Those delicious flakes frosted with sugar and similar spices like cinnamon to mini-wheat biscuits are carefully monitored for accurate FDA Food Safety and Compliance Standards. Process Sensors helps make these important measurements. Measuring the water based sugar coating and vitamin enrichment stations is very similar to our PSC water based coat weight measurement for labels and tapes. The sugar water ratio is well controlled with precise metering systems and liquid/solid refractometry analyzers.
Cereal flakes were invented by Dr. John Kellogg and his brother Will Kellogg (W.K.) in 1894, at their Battle Creek, Michigan, sanitarium. They were experimenting with wheat, trying to make “a digestible substitute for bread,” when they accidentally left a batch soaking in water overnight. The next day, they discovered it could be formed and baked into little flakes.
After four more years of trial and effort, the Kelloggs successfully applied the process to corn. However, they only sold cornflake by mail as a health food, to patients and former patients; Dr. Kellogg wasn’t interested in distributing it to the general public.
Flaked and sugar flaked cereals soon became an American staple with milk as a source of fortified Vitamin D from multiple suppliers. The flakes are sprayed with a sweet (sugary) solution at approximately 230 degrees C followed by rotary drum dryers and then a vitamin spray bath. Click Here to see a video on the process. The dried and sugary vitamin enhanced flakes are then packaged for supermarket shelves.
Each unit operation contributes to shelf life and taste, and benefits from monitoring with Near Infrared (NIR) Process Analyzers.