Before it becomes a finished product, breakfast cereal goes through various steps. Depending on the kind of cereal, several production procedures are used, such as flaked, puffed, shredded, and so on. The preparation of the grain is the first step, regardless of the type of finished product. Most functional foods and ready to eat food products utilize similar technologies for production.
The grain will be examined and cleaned once it arrives at the cereal facility. Some cereals use entire grains, while others grind the grain into fine flour by crushing it between massive metal rollers to remove the outer layer of bran. In a huge rotational pressure cooker, whole and partial grains will be combined with other ingredients. The type of grain used will influence the rotational speed, duration, and temperature employed during this operation. After the grain has been cooked, it will be dried in an oven. However, a specific quantity of water content in the cooked grain must be left to be moulded as desired.
Instead of whole grains, flour is used in other varieties of cereal. This flour is combined with other ingredients in a culinary extruder and cooked. In essence, this is a piece of machinery that consists of a long screw contained in a heated enclosure. The screw moves the mixture through the extruder while mixing the flour with the other components. The baked dough is ejected at the opposite end in the shape of a long, continuous ribbon, which is then chopped into pellets by a revolving knife. These pellets will next be processed the same way as the cooked grains were.
Production Of Flaked Cereal
Whole grains or extruded pellets can be used to make flaked cereals. The cooked grains or pellets are left to temper for several hours to allow the moisture content to stabilise. After this tempering, two enormous metal rollers will flatten the grains or pellets under many tonnes of pressure. The resultant flakes will be placed in an oven and exposed to hot air, eliminating excess moisture and toasting them until they attain the appropriate colour and flavour. Ready to eat breakfast cereals product developments are helping food industriesproduce flaked cereal products from various ingredients.
Grain size is vital for flaked cereals derived from whole grains to ensure overall product quality. Most of the time, unmodified corn starch will be added to the mix to ensure that the flakes can endure processing. Flaked cereal should have a 28 to 32 per cent moisture level after heating. The early heating, drying, and tempering steps are crucial for controlling the moisture and texture levels of whole-grain flakes cereal. This occurs mostly after extrusion in the case of extruded chips. However, the end product’s moisture content should be between 1 and 3 per cent to get the desired crunchiness and toughness.
Production of Puffed Cereal
Cereals and pulses formulation companies use puffed products for easy digestion and taste. Puffed cereal is often rice and wheat and is produced using a gun. Bumping is a procedure that involves slightly flattening rice grains between metal rollers after they have been cooked, cooled, and tempered. The rice grains will be bumped again before being dried and put in a high-pressure steam oven (gun) to grow in size. The temperature should be between 400o and 500oF, and the pressure should be around 200 lbs. psi for the procedure to be effective. The pressure in the oven will abruptly be released, forcing the grains to release steam and puff up in size immediately.
The moisture level of the puffed grains will be approximately 5 to 7 per cent at this point, and it will need to be reduced to between 1 and 3 per cent. It’s also worth noting that because these cereals absorb moisture rapidly, they’ll need a layer of coating and the right kind of packaging to protect them from deteriorating and maintaining their crispiness over time.
Production of Granola
In the cereals processing sector, Granola is created by combining grains with additional ingredients such as nuts, dried fruits, seeds, honey, malt extract, various flavours, and so on, and then baking the mixture. Granola, unlike other cereals, requires oil in the mix to keep the other components from sticking together. Agglomeration is the term for this process. To obtain a mild browning and a moisture content of roughly 3%, the combination will be cooked at temperatures ranging from 300o to 425oF. 5% inulin (a prebiotic fibre) and other carbs may aid the binding process. The Granola will be broken up into bits when the heating and drying operations are completed.
Coatings Are A Type Of Finish.
After the initial manufacturing phase, some cereals may be sprayed with a coating containing sweeteners, tastes, food colouring, preservatives, vitamins, and minerals. Most grains include a sugar coating that combines a sugar formula and application process to guarantee that the sugar crystals dry with the proper colour, flavour, size, and structure. Traditionally, beet or cane sugar is used as a coating, and however, brown sugar or honey can also be used in white sugar. Using oil to avoid clumping is also a good idea.
Food Research Lab’s Healthy Granola
Food Research Lab is a global contract R&D firm developing new food, beverage and nutraceutical products for food companies. We have assisted several companies in launching their convenience food products, especially breakfast cereals. Our functional granola mix that helps athletes and sportspeople was a huge success for our client in the market We have various such products ready-to-eat food products in our portfolio.