with A23V 2002/00 classification rules.

Preservation of foods or foodstuffs, in general, e.g. pasteurising, sterilising, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

This main group covers:

Preservation of foods or foodstuffs in general, e.g. by pasteurising, sterilising, heating, freezing, drying, pressurising, irradiation or treatment with chemicals, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

In relation to preservation of foods or foodstuffs in general, this main group is the primary home for this subject-matter. However, preservation subject matter specifically adapted for certain foods can also be found in subclasses A21D, A23B, A23C, A23D, A23F, A23G or A23J. These subclasses relate to flour or dough (A21D), dairy products (A23C), edible oils or fats (A23D), coffee, tea or their substitutes (A23F), cocoa, chocolate, confectionery or ice-cream (A23G) and protein compositions (A23J). For example, preservation of flour or dough or bakery products is subject-matter for subclass A21D, and preservation of meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables and edible seeds e.g. cereals is subject matter for subclass A23B. Preservation of milk or milk preparations is subject matter for subclass A23C.

In relation to preservation, deciding between this main group and the other subclasses listed above is generally a matter of function or application. Where the particular preservation technology is the main point of interest classification is made in this main group, and where the application to particular foodstuffs is the main interest classification is made in the subclasses listed above. Some double-classification is evident, see also special rules of classification below.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Sterilising and disinfecting of non-food material
Preserving foods or foodstuffs in association with packaging method
Preservation associated with packaging (entity)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Machines and equipments for baking
Preservation of bakery products
Preservation of milk or dairy products
Cleaning vegetables, fruits and other foodstuffs
General methods for cooking foods
Kitchen equipment
Disinfecting, sterilizing in general
Packages for foodstuffs with provision for absorbing fluids
Antioxidant compositions
Preserving fats, oils by using additives
Preservation of alcoholic beverages
Refrigeration machines, cooling freezing
Devices for drying foodstuffs
Heat exchange in general
F28
Heating by electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic fields
Special rules of classification within this main group

A23L 3/00: general preservations methods for food. Specific methods for vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, cereals : A23B. Double classification (A23B/A23L 3/00) is sometimes necessary.

Non-limiting examples of situations where double classification is necessary :

  • General method for preserving food but with specific examples for fish, meat;
  • Specific method for preserving vegetables but a more specific subgroup exists in A23L 3/00 for the preservation method e.g. high pressure treatment.

Sterilisation and packaging : sterilisation of the food product before packaging (aseptic filling) : B65B 55/00, sterilisation after packaging : A23L 3/00.

A61L 2/00 for general (non-food) preservation methods

Beverage preservation is generally classified both in A23L 2/42 (et seq.) and A23L 3/00, when the preservation method is not strictly limited to non-alcoholic beverages. Same rule apply in A23C (milk preservation).

When classifying in A23L 3/00, A23V 2002/00 indexing system should also be used when appropriate, in accordance with A23V 2002/00 classification rules.

This page is owned by Office of Patent Classification.
Last Modified: 10/11/2013