Search Results for: no modification

A “no modification” gravity feed bottle!

I’m really pleased to be able to post this!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the FIFO condiment bottle (when searching online once again for bottles that open at both ends).  If you’ve read the DIY section here on Tube Chic, you’ll already be familiar with the modifications  my son and I made to the Clean Bottle in order for it to work for gravity fed meals.   I also have, and regularly use the Playtex Ventaire bottle with an adapter tip attached.

Clean Bottle has a few drawbacks.  First, it has to be modified.  Secondly, a little bit of a meal remains at the bottom, (less than even a teaspoon) because the inside of the cap is flat, and the rubber gasket sticks up about 1/8″.  This version of the  Clean  Bottle comes in only the one size.  I think the brand does have a bottle similarly shaped that holds slightly more, and they also have a very cool looking square bottle made with triton plastic, but it will not work for modification for use as a tube feeding bottle.

The main drawback  of using the Clean Bottle,  is the cap  has to be loosened slightly to allow air to enter the bottle while in use, and I can’t even begin to estimate the number of times I’ve forgotten to re-tighten it when I  had to stop feeding for some reason or another, and ended up sitting down the bottle with a loose cap and liquid still inside of it. (Leakage when I did this was variable, from not at all, to going all over the place, depending on whether I’d just loosened the cap, or unscrewed it all the way).

The Playtex Ventaire baby bottle does not have to have the bottom cap loosened, as it is vented, and the controlled flow of contents is much nicer too (IMO)  But…. the Playtex Ventaire holds 9 ounces max.  If you’re interested in trying out the Playtex bottle, you can find information as to how to order the adapter tip to use it for your tube fed meals up in the “Make Life Easier ” section.

[Music  which has been playing softly in the background begins to build to a crescendo now.]

Enter… the FIFO bottle!

This is a condiment squeeze bottle.  It is available in a few  capacity sizes, the volumes that would be of most interest to a tube fed individual would be the 12, 16, and 20 ounce sizes. All bottle sizes use the same caps.  However, either end of the bottle is not interchangeable, the ends have two different diameters. It is nice that the same caps will fit any bottle.

The basic bottle is available several places online.  Some sizes and quantities of the basic bottle are sold on Amazon, and are prime eligible, and other websites carry it too.

Inconveniently for me, what makes this bottle so usable as a gravity feed bottle, are special caps made by FIFO, and only sold by the FIFO company  via their website.  Well, I take that back, one of the caps is on Amazon, but at like three times what it should cost.

By the way, in case you’re not familiar with the term, FIFO stands for first in, first out.  In the condiment dispensing world, this means a restaurant using these bottles can refill them from the opposite end that dispenses, and thus, the oldest part of the bottle contents does not get stuck at the bottom like it would for a bottle that can only be filled from the top.

I ordered the basic bottle from Amazon, to see just how the standard dispensing valve cap actually worked, and determined that although it could be modified, the bottom (which becomes the top when used for a meal) would still have to be loosened to allow air to enter and displace the liquid contents.  This meant that at its most basic and standard configuration, it held no advantage over the Clean Bottle, other than perhaps that it weighs less, and is slimmer.

So, right at New Years, December 30th to be precise, I ordered the “Precision Tip Dispenser Caps” and the vented caps.

http://www.fifobottle.com/our-products/Caps-Valves/Medium-valve-dispensing-cap-White-6pk_7

The vented cap is intended for thick sauces, so that air can enter the bottle.

http://www.fifobottle.com/our-products/Caps-Valves/Label-Cap-Vented-White-6-pack_5

This cap  is constructed similarly to the Playtex Ventaire vented cap.  Tiny holes are covered by a silicone disk.

FIFO is headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada, (almost 3,000 miles from where I live) and after I ordered, they sent my items via UPS ground transportation.   Shipping cost me  as much as the caps, and it took ten (business) days for my order to arrive.

I am so accustomed to being a prime Amazon member, and getting virtually every order delivered free of charge within two business days!  But, it was definitely worth the wait.

If I fill the bottle with water, and set it down so that the vented cap is on the bottom, over time the bottom “sweats”.  Water will slowly seep out.  (and this does not happen with the Playtex Ventaire).  But, thicker liquids–every blend I’ve tried it with so far, has not seeped out even a drop.  Even when I’ve squeezed the bottle during a meal, the seal has stayed 100% intact.  Its not like you couldn’t carry the bottle around with the vented side down when it contains thin as water liquids, it doesn’t leak like its a sieve, but, it is not watertight unless contents are a little thicker.  How thick, I don’t know yet, but will try to determine that as I continue using it for my meals.

You can attach an extension set right to the precision cap (or the funnel connector on a dangler type feeding tube)

Here’s FIFO with its two caps in place:

As far as its compatibility with the Jofas clamp that I use for many meals, its not a great fit, maybe an even larger “C” clamp would do the trick, but, maybe not because the bottle is straight sided with nothing for the clamp to catch onto.

When I use my homemade extension sets, I  just slide the end of the tubing up onto the cap.  Very secure seal.  Love it!

I put the new bottle to the test for you guys…

I mixed 6 oz hot water into a Real Food Blends chicken meal, and stirred until smooth.

Here it is in action in the video below.  I’m talking very slow action!   I prefer my meals to go in slow, so that I don’t slosh.  If you want a faster meal, thin your blend more.   I did not loosen the vented cap at all, and all of the meal dispensed completely with no problems. The bottle in the video is already attached in the larger size Jofas clamp holder. I attempt to show with my finger the slowly decreasing level of blend in the bottle.  As I said, I like a slow flow, and believe me, this video was like watching paint dry, so I cropped it.  You’ll get the picture long before the video ends.  As an added bonus you can hear some of my finches singing in the background . They love classical music, so we have it on for them. For another meal today, I experimented with squeezing the bottle during use, to speed the rate, and see if the vent cap leaked at all, and it performed perfectly.

After several meals of blends of various thicknesses, I’ve found that if a thick blend gets a small clog, a quick squeeze of the bottle moves things right along (no need to unscrew the vented cap or clamp the tubing).  However, just because it is a squeeze bottle did not translate into being able to use this for blends so thick that they normally would need to be pushed with a syringe plunger.  My hands don’t have full strength, so you might have more luck, but for me it was a complete fail.

Drawbacks…. hmmm.  Well, for one, I wouldn’t trust the vented bottom for transporting thin as water liquids when away from home.  But, the bottle comes with the solid non vented cap, so its available for when one would take a bottled meal with them on the go.  It is simple enough to unscrew one cap, and replace it with another.

Now, the dispenser tip does not have a cap to seal it.  None of the caps I have lying around the house for various syringes fit it.  I ordered  some from Amazon (sold to cover liquor/wine/condiment dispenser tips)  and will update this post once I receive them.

For me, as I would normally have the silicone tubing on the cap, and this seals so well that there is no chance of it being pulled off of the tip inadvertently. I plan  to just clamp the tubing if I take  a filled bottle with me.

Relevant update(s) will follow if the need arises.  Have a great weekend everyone.

[UPDATE]

I decided to try to show how thin a liquid can be used in the bottle without having any come out the bottom.

Please be patient with the quality!  This video was taken with my iPhone while  it was  clipped onto the door of our toaster oven.  So, there’s some shakiness and just poor cameraman skills going on.  (But you can see, and that’s the whole point).

It shows the same blended meal that was used for the first video (Real Food Blends chicken) thinned with an entire 8 ounces of water this time, instead of just six.  The video is kind of long, but, if you’ve been curious as to how thick the RFB chicken is right out of the package, here’s your chance to find out. (their salmon meal is thinner, the beef meal is thicker).  You’ll also be able to see how quickly a blend this thin will gravity feed with the FIFO bottle.

I normally would have rinsed out the foil packet with some of the water in order to get every last bit out, but I was having enough difficulty keeping my hands from blocking the camera without adding any more steps to the process!

I tried to get a good video of how long it took for a thin liquid to sweat through the vented cap, but the quality was so bad that I decided to post  a still shot captured from that video.

I chose to use orange juice as the yellow should make the droplets more visible that water would be.  I don’t think this oj has pulp (didn’t say one way or the other on the label)  it is a very thin consistency.

As you can see,  you definitely wouldn’t want to store the bottle sitting upright on the vented cap if it contained a thin liquid like this,   (the middle part of silicone disk bumps out, so the bottle won’t sit level anyway).

I’ve taken to sitting the bottle on top of an empty glass which has sides wide enough to keep the bottle steady when I need the bottle to stay upright when filled with thin liquids.   This solves the “weeble wobble” thing, as well as guards against any drips onto something I don’t want dripped onto.

[UPDATE #2] TRANSPORTING FULL BOTTLES

You will have a solid cap for the smaller end when you order your bottle

I ordered a couple of 53mm caps  (also sold as replacement caps for 3 & 5 gallon water bottles) and they are a perfect fit for the larger  “dispensing”  end of the bottle.   HOWEVER these seem to only fit the 20 ounce size (that I know of).    These caps make the bottle completely watertight for transporting when you’re out and about, with no fear of leakage if the bottle is tipped on its side, or turned upside down.

(They are shown below) However, they don’t work as well as I first  thought they did for the 16 and 12 ounce bottle sizes.  The threads seem like they catch, but, if you really twist the cap, it pops  and loosens.  It’s not a fluke (I don’t believe) with the cap and bottle compatibility.  All of the replacement caps I bought (I got six) fit the 20 ounce bottle with no issues of any cap not tightening fully.  Eventually I purchased two more 20 ounce bottles, and they, too, work perfectly well with these caps. Why this happens, I don’t know, because all of the FIFO brand caps are interchangeable with various bottle sizes.

So, if you want flat caps that will fit securely for the larger end of the bottle, as far as I know, the caps shown below (with link to Amazon)  absolutely do fit the 20 ounce sizes.

They also go onto the other size bottles, but cannot be tightened enough to trust the bottle to be leakproof if turned upside down.

If you want to use a size other than the 20 ounce bottle, the dispenser tip covers (also shown below) are a great way to go.

 

Here are the caps I purchased: http://amzn.to/2jVksk1  I’ve only had 100% leakproof success when used on the 20 ounce size bottles.

In addition to the 53mm solid caps, I also tried out the rubber caps sold as spout cap covers.  These do work, but I don’t think they would have a long lifespan.  They are thin (so they can stretch to fit multiple shaped and sized tips).  But, if you just want something to cover the dispenser tip, they will definitely get the job done.  I purchased a package of 12, but there were also packages of 40 that didn’t cost that much more.  Here is the link to the type I purchased on Amazon, but I’d imagine they’re available many places: http://amzn.to/2jVdfR1  

[YET ANOTHER UPDATE]

The ROBOCUP cup holder works great as an aid for holding the bottle during meals.

https://www.amazon.com/ROBOCUP-Colors-Fishing-Wheelchair-Microphone/dp/B0065MYZGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490469717&sr=8-1&keywords=robocup