What was the first thing you did to wake yourself up in the morning as a kid? Many started their morning routine by jumping up out of bed and heading to the kitchen to grab their bowl and fill it with a cereal that best suited their unique personality. In fact, most adults still prefer to have the classic bowl of cereal for breakfast and sometimes lunch and dinner! It is easy to see why cereal is a morning favorite but have you ever wondered how your cereal was made?
Dr. Girish Ganjyal and his lab use extrusion processing technology to create delicious crunchy and crispy puffed cereals. Extrusion is a very common processing technology used in the food industry to produce direct expanded snack foods, cereals, and pet foods, among other products. The food ingredients in extrusion undergo physico-chemical changes as they are subjected to mechanical shear and heat. These physico-chemical changes transform them into the products with different eating characteristics. The machine has rotating screws that force ingredients through an opening. As it comes out, the food is cut into small pieces for your cereals. Dr. Ganjyal and his lab team use pulses (such as dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils), quinoa, millets, and fruit pomace and process them through the extruder to make popular breakfast cereals with more protein and fiber.
You can learn more about Dr. Girish Ganjyal and his lab’s research by heading to their Food Processing Extension and Research website.