Shredded products are whole grains or mixtures of grains that have been shaped into thin strands or a crosshatch shape, then layered, cut into biscuits or geometric shapes, and finally dried or toasted. For a whole grain such as wheat, the grain is cooked either in atmospheric conditions with an excess of water or in a pressurized steam vessel. Moisture content at this point is approximately 40-43% (8). After cooking, the grain is allowed to temper for several hours to equilibrate; it is then fed into shredding rolls consisting of one smooth roll and one grooved roll. The smooth roll forces the cooked grain into the grooved roll. A comb scrapes the grain material out of the grooves and deposits the strands onto a conveyer belt. Some 18-20 layers of shreds are deposited one on top of another from a bank of shredding rolls, and then cut into bite-size pieces. The pieces go through an oven to bake and dry (4,6).
Crosshatched types of products (chex) are normally made with rice or corn plus a flavoring syrup. Cooking is done in a batch or extrusion cooker and the shredding rolls are basically the same except for the addition of a horizontal groove on the grooved roll which is slightly less deep than the vertical groove. The layered web is then cut into bite-size pieces and puffed in a fluidized bed dryer to develop the characteristic light texture.
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