The Verival fact check: How is cereal made into flakes?August 9, 2017
No matter whether you prefer oat, spelt, rye, wheat or barley flakes – the right breakfast makes for a great start to the day! Today’s Verival fact check gives you the lowdown on cereal flakes. Cereal flakes are the main ingredient in any muesli, yet most people know very little about how they are made. We think it’s high time to put that right, so here are the answers to some key questions about cereal flakes.
#1. How is cereal actually made into flakes?
The harvested cereal grains are first cleaned, then steamed for several hours before being dry-heated in a process known as kilning. With oats, the indigestible outer hull (husk) is then removed. The husk, which is already loosened during the kilning process, can be separated from the kernel (groat) by means of a special dehulling cylinder or drum separator. The processed groats are now ready to be flattened at high pressure between two rotating rollers. The cereal flakes (or rolled oats) are produced by flattening the hulled groats.
#2. What is the difference between thick-rolled and thin-rolled flakes?
To produce fine cereal flakes the groats are cut into smaller pieces before rolling. Coarse flakes are produced by flattening the whole groats. The difference lies purely in the size of the groats before rolling.
#3. Why do cereal flakes have such a long shelf life?
During the drying process (kilning), the cereal grains are conveyed through ovens heated to a temperature of 90°C. This gives the flakes their characteristic nutty flavour and simultaneously prolongs their shelf life. The kilning process reduces the activity of certain enzymes (lipases), which would otherwise give the flakes a rancid, bitter taste.
#4. Do you use wholegrain flakes for your mueslis?
Although it is not always visually evident, all our various cereal flakes contain all parts of the kernel and are therefore a 100% wholegrain.